Cheapest Carrier in 2016: 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. 2016 has seen a large 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 has come to dominate this segment, at least from a cost-effectiveness perspective. As you can see from the table, for most weights/zones in which they compete USPS is the lowest-cost option (when comparing their Commercial Plus® Pricing to FedEx and UPS standard pricing plus surcharges). USPS also offers free Saturday delivery (the others charge extra).

While all three carriers offer delivery guarantees, some evidence indicates UPS and FedEx do a better job of delivering on time. UPS and FedEx typically exceed 95% on-time delivery according to ShipMatrix, while USPS self-reports 87.5% on-time deliveries. And of course, for packages over 70 Lbs, or requiring guaranteed morning delivery, USPS is not an option.

If you are considering USPS, it’s important to note that Priority Mail Express Flat Rate™ envelopes are generally the best option for any shipment that will fit into them. Standard and padded flat-rate envelopes measure 12.5″ x 9.5″, while legal flat-rate envelopes measure 15″ x 9.5″, and all three ship overnight for $20.66 under 2016 Commercial Plus® Pricing. This is equivalent to the lowest price available on the 2016 zone chart for a parcel, and far lower than any FedEx or UPS standard rates.


See analysis for 2-3 day shipping, and which is the cheapest option available:

Cheapest Carrier for Shipping 2016: 2-3 Day Delivery


This is from the 2016 Shipping Rate Changes Guide from ShippingEasy:



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