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Overnight Shipping: everything you need to know before using it

Sofia Gomez
Sofia Gomez
May 16, 2024
overnight shipping

What does overnight shipping mean, how does it work, how much does it cost, is it worth it? Overnight or next-day delivery is one of the most important aspects for the eCommerce industry. No matter the size of your business, your customers always expect fast, quality deliveries. If you don't meet these expectations, you run the risk of losing sales.

Are you looking to ship overnight with companies like UPS, FedEx, or USPS? Read on to find out all about overnight shipping and how you can use it to boost your business profits.

Why should you use next-day or overnight shipping?

To keep your buyers happy and coming back for more, you need a clear advantage – speed. Next-day delivery isn't just an option anymore, it's the expectation. 

Consider this: nearly all online shoppers (95%) perceive next-day delivery as fast, making it a universally applicable strategy. This is why a whopping (90%) of online businesses have already embraced it. It's efficient, it's necessary, and it's the difference between one-time buyers and loyal customers. 

What is overnight shipping?

It is the fastest delivery service offered by transportation companies. It ensures that the delivery is made the next working day after the courier picks it up.

Basically, this type of shipment is scheduled to be picked up during the day and transported overnight, ensuring that the courier can deliver it the next day.

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Learn how to professionally manage your eCommerce shipments.

How does overnight mail shipping work?

How to ship a package overnight? If you are an individual, you can do this manually through the shipping company's website. However, if you are a business, it is recommended that you integrate shipping software into your operations.

The carrier will pick up the package and transport it quickly through their distribution network, using priority services to arrive the next business day.

The cut-off time for this service is usually between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the United States.

During the process, tracking updates can be provided so that both the sender and recipient can monitor the progress of the shipment. In the event of a delivery failure, you will have the option to file a claim with the carrier, depending on the shipping insurance coverage you have taken out.

Carriers that offer overnight shipping

Several shipping and courier companies offer next-day delivery services, including UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS in the United States.

UPS Overnight Shipping

To utilize UPS overnight service, you have three choices available. UPS Next Day Air Early stands as the priciest option, yet it promises delivery by 8 a.m. on the subsequent business day. Conversely, UPS Next Day Air assures delivery by 10:30 a.m. on the following business day. Lastly, UPS Next Day Air Saver, the most economical selection, guarantees delivery by 3 p.m. the next business day.

FedEx Overnight Shipping

When choosing FedEx overnight services, you have three options to match your needs. FedEx First Overnight promises the fastest delivery by 8 a.m. or 2 p.m. for remote areas. FedEx Priority Overnight ensures delivery by 10:30 a.m. or 5 p.m. for remote addresses. Finally, FedEx Standard Overnight offers a less expensive yet still prompt delivery by 3 p.m.

DHL Overnight Shipping

If you need to ship a package internationally the next day, DHL Overnight Shipping is the best option, although it is expensive. It can cost between $220 and $240 to ship a 4.5 kg box from Los Angeles to Paris. However, be aware that there are daily cut-off times for shipping, and orders placed on weekends may take longer to be delivered. In addition, there are weight restrictions: USPS allows up to 70 pounds, while FedEx and UPS allow up to 150 pounds.

USPS Overnight Shipping

Priority Mail Express (USPS Overnight Shipping)service guarantees next-day or 2-day arrival before 6 p.m. With prices starting at $30.45 and with limited exceptions, it covers most addresses and P.O. boxes within the United States, ensuring broad coverage.

How much does overnight shipping cost?

The cost of overnight delivery may vary depending on several factors, including the weight and dimensions of the package, the distance to be traveled, the carrier selected and any additional services requested. It is advisable to request specific quotes from different carriers to compare prices and find the best option for your needs.

However, we can always use an online calculator to analyze overnight from New York to Orlando.

Overnight Service Cost
USPS - Priority Mail $44
UPS Next Day Air Early $110
UPS Next Day Air $80
FedEx First Overnight $105
FedEx Priority Overnight $62
FedEx Standard Overnight $57

These prices are approximate and may vary. We recommend that you contact the transport company.

Overnight international shipping: what to know

Overnight international shipping can be a crucial option to meet the demands of your customers around the world. However, there are some things to consider.

In addition to the base cost of shipping, you need to consider potential additional charges such as duties, taxes, and customs fees.

Make sure you are aware of the necessary forms, such as the commercial invoice and customs declaration.

It is also important to be aware of each country's import and export restrictions to avoid delays and penalties.

To be on the safe side, we recommend reading ourguide to international shipping for eCommerce businesses.

How to reduce the cost of your overnight shipments

If you operate an eCommerce business, it is crucial to look for ways to reduce shipping costs

To achieve this, it is essential to collaborate with multiple shipping companies. 

By integrating multiple carriers and using tools like Outvio, you can compare rates in real time and select the most cost-effective option in an automated way.

You can also streamline order processing, automatically generate shipping labels, and optimize processes in your warehouse to reduce logistics costs. 

A shipping platform like Outvio becomes your best ally to manage your shipments efficiently.

Additional tips to reduce the cost of your overnight shipments:

  • Use efficient, lightweight packaging to reduce the dimensional weight of packages
  • Negotiate high-volume rates for a lower price
  • Schedule and organize your overnight shipments in advance whenever possible to avoid last-minute rush shipping rates
  • Offer free or discounted overnight shipping for orders above a certain purchase threshold to increase average cart value
  • Bundle multiple orders into a single shipment to take advantage of lower volume shipping rates (you can do this with Outvio)


Can I overnight a package on sunday?

You typically can't overnight a package on a Sunday because many shipping carriers don't operate on Sundays. However, some carriers may offer special weekend delivery services for an additional fee.

How long does overnight shipping take?

Overnight shipping usually takes one business day, meaning if you send a package for overnight delivery on a weekday, it should arrive the next business day.

What kind of stores should have overnight shipping?

Stores that should consider offering overnight shipping include e-commerce retailers, specialty stores with perishable goods, and businesses serving urgent needs such as medical supplies or emergency services. 

Is overnight delivery guaranteed?

While shipping companies provide delivery guarantees, unforeseen circumstances can lead to delays. Therefore, businesses benefit from having a dedicated resolution service to address any shipping issues promptly and efficiently.

What is overnight shipping cut off time?

The cutoff time for overnight shipping it's the time by which you need to drop off or schedule a pickup for your package to ensure it gets processed and shipped out on the same day, reaching its destination the following day.

Who has the best overnight shipping?

Determining the "best" overnight shipping provider depends on various factors, so it's essential to consider your specific needs when choosing.

How to offer overnight shipping if you sell in Amazon

To get overnight shipping when selling on Amazon, enroll in Amazon Prime, use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), set up shipping preferences, ensure product eligibility, select expedited shipping options when creating shipping labels, communicate with customers about availability, decide on pricing, and maintain sufficient inventory levels.


Meeting the ever-growing demand for swift, reliable deliveries is not just a goal—it's a necessity. As highlighted, major players like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS offer comprehensive overnight shipping solutions tailored to diverse needs and budgets.

Understanding how overnight shipping works, from the swift transportation process to the variety of options offered by different carriers, empowers businesses to make informed decisions. While costs may vary depending on factors like weight, distance, and additional services, the potential benefits far outweigh the expenses.

The decision to incorporate overnight shipping into your business strategy can significantly impact customer satisfaction and improve retention rate.

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