UPS Next Day Air: What You Need to Know

Learn about the overnight service UPS Next Day Air and the three different delivery speeds that UPS offers for it
UPS Next Day Air
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When it comes to sending packages overnight, no other carrier does it quite as well as UPS. Featuring fast, reliable service and rates that won’t break the bank, UPS is the go-to carrier for overnight shipping. The overnight service UPS offers is known as UPS Next Day Air, and while it’s a pretty straightforward service, there are still some tips and tricks you’ll need to know before buying your labels.

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UPS Next Day Air is the Fastest Overnight Service from All Three Major Carriers

First thing’s first: if you’re stacking up the fastest service from each major carrier, UPS Next Day Air takes the first place trophy every single time. Why, you might ask? The answer comes down to two factors: speed, and cost.

Priority Mail Express is a similar overnight service from the US Postal Service. Priority Mail Express rates are similar to Next Day Air. However, its on-time delivery reliability isn’t anywhere near the levels of UPS.

FedEx’s next-day shipping service is Priority Overnight Shipping, and while it’s just as reliable as overnight delivery from UPS, it’s way more expensive. FedEx also offers Standard Overnight for shipments that will arrive by 3pm the next business day, but this is still often more expensive than UPS Next Day Air.

The Three Different Delivery Speeds for Next Day Air

UPS Next Day Air features three different delivery speeds, with three different price points. Since this is the case, UPS shippers looking to send packages overnight have a few different options to choose from. We’ve listed the three different speeds of Next Day Air below, along with a brief description of each.

Next Day Air Saver

This is the cheapest option for overnight service with UPS. With Next Day Air Saver, UPS delivers your package to your recipient by the end of the next business day. Shippers should note that the actual time they drop off the package can vary from location to location. In some locations, “End of Day” can be as late as 11pm!

If you’re trying to get your packages to your recipients within one business day but still want to save the most amount of money possible, then Next Day Air Saver is the ideal UPS service for you.

Next Day Air

Next Day Air (with no other words in the title) is the regular, “middle of the road” overnight service that UPS offers. When you choose this service, UPS delivers your package to your recipients either by 10:30am or 12pm on the next business day, depending on where you’re shipping. This option is available for nearly every shipment and every destination within the United States.

Next Day Air Early AM

The sub-service “Early AM” of Next Day Air offers the absolute fastest delivery possible from UPS. Like the name suggests, UPS delivers these packages early in the morning on the next business day. For most major cities in the United States, UPS delivers Next Day Air Early AM packages by 8:00am. To other domestic destinations, delivery takes place around 9:30am.

Shippers should note that this service isn’t available for every destination in the United States. If this service isn’t available, UPS will present you with Next Day Air and Next Day Air Saver.

Save Money on UPS Labels with Online Shipping Software

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for?” No other industry captures that truth more than the shipping industry.

While UPS Next Day Air is the fastest service that UPS offers, it’s also the most expensive. However, you can save a huge amount of money by using shipping software to buy discounted labels online. When you use shipping software, you give yourself access to discounts that the major carriers typically reserve for huge commercial shippers. In some cases, these discounts will save you up to 76% off of what you’d pay to ship the exact same package at your local UPS Store.

When you’re running a small business, taking advantage of these discounts can literally be the difference between winning and losing. Plus, on top of hooking you up with huge savings, shipping software also gives you the option to buy and print postage from the comfort of your own home! Then, once you’ve got your label affixed to your package, you can drop it off at any of the 80,000+ UPS Access Points in the United States, and you can sleep easier knowing you didn’t spend your whole life savings on one shipment.

Frequently Asked Questions: Next Day Air

Here are three of the most frequently-asked questions we receive about UPS Next Day Air:

Is Next Day Air Overnight Delivery?

Yes. Next Day Air is the sole overnight domestic service that UPS offers. This service only applies to domestic shipments, and features three different delivery speeds for three different price points. Shippers can choose from next-day delivery in the early morning (most expensive option), delivery during the middle of the day (mid-level expensive), and delivery at the end of the next business day (least expensive option).

How Much Does Next Day Air Cost?

The cost of Next Day Air depends on how far your package needs to travel, as well as how big it is, and how much it weighs. The smaller your package is, the less it weighs, and the least amount of distance it has to travel, the less it will be to ship it. As a general rule of thumb, you can compare Next Day Air rates to USPS Priority Mail Express prices (but only when you use shipping software to take advantage of discounted labels from both USPS and UPS). That said, Next Day Air will always be cheaper than Priority Mail Express for larger, heavier shipments.

How Can I Save Money on UPS Next Day Air Shipments?

You can save the most money on overnight UPS shipments by using online shipping software to purchase discounted UPS labels. UPS offers special discounts through partnerships they have created with major shipping software companies, and this partner program is known as the UPS Digital Access Program. In some cases, discounts from the Digital Access Program can save you up to 76% off what you’d pay to ship the same package at your local UPS Store.

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  1. Craig

    UPS Next Day air Saver, I paid $34.99 for a less than 1lb package. It’s literally in my city, yet because of a “late trailer” at 7:30 AM I won’t be getting my package till tomorrow. Yes 7:30 AM when its supposed to be guaranteed by 11:59PM!!!! It’s SUNNY AND in the 70s, so no weather excuse!

  2. Mary Jones

    My package of UPS next day air with life saving medical devices was supposed to arrive at 1:30 pm today. If it does not arrive by tonight and I die, my estate will be contacting my attorney . I won’t be seeing you in court but my heirs will.

  3. Ken Matheson

    paid about 250.00 to get next day air as we have a tech servicing our equipment. small package but it isn’t getting to us next day that is unacceptable

  4. Paul Ulrich

    I dropped off a next day air package with UPS at 8:44 a.m. on Thursday in Connecticut. It didn’t reach Wisconsin until 10:45 a.m. on Saturday. That doesn’t sound like “next day” to me.

  5. This is false. UPS next day AIR is absolutely terrible. At best it’s 3 days, and by ground. You can pay for next day air but you literally watch it travel by ground on your tracking. Highly recommend going with any other carrier other than UPS

  6. Jennifer Fairley

    Take note of the “next business day” part. If you ship on a Friday, it won’t be there until Monday.

  7. kevin henry

    A time sensitive package was sent to me on Wednesday May 24 next day air. I have been sent contradictory excuses for delays ever since. machine malfunctions, holiday business closures and the latest on direct from a C/S rep was it was holiday scanned (whatever that means, and he didn’t even know) it’s been in the UPS facility for three days and tracking shows it’s “on the way” but is now scheduled for May 30 delivery. A week after shipping.

  8. bob

    placed an order on tuesday and was told friday delivery. On Thursday Pm only tracking info was a label was made. The order is perishable. Company reordered because of lack of tracking. If you use UPS do not expect timely or accurate tracking. The info I have now gives me 2 entirely different delivery times. Makes USPS lookgood.

  9. Barbara

    I ordered a couple small things Friday 10:00 am. By mistake (though I am usually VERY careful I must have checked UPS overnight air , instead of free shipping!!! The package arrived about 10:30 am Monday. I can’t get my $50 shipping fee refunded because UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturday or Sunday. This is not apparent on their websites. Some warning should have been given to me. So it cost me over $100 for a couple spices not needed immediately. Be careful when ordering.

  10. Cindy

    UPS next day air charged me $98 to ensure my 1/2 lb package would be here by 10 am next day (isNEXT DAY) the UPS store in Perry Hall Md did not even ship it that day??? Now I am into the 2nd day and tracking notifications are giving me a 9 pm ??? I will not ship UPS again. They also don’t answer the phone so it was really hard to find out what was going on.

  11. Corny Troyer

    I would appreciate knowing where our postage stamps are when we called because they were not delivered to 1705 meridian st. north manchester in.(app. 30 days ago) you claimed you always delivery to the address on package I have a box addressed to 1702 meridian st and I live at 1705 meridian WHAT HAPPENED AND WHERE ARE THE POSTAGE STAMPS????

  12. Susan

    I shipped car keys overnight UPS and was charged $76.85 (Michigan to Florida). UPS likes to use the “weather related” excuse in order not to follow through. My package (verified by UPS) was IN Florida but not delivered until two days later, however, they refuse to refund any portion of the charges.


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