What Is Economy Shipping and How Does It Work in 2022

When you’re looking to save money on shipping, economy shipping is the way to go. But what is economy shipping, and how does it work?

In this blog post, we’ll answer all of your questions about economy shipping and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. We’ll also compare it to other types of shipping so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your needs.

Key Points

  • Economy Shipping: Definition
  • How Long Does It Take
  • Economy vs. Other Shipping Options
  • Most Prominent Couriers
  • International Economy Shipping
  • Tracking Options
  • Advertising Economy Shipping

What Is Economy Shipping

Economy shipping is a type of shipping that is offered by most couriers, and it typically costs less than standard shipping. With economy shipping, your package will be delivered using the least expensive means possible, which may result in a longer delivery time.

How Long Does Economy Shipping Take

The economy shipping time depends on the courier that you choose (read more later on), but the process can take anywhere from two days to several weeks.

Other than the service you use, economy shipping delivery time also depends on the overall distance the packages have to travel to.

How Economy Compares to Other Shipping Options

There are many different types of shipping out there, so it’s important to understand how economy compares to other options.

Here is a quick comparison chart:

Economydepends on the distanceLowest
Standard2–5 business daysMedium
Ground1–5 business daysMedium to Expensive
Expressovernight or next-dayMost Expensive

Economy vs. Standard Shipping

Standard shipping is a popular choice for many customers, as it provides reasonable rates and fast service. The difference between economy and standard shipping is not as clear-cut as economy and ground, however, because economy also offers a variety of services at different prices.

The economy vs. standard shipping price range varies depending on the courier that you choose—if you’re looking for economy USPS rates, those will be lower than other couriers such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. But if time is of the essence, you may want to consider one of those couriers instead.

Economy vs. Ground Shipping

Ground shipping is another popular choice for customers looking for low prices and good service times. What does ground shipping actually mean? How does it differ from economy shipping?

Ground shipping is any land transportation-based shipping—trucks, trains, etc. Economy shipping is all that, plus targeting the lowest possible rates.

Economy vs. Express Shipping

Express shipping is the fastest type of shipping offered by most couriers, and it is also the most expensive, making it an oppositive to economy option.

It comes down to where you consider your target market puts more value—saving money by picking a more time-consuming but cheaper option or getting their order ASAP.

Which Couriers Offer Economy Shipping

USPS Retail Ground®

The USPS economy shipping is available through a collaboration with FedEx. FedEx picks up the package and delivers it to the USPS facility, it is only then shipped to the destination and brought by a postal carrier.

The delivery time can be anywhere between two and eight business days since the shipping date; however, this option is by no means time-sensitive. The price for economy shipping starts at $8.50 at the post office for packages up to 70 lbs.

UPS® Worldwide Economy

In their own words, UPS Worldwide Economy is a low-cost, deferred international small package service designed for low-weight, low-value, Business-to-Consumer cross-border shipments.

You can find the delivery rates and estimated shipping time in their comprehensive PDF here.

FedEx Ground® Economy

The cost of FedEx’s version of cheap shipping starts at $9.25—not bad, considering that delivery takes only 2–7 business days (depending on the overall distance).

It’s ideal for low-weight, low-value residential shipments, with a weight limit of 70 lbs and a size limit of 130″ in length.

DHL Ecommerce

DHL’s economy option can take 2–5 business days to get to the desired destination. While costs per each parcel vary depending on the options you pick, it does include tracking and, as long as your package isn’t larger than 150 lbs, you can ship it momentarily.

Economy International Shipping

International economy shipping is available through most couriers and is typically less expensive than standard or ground services. 

The price range for economy international shipping varies greatly depending on the courier that you choose, so let’s take a quick look at the most popular options on the market:

USPS Priority Mail International6–10 business days190 countries
UPS Worldwide Economycompetitive delivery time210 countries
FedEx International Economy2–5 business days215 countries
DHL eCommerce7–12 business days200 countries

Does Economy Shipping Include Tracking?

While economy shipping usually comes with limited tracking, you can upgrade your economy order to include full tracking. However, be aware that adding more services like full tracking will increase the overall cost of economy shipping.

Some of the couriers don’t track the package themselves—e.g., USPS offers the service via FedEx economy tracking.

What’s the Best Way to Advertise Economy Shipping?

Economy shipping, like other types of shipping, can be advertised in a number of ways. You can put a note on your website letting customers know that you offer economy shipping and what the expected delivery time is.

You can also include economy shipping information in your product descriptions or use promotional codes to entice customers to choose economy shipping.

Benefits of Economy Shipping: Our Takeaway

Economy shipping is a great way to save money on your order while still receiving some level of tracking. Additionally, economy shipping is often the fastest way to receive your products once they’ve been shipped. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and efficient way to get your products delivered, economy shipping is the option for you.