Leading eCommerce brands spend a great deal of time getting the specifics right for their shipments. With evolving technology and greater consumer expectations, overnight delivery has become an important service. While overnight delivery options are great for your customers, the idea of delivering orders in one day can be daunting for small eCommerce merchants.
So, how does overnight shipping work, and what’s the easiest way to provide your customers with overnight deliveries? Let’s get to it.
What is Overnight Shipping?
Overnight shipping is the second quickest way of delivering products (after same-day delivery) where shippers guarantee that customers will receive their package on the next business day. One-day shipping, next morning, and next-day delivery can also refer to this process. Many popular carriers provide overnight shipping services; let’s take a look at them.
How USPS Handles Overnight Shipping
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is among the most popular delivery service providers in the U.S. The USPS Priority Mail Express Flat Rate is their fastest domestic mail service. It provides overnight to 2-day shipping with flat-rate pricing.
USPS overnight shipping options come with tracking and insurance for most shipments. The price includes the proof of delivery (signature required) if the receipt is requested at the time of purchase. USPS is among the cheapest options because it operates through an extensive network of post office locations in the US. However, shipments to rural areas and Hawaii might be slightly delayed.
How FedEx Handles Overnight Shipping
FedEx is a popular carrier in the United States, and it offers many overnight services and next-day delivery options. The delivery options depend on the service you choose. FedEx offers FedEx First Overnight Freight, FedEx Standard Overnight, and FedEx Priority Overnight shipping options.
FedEx overnight costs are determined by the delivery time for the next day, the delivery address at the destination, the packaging size, and weight, etc.
How UPS Handles Overnight Shipping
UPS offers three overnight shipping options within the US. These options are the UPS Next Day Air Early that is the fastest, UPS Next Day Air, and the UPS Next Day Air Saver that delivers the package by the next day evening. All of these options are trackable online, and you can visit the Tracking tab to do so.
How DHL Handles Overnight Shipping
DHL is among the most popular international shipping service providers worldwide. For emergency shipments, DHL offers the DHL SameDay Jetline option and the DHL SameDay Sprintline option. Despite being an exceptionally reliable option, DHL overnight international delivery is often expensive. There are daily cutoff times for this service for the next-day delivery options.
Why is Overnight Shipping Becoming so Popular?
Rising Customer Demand
In major markets across the spectrum, customers are demanding faster transit times and shipping speeds. When customers get speedier delivery options from platforms like Amazon, they expect the same from other brands.
Compete with Amazon
Amazon Prime has taken the lead to set the example with its 2-day delivery options and even overnight shipping options. For customers, this has become the standard, and companies who want to compete with Amazon must offer the same to stand a chance. Otherwise, you’re likely to lose sales to Amazon and other major brands.
Changing Shopping Trends
As customers become more accustomed to online shopping, they’ll expect in-store pickup or fast delivery speeds for their orders.
How Much Does it Cost to Overnight a Package?
Overnight shipping costs differ for different carriers with different shipping fees. They are usually determined by several factors, as listed below.
The package dimensions are used to calculate the dimensional weight of the package. This is done by multiplying the length, width or girth, and the height of the box. It is then divided by a DIM divisor to calculate the dimensional weight of the packaging.
In case the actual weight exceeds the dimensional weight, the former is used as the weight of the packaging to calculate the shipping costs. Carriers usually have a given rate for each lb. or Kg of the package weight.
Shipping zones operate on the distance between the point of origin, which is often the warehouse and the shoppers’ residences. Carriers define their shipping rates according to different shipping zones. Depending on where your warehouse is and where the package is headed, there might be some additional charges because of restrictions, resulting in an additional fee for shipping.
Shipping Agreements with Carriers
There is a way to lower shipping costs if you have made agreements with the shipping couriers. Most shipping carriers offer discounted rates for high shipping volumes.
How to Offer Overnight Shipping to Your Customers
While daunting, overnight shipping is indeed possible to pull off. You’ll have to research the most economical options for your business so that you don’t suffer a loss while offering overnight shipping. Here’s how you can do it.
Negotiate Discounted Shipping Rates
Take a call with your carrier options and negotiate discounted shipping rates with them. You could base your argument that the more attractive your offer is for your customers, the more orders, and you will use more of the carrier’s services.
Ship from Multiple Warehouses
Realistic overnight delivery options can be pulled off by having your products stored in multiple warehouses near the areas where the bulk of your customer base lies (aka distributed fulfillment centers). This way, transit times can be reduced, and you can offer overnight shipping.
Require an Order Minimum for Overnight Delivery
It’s costly to offer overnight shipping for small items and you can end up losing money on the sale. To tackle this situation, place a minimum order limit for your customers so that you can realistically cover overnight shipping costs. Customers can choose to get faster delivery speeds for an additional charge. You can also offer an Amazon Prime-like membership option where customers can get free or discounted shipping if they pay a monthly fee.
Can You Realistically Support Overnight Delivery?
It can be difficult to guarantee overnight delivery and fulfillment, especially for small businesses. While big businesses such as Amazon store their products in multiple fulfillment centers, small businesses don’t have the luxury to store products in multiple warehouses across the world. Additionally, storing your products in warehouses can often be expensive and you might have to handle the fulfillment yourself.
In case you are handling the fulfillment yourself through carriers, you might not be able to ship to rural and remote areas as handling these zones can be expensive. Furthermore, if your customer places the order on the weekend, like Friday, you might not be able to realistically deliver the shipment until the next working day, Monday.
This brings a gap of two delivery days, Saturday and Sunday, and it might displease your customers. Realistically, overnight shipping can be expensive and time-consuming for small businesses to manage on their own. Luckily, eCommerce businesses can work with 3PLs that can help them provide faster shipping options.
Overnight shipping is an excellent service to offer customers, but you need to make sure that your brand can offer it without wrecking your profits. If overnight delivery is something you’re prepared to offer, then you need the right automation and tools to help you seamlessly manage your operations. ShipHero handles your fulfillment effortlessly and keeps your customers coming back for more.