Cheapest Carrier in 2017: Overnight Shipping Rates

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Overnight shipping, while expensive and usually complex, has become a necessary feature from shipping carriers for customers that need orders as fast as possible. 2017 will see an increase in overnight shipping rates, which should not come as a surprise to anyone, considering how much goes into overnight shipping. We’ve compared rates for overnight orders by carrier based on different weight classes, and picked the best for each class and zone, charted below.

Your choice of carrier is based on a complex mix of criteria including:

  • Delivery time frame
  • Package weight
  • Package dimensions
  • Delivery distance
  • Discounts you may have negotiated (or may be able to negotiate) with a carrier

Overnight Delivery

overnight delivery cheapest carrier

USPS now dominates the Overnight Delivery segment with its Priority Mail Express™ (PME) service, at least from a cost-effectiveness perspective. As shown in the table, for most weights/zones in which they compete, USPS is the lowest-cost option. As a perk, USPS also offers free Saturday delivery while the others charge extra.

When it comes to on-time deliveries, available data on the three carriers can be hard to compare, but they appear to be generally similar, with UPS and FedEx typically exceeding 96% on-time delivery in the run-up to Christmas day, while USPS exceeded 96% on-time deliveries across Q4. Additionally, for packages over 70 pounds or requiring guaranteed morning delivery, USPS is not an option.

If you are considering USPS, it is important to note that Priority Mail Express Flat Rate™ envelopes are generally the best option for any shipment that will fit into them. Standard ($21.18) and padded ($21.64) flat-rate envelopes measure 12.5″ x 9.5″, while legal ($21.28) flat-rate envelopes measure 15″ x 9.5″. These rates fall below the lowest price available on the 2017 zone chart for a parcel shipped via FedEx or UPS.


This is from The eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2017 Rate Changes from ShippingEasy:

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