Cheapest Overnight Shipping Options

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In our yearly review of the three most popular shipping services, USPS, UPS and FedEx, we take a look at who has the cheapest overnight shipping.

Editor’s Note: An updated version of this story has been posted here: Cheapest Overnight Shipping.

In our yearly review of the three most popular shipping services, USPS, UPS and FedEx, we take a look at who has the cheapest overnight shipping.

Simple letters

If you’re only sending a letter sized envelope and don’t care about early morning delivery, the answer is easy. A USPS overnight flat rate envelope ships to “most places” for only $17.50 regardless of weight or distance. If you can fit it in the envelope, it’s only $17.50. UPS and FedEx don’t do that, so prices vary depending on what you’re sending. You’ll find a range of about $27 to $55 at FedEx and about $30 to $63 at UPS… both far more than the flat rate offered by the Postal Service.

A larger package

But what about something that wont fit in an envelope? We checked to see how much it would cost to send 5, 10 and 15 pound packages overnight from Miami to LA. Here are the cheapest overnight shipping prices we could find at each service.

FedEx UPS USPS
5 lbs $64.23 $64.23 $37.62
10 lbs $87.78 $87.78 $55.48
15 lbs $110.40 $110.40 $69.59

As you can see, USPS came out ahead every time we tested. And by the way… it’s not a mistake that FedEx and UPS show the same prices. When we tried it, both FedEx and UPS’s websites quoted the exact same prices down to the penny! Of course, this is just a quick sampling, but it’s easy enough to find out exactly how much it will cost to overnight your package or letter.

What’s your price?

The cheapest overnight shipping prices we calculated were based on a 4 x 4 x 4 package (when we were asked), shipping between Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA on 12/23/09. How much will your shipping be?

Decided on the post office? Make sure you see our story 3 Ways to Avoid Lines at the Post Office before going.

Stacy Johnson

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