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What is a UPS SurePost package?

By Last updated on: July 16, 2020

The last mile or final delivery of a UPS packages voyage, regardless of actual distance, is truly where costs add up. That last mile varies from a few blocks to 100’s of miles, this is where UPS SurePost can help. Consequently, reducing shipping bills and realizing viable cost savings start with last-mile delivery. With so many shipments going out daily, why is it that the last mile is so expensive?

In short, last-mile delivery is inefficient; deliveries are made in small quantities to many different residential locations as opposed to larger volume deliveries to a few commercial locations. A key strategy for reducing shipping costs is using a well-known shipping service, like UPS Ground, that is already heavily used combined with a method specifically for targeting last-mile delivery costs. Sending your goods to your shipping destination via UPS truck is expensive. As a result, UPS found a way to make that final leg of delivery less expensive, passing those savings along. That service is called UPS SurePost. The FedEx equivalent is known as FedEx SmartPost. This service is an excellent solution for many businesses looking to reduce shipping costs and while keeping the quality of delivery and experience. Therefore, let’s go over what exactly UPS SurePost is and how it works?

What is a UPS SurePost package?

UPS SurePost is an economy, residential, ground service. Sure Post combines the consistency and reliability of UPS Ground with final delivery typically provided by the U.S. Postal Service. In other words, SurePost is the hybrid UPS/USPS option. Also, the total dimensions of packages cannot exceed 130 inches if you select SurePost. Less than 1 lb or 1 lb or Greater or 108 inches if SurePost Bound Printed Matter or SurePost Media is used. UPS’s obligation limit for loss or damage to a SurePost package is one hundred dollars ($100) per box.

  • Less than 1 lb.: 1 ounce – 15.99 ounces
  • 1 lb. or Greater: 1 lb. – 70 lbs
  • SurePost – Bound Printed Matter (BPM): 1 lb. – 15 lbs. Literature, books and permanently-bound materials
  • SurePost Media: 1 lb.– 70 lbs. must contain forms of media — advertisements, books, CDs, tapes, or film 

How is UPS SurePost delivered?

This UPS shipping option starts with UPS’s Ground networks to cover most of the distance but then moves to the U.S. Postal Service for the final delivery. Therefore, this is a cheaper option that, according to UPS, provides an equivalent level of service as ground shipping. A US postal service mail carrier drops the package off at the final location, not a UPS delivery person. 

One of the significant differences between UPS Ground and Surepost is the fact that Surepost delivery is available to locations UPS ground cannot. UPS Surepost can deliver to APO, FPO, DPO, or a PO Box.

Can UPS SurePost Upgrade to UPS Ground?

Yes, it can. UPS My Choice For Home Member can upgrade UPS SurePost service to UPS Ground for $3.50 per package. UPS My Choice® For Home Premium Member have unlimited upgrades from UPS SurePost to UPS Ground at no additional charge. 

How many days is UPS SurePost?

Typically, UPS Surepost takes one or two days longer than UPS Ground shipping. UPS claims that SurePost packages take anywhere from two to seven days until final delivery by USPS.

Other Fees

SurePost packages follow the same dimensional weight formula as UPS Ground. The dimensional divisor is 139 unless otherwise specified in your company’s UPS agreement. In addition, UPS adds a ground fuel surcharge to the UPS SurePost published rate. Consequently, dimensional weight does not apply to Less than 1 lb. packages. 

An additional charge per package applies to the following:

  • Non-Machinable Charge: $2.95
    • a) package with one dimension measuring over 34 inches and not exceeding 48 inches 
    • b) Any container with any two dimensions each measuring more than 17 inches and not exceeding 30 inches
    • c) Any parcel weighing over 35 lb.
  • Delivery Area Surcharge: $ 1.95
  • Delivery Area Surcharge – Extended: $ 2.45

This service could be up to 20 percent more affordable than UPS residential Ground service, with similar service offerings. If you’re worried about implementing UPS SurePost due to added pickup steps, don’t! SurePost package pickup is the same as ground and express packages. Thus, you do not need to take any additional steps to take advantage of this service.

Shippers and customers can still track packages, even during the final leg of their journey with USPS. These packages will technically include two shipping labels, one for each service. However, customers can still see shipments move through both services seamlessly with just one tracking number.


This service affords significant logistic savings over UPS ground services by eliminating some standard accessorial fees. This UPS service is not the solution for shipping every package, although it is a good alternative for a customer who is price sensitive, but not time-sensitive. Many e-commerce companies use this as a low-cost delivery substitute at a flat rate. Surepost usage could lower shopping cart abandonment and increase your online sales. 

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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