What is Standard Shipping?

Standard shipping involves the transportation of shipments using regular delivery services without any expedited or premium features. It is generally considered an affordable and reliable shipping option with moderate delivery times. Read on to learn the pros and cons of standard shipping and costs.

What Does Standard Shipping Mean?

In an era where speed of delivery is a key driver of e-commerce success, standard shipping often takes the back seat. 

As its name suggests, standard shipping is the default option for delivering goods to customers, unless you (customer) specifically choose a different shipping speed or method. Standard shipping is essentially regular shipping that does not incorporate any special provisions- such as faster delivery or overnight shipping. Standard shipping delivers via surface (land) and is usually cheaper than other shipping modes.

While the allure of expedited shipping may seem irresistible and competitive in the e-commerce realm, standard shipping is no lesser avenue. In fact, it’s the de-facto choice that keeps the wheels of logistics tuning. It is a cost-effective and widely used shipping service that balances affordability and delivery speed. 

Standard shipping is also known by many names, such as economy shipping, basic shipping, budget shipping, and regular shipping. 

Key Attributes of Standard Shipping

While the particulars may vary based on the chosen shipping carrier and the nature of the items being transported, standard shipping encompasses a set of shared characteristics. Here, we will look at the key features that define standard shipping.

Delivery Time

Standard shipping usually takes longer than expedited or express shipping methods. The exact timeframe can vary, but it typically ranges from a few days (within U.S.standard ground shipping) to a couple of weeks (internationally), depending on the distance and the shipping provider’s capabilities. 


Standard shipping generally uses road/land -or surface shipping, which makes it cheaper as compared to express shipping that uses air. Urgent and fast, the main characteristics of express shipping, come with a higher price tag.  


Most standard shipping services include basic packaging tracking, allowing buyers and sellers to stay updated on the whereabouts of their shipments. 

Package Requirements

Goods sent via standard shipping  are picked, sorted, and packed by the shipping companies. 

Insurance Coverage

Standard shipping may not automatically include insurance in most cases. It’s advisable to consider purchasing additional coverage to protect against loss or damage during transit.

Size and Weight Restrictions

Standard shipping may have limitations on package size and weight, depending on the service provider. It’s important to adhere to the specified restrictions to avoid potential issues or additional charges.

Customer Service

Reliable customer service from the shipping provider is essential for addressing inquiries, tracking packages, and resolving any issues that may arise during the standard shipping process. Customer services for standard shipping is a way to casually benchmark the shipping provider in question.

Pros and Cons of Standard Shipping

Like two sides of a coin, there are pros and cons to standard shipping that e-commerce players and buyers must be aware of. Often, these pros and cons are subjective. 

Pros of Standard ShippingCons of Standard Shipping
Affordability and appealLonger delivery time
Typically more cost-effective–attractive to budget-conscious shoppers.May not satisfy customers seeking speedy delivery.
Sets realistic shipping expectations and helps manage customer expectations.If standard shipping is the only option sellers provide, they may risk losingcustomers seeking faster delivery options.
Limited tracking
May not include signature confirmation–makes it harder for sellers to confirm delivery.

Pros of Standard Shipping

Affordability and Appeal

As mentioned, standard shipping is typically more cost-effective. This allows sellers to save on shipping expenses while appealing to budget-conscious shoppers.

Realistic Shipping Expectations 

In many ways, standard shipping helps set realistic delivery timeframes for shipments and, in the process, helps manage customer expectations. It saves sellers from having to set overly ambitious shipping targets that could lead to customer dissatisfaction if unmet. 

Cons of Standard Shipping

Longer Delivery Time

Standard shipping entails a longer delivery time than its expedited/express counterparts. It can be a drawback to customers seeking speedy delivery. 

Lack of Appeal

If standard shipping is the only shipping option that sellers may have in place, then they risk losing customers. Many people seek same-day or express delivery. 


Standard shipping may not be as nuanced as expedited shipping when tracking shipments. Sometimes, depending on the logistics/shipping provider, there may not even be signature confirmation, making it difficult for sellers to confirm delivery. 

Considering these pros and cons, it’s essential that you list standard shipping as an option alongside expedited shipping. 

All shipping priorities would then be better catered to. Also, these pros and cons are influenced by factors such as the shipping provider, location, and specific circumstances. Therefore, sellers must assess the logistics scene, their needs, and customer expectations to determine the most suitable shipping option.

MORE: How to make a shipping label.

How Long Does Standard Shipping Take?

There isn’t a set answer to this. It depends on factors such as:

  • Distance between the origin and destination,
  • The efficiency of the shipping provider,
  • Potential delays due to external factors like weather conditions or peak shipping seasons.

Typically, standard shipping within the U.S. can range from 1 to 5 business days, with 3 to 4 business days being a common timeframe.

When using shipping services such as USPS, FedEx, or UPS for international shipments, the estimated timeframe can range from 1 to 10 business days. 

However, it’s essential to consider that international shipping involves additional factors such as customs clearance processes, potential inspections, and the varying efficiency of local postal services in the destination country. These factors can contribute to the variability in delivery times for international standard shipping.

The generally regarded timeframe for standard international shipments can be up to three weeks or more. 

How Much Is Standard Shipping?

Although the cost of standard shipping is lesser than expedited shipping, it varies depending on factors including:

  • The shipping provider,
  • Package weight and dimensions,
  • Shipping distance,
  • Additional services or features chosen by the sender.

Different shipping providers have their own pricing structures and may offer various options for standard shipping. Typical standard shipment costs in the U.S. – offered by USPS, UPS, FedX, and DHL– range between $8 and $10.

It is advisable to consult with the specific shipping provider or carrier you plan to use.  

Some shipping providers may offer flat-rate options for standard shipping, where the cost remains unchanged regardless of the package’s weight or size within certain predefined limits. This can be advantageous for sending smaller, lightweight packages at a predictable cost.

That said, for comprehensive information on shipping and logistics, our extensive list and review of Amazon shipping and fulfillment tools and services would help you uncover and gauge the efficiency of the myriad tools that can elevate your shipping.

Optimal Use of Standard Shipping

The optimal use of standard shipping can vary depending on the specific needs and priorities of an e-commerce business. Here are some scenarios where standard shipping can be advantageous:

  • Standard shipping appeals to price-sensitive customers who prioritize affordability.
  • When time is not a critical factor, standard shipping can be an ideal choice.
  • Certain products, such as non-perishable goods, standardized items, or low-value items, may not require expedited shipping.
  • For businesses that frequently ship large volumes of products or have regular shipping schedules, standard shipping can offer consistency and predictability.

It’s important for e-commerce businesses to assess their target market, product types, and customer preferences when determining the optimal use of standard shipping.

MORE: Shipping Aggregation and Labels Top Tips.

Takeaway Points

  • Standard shipping provides a dependable and cost-effective choice for shipping packages. However, consider offering expedited shipping as an additional choice to cater to customers who require faster delivery times.
  • Shipping costs and delivery times for standard shipping can vary based on package specifications, shipping distance, and the chosen shipping provider.
  • Discuss your business requirements, shipping volumes, and specific needs with your shipping provider for cost-effective standard shipping rates and services. 

MORE:The Best Shipping and Fulfillment Tool and Services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Standard shipping involves the transportation of shipments using regular delivery services without any expedited or premium features.

Shipping is a broad term that encompasses various methods, while standard shipping refers to the regular, non-expedited shipping option.

Yes, standard shipping is typically delivered to the recipient's specified address. It’s pretty much door-to-door.

Standard shipping can be offered by various shipping providers, including USPS (United States Postal Service), as well as private carriers like FedEx and UPS. The specific shipping provider for standard shipping may vary depending on the seller's choice or the e-commerce platform used.

Standard shipping is generally not as fast as expedited shipping options. It is designed to provide a balance between cost and delivery time. It offers a more affordable but moderately paced shipping service.

Compared to expedited or express shipping options, standard shipping can be perceived as relatively slower. While it is not as swift, it still provides a reliable means of delivery and is suitable for customers who prioritize affordability over immediate delivery. The actual speed of standard shipping may vary depending on factors such as the shipping provider, distance, and any potential delays.


Katrina Haggarty

Katrina Haggarty

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