What is the Cheapest Way to Ship Overnight?

Learn the most affordable overnight shipping service from each of the major carriers in the U.S. and how to save money on these types of shipments
the cheapest way to ship overnight
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The ability to send a package overnight is a cornerstone of the shipping industry. All major carriers in the United States offer expedited shipping, but only one offers the most affordable rates for sending parcels overnight.

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USPS Priority Mail Express is the Cheapest Way to Ship Overnight in the U.S.

Far and away, the cheapest way to ship overnight in the United States is USPS Priority Mail Express service. Priority Mail Express features next-day delivery to most urban locations in the U.S. and two-day delivery to some rural locations.

The other two major carriers, UPS and FedEx, also offer overnight shipping through the services UPS Next Day Air and FedEx Priority Overnight, respectively. While these services may be faster than Priority Mail Express by a few hours or so, they are almost always more expensive. You get what you pay for, after all, and if you’re looking to save the most money on overnight shipments, sticking with Priority Mail Express will always be the best bet.

Learn more about the fastest domestic service from each major U.S. carrier.

Use DHL for International Shipments

For international shipments, none of the three major carriers in the U.S. (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) offer the cheapest overnight service. However, there is a fourth option: DHL.

DHL is a multinational shipping carrier built for emergency and time-sensitive delivery to overseas destinations. Due to its vast network, it is able to offer overnight international delivery at the most competitive rates. FedEx is the next best option for overnight international delivery, but it will almost always be more expensive. That said, DHL drop-off points aren’t as accessible within the United States as FedEx is…and if you live in an area where DHL doesn’t have a presence, you may have no choice but to use FedEx.

Lastly, unlike others carriers, DHL also offers same-day delivery for some international shipments. This service is much more expensive, of course; still, it’s nice to know this service is available when you’re in a pinch to get a time-sensitive parcel around the world.

Learn more about expedited international service with DHL.

Save the Most Money on Overnight Packages with Shipping Software

While overnight shipping can cost a lot of money, there is a way to cut these costs down…and that’s to use online shipping software to buy your postage.

When you use shipping software, you get access to special discounts that carriers typically only reserve for huge commercial shippers. For USPS, this pricing tier is called Commercial Pricing. In some cases, Commercial Pricing rates will allow you to ship the same exact Priority Mail Express package for up to 17% less than it would cost to ship it at your local Post Office. Since overnight delivery tends to be more expensive, saving as much money as possible makes a big difference…and taking advantage of special discounts through shipping software is the best way to do just that.

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