Cheapest Carrier in 2018: Overnight Shipping Rates

Overnight shipping, while expensive and usually complex, has become a necessary feature from shipping carriers for customers that need orders as fast as possible. 2018 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

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 option1. 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 exceeding 93% on-time delivery in the run-up to Christmas day 2016, while USPS exceeded 98% on-time deliveries during the same period.

Areas where USPS can’t compete with its rivals in this segment include packages that weigh more than 70 lb. and packages requiring guaranteed morning delivery. 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 (and weighs not more than 70 lb.). Standard ($21.98) and padded ($22.46) flat-rate envelopes measure 12.5″ x 9.5″, while legal ($22.09) flat-rate envelopes measure 15″ x 9.5″. These rates fall below the lowest 2018 undiscounted prices available from FedEx or UPS.


This is from The E-commerce Seller’s Guide to 2018 Rate Changes from ShippingEasy:

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