The cheapest overnight shipping options (2024): USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx

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When you want a document or package to arrive at its destination by the next day, it can be costly. However, it’s important to consider if it actually needs to arrive the next day or if it simply needs to be postmarked by a certain date. For instance, when sending your tax return, it only needs to be postmarked by April 15th, not necessarily delivered to the Internal Revenue Service on that date. So, if you go to the post office thinking you need to use an overnight service, you can save money.

Sometimes, though, you genuinely require the package to reach its destination the very next day, such as for a gift or an important document. In such cases, you’ll need to use an overnight shipping service.

In our explanation, we will clarify the different names for overnight shipping services, compare prices for various types of letters and packages, and help you identify the best option for your specific needs.

USPS vs. UPS vs. FedEx services

When it comes to overnight delivery services, three major players in the United States are the United States Postal Service (USPS), the United Parcel Service (UPS), and Federal Express (FedEx). Each of these companies offers guaranteed overnight delivery options, making them popular choices for time-sensitive shipments.

Starting with USPS, their guaranteed overnight service is called Priority Mail Express, sometimes simply referred to as Express. This service ensures delivery within one day and operates seven days a week, providing a reliable option for urgent shipments. It’s important to note that regular Priority Mail, while relatively fast, does not offer guaranteed overnight delivery.

USPS offers slightly different pricing depending on where you make your shipping purchase. There’s a Commercial Base rate that offers cheaper options than directly purchasing at the post office. To access these discounted rates, you can use online postage service providers like For Priority Mail Express, the Commercial Base discount can be as much as 16% compared to Post Office prices.

Moving on to UPS, their guaranteed overnight service is known as UPS Next Day Air. If you require delivery even earlier in the morning, UPS offers UPS Next Day Air Early, which delivers the package before 9:30 AM (and sometimes as early as 8 AM in many areas). However, if your shipment can arrive by 3 PM or 4:30 PM, UPS Next Day Air Saver is a suitable option.

Now, let’s explore FedEx’s offerings. FedEx provides a guaranteed overnight service called FedEx Overnight. Additionally, they offer specific options to meet varying delivery timeframes. FedEx First Overnight ensures delivery the next morning, while FedEx Priority Overnight guarantees delivery by 10:30 AM or during the afternoon for more remote locations. For rural areas, FedEx Standard Overnight ensures delivery by 3 PM or 4:30 PM, while residences can expect delivery by 8 PM.

For the purpose of comparison, assuming the primary goal is next-day delivery, we will compare the cheapest of the three next-day options. This comparison will help you determine the most cost-effective and suitable service for your specific needs.

In summary, when seeking overnight delivery services in the United States, considering the offerings of USPSUPS, and FedEx will ensure that you can make an informed decision based on your shipping requirements and budget. Each of these companies has its strengths and unique features, making them valuable choices for a range of shipping needs.

Overnight letters

When it comes to sending a letter overnight, USPS (United States Postal Service) offers a cost-effective option with their flat rate envelope. The price for this service starts at $27.90, regardless of the distance it needs to be shipped or its weight (as long as it fits within the envelope). This can be a great choice for those looking for an economical overnight delivery option.

On the other hand, UPS (United Parcel Service) provides two options for overnight letter delivery. The UPS Next Day Air service for a half-pound letter starts at $35.29. However, if you need the letter delivered early in the morning, they offer the UPS Next Day Air Early service, which comes at a higher cost of $67.73. If you can afford to wait an extra day for delivery, UPS 2nd Day Air can bring the cost down to $25.

FedEx also offers overnight letter delivery services. For a half-pound letter in a FedEx Envelope, you have two options. The FedEx Standard Overnight, which delivers by 3 PM, starts at $32.03. If you require it to be delivered even earlier, the FedEx First Overnight service, arriving by 9:30 AM, begins at $65.56.

In summary, if cost is the primary concern, USPS’s flat rate envelope might be the most economical choice. However, if you need guaranteed early delivery, UPS and FedEx offer faster options, albeit at a higher price. The specific service you choose will depend on your budget and how urgently you need the letter to reach its destination.

Overnight packages

Here is a comparison of overnight shipping prices for a 6″ x 6″ x 6″ package (216 cu. in.) from New York, NY (10001) to San Francisco, CA (94105) offered by USPS Priority Mail Express, UPS Next Day, and FedEx Overnight:

Shipping ServiceWeight (lbs)Price Range (USD)
USPS Priority Mail Express1 lb.$49.45
USPS Priority Mail Express5 lb.$79.60
USPS Priority Mail Express10 lb.$116.85
USPS Priority Mail Express50 lb.$369.20
UPS Next DayUp to 50 lb.$26.75 – $42.05
FedEx Overnight1 lb.$106.80 – $153.11
FedEx Overnight5 lb.$129.40 – $176.50
FedEx Overnight10 lb.$178.16 – $217.62
FedEx Overnight50 lb.$498.96 – $553.26
  • Note: UPS offers flat rate shipping on up to 50 lb

It’s important to note that the prices provided for UPS and FedEx have a range because both carriers offer different types of overnight services. The costliest option ensures that the package arrives in the morning, while the least expensive option guarantees delivery sometime before the recipient’s bedtime.

For USPS Priority Mail Express, the shipping prices increase as the weight of the package goes up, with the 50 lb. option being the most expensive among the listed weights.

On the other hand, UPS offers a flat rate for shipping packages up to 50 lb., and the price range depends on the specific service chosen.

As for FedEx, the shipping prices increase as the weight of the package increases, and again, there’s a range based on the service selected.

When choosing an overnight shipping option, it’s essential to consider the delivery time and the package’s weight to make the most cost-effective decision for your specific needs.

International overnight shipping

International overnight shipping can be a convenient but often costly service. When you have an urgent need to ship items across countries within a short timeframe, DHL is one of the primary options available to you. As of December 2022, DHL offers a range of prices depending on the weight and dimensions of the package, as well as the specific time of day you require delivery.

For small and lightweight items like half-pound letters, which exclusively contain documents, you can expect to pay anywhere from $81.93 to $107.97 for shipping from New York to London, England. The exact cost will vary based on the urgency of delivery and the time of day you request.

On the other hand, for more substantial shipments, such as a 10 lb. box measuring 15″ x 11″ x 3″, the price will be higher due to the increased weight and size of the package. Shipping costs for this kind of parcel will range from $219.07 to $245.11, depending on the specific shipping requirements.

It’s important to consider that these prices are quoted as of December 2022 and might be subject to change over time. Additionally, while DHL is a reliable and renowned international courier service, there may be other shipping providers with competitive options and pricing for your specific shipping needs.

When planning international overnight shipping, it’s always advisable to research different courier services, compare rates, and ensure that you adhere to any shipping regulations and customs requirements in both the country of origin and the destination. Being well-informed and prepared will help you make the best decision for your shipping needs and budget.

Easyship international shipping

EasyShip offers a comprehensive shipping solution that streamlines the process of finding the most cost-effective shipping option for your needs. As a shipping company, EasyShip has developed a platform that allows you to conveniently compare prices from multiple shipping providers. This empowers you to make informed decisions and choose the most budget-friendly and efficient shipping service for your packages.

The core strength of EasyShip lies in its vast network of partnerships with over 100,000 shipping companies worldwide. This extensive collaboration ensures that you have access to a wide range of shipping options, enabling you to select the one that best suits your specific requirements.

If you are running a company with high shipping volume demands, EasyShip can become an invaluable ally. They offer tailored solutions to cater to businesses with substantial shipping needs, and by leveraging their expertise and vast network, you can significantly reduce shipping costs and improve the efficiency of your logistics operations.

With EasyShip, you can save time and effort that would otherwise be spent contacting individual shipping providers, obtaining quotes, and comparing rates. Instead, their user-friendly platform allows you to enter the necessary details, such as package dimensions and destination, and quickly retrieve quotes from various shipping companies—all in one place.

Furthermore, EasyShip goes beyond simply comparing prices; they provide valuable insights and data analytics that can help you optimize your shipping strategies. By tracking shipping performance and costs, you can make data-driven decisions to enhance the overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your shipping processes.

Whether you are an individual seller or a large-scale e-commerce enterprise, EasyShip’s services can simplify your shipping experience and make it more cost-efficient. Their dedication to customer satisfaction and commitment to delivering reliable shipping solutions has made them a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes, making it easier than ever to manage your shipping needs and focus on growing your business.

What does “Guaranteed” really mean?

“Guaranteed” is a term often used in the context of services, especially shipping and delivery, to provide assurance to customers that a specific outcome will be achieved. However, it’s essential to understand what “guaranteed” truly means and the implications behind it.

When a service claims to offer a “guarantee,” it signifies a commitment to meet certain expectations or promises. In the case of package delivery services, they may advertise a “guaranteed next-day delivery” option. However, it’s crucial to recognize that even with a guarantee, no service can achieve a 100% success rate due to various factors beyond their control, such as extreme weather conditions, logistical challenges, or unforeseen circumstances.

The guarantee, in this context, serves as a pledge that the service provider will make every effort to deliver the package on the promised day. If they fail to meet their commitment and the package is not delivered within the specified time frame, the guarantee comes into play. This means that the customer is entitled to a refund of the shipping fees as compensation for the service not meeting its promise.

It’s important for customers to read and understand the terms and conditions of the guarantee to know the specific criteria under which they can claim a refund. Guarantees typically have certain conditions or limitations that must be met, such as adhering to cut-off times for package drop-off or pickup and shipping to specific locations eligible for the guarantee.

Customers should also take into account that while a guarantee offers a degree of protection, it doesn’t ensure a flawless delivery experience. In cases where time-sensitive deliveries are critical, it might be prudent to explore alternative shipping options or communicate directly with the service provider to understand the most reliable approach.

In conclusion, “guaranteed” means a commitment to meet certain expectations, but it doesn’t imply a flawless performance. Customers should be aware of the guarantee’s terms and conditions and understand that, despite the guarantee, occasional delivery delays may still occur. The guarantee ensures that, in such instances, customers are entitled to a refund of the shipping fees as compensation for the service not fulfilling its commitment.

Who is the cheapest for overnight shipping?

The most economical option for overnight shipping is typically the United States Postal Service (USPS) when dealing with small packages. If you have a larger and heavier package, you might find UPS or FedEx to be more cost-effective. However, the choice of courier depends on several factors, such as the weight and dimensions of the package, the destination it is being shipped to, and whether you require any additional insurance for the shipment.

When considering the cheapest overnight courier, USPS is often the preferred choice for small packages due to its competitive pricing and various shipping options. They offer services like Priority Mail Express, which guarantees overnight delivery to most U.S. locations. For larger and bulkier shipments, UPS and FedEx might be better suited, as they have extensive networks and can handle heavier items more efficiently.

Read Also:  What time does UPS stop delivering? (Find out late delivery hours list)

Before deciding on a courier, it’s essential to assess your specific shipping needs carefully. Consider the urgency of the delivery, the size and weight of the package, the destination’s distance, and any special requirements like insurance or tracking. By comparing the rates and services offered by USPS, UPS, and FedEx, you can make an informed decision on the most cost-effective and reliable option for your overnight shipping needs.

Which is cheaper FedEx or UPS overnight?

When comparing the cost of overnight shipping services between FedEx and UPS, it is important to consider the specific options each company offers. Both FedEx and UPS are renowned for their efficient and reliable overnight delivery services, making them top choices for time-sensitive shipments.

Upon closer examination, it becomes evident that FedEx’s Standard Overnight option tends to be slightly cheaper than UPS’s Next Day Air Saver. While the rates are competitive and subject to change based on factors such as distance and package weight, customers have often found FedEx to be more cost-effective for overnight deliveries.

One significant factor contributing to FedEx’s ability to offer lower prices for overnight shipping lies in its expansive air fleet. The company boasts a well-established network of planes and delivery systems that optimize the transportation process, resulting in more efficient and cost-efficient overnight services.

UPS, on the other hand, also maintains an extensive network, but its pricing for overnight shipments might be marginally higher due to various operational considerations. Both companies prioritize timely deliveries and invest heavily in their logistics infrastructure, ensuring that packages are swiftly transported to their destinations.

As with any shipping decision, it’s essential for customers to compare the rates and options provided by both FedEx and UPS, based on their specific shipping needs. While FedEx may have a slight edge in terms of cost for standard overnight shipments, UPS may offer other services or advantages that cater to individual preferences or requirements.

In summary, both FedEx and UPS are reputable courier companies with efficient overnight delivery services. Customers can choose between them based on their individual needs, cost considerations, and any other unique requirements for their time-sensitive shipments. Always remember to check the most up-to-date rates and terms offered by each company, as prices and services can evolve over time.

Is USPS cheaper than FedEx for overnight?

When comparing overnight shipping options between USPS (United States Postal Service) and FedEx, there are some important factors to consider. In general, USPS rates are often more affordable than FedEx for overnight delivery. However, there is a crucial distinction between the two services: FedEx offers more reliable and specific delivery timeframes for overnight shipments.

If you opt for USPS overnight shipping, it’s important to note that next-day delivery is not always guaranteed. While USPS strives to deliver packages as quickly as possible, factors like weather conditions, transportation issues, and regional differences may affect the actual delivery time. Therefore, if you have a strict deadline or need a time-sensitive delivery, USPS may not be the most reliable option.

On the other hand, FedEx provides a range of overnight shipping options that cater to both residential and commercial deliveries. Among these, FedEx Priority Overnight® is a popular choice for its guarantee of delivery by noon the next day. This service is ideal for urgent shipments that need to be received in the morning.

For less time-sensitive deliveries, FedEx also offers FedEx Standard Overnight® service, which ensures that packages will be delivered by 8:00 pm the following day. This option provides a wider delivery window, making it suitable for less urgent shipments or when the recipient’s availability is not limited to specific hours.

In summary, if cost is the primary concern, USPS generally offers more affordable rates for overnight shipping. However, if reliability and precise delivery timeframes are essential for your shipment, FedEx’s overnight options are more suitable, especially if you need the package delivered by noon (FedEx Priority Overnight®) or by 8:00 pm (FedEx Standard Overnight®). As always, it’s recommended to check with both USPS and FedEx directly to compare rates and service availability for your specific shipment requirements.

Does DHL offer overnight shipping?

Yes, DHL does offer overnight shipping through their DHL Express service. DHL Express overnight is designed to provide expedited and speedy delivery, ensuring that your packages reach their destination on the next business day. This service is particularly useful for time-sensitive shipments where quick delivery is essential.

With DHL Express overnight, you can rely on their efficient shipping network to get your packages delivered promptly and reliably. When you opt for overnight shipping with DHL, you can expect your package to be picked up within a short window of time, usually within 60-120 minutes of placing your order. This means that as soon as you request the service, DHL will begin the process of collecting your package for swift dispatch.

Whether you need to send urgent documents, time-critical business materials, or any other time-sensitive shipments, DHL Express overnight is a dependable choice. The service is known for its high level of reliability and global reach, making it a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike.

Keep in mind that the availability of overnight shipping services may vary depending on the specific locations and destinations involved, so it’s always a good idea to check with DHL or their website for the most up-to-date information on their overnight shipping options.

Is FedEx overnight really overnight?

FedEx overnight shipping is indeed a fast and reliable next-day shipping service. The main premise of this service is to ensure that packages and freight are delivered within the United States the day after they are dropped off at a FedEx location or collected from the customer. As the name suggests, it promises overnight delivery, making it a preferred option for those seeking expedited shipping solutions.

The process is straightforward; you simply need to bring your package to a nearby FedEx location or arrange for a pickup by the company. To ensure your shipment qualifies for overnight delivery, it’s crucial to meet the overnight cutoff time. This specific time varies depending on your location and the destination of the package, so it is essential to check with FedEx or refer to their guidelines to determine the exact cutoff time.

Once your package is in FedEx’s hands before the overnight cutoff, it will be processed and swiftly transported through their network, which is designed to prioritize speed and efficiency. This involves careful handling and timely transfers to get your package to its intended recipient on the very next business day.

It’s worth noting that FedEx offers different options for overnight shipping, including FedEx Standard Overnight and FedEx Priority Overnight. The service you choose will determine the delivery time, cost, and specific features available, such as package tracking and delivery confirmation.

However, while FedEx overnight shipping is generally highly reliable, there are instances where factors beyond their control, such as extreme weather conditions or logistical challenges, may cause slight delays. Nonetheless, FedEx’s commitment to efficient delivery and its extensive network help ensure that the vast majority of overnight shipments arrive on time, making it an excellent choice for urgent deliveries within the United States.

How good is FedEx overnight?

FedEx Priority Overnight is an exceptional delivery service renowned for its speed and reliability. Available in all 50 U.S. states, this service ensures that your package or shipment will reach its destination by the next business day, offering unparalleled convenience for urgent deliveries.

One of the key features that sets FedEx Priority Overnight apart is its punctuality. For most parts of the United States, packages are guaranteed to arrive by 10:30 am local time. This early delivery time allows businesses and individuals to efficiently plan their day and handle time-sensitive shipments with ease.

Even in rural and remote areas, where logistics can sometimes be challenging, FedEx ensures timely delivery. In such regions, the packages are guaranteed to arrive by 12:00 pm, 4:30 pm, or 5:00 pm local time, depending on the specific location. This extended time frame caters to the diverse needs of customers across the country, ensuring that they can still rely on the service for prompt delivery.

FedEx is also known for its exceptional tracking capabilities, providing customers with real-time updates on their shipment’s status. This level of transparency and communication instills confidence in the service and allows customers to stay informed every step of the way.

Furthermore, FedEx Priority Overnight offers a reliable and secure delivery process. They employ advanced security measures to safeguard packages during transit, providing peace of mind to both businesses and individuals.

In summary, FedEx Priority Overnight is a top-tier delivery service that delivers on its promise of speed, reliability, and efficiency. Whether you have urgent business documents, time-sensitive packages, or critical shipments, this service is designed to meet your needs and exceed expectations. With its extensive coverage across all 50 states and impressive delivery times, FedEx Priority Overnight remains a preferred choice for many, ensuring that your packages arrive on time and in excellent condition.

Does UPS have overnight delivery?

Yes, UPS (United Parcel Service) does offer overnight delivery services. The UPS Next Day Air® Early service is their fastest option for overnight shipping. If you need your package to reach its destination by the start of the next business day, this service provides a reliable solution.

UPS guarantees delivery to most major cities in the lower 48 states by no later than 8 AM on the following day. This means that if you have a time-sensitive shipment, UPS Next Day Air® Early can ensure that it arrives promptly and early in the morning, allowing you or your recipients to have the package ready for use or further distribution without any delay.

This level of speedy and guaranteed delivery can be particularly advantageous for businesses, urgent shipments, or any situation where time is of the essence. UPS’s overnight delivery options provide a convenient and reliable solution for those seeking efficient shipping services.

How do I FedEx a package overnight?

To FedEx a package overnight, follow these steps:

  1. Packaging: Properly pack your item in a sturdy box or envelope. Use packing materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts to ensure it’s well-protected during transit.
  2. Addressing: Clearly write or print the recipient’s address and your return address on the package. Make sure to include the recipient’s name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code.
  3. Selecting the Service: Visit the official FedEx website or call their customer service to choose the overnight shipping option that best suits your needs. FedEx offers various overnight services like FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight.
  4. Create a Shipping Label: You can either create a shipping label online through FedEx’s website or use the self-service options available at FedEx locations. The shipping label will contain all the necessary information for the shipment, including the delivery address, package weight, and the service selected.
  5. Drop-off or Pickup: If you choose to drop off the package, find the nearest FedEx location or drop box and leave the package there. Alternatively, you can schedule a pickup by FedEx, and they will come to your location to collect the package.
  6. Payment: Ensure that you have paid for the overnight shipping service. You can do this online while creating the shipping label or in person if you’re dropping off the package at a FedEx location.
  7. Tracking: After your package is in FedEx’s possession, they will provide you with a tracking number. Use this number to track the status of your shipment and get real-time updates on its location and estimated delivery time.
  8. Delivery Confirmation: FedEx will attempt to deliver the package to the recipient on the next business day. Once the package is successfully delivered, you’ll receive a delivery confirmation notification.

It’s essential to ensure that you meet the cutoff time for the overnight service you’ve selected to ensure timely delivery. Also, double-check the address and other details to avoid any delays or misdeliveries. Following these steps will help you FedEx your package overnight securely and efficiently.

Which is cheaper DHL or FedEx for international shipping?

When comparing international shipping rates between DHL and FedEx, it is generally observed that DHL tends to offer cheaper prices for international shipments. While FedEx may have the advantage in terms of affordability for domestic courier services, DHL’s global network and specialized expertise in international logistics enable them to provide more cost-effective solutions for shipping packages across borders and to various countries.

The reason behind DHL’s competitive edge in international shipping lies in its extensive network of international hubs and partnerships with local carriers in different countries. This allows DHL to optimize routes and reduce shipping costs for their customers. Additionally, DHL has a wealth of experience in dealing with customs and international regulations, streamlining the customs clearance process, and preventing unnecessary delays that could incur additional charges.

FedEx, on the other hand, may have a more extensive presence and efficiency in the domestic market, which contributes to its competitive rates for local shipments within a single country. However, their international shipping rates might be relatively higher due to factors like customs clearance complexities, multiple carrier involvement, and differing transportation costs.

As shipping rates can vary depending on the specific package dimensions, weight, destination country, and other factors, it is always advisable to request quotes from both DHL and FedEx for your specific international shipment to determine the most cost-effective option for your needs. Additionally, it’s essential to consider other factors such as delivery time, tracking capabilities, and customer service when making your final decision.