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

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The three largest shipping carriers in the U.S. are FedEx, UPS, and USPS, but what’s the difference? Delivery speeds. The USPS vs UPS vs FedEx delivery debate boils down to varying lead times, hours of operation, and holidays. While shipping 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.  

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UPDATE: 2022 Holiday Deadlines & Schedules 

With the holidays approaching, it’s important to keep an eye on the delivery schedules and deadlines for each shipping service. Whether you’re buying gifts or fulfilling client orders, reading the 2022 holiday deadlines and schedules for FedEx, USPS, and UPS will help your packages arrive before Christmas morning.   

2022 UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines and Schedule 

UPS Holiday Schedule 2022 

Other than UPS Express Critical, UPS is not in service on Thanksgiving, Christmas, December 26th, New Year’s Day, and January 2, 2023. There are more details based on dates and services on the full 2022 UPS Holiday Operations Schedule. 

UPS Holiday Deadlines 2022 

To ensure that your package is delivered on or before December 24th, UPS recommends the following ship dates.  

  • U.S. Domestic – UPS 3 Day Select 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 20 
  • U.S. Domestic – UPS 2nd Day Air 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 21 
  • U.S. Domestic – UPS Next Day Air 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 22 
  • U.S. to Canada – UPS Worldwide Expedited 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 19 
  • U.S. to Canada – UPS Worldwide Express Services 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 22 
  • U.S. to Mexico – UPS Worldwide Expedited 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 19 
  • U.S. to Mexico – UPS Worldwide Express Services 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 21 

For UPS Ground, UPS Standard, and more ship date information, check the UPS 2022 Year End Holiday Schedule. 

2022 FedEx Holiday Shipping Deadlines and Schedule 

2022 FedEx Holiday Schedule 

Other than FedEx custom critical, FedEx is not in service on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. The 2022 FedEx Holiday service schedule is complex and the full schedule can be found on the website.  

2022 FedEx Holiday Deadlines 

For December 24th delivery, the last days to ship FedEx packages U.S. to U.S. can be found below.  

  • FedEx Express – FedEx Same Day 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 23 
  • FedEx Express – FO, PO, SO, Extra Hours 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 22 
  • FedEx Express – 2Day & 2Day AM 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 21 
  • FedEx Express – FedEx Express Saver 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 20 
  • FedEx Express – 1Day Freight 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 22 
  • FedEx Express – 2Day Freight 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 21 
  • FedEx Express – 3Day Freight 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 20 
  • FedEx Ground – Ground Contiguous US 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 
  • FedEx Ground – Ground Alaska and Hawaii 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 
  • FedEx Ground – Home Delivery Contiguous US 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 
  • FedEx Ground – Home Delivery Alaska and Hawaii 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 
  • FedEx Ground – Ground Economy 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 8 
  • FedEx Freight – Priority  
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 
  • FedEx Freight – Economy  
    • Ship Date: Dec. 8 
  • FedEx Freight – Direct 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 14 

For 2022 FedEx shipping deadlines for international holiday packages and more information, check the full FedEx 2022 shipping chart.  

2022 USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines and Schedule 

USPS Holiday Schedule 2022 

The United States Postal Service is not in service on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. On their website, you can find the full 2022 USPS holiday schedule. 

USPS Holiday Deadlines 2022 

The USPS 2022 holiday shipping cutoff dates for December 25th are below.  

  • USPS Retail Ground  
    • Ship Date: Dec. 17 
  • First-Class Mail 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 17 
  • USPS Priority Mail  
    • Ship Date: Dec. 19 
  • USPS Priority Mail Express 
    • Ship Date: Dec. 23 

To see Alaska, Hawaii, international, and military deadlines, check the USPS website.  

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; if you’re wondering if there is Saturday delivery for FedEx, the answer is yes! FedEx also 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 choose to ship with UPS, you’ll want to know, is Saturday a business day for UPS? Yes, Saturday is a business day for UPS. When do packages go out for delivery? UPS packages go out for residential and commercial delivery from 9 AM to 8 PM on Monday through Saturday with limited residential Sunday 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 delivery, 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. So if you’re wondering if Saturday is a business day for USPS the answer is yes and so is Sunday. 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 delivery service 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