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Overnight Shipping: Cost Comparisons, Options, Expectations

Overnight shipping is in high demand right now, but finding the best overnight shipping options can be tricky. Over the past several years, consumers have been increasingly reliant on e-commerce solutions to get the products they need. Many consumers now expect their products to get to them within 24 hours, but overnight shipping options can be expensive. 

This presents a unique challenge for e-commerce companies. What’s the best way to meet these customer expectations without breaking the bank? Luckily, many carriers offer robust overnight shipping options to help meet everyone’s expectations. In this article, we’ll compare the market’s top overnight shipping options and discuss the best ways to make overnight shipping more affordable. 

What is overnight shipping?

Overnight shipping services deliver products to consumers one business day after they place their order. In many cases, this means delivery happens overnight, but in some cases, ‘overnight shipping’ can still take two to three days. 

Overnight delivery is sometimes referred to as next-day shipping or one-day shipping. Every carrier is slightly different in terms of pricing, cutoff times, and other overnight shipping regulations. 

Large e-commerce platforms like Amazon have popularized online shipping, and many consumers have gotten used to having the products they need readily available. In order to stay competitive, you’ll need to offer fast shipping. In fact, 55 percent of US consumers prefer some form of rush or priority delivery.  

How does overnight shipping work?

Overnight shipping has become very common over the past few years. However, it’s still not going to be a viable option for every package. There are certain requirements that need to be met for any overnight shipping to be feasible. 

Every carrier has specified cutoff times for shipping overnight. In addition to cutoffs, the package must be shipped before the cutoff time in order to qualify; this can include weight limits for packages. Finally, all packages must be securely sealed and safe for transport. 

It’s also important to note that shipping packages overnight may not work for every destination. If you are shipping internationally, this service usually isn’t physically or financially feasible. Most carriers do have a robust same-day shipping network within the United States. However, there are some remote locations that still may not be a good candidate for same-day shipping. 

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your provider can feasibly ship the quantities that you need. Overnight shipping usually isn’t an option for bulk orders due to limited space. 

Comparing carrier rates

There are three major carriers in the United States that offer overnight options: USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Each has their own overnight rates and standards. Understanding these rates can help you choose the best carrier for your needs. These carrier costs also directly affect how much you can charge your customers for shipping and handling

USPS overnight shipping costs

USPS overnight shipping is called Priority Mail Express. They offer this service for both domestic and international packages. Their shipping costs depend on the weight of the package. Because of this, USPS Priority Mail Express is usually best for lightweight packages and documents. 

Domestic Priority Mail Express guarantees delivery in one to two business days. They do offer guaranteed next-day delivery for an additional $5 fee. Starting costs for this service is as follows: 

  • $26.35 for packages weighing less than half a pound
  • $28.35 for packages weighing less than five pounds
  • $42.70 for packages weighing less than 10 pounds
  • $44.75 for packages that are more than 10 pounds. 

Priority Mail Express International is more expensive than domestic Priority Mail Express. They guarantee delivery in three to five business days. Here are the starting costs for this service: 

  • $45.95 for packages weighing less than half a pound
  • $71.75 for packages weighing less than five pounds
  • $98.55 for packages weighing less than 10 pounds
  • $103.80 for packages more than 10 pounds

UPS overnight shipping costs

UPS offers some of the most robust overnight options on the market. They currently have three different kinds of overnight options available;

  • Next Day Air Early offers shipping by 8 AM the next day.
  • Next Day Air shipments are available by 10 AM.
  • Next Day Air Saver offers delivery by 3 PM.

Furthermore, all of their deliveries are fully trackable. 

In addition, pricing for these services vary depending on the weight and size of the package. Next Day Air Saver is the most affordable, with prices ranging from $100 to $150 per package. Next Day Air rates can go up to $160 per package, while Next Day Air Early can range from $140 to $220 per package. 

FedEx overnight shipping costs

FedEx is known for providing some of the best value on the market when it comes to overnight shipping. They currently offer three overnight shipping options, Standard, Priority, and First. All of these options are slightly faster when delivering to businesses; deliveries to residences take longer. 

Standard Overnight packages reach residences by 8 PM and businesses by 4:30 PM. These shipments range from $85 to $145 per package depending on the weight and size of the package. Priority Overnight shipments arrive by 4:30 PM for residences and 10:30 AM for businesses. These range from $110 to $175 per package. Finally, FedEx First Overnight packages arrive by 9:30 for most locations. 

Options to help save on overnight shipping

Overnight shipping can be very pricey, but there are strategies that you can use to save on your services. Here are some tips to help you save money on your shipping. 

Store and ship from multiple warehouses

Using multiple warehouses can help you save money and make your inventory management more efficient. By using multiple warehouses in different locations, you may be able to cut down on shipping distances and save money in the process. 

Try negotiating rates with carriers

Many e-commerce providers don’t realize that shipping rates are negotiable. Many carriers are willing to work with customers to find pricing that works for everyone. If you need to do overnight shipments in large quantities, you may be able to negotiate a more affordable flat rate with your provider. 

Check for same-day shipping guarantees

Customers have high expectations when it comes to same-day shipping. Unfortunately, there are times when carriers do not meet their same-day shipping requirements. This can result in added shipping charges to ensure your items get there on time. Same-day shipping guarantees can help prevent extra charges if your package does not arrive on time. 

Streamlining Overnight Shipments

Investing in overnight shipment can deliver excellent returns for your company in the long run. Customers have come to expect quick shipping. Consistently delivering fast shipping is a great way to build customer loyalty. If you are looking to streamline your shipping process, consider working with a third-party logistics partner like Print Bind Ship! We offer services like 2-day shipping, warehousing, and return processing services for our clients.

Contact us today for a free consultation!