How to Save Money on Overnight Shipping

How to Save Money on Overnight ShippingOvernight shipping, also known as one-day shipping or next day delivery, is an almost guaranteed way to have your package delivered as quickly as possible. However, most great services come at an increased cost, and next day delivery is not an exception: it is more expensive than regular shipping. Luckily, there are several ways to save money on overnight shipping.

Make Sure You Really Need Overnight Shipping

If your parcel is supposed to travel a short distance, you may not need overnight shipping because regular/ground shipping will provide next day delivery at a lower cost. For example, USPS Priority Mail has an estimated delivery time of 1 to 3 business days; you can check delivery time estimates on a special map at the USPS website to see how long shipping will take. Maybe you won’t have to pay extra for overnight delivery after all!

Compare Shipping Rates

The first thing you need to do when you want to save money on any kind of shipping is compare shipping rates offered by different postal and courier companies. Overnight shipping services are offered by all major shipping carriers, and some carriers even allow you to choose from several next-day delivery options:

  • USPS Priority Mail Express
  • UPS Next Day Air
  • UPS Next Day Air Early
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver
  • FedEx Standard Overnight
  • FedEx Priority Overnight
  • FedEx First Overnight

Overnight shipping rates can vary greatly carrier by carrier, so the best option is to use a shipping calculator to figure out which of the carriers offers the most cost-saving option in your particular case.

Make Sure to Properly Package Your Shipment

Major carriers charge either by the actual weight of the package or by its dimensional weight (which is calculated based on the package dimensions just like the name suggests), whichever is greater. To reduce your shipping costs, you need to make sure that your package is as compact and lightweight as possible. Corrugated cardboard boxes are considered the best type of packaging because they are lightweight but sturdy; the box must be just large enough to accommodate the items you’re shipping and the right amount of cushioning.

Consider Flat Rate Shipping

If you don’t want to think hard about the package weight and dimensions, consider flat rate shipping. For example, USPS Priority Mail Express Flat Rate offers next-day delivery of packages weighing up to 70 lbs at the same price regardless of the state. Keep in mind that flat rate shipping isn’t always cheaper, but it is a cost-saving option when shipping small but heavy items.

Try to Avoid Shipping Surcharges

If you want to save money on any kind of shipping, overnight or not, you need to be aware of various shipping surcharges that carriers may apply on top of their base rate. For example, some shipping companies charge a pickup fee; dropping your package off at the carrier’s location will help you avoid this surcharge. Don’t forget about the cutoff time when dropping the shipment off! Carriers cannot guarantee next-day delivery if you place your order too late in the day.

Another surcharge you should be aware of is the Saturday delivery surcharge. The thing with next day delivery is that “next day” really means “next business day”. If you place your order late in the week, you may need to pay extra to have it delivered during the weekend. The USPS does not apply surcharges for Saturday delivery, but UPS and FedEx do. So if you want to avoid this surcharge, you should either ship your package on Thursday or, if it’s already too late to do that, use USPS Priority Mail Express to have it delivered on Saturday with no extra charge.

Print Your Shipping Labels Yourself

Most shipping carriers offer discounts to customers who print shipping labels online instead of placing their order at the carrier’s location. Moreover, shipping label printing services may provide even bigger discounts. For example, PostageMaker offers discounted shipping labels at rates that are up to 35% less than carriers’ retail rates.