Ground vs. Air Shipping

July 17th, 2012 by

Here at Pak Mail Anderson Mill we offer choices – FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, Freight, etc.  We also offer choices for ground or air shipping.  How do we decide what’s best?

There are a couple of factors involved here – time and value.  The first question is time.  When does your item need to arrive?  Tied closely to this is where is how far it’s going.  If it needs to be in New York tomorrow, it must go via air.  If it absolutely, positively has to be in Dallas tomorrow morning, it must go by air.  But, if it needs to be in Dallas any time tomorrow and if it was delayed until the next day it would be okay, then you can send it via ground and have a 95% chance of next day delivery.  From here in Austin, we have the great advantage of being in the middle of the country.  Ground will get to the coasts in three or four days rather than a week.  Most of Texas will be next day via ground and places like Colorado and Illinois will be two days.

The second question is value and fragility.  Ground shipping is just that – the packages travel by tractor trailer over the highways, potholes and all.  (Not to mention that the trailers are definitley not air conditioned.)  And, unless it’s going to a close destination, it takes longer than air and has more transfer points.  The longer it’s in the shipping system and the more times it’s handled the more chance there is of damage or loss.

With air shipping, your package will travel on a local truck to the terminal at the airport, fly to the carrier’s hub (Memphis, TN for FedEx or Louisville, KY for UPS), fly to the destination city, and be loaded on a local delivery truck to it’s final destination.  Faster time and fewer transfers; therefore safer.

So, if your package is not very fragile, not going too far, and/or time is not of the essence then ground will be the most cost effective for you.  However, if your item has high value, high fragility, or simply must get there fast, then air is the best route to take. 

We should mention that air has three delivery options – overnight, two day, and three day.  If the shipment really needs to go via air due to value and/or fragility we can mitigate the cost somewhat by choosing a two day air option rather than overnight.

The bottom line is this – come on in to Pak Mail Anderson Mill where we have the knowledge and expertise to advise you of your best options and ensure you have the widest choices available.  We’ll make sure your package is delivered to the proper destination safely and on time!