USPS Overnight Shipping (2022 Cost and Timing)

How does USPS overnight shipping work? Overnight shipping refers to the transportation of goods or products that need to be delivered within a very short time frame, usually within 24 hours. This type of shipping is often used for urgent or time-sensitive deliveries, such as medical supplies or emergency relief items. Overnight shipping can be quite expensive, so it is typically only used when absolutely necessary.

USPS Overview: Information you need to know

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a government-operated postal system in the United States. It is one of the oldest postal systems in the world and is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution. The USPS has over 617,000 employees and operates more than 200,000 vehicles, making it the second largest civilian employer in the United States after Walmart. The USPS delivers 48% of the world's mail and handles nearly half of all American addresses.

The USPS traces its roots back to 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress. The USPS has since grown into a sprawling bureaucracy with a complex organizational structure. Today, the USPS is organized into six major divisions:

  • The Postal Service (PS)
  • The Inspection Service (IS)
  • The Office of Inspector General (OIG)
  • The Consumer Advocate (CA)
  • The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)
  • The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)

Each of these divisions has a specific role to play in the operation of the USPS. The Postal Service is responsible for delivering mail and providing postal services to the American public.

The Inspection Service investigates crimes related to the USPS, while the Office of Inspector General audits and investigates the agency. The Consumer Advocate represents the interests of postal customers, and the Postal Regulatory Commission oversees the rates and services offered by the USPS.

usps overnight shipping

How long does USPS Overnight Delivery take?

Overnight shipping is available through the United States Postal Service’s Priority Mail Express service, but only within certain locations. If an address is outside of USPS’s next-day delivery capabilities, it will arrive in two days. In both cases, deliveries are guaranteed by 6 p.m. or the sender receives their money back.

The USPS website has a tool that allows users to check whether their address is eligible for next-day delivery. Simply enter the origin and destination ZIP codes, along with the weight and dimensions of the package, and the website will provide shipping options and prices.

For those who need their packages to arrive even faster, FedEx and UPS offer similar services with even smaller delivery windows. However, these services come at a premium price.

usps overnight shipping

How does USPS Overnight Work?

The United States Postal Service offers an overnight shipping option called Priority Mail Express. This is the fastest shipping service offered by the USPS, and it comes with a few different features to make sure your package arrives on time.

First, Priority Mail Express is available 365 days a year, so you can ship your package on weekends and holidays without any delay. Second, all packages come with free insurance up to $100, so you can rest assured that your package will arrive safely.

Finally, Priority Mail Express offers tracking information so you can keep tabs on your package's progress. While this service is one of the most expensive shipping options offered by the USPS, it is still a much cheaper alternative to using a private courier service. So, for those times when you need your package to arrive as quickly as possible, remember that the USPS Priority Mail Express service is here to help.

  • The aforementioned money-back guarantee that your mailpiece will arrive by the stated date, by 6 p.m. or earlier
  • Free/included USPS Tracking
  • Insurance up to $100 included (or pay the going rate for a higher insurance amount)
  • Free package pick-up, so you don’t even have to go to the Post Office for your mailpiece

To check and see if your item qualifies for USPS overnight shipping, you can use the price calculator. Simply enter the details of your item and the destination, and the price calculator will let you know if your item qualifies for overnight shipping. If your item does qualify for overnight shipping, you will need to select the Priority Express option when placing your order.

Is USPS Overnight Delivery a Real Benefit?

USPS overnight shipping is not available for all locations. If your destination is within a certain distance from the starting point, then USPS Priority Mail Express may be an option for you. Unfortunately, USPS cannot guarantee or offer next-day shipping to certain distances from the starting point; their operations simply do not allow for it.

To find out if your intended destination falls within the eligibility for next-day shipping, try filling out’s price calculator. If your mailpiece is eligible, you will find it under the results for Priority Mail Express; pay close attention to whether it says next-day or not. In some cases, two-day shipping may be an option if next-day is unavailable.

However, if you absolutely need your package to arrive overnight, consider using a different shipping company that can better guarantee those results.

What is the cut-off time for overnight delivery with USPS?

According to my research, these days there is no set cut-off time for overnight shipping with USPS Priority Mail Express. I tried a number of combinations in the price calculator and found that, when shipping between two locations about 100 miles apart, there was no cut-off time. The only limit was when the Post Office closed up shop for the day.

Now that’s not to say that you can just ship something overnight at any given moment that the Post Office is open. It’s always best to investigate and double-check ahead of time, using the postage calculator on the USPS website.

How much USPS cost for Overnight Shipping?

The cost of USPS overnight shipping depends on the size and weight of the package. If the package will fit in a flat-rate envelope, the cost is $27.10. If the package requires a box, the cost starts at $45.95. The price may increase depending on the weight and destination of the package.

For example, a one-pound package going to Zone 8 would cost $61.64 to ship overnight. It is important to note that Priority Mail Express is only available for packages weighing less than 70 pounds.

Packages over this weight limit must be sent via Priority Mail Express International. The cost of shipping internationally varies depending on the country of destination. For more information on USPS overnight shipping, please visit their website or contact a customer service representative.

Check out the Postal Prices list here for the full chart or use the price calculator.


Overall, United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a variety of shipping options to suit any need, including Priority Mail Express, their fastest shipping service.

In many cases, the Postal Service can deliver overnight, with a money-back guarantee by 6 p.m. However, customers should be aware that some distances are physically impossible for USPS to traverse in one day, and may require two-day shipping instead.

The Postal Service also offers a tracking service so that customers can always know where their package is and when it is expected to arrive. With a little planning, the USPS can help make sure that your package arrives on time, every time.

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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