Differences Between Priority & Ground Shipping


There are several differences between priority and ground shipping. While ground shipping is the most economic, it isn't always the best choice if timing is an issue. Priority shipping includes three-day, two-day and overnight shipping. It tends to be more expensive but is sometimes the best option when time is of the essence.

Transit Time

  • Other than price, transit time is one of the most significant differences in priority and ground shipping methods. Ground shipping within the United States is normally delivered within five to seven business days. If the package is going nearby, it could be much faster. For example, if a package is shipped ground from a Washington location to an Oregon location, typical transit time is one to two days. With priority shipping, the transit time could be three days, two days or the following business day. This is all determined by the specific priority method selected.

Guaranteed Delivery

  • Ground shipping is not guaranteed. Transit times are estimates. Major shipping carriers guarantee priority shipments to arrive by the arrival date. This means that if a package is sent three-day, it could actually be delivered in two days. If it's important for a package to arrive on a specific date, overnight shipping is the best option.


  • Priority shipping is more expensive than ground shipping. Factors that affect the price of shipping are the size of the box, weight of the box, where the package is shipping from and where it's shipping to. The faster the service, the bigger and heavier the package, and the farther it's going, all make shipping more expensive, for both priority and ground shipping methods.


  • When placing an online order, remember to keep turnaround time in mind. While some companies ship orders out the same day they are ordered, other companies may take a few days to ship orders. This information can usually be found on the company's website in its shipping policies or customer service area.

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