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What is UPS Mail Innovations?

By Last updated on: October 11, 2023

UPS Mail Innovations is a joint venture between UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS). It is a cost-effective way to send packages and documents around the world. The service combines the reliability of the UPS Ground network with last-mile delivery generally provided by the USPS. Mail Innovations handles the pickup, processing, and interim transportation of your package or document, then hands off the final delivery to the USPS for completion.

How Long Does UPS Mail Innovations Take to Deliver?

UPS Mail Innovations achieve transit times comparable to USPS First Class plus one day. This is accomplished using the vast UPS network and working association with the USPS. The national network of processing facilities can process and transport domestic mail to its point of induction within 24-48 hours of pickup.

UPS Mail Innovations
UPS Mail Innovations Domestic Flow Process – from

UPS Mail Innovations Categories:

  • Flat Mail: 1 ounce – 15.99 ounces. They are commonly used for booklets, magazines, etc.
  • Bound Printed Material: 1 lb. – 15 lbs. Typically used for books, catalogs, etc.
  • Less than 1 lb. Parcels: 1 ounce – 15.99 ounces.
    • Generally used for lightweight odd-shaped items, CDs, apparel, sign tubes, etc.
  • Media Mail: 1 lb. – 70 lbs.
    • Restricted to specific packages like print media, binders, films, and medical binders.
UPS Mail Innovations Label
UPS Mail Innovations Label

Invoice Example

UPS Mail Innovations Invoice

SurePost Categories:

  • UPS SurePost Less under 1 lb.: 1 ounce – 16 ounces. 
  • SurePost 1lb. or Greater: 1 lb. – 70 lbs. 
  • SurePost Bound Printed Matter:
    • Restricted to books and printed material (Note: Requires a SurePost Bound Printed Matter contractual addendum)
  • SurePost Media:
    • Restricted to specific items such as binders, films, and medical records. Note: Requires a SurePost Media contractual addendum)

Why use UPS Mail Innovations

The services are more adaptable, flexible, and less expensive than you would expect to spend directly with the USPS. Retailers use Mail Innovations to help streamline the movement of bulk orders out of their warehouse locations and to local post offices for the final mile delivery. The cost for these packages varies depending on the size and weight of the package, the distance it needs to travel, and the type of service you choose.

UPS Mail Innovations is best for smaller and lighter shipments that weigh less than one pound, and UPS SurePost is best for heavier packages within the two to twenty-pound range. Mail Innovations is specifically designed for small to mid-sized businesses that move a lot of merchandise in flat or lightweight shipping packages.

UPS SurePost
UPS SurePost
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 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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