FedEx, UPS, and USPS Shipping Services & Delivery Time Differences

The three largest shipping carriers in the U.S. are FedEx, UPS, and USPS, but what’s the difference? Delivery speeds. Each of the big three has varying lead times, hours of operation, and holidays. While cost can vary based on the carrier, delivery speed is the most important factor for the success of your business. 

Shipping trends have normalized 2 to 3-day shipping, advanced package tracking, and guaranteed delivery dates. According to Clutch Data, 48% of online shoppers “normally receive packages within 2-3 days” and 45% “are unlikely to continue ordering from a company if it delivers a package late”. Which carrier will satisfy your customer’s delivery expectations? 

Many eCommerce businesses choose to outsource fulfillment and logistics to increase overall efficiency. Due to the shipping volume at fulfillment centers, the national fulfillment services of 3PLs like BR provide better freight rates than if you ship on your own.  

What is the fastest shipping carrier?   

Delivery speeds are very competitive between FedEx, UPS, and USPS, but FedEx First Overnight is the fastest shipping solution on the market. If your packages don’t need to arrive ASAP and you’re looking for consistent and predictable shipping solutions, below you can find the solution that you need and compare the delivery speeds between FedEx, UPS, and USPS.  

FedEx Delivery Times & Services 

If you ship with FedEx, when do packages go out for delivery? FedEx packages go out for delivery from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday and deliver to residential areas on Saturday and Sunday. FedEx delivers packages on many US holidays excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  

While FedEx is known for its detailed tracking and express delivery services, FedEx and UPS have very similar shipping services. Both FedEx and UPS primarily provide same-day, overnight, flat rate, ground, freight, and international shipping services. How fast are FedEx shipping services 

FedEx: Same Day Delivery 

Same-day delivery from FedEx will arrive at the delivery address before 8 PM on the day it’s sent for delivery locally and nationally.  

Find more details about FedEx’s same-day delivery 

FedEx: Overnight Shipping 

Overnight shipping from FedEx will get your package to its destination on the next business day.  

  • 1 Business Day Before 9:30 AM: First Overnight 
  • 1 Business Day Before 10:30 AM: Priority Overnight 
  • 1 Business Day Before 3 PM: Standard Overnight  

Find more details about FedEx overnight shipping. 

FedEx: Flat Rate Shipping 

Flat rate shipping from FedEx allows you to choose when you need your package to arrive at the delivery address.  

  • 1 Business Day  
  • 2 Business Days 
  • 3 Business Days 

Find details about FedEx flat rate shipping 

FedEx: Ground Shipping 

Ground shipping from FedEx will deliver your package in 1-5 business days with an average of 3 business days.  

Find details about FedEx ground shipping 

FedEx: Freight Shipping 

Freight Shipping from FedEx is meant to ship packages over 150 pounds.  

  • 1 to 3 Business Days: FedEx Freight Priority 
  • 3 to 6 Business Days: FedEx Freight Economy 
  • 1, 2, or 3 Business Days: FedEx 1Day, 2Day, and 3Day Freight 
  • 1, 2, or 3 Business Days: FedEx International Priority Freight 
  • 5 Business Days: FedEx International Economy Freight 

Find details about FedEx freight shipping. 

FedEx: International Shipping 

International shipping from FedEx offers flight and ground services.  

  • Next Flight Out: FedEx International Next Flight, within 24 hours 
  • 1 to 3 Business Days: FedEx International First and FedEx International Priority  
  • 2 to 5 Business Days: FedEx International  
  • 2 to 7 Business Days: FedEx International Ground  

Find information about FedEx international shipping. 

UPS Delivery Times & Services 

If you ship with UPS, when do packages go out for delivery? UPS packages go out for delivery from 9 AM to 7 PM on Monday through Friday with limited weekend delivery available. Like FedEx, UPS also ships on all major U.S. holidays excluding New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  

UPS is known for shipping larger packages and freights. As mentioned above, UPS and FedEx primarily provide same-day, overnight, flat rate, ground, freight, and international shipping services. How fast are UPS shipping services? 

UPS: Same Day Delivery  

Same-day delivery from UPS is called UPS Express Critical; UPS same-day delivery will arrive before 7 PM on the day it’s sent for delivery.  

Find details about UPS Express Critical same-day delivery.  

UPS: Overnight Shipping  

Overnight shipping from UPS is called UPS Next Day Air; UPS overnight shipping will get your package to its destination on the morning of the next business day. 

Find details about UPS Next Day Air 

UPS: Flat Rate Shipping 

Flat rate shipping from UPS has four options for shipping speed. If you’re looking for flat rate shipping so your costs are predictable, you have four shipping speed options. 

  • 1 Business Day  
  • 2 Business Days 
  • 3 Business Days 
  • 1-5 Days 

Find details about UPS flat rate shipping. 

UPS: Ground Shipping 

Ground shipping from UPS offers three package delivery speed options. The ground shipping service offered by UPS is meant to ship within the United States. Their delivery time options are: 

  • 1 Business Day 
  • 2 to 3 Business Days 
  • 1 to 5 Business Days 

Find details about UPS ground shipping 

UPS: Freight Shipping 

UPS freight shipping offers international and domestic air freight, ocean freight, multimodal freight, and ground freight.  

  • Next Flight Out: UPS Express Critical, international 
  • Nex Day Delivery: UPS Next Day Air Freight, domestic 
  • 2 Business Days: UPS 2nd Day Air Freight, domestic 
  • 1 to 3 Business Days: UPS Air Freight Premium Direct, international door-to-door 
  • 1 to 3 Business Days: UPS Air Freight Direct, international airport-to-airport 
  • 3 to 4 Business Days: UPS 3 Day Freight, domestic 
  • 3 to 5 Business Days: UPS Air Freight Consolidated, international airport-to-airport 

UPS: International Shipping 

International shipping from UPS has very specific package delivery time choices.  

  • 1-3 Business Days by 9 A.M: UPS Worldwide Express Plus 
  • 1-3 Business Days by 12 P.M.: UPS Worldwide Express 
  • 1-3 Business Days by 2 PM: UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday 
  • 1-3 Business Days by end of day: UPS Worldwide Saver 
  • 2-5 Business Days by end of day: UPS Worldwide Expedited 
  • Day Definite, by end of day: UPS standard 
  • 5-12 Business Days: UPS Worldwide Economy 

Find information about UPS international shipping. 

USPS Delivery Times & Services 

Unlike FedEx and UPS, USPS ships 24/7. While delivery trucks typically leave the post office in service from 7 or 8 AM to 5 PM on weekdays, they operate all hours of the day and on weekends when necessary. USPS is closed on federal holidays.  

USPS is known for its mail and lightweight shipping services. While this might not be the right fit for some eCommerce stores and businesses that ship large or heavy items, their domestic mail and shipping services are reputable.  

USPS: Mail Services 

USPS Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail offer fast, domestic shipping.  

  • Next Day Shipping: Priority Mail Express 
  • 2-Day Shipping by 6 PM: Priority Mail Express 2-Day 
  • 1 to 3 Business Days: Priority Mail 
  • 1 to 5 Business Days: First-Class Mail 
  • 2 to 8 Business Days: Media Mail 

USPS: Retail Ground 

For oversized packages and items that don’t require a rushed shipment, USPS retail ground is a great choice.  

  • 2-8 Business Days 

Let BR Handle Your Shipping Stress 

With so many options, the time and energy spent trying to perfect your shipping operations can be frustrating. Whether your shipping needs are large or small, an experienced fulfillment and 3PL provider can take some of the stress off your shoulders. At BR Printers, we’ve built relationships with our shipping carriers. Our delivery time for shipments is reliable, customizable, and affordable. Outsource fulfillment services with BR and start focusing on what matters most, your business.  

Sources: 

https://www.easyship.com/blog/usps-vs-ups-vs-fedex 

https://clutch.co/logistics/resources/how-two-day-delivery-impacts-small-businesses#:~:text=Nearly%20half%20of%20online%20shoppers,a%20package%20within%201%20day. 

https://www.thefulfillmentlab.com/blog/delivery-carriers-fedex-ups-usps 

https://www.fedex.com/en-us/tracking/guide-for-tracking-managing-deliveries.html 

https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/tracking-support/where-is-my-package/understanding-tracking-status.page 

https://www.denverpost.com/2015/12/11/deciphering-ups-when-out-for-delivery-means-stuck-in-a-truck/#:~:text=Other%20than%20time%2Ddefinite%20air,of%20business%20for%20commercial%20addresses%E2%80%A6