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Expedited Shipping: The What, Why and How

Mona 31 August 2021

Expedited Shipping: A guide to shipping items quickly

Let's face it: When it comes to shipping, one of the key elements that influence businesses and customers' choice is the delivery time. And we can all agree that, the lower it is, the better it is!

So today, we want to share with you a way to ship your merchandise faster thanks to expedited shipping.

From shortening the time it takes for your items to arrive at their destination to boosting your customers' satisfaction, expedited shipping can have an impact on several aspects of your business.

So, if you haven't heard of expedited shipping yet or are looking to decrease delivery time of your merchandise, this article is made for you! Keep on reading and discover what expedited shipping is, how it works and why you should think about it.

 

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping is a service offered by major carriers to businesses or customers who want their packages delivered in a shorter amount of time.

Where with standard shipping, the delivery of a package within the same country can take between 3 and 5 days, expedited shipping generally allows to reduce the delivery time under 2 business days - and sometimes as fast as one day!

 

How does expedited shipping work?

You would have understood, Expedited Shipping is faster than regular shipping and helps deliver items much more quickly. But how does it work exactly?

To fulfill those tight shipping deadlines, the carriers usually deploy transportation trucks with a non-stop journey. From picking up the items to be delivered, to dropping it at the door of its final destination, the truck in charge will not make any stops in between. This allows them to significantly reduce shipping delay.

And if we’re talking about long distances, some carriers may even send two drivers so that they can drive in shifts.

 

How fast is expedited shipping?

Now that you know how express shipping works, you might wonder how fast expedited shipping is?

Delivery times can depend on the logistics companies you are working with, the shipping options you choose, the locations of origin and destination and the extra cost you are willing to pay for a fast shipment.

While some expedited shipping options can move your item overnight and get it delivered in a day, others may not be as fast. Usually, all carriers considered, it can take up to 2 days.

The shipping services might also be affected by the weight, size and destination of your package.

 

What carriers offer express delivery?

Different major carriers offer this service such as the USPS, FedEx, UPS and DHL. And they’ve all built their own version of expedited shipping service. Here’s a small guide:

FedEx

The expedited shipping service offered by FedEx is called FedEx Express.

In Canada, you can decide among several options from delivery within a few hours for those packages that cannot wait, to next-day delivery or under 2 or 3 days delivery for a less costly option.

Costs and time can also vary depending on the type of merchandise or freight you are shipping.

UPS

UPS also offers this prime service with UPS Expedited Shipping. For domestic shipment throughout Canada, the delay is guaranteed to be kept under 2 days.

The plus: UPS includes 3 delivery attempts with that option.

DHL

For international services, DHL's expedited shipping service allows delivery on the next possible business day. By comparison, their standard shipping is around 1 and 3 days.

We remind you that DHL doesn't work on domestic shipping in Canada, so this carrier can only suit you in the case of worldwide shipping.

Canada Post

With Canada Post, you’ll be able to send your packages the next business day or maximum within 2 working days if you pick the Priority or Xpresspost Services.

USPS

For those who are business owners based in the United States, know that the United States Postal Service (USPS) also offers expedited shipping.

You can use the Priority Mail Express allowing a next-day to 2 days delivery for domestic shipments.

Purolator

With Purolator, you’ll be able to get expedited shipping thanks to the Purolator Express service, allowing you to book a delivery for 9am, 10:30am, 12pm or in the evening the next business day.

If you want more information on this carrier's expedited shipping option for Canada, we invite you to visit their website.

Canpar

In Canada, Canpar is another carrier that offers fast shipping service. With their Express solution you could also get a delivery made under 2 business days. The delay may depend on the distance between origin and destination of the package.

Loomis

Loomis, another carrier in Canada offers next possible day deliveries with their Express Domestic 9am, 12pm, 6pm services. Most suitable for Canadian and US shipments, Loomis can be another option to your expedited shipping choice.

 

This list isn't exhaustive but already gives you a good idea of what's on the market. But if like us, you feel a bit confused with all of those options, you might wanna consider our free shipping software. It allows you to compare different carriers at once and choose the most suitable, price-effective shipping services for your needs.

 

When shall you use express shipping?

Expedited shipping should be your pick if you need to expedite or accelerate the speed of transit of a parcel, as expedited shipping takes priority over other forms of shipping.

It may be used to expedite your shipment to meet certain deadlines, such as an important business meeting, or maintenance pieces that need to be sent immediately. 

It can also be used for shipments that are time-sensitive and need urgent or overnight delivery such as for medicinal purposes for instance.

Expedited Shipping can also be used to offer a prime service to your customers and guarantee them a super-fast delivery of your products.

 

3 benefits of using expedited shipping for your online store

Why would you need express shipping, you might wonder? Well, when it comes to businesses and customers, expedited shipping offers a lot of benefits that make it worthwhile:

Make your customers happy

When using expedited shipping, one of the obvious benefits is that the packages will be delivered in a shorter amount of time. Most customers are really excited when they receive their packages quickly. This leaves them with a good impression about your company.

Nowadays, as shipping times are getting faster and faster, it’s important to be able to meet customers' expectations to make them happy. And expedited shipping can be one way to do it.

Get a new competitive advantage

Expedited shipping clearly helps differentiate yourself from your competitors.

If a customer is torn between purchasing one of your goods or one from a rival company at the same quality and similar pricing - shorter shipping delays could actually make the difference in choosing your company over your competitor. 

Increase sales

Since expedited shipping improves the customer experience and helps them get their item(s) faster, it can also reduce the cart abandonment rate and improve the conversion rates on your e-business website.

Just think about how many times you wanted to buy a gift for someone only to realize at check out that the only available shipping option wouldn't deliver the package on time? 

Remember how you turned down this option and chose something else - that would get it there faster?

If your business offers expedited shipping, this type of case could be avoided. And this has been proven by a June 2021 PWC consumer insight survey. In Canada, 44% of online shoppers consider fast delivery as an important attribute when shopping online.

So yes, faster deliveries can actually lead to an increase of sales!

 

5 Things to consider when using expedited shipping

There are a few things to consider when you decide if expedited shipping is right for your ecommerce business.

Shipping time

The several carriers offering expedited shipping can have different time delays. Make sure to choose the one that fits your needs and to verify if they consider the absolute next day or business day.

Cost

Expedited shipping can be more costly than standard shipping. Premium service isn't free!

Carrier restrictions

Expedited shipping is not available on all products. There might be restrictions depending on packages' sizes and weight. Make sure that they fit the requirements.

Tracking

Not all expedited carriers offer real-time tracking. If you wish to track your parcel or track the mail you’re sending, consider the ones that have it and make sure it's displayed in the quote too.

International shipping

Expedited shipping is not available to all countries. If you’re sending your products abroad, verify first if express shipping is available for that country.

Extra costs

If you’re sending a package abroad, know that expedited shipping doesn't always include customs duties, taxes or brokerage fees that may be due upon delivery. You might want to verify associated costs of expedited shipments.

 

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As you can see, express delivery is a great option for online companies that want to offer a new shipping option with a 1 or 2-day package delivery turn around. 

Not only will it speed up your logistics process, but also create a competitive advantage, increase your sales, and make your customers happy - it's all in there!

If you’re still hesitating on which carrier to use for the shipping options of your e-commerce website, we recommend checking out our free shipping software.

Our easy to use cloud-based software will provide you real peace of mind, save you some time and money. Want to give it a try? Sign up for free now!