How fast is UPS overnight?

UPS overnight shipping is one of the fastest delivery options available from UPS. It aims to deliver packages by the next business day before a specific cutoff time, usually in the morning. The exact transit time and cutoff times depend on the origin and destination locations.

What is UPS overnight shipping?

UPS overnight shipping, also known as UPS Next Day Air, is the fastest domestic delivery service offered by UPS. It guarantees next business day delivery by a specific time, usually between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM, to most addresses within the United States.

Some key features of UPS overnight shipping:

  • Guaranteed next business day delivery by early morning (between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM usually)
  • Cutoff time is usually between 2:00 PM and 4:30 PM
  • Available to all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico
  • Also available to Canada with delivery typically by end of day
  • Real-time package tracking available
  • Different service levels based on speed and features (Next Day Air Early AM vs Next Day Air)
  • May require residential or adult signature on delivery depending on service and shipment value

UPS overnight shipping gives customers the fastest possible delivery for time-sensitive shipments that need to be delivered across the country by the next business day. It provides reliability and speed for important packages.

How long does UPS overnight take? When will my package arrive?

UPS overnight shipping transit times depend on the origin and destination of your package. UPS offers overnight delivery by 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, noon or end of day depending on selected service level:

  • UPS Next Day Air Early: Delivery by 8:30 AM next business day to most areas
  • UPS Next Day Air: Delivery by 10:30 AM to most areas
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver: Delivery by end of day next business day to most areas

Shipments going shorter distances generally arrive at the earlier times, while longer distances are more likely to be delivered by noon or end of day. UPS has divided the US and Canada into zones based on transit times. Check UPS’s time in transit map to estimate expected delivery time for your shipment’s origin and destination.

Key factors determining UPS overnight delivery time:

  • Origin and destination – Shipments traveling shorter distances generally arrive earlier in the day
  • Time of pickup – Packages picked up by cutoff time have the best chance of next day delivery
  • Day of week – Packages shipped Thursday through Saturday are likely to arrive Monday as UPS doesn’t deliver overnight packages on Sundays or holidays
  • Package weight and dimensions – Larger and heavier packages may take longer to process
  • Weather or other unexpected delays – Bad weather or other disruptions can sometimes delay shipments
  • Customs clearance for international packages – Shipments to/from Canada go through customs which can add a slight delay

What time is the cutoff for UPS overnight shipping?

To receive UPS next day shipping, packages must be dropped off at a UPS location or pickup scheduled before the cutoff time, which is typically between 2:00 PM and 4:30 PM local time. However, exact cutoff times vary by origin, destination and service level:

Service Typical Cutoff Time
UPS Next Day Air Early 3:00 PM
UPS Next Day Air 4:30 PM
UPS Next Day Air Saver 2:00 PM

Shippers can find the exact cutoff time for a package’s origin and destination by checking UPS’s website or contacting customer service. Meeting the cutoff time is crucial to ensuring next day delivery.

Does UPS deliver overnight packages on weekends or holidays?

No, UPS does not deliver overnight packages on Sundays or major national holidays. Only UPS Express Critical offers Sunday delivery options.

Here are the major holidays when UPS overnight services are suspended:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If the holiday falls on a Sunday, then service is suspended the following Monday. Packages shipped on a Thursday or Friday before a holiday weekend will arrive the Tuesday after the holiday.

Does UPS deliver overnight packages internationally?

UPS offers international overnight delivery to certain major business centers across the world through services like UPS Worldwide Express Plus and UPS Worldwide Express Freight. However, full country-to-country overnight coverage is not available globally.

Some key facts about UPS overnight international shipping:

  • Available to select destinations in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
  • Delivery time is typically by 9:00 AM on the first business day after shipping
  • Cutoff times for sending a package range from 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM depending on origin and destination
  • A customs broker is required to expedite customs clearance
  • Rates are significantly higher than domestic overnight shipping

Delivery delays are more common on international shipments so UPS provides a money-back guarantee if the package does not arrive on time. Check UPS’s website to determine if overnight international shipping is available to your desired destination.

How much does UPS overnight shipping cost?

UPS overnight shipping costs more than ground or 2-day air service. The exact rate depends on distance, package weight and dimensions. Some average costs are:

  • Next Day Air Early (8:30 AM delivery): Starts at $150 for a 1 lb package going 250 miles
  • Next Day Air (10:30 AM delivery): Starts at $120 for a 1 lb package going 250 miles
  • Next Day Air Saver (end of day): Starts at $85 for a 1 lb package going 250 miles

Shippers can get exact pricing estimates on UPS’s rate calculator by entering origin zip code, destination zip code, weight, dimensions and other details. UPS overnight rates are significantly higher than ground and involve a surcharge on top of the base rate. Discounts are available for frequent shippers.

Factors impacting cost of UPS overnight shipping:

  • Distance – Longer distances lead to higher rates
  • Weight – Heavier packages have higher costs
  • Dimensions – Oversized or irregularly shaped items can incur extra charges
  • Fuel surcharges – UPS adds fuel surcharges during periods of high fuel costs
  • Residential delivery – Delivering to a home vs. business incurs a surcharge
  • Declared value – Increasing the declared value increases the rate to cover additional insurance

UPS provides discounts to frequent shippers and offers savings on UPS shipping insurance compared to declared value coverage. Negotiated service contracts can also reduce rates for high volume customers.

Does UPS overnight or FedEx overnight deliver faster?

UPS and FedEx offer very similar overnight delivery speeds and transit times in most cases. Both make next morning deliveries by 10:30 AM to most US addresses.

When comparing FedEx vs UPS overnight shipping times, there are a few minor differences:

  • FedEx has slightly more morning delivery zip codes (before 10:30 AM) than UPS
  • UPS Next Day Air Early has earlier guaranteed delivery by 8:30 AM vs. FedEx First Overnight at 8:00 AM
  • FedEx overnight cutoff times are often later in the day compared to UPS
  • FedEx does not deliver overnight packages on Sundays while UPS offers limited Sunday delivery

However, these differences are quite small. Both deliver next day by mid-morning to most of the US when packages are dropped off before the cutoff time. For most shipments, UPS and FedEx overnight provide extremely similar speeds.

Factors impacting UPS vs. FedEx overnight delivery times:

  • Origin and destination – Delivery zones may differ slightly
  • Time dropped off – Later cutoff times means more flexibility for FedEx
  • Weekend or holiday – FedEx does not deliver on Sundays
  • Package characteristics – Oversized or hazardous items may differ
  • Weather delays – Storms or other issues could impact one company more

Individual shipments may have slight time differences, but UPS and FedEx are typically very close in their overnight delivery speeds across the US. Both offer reliable next day shipping services.

Does UPS deliver earlier than FedEx overnight?

UPS and FedEx provide extremely similar overnight delivery speeds in most cases. However, there are two instances where UPS can deliver earlier than FedEx overnight services:

  1. UPS Next Day Air Early vs. FedEx First Overnight: UPS guarantees delivery by 8:30 AM, while FedEx First Overnight delivers by 8:00 AM. So UPS has a slight 30 minute advantage with its earliest morning delivery.
  2. Sunday Delivery: FedEx does not offer any Sunday delivery services. UPS provides limited Sunday delivery to certain businesses through services like UPS Next Day Air Early AM Sunday Delivery. So any packages shipped late Friday can arrive Sunday morning with UPS but not FedEx.

Beyond these niche cases, the overall transit times and speed of UPS and FedEx overnight shipping are extremely similar. FedEx First Overnight offers earlier delivery than UPS’s main Next Day Air service. So for most regular overnight packages, the delivery times are virtually identical between the two companies.

Is UPS overnight shipping reliable and on-time?

UPSNext Day Air and UPS Next Day Air Saver have extremely reliable on-time delivery rates of 97% according to UPS. The company far exceeds competitors in on-time performance for overnight shipping.

Key facts about UPS overnight shipping reliability:

  • 97% on-time delivery rate for UPS Next Day Air and Next Day Air Saver
  • Higher time-in-transit accuracy than FedEx based on industry studies
  • Better delay prevention during peak season shipping
  • Robust package tracking provides up-to-the-minute delivery status
  • Proactive customer notifications for any expected delays or exceptions
  • Weather and flight delay contingency plans
  • Money-back guarantee if published delivery time is missed

UPS has invested heavily in logistics and technology enhancements to provide consistent and dependable overnight delivery. Their integrated air and ground network optimizes speed and reliability. Customers can trust UPS for on-time performance with overnight shipping.

Does UPS deliver overnight late packages the same day?

If a package misses the cutoff time for UPS Next Day Air, UPS will still attempt same day delivery if possible rather than holding the package an extra day. Several factors influence the odds of same day delivery:

  • Time package is dropped off – Later increases chances of same day delivery
  • Destination location – Major metro areas have the most frequent delivery routes
  • Package size – Smaller packages are easier to expedite
  • Supplemental fees – UPS offers a “same day pickup” option for an extra fee in some areas

There is no guarantee of same day delivery if UPS Next Day Air cutoff is missed. But UPS has greater flexibility for expedited handling than competitors, so they often can avoid holding late packages an extra day if feasible based on destination and other factors.

What time of day does UPS deliver overnight packages?

UPS overnight packages are delivered at various times of day depending on the specific service used:

  • UPS Next Day Air Early: Delivered by 8:30 AM
  • UPS Next Day Air: Delivered by 10:30 AM
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver: Delivered by end of day, typically by 5:00 PM

Recipient locations can request specific delivery windows based on their business hours. Residential customers can leave delivery instructions to have packages left at a side or back door. UPS also offers access point delivery for retrieving packages from convenient alternate locations like UPS stores, pharmacies or grocery stores.

Other UPS overnight delivery time factors:

  • Earlier delivery times for shorter distance shipments
  • Morning delivery for commercial addresses vs. mid-day for residential
  • Weather delays could push back delivery later in day
  • Heavier package volumes earlier in week delays delivery times later in week

Customers can track their package online and sign up for email alerts to receive scheduled delivery notifications with UPS’s enhanced tracking technology.


UPS Next Day Air provides best-in-class speed for time-sensitive overnight deliveries across the United States. Typical transit times range from next morning by 8:30 AM to delivery by 5:00 PM depending on origin, destination and selected service options. UPS overnight shipping offers reliability, tracking visibility, and delivery flexibility. It is ideal choice for critical packages that need to arrive at the next destination as fast as possible.

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