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17 Jul 2017
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Overnight Shipping: Is it Really "Overnight"?

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Posted By Delores M.

During an advertisement for an overnight shipping service, an announcer seriously intones 'When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.' But for many, the question remains if the mail is truly delivered during the night time.

The answer is both yes and no.

Logistics of Overnight Delivery

Overnight delivery policies and rates may differ from carrier to carrier, but most share one thing in common -- time frames in which overnight packages can be delivered fluctuate greatly. Factors, such as when the package was handed over to a shipping representative, can greatly affect whether important mail is sent out before the close of business.

For instance, if you were to take a package to the local shipping center of your choice before noon, your package will be in transit and may arrive at your destination the following day. If however, you get the package in near the time of closing, the package may be placed in transit but cannot be guaranteed to be delivered the next day.

Now, in regards to the terminology 'overnight' can be a bit misleading.

As in our earlier example, if a package arrives at a service center early enough and is designated as an overnight shipment, it will immediately be sorted in the overnight bin for delivery. This means that it will actually be en route to its destination that very day. If it comes later in the evening, most commonly after 3 PM, then the package will be placed on a mail freight air service and in some cases, this air cargo will ship out in the evening.

Again this can also depends on the policies of the company and the type of overnight delivery service you choose.

Types of Overnight Delivery

Just as there are several different mail carrier agencies, there are different types of overnight delivery packages. Depending on what you need to accomplish, the cost of the service may be expensive.

Critical Overnight

There are many packages that absolutely have to arrive on time, and in some instances, such as with medical supplies, it can literally be a matter of life or death. With critical overnight shipments, packages can be guaranteed to get there the very next day to all fifty states, and in some cases Puerto Rico or Canada. This is because the service offers special air carriage 365 days a year and seven days a week. Most other services only occur during the business week.

International options are also available although, depending on where the destination location is, it may not exactly get there on time. When purchasing Critical overnight service, keep in mind the fact that the guarantee is somewhat limited and look into other options before paying the extra expense of critical overnight shipping.

Next day Air

By utilizing commercial airlines, next day air packages can be delivered to any major US city in the US. Using modern day technology, like route optimization technology, shipments can be safely and effectively delivered on time when applicable. Next day air is a cost effective way of getting shipments to the proper locale but carries an even lesser degree of guarantee than critical overnight.

Again, if in doubt, discuss with the shipping representatives what the pros and cons of using Next Day Air.

Next day Air Saver Shipping

This type of next day service only delivers within the continental US and cannot guarantee early morning delivery. Anyone who chooses this less costly route needs to be aware of that all important fact, especially if the package has to be there before noon.

If the time of morning does not matter, but getting it there the following day does, this is a wonderful option and is less expensive than the aforementioned services.

So, does overnight shipping overnight--it depends on the time you drop off your package and what service you utilize-but the one thing you can be certain of is that overnight shipping will get your package where it needs to be in the fastest amount of time possible.

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