UPS, FedEx, and USPS Overnight Shipping: What’s Best? 

Published on March 27, 2024
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Filed under Carrier Rates
Read time 10 Minutes

UPS, FedEx, and USPS overnight shipping services are now our familiar friends. As demand for quicker shipping times becomes standard, the most urgent of shipping needs have become more commonplace. Next-day delivery is a popular option for many items now. It’s not just for ice cream or medical supplies anymore. As merchants adapt to the evolving ecommerce landscape, having a plan for dealing with express delivery is crucial. In this blog, we’ll go over which next day and overnight shipping options are available and how you can make shipping simpler and more affordable.

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Are Overnight Shipping and Next Day Delivery the Same? 

Overnight delivery and next-day delivery mean the same thing. Both refer to shipping services that deliver a parcel on the following day. Remember, this refers to the next business day. Generally speaking, deliveries for express services will not make delivery during the weekend or on holidays. 

Does Saturday Delivery Cost Extra? 

While carrier sorting facilities are open during the weekend, deliveries are not available on weekends. In fact, weekend deliveries are only available as add-ons for express services. Typically, Saturday Delivery surcharges are around $16. This is because many of these services are day-definite. However, options that don’t have to meet strict deadlines can deliver on weekends without additional costs, such as USPS Priority Mail or UPS/FedEx Home. 

Of course, one other distinctive aspect of express shipping is that speed costs money. If your UPS, FedEx, or USPS overnight shipping cost is a concern, for Saturday delivery or overnight shipping in general, consider signing up for one of ShipStation’s shipping plans. We negotiate the best shipping rates with over 50 carriers so you don’t have to, including savings of up to 30% off USPS Priority Mail®, 16% off USPS Priority Mail Express®, 72% off UPS 2nd Day Air®, and 75% on DHL Express.

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Are Next-Day Delivery and Next-Day Shipping the Same? 

You may hear companies offer next-day shipping for free. This does not refer to when a parcel will be delivered. Instead, this refers to when they will ship the parcel out of their facility. Next-day delivery, however, means that the package will arrive the day after it is shipped. 

UPS, FedEx, and USPS Overnight Shipping Options Compared

Most major carriers now offer next-day delivery. With carriers like FedEx and UPS, you will have a variety of options for next-day shipping. Depending on the urgency of a delivery, you can have the parcel delivered the next morning. 

UPS Overnight Shipping Options

UPS has several available overnight shipping options to choose from. Furthermore, ShipStation offers discounted rates on UPS labels. And express shipments are among the best discounts offered! 

UPS Next Day Air®

Next Day Air® offers guaranteed delivery by 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., or end of day depending on recipient address. It also offers delivery by 12 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Its delivery area is all 50 states and Puerto Rico. However, there are some limitations in Hawaii and Alaska. 

UPS Next Day Air Saver®

Next Day Air Saver is a slightly less expensive option than Next Day Air®. It will arrive by the end of the next business day. You could expect it closer to dusk than other services. It is available in all 48 states as well as parts of Hawaii and Alaska. 

UPS Next Day Air® Early

Next Day Air® Early is ideal, for parcels that need to be delivered at the beginning of the business day. It offers guaranteed delivery for 8 a.m. in major cities and 9 a.m, 9:30 a.m. in many cities, and can arrive in some locations as early as 9 a.m. for Saturday delivery. 

To save on shipping your parcels as well as everything else, sign up for ShipStation to see how cheap shipping can be.

USPS Overnight Shipping Options

While the USPS doesn’t have many express shipping options, you can sometimes get overnight shipping available for their Priority Mail Express option. But, regardless of your shipping needs, ShipStation has great discounts that can significantly reduce your USPS shipping cost.

USPS Priority Mail Express

While USPS Priority Mail Express can deliver next day, it is not always guaranteed. In fact, it is more commonly a 2-Day service. However, the USPS is working on building out USPS Connect—a next-day shipping service. 

FedEx Overnight Shipping Options

FedEx is renowned for their express shipping options. It is one of the things that makes them an industry leader in shipping. Below are the express shipping options available through ShipStation. 

FedEx Standard Overnight®

FedEx Standard Overnight® is FedEx’s next-day shipping service that offers guaranteed delivery to businesses by 4:30 and to most residential addresses by 8 p.m. While it is available in all 50 states, some areas of Alaska and Hawaii have restrictions. 

FedEx Priority Overnight®

FedEx Priority Overnight® offers next-day delivery by 10:30 a.m. to most commercial locations and residential delivery by 4:30 p.m. Like Standard Overnight, it has options in all 50 states with a few exceptions. Saturday delivery can happen at 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., or 2 p.m.

FedEx First Overnight®

FedEx First Overnight® offers early next business day delivery by 8:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. in most areas. Extended areas receive delivery by 10:00 a.m., 11 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. Keep in mind that some exceptions may apply. 

To save on shipping your parcels as well as everything else, sign up for ShipStation to see how cheap shipping can be.

How ShipStation Helps with Next Day Delivery and Overnight Shipping

Have a Cutoff Time in Your Shipping Policy

Having a cutoff time for when overnight shipping orders can be placed can save you headaches and a lot of money. If someone places an overnight order at 8:30 p.m., they may not understand that there’s no way it can reach them by the following afternoon. Highlighting in checkout that orders placed before 2:30 or 3:30 in your time zone is necessary. If you’re on the east coast and a customer thinks it’s 3:30 PST, they may not realize that you have logged off for the day and the carrier has already picked up parcels for the day. 

Automate Shipping

Being able to ship out orders within 24 hours is CRUCIAL for offering next-day delivery. Creating a hierarchy for your orders is crucial too. With ShipStation, you can automate the whole process to ship quickly: 

  1. Create an alert for orders placed on the selling channel that have express shipping.
  2. Apply the appropriate shipping service based on where the customer is located. 
  3. Print the label directly to the printer using ShipStation Connect
  4. Notify the selling channel and customer with tracking information so they can track the package to their doorstep. 

Don’t Wait for a Carrier Pickup

ShipStation lets you schedule carrier pickups a day in advance. However, if your driver is already coming, it is possible that they will allow you to add an urgent parcel for the day’s shipments. Keep in mind that if the parcel has the following date as the ship date, they would be required to meet the guaranteed delivery date of the label, not when they receive it. This is why carriers will pick up a parcel early, but will generally not accept packages with a previous ship date listed. 

Start saving on express and standard shipping options by signing up for a free 30-day ShipStation trial today!

Written by

James Messer

James Messer is a copywriter specializing in shipping, logistics, and ecommerce.

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