What is Economy Shipping: Definition, Comparison & its Benefits

keyKey Takeaways:

  • Economical shipping is a reasonable choice for mailing packages that don’t need to be delivered right away.
  • Businesses trying to save shipping expenses and provide customers with affordable delivery may find economy shipping to be a viable option.
  • The kinds of goods that can be transported may be limited by weight and size constraints for economy shipping.
  • To choose the best economic shipping option for your needs, it’s crucial to compare shipping costs and delivery times from several carriers.

“Happiness is receiving your online order.” – Modern-day shopper 

Only if it’s one-time, door-to-door, and economical. Being an eCommerce business, there’s no better opportunity to increase your business sales and brand position than now.

Over 2 billion people purchase online goods and services in the United States. 

It means the opportunity is knocking at your door, and it’s your time to scale your eCommerce business compared to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

Your eCommerce delivery and shipping policy can determine your business success. With the rising demand and competition in the industry, you must choose economical shipping solutions for higher profitability and happy customers.  

Here, we will understand what is economy shipping and its benefits in this article. 

Economy Shipping: Definition

It is the most cost-effective shipping service you can choose to transport a package. Economy shipping option is the best option for less time-sensitive packages because you don’t have any time constraints, and you can increase your profitability.

With online retail businesses offering same-day or lightning-fast deliveries, economy shipping services contrast with the new trend.

You can choose the most affordable delivery service offered by the courier or in-house delivery operations to process the consignment within the average delivery ETA

You don’t require a strong and widespread delivery network to complete lightning-fast deliveries. Also, you don’t need to pay a hefty delivery charge to a third-party courier.

With minimal delivery operational cost and stress, economy shipping can increase your profits and ensure great customer satisfaction.

The main difference between economy service and other shipping methods involves delivery deadlines. Let’s understand the time taken in economical shipping deliveries.

How long does it take to transit?

It takes 1-5 days to ship a package using economy shipping services in the United States. But, international parcels have an average delivery period of  6-15 days.

There is no standard time frame for economy shipping services. The ATD depends on the following factors:

If the package travels outside the country to the furthest shipping zone, the delivery time will be longer. But the delivery duration shrinks if it’s in the same state.

The delivery speed for economy delivery service depends on the distance between the origin and destination. The shorter the distance, the faster the package arrives.

For example, if choosing to ship a 3-pound package from NY to Houston, USPS Priority Mail can deliver the courier for $8.87. But for the same package, UPS Next Day costs $43.79.

Different courier services offer different pricing for the same shipping zone. Also, if you change the shipping zone, the economy delivery price can again differ.

You have multiple economic shipping providers in the United States who can assist you with your online deliveries. 

Carrier Options for Economy Shipping

Most major couriers offer domestic and international economy shipping to retailers and eCommerce operators. 

The cost and transit times differ from courier to courier. You can choose one based on your budget, requirements, and customer demands. There is no one-size-fits-all. 

1. FedEx Economy: FedEx Ground

FedEx Economy: FedEx Ground for economy shipping

FedEx international economy shipping is offered via FedEx ground. It is a cost-effective way to ship for small businesses, online e-retailers, and other business owners. If your item is under 70 pounds, you can get a swift delivery service from FedEx. The range for economy delivery with FedEx can go up to 150 lbs.

The delivery time is around 2-7 business days, and the shipping cost for economy shipments starts from $9.25 for a 3-pound package.

You can use FedEx tracking to get detailed insights about the delivery process and update your clients about the live consignment location.

2. UPS Economy: UPS Ground

UPS offers economy shipping services via UPS Ground and is an excellent choice for businesses to get the desired delivery results. UPS offers multiple international delivery option services in 210 countries at highly competitive transit times and delivery costs.

Ensure your package is not heavier than 150 pounds before you start shipping. The company offers a starting price of  $19.02 for a 3-pound package from NY to Miami in its economic shipping services. 

The estimated delivery timeframe is between 1-5 business days, depending upon the destination. You can use UPS tracking to get detailed insights into the transit process. You also contact the support team to resolve your issues to avoid trouble for your customers.

3. USPS Economy: Priority Domestic

USPS offers economy shipping using the USPS Priority domestic. It’s suitable for mailing packages under 70 pounds and at most 130 inches within the United States. The delivery timeframe is around 1-3 business days starting at $7.70.

You can get instant delivery process details by using the USPS economy shipping tracking services. The company has a strong network for domestic shipments to help you ensure timely deliveries.

4. DHL Economy: DHL Economy Select

DHL Economy Select for economy shipping

DHL economy shipping is managed via DHL Economy Select. The shipping package limit is around 150 lbs, and the estimated delivery time is 2-5 business days. 

The company does not provide the starting cost but offers tracking services to track the details using DHL tracking.

5. Integrate your in-house delivery operations

Integrating a small-scale delivery ecosystem into your retail business can ensure you deliver the most cost-effective deliveries to your local customers. 

With economical shipping, you don’t have high time restrictions which can help you to ease the pressure from your new delivery segment and complete successful economical deliveries. 

You can save the additional delivery costs and increase your profits. Once you start off great with the delivery operations, you can scale your logistics and transportation segment in the future.

But to be successful at managing your deliveries, you require professional technology integration to achieve your desired results.

One such tool is Upper Route Planner, which can help you minimize your route planning time, save money, and ensure delivery drivers get the optimized and shortest delivery routes.

In the latter half, we’ll discuss the benefits of integrating a professional route planner like Upper. But before that, let’s compare economical shipping with standard shipping.

Economy Shipping vs Standard Shipping: Comparison

Though standard shipping is more agile than economy services, the difference between economy and standard shipping method is a thin line, especially for domestic packages.

However, economy shipping is less expensive and is ideal for fragile, bulky, and sizable items. Economy and standard shipping offer a delivery lead time of 3-5 business days to most United States regions.

The major difference between economy and standard shipping is with international shipments. You can experience a longer delivery duration with economy international shipping. 

Although economy shipping services are slower than standard, it can be worth the wait for the money you’ll save. 

You can explore other benefits by choosing economical shipping services as your standard delivery operation for your customers. 

Benefits of Economy Shipping

Economy shipping is considered a popular shipping option among eCommerce retailers. Here are some delivery benefits of economy shipping: 

1. Affordable shipping solution

Shipping deliveries can be expensive and hold the majority of your operational costs. It’s important to keep your delivery operational at a lower price to ensure higher profits.

Economical shipping is the most affordable option in the last-mile delivery industry. You can create your flawless in-house delivery segment or outsource economic delivery operations to third-party operators.

2. Quick standard shipping domestically

Your customers won’t notice the difference between standard and economical domestic shipping services. In contrast, it can help you increase your profits and ensure a quality customer experience. 

The deliveries can be made within 1-5 days across the United States, and it’s considered the ideal shipping time.

3. Ideal for bulk or fragile orders 

Economy shipping is ideal for bulk or fragile orders

Shipping fragile, bulky, and irregularly shaped items can be overwhelming. Also, the cost of domestic expedited delivery gets higher in shipping these special consignments.

Economy shipping provides the best delivery options to handle bulk shipping and sensitive items. Most couriers can allow parcels up to 150 lbs at reasonable prices.

4. Reliable tracking 

You can get instant and accurate tracking details from your courier providers about your economical shipping. With no special delivery time pressure, the delivery process is smooth, and the chances of parcel misplacement are minimal.

The tracking system helps you deliver a quality customer experience and distinguishes you from other retailers. But if you want to enhance the delivery experience, you can integrate your in-house delivery operations.

To do so, you may require a delivery route planner that offer tracking services to help you with quick and reliable tracking details for an effective, economical shipping process.

Improve Shipping Efficiency with Upper Route Planner

Starting new economic delivery operations requires you to focus on optimal delivery solutions. Upper Route Planner has the best-in-class routing algorithm to deliver optimized and shortest delivery routes to cut fuel costs, time, and effort.

You can use the resources to boost your core business operations and scale the business to new heights. 

Your drivers can avoid using manual paper routes as Upper can help you automate your route planning process and remove other inefficiencies from your business.

We suggest you try out a 7 days FREE trial and get the best package tracking service experience. 


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It takes 1-5 days to complete the economy ground shipping process but to ship internationally, it can take 3-8 business days. With lower shipping costs, you can save money and scale your online business to new heights.

You should consider your requirement for national or international deliveries while choosing the economy shipping options. Courier services are another important aspect of international or domestic economy shipping.

The major difference between economy and expedited shipping is the cost-effectiveness of economy shipping. Once you compare international shipping rates for the economy and other services, that’s where the major difference lies.

Summing Up

Economic shipping and door-to-door service can help you successfully climb the ladder in your business industry. With rising inflation and other expense factors, courier service providers are increasing their delivery rates.

You might need to pay the same price for economical shipping compared to standard shipping soon. 

But you can start your in-house delivery business operations to escape the dependency on other courier providers with the help of Upper Route Planner. 

The software can help create an excellent delivery ecosystem for cost-effective and smooth deliveries. Avail of the 7 days trial period to learn about Upper’s advanced routing features.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.