A cargo ship

With respect to shipping, your customers want (and deserve) two things: reliability and speed. Expedited shipping fulfills both of these customer expectations. 

Expedited shipping is a means to get your orders to their destinations more quickly than regular shipping. An expedited delivery saves time by going directly from the pickup point to the delivery address. The two major differences between expedited shipping and standard shipping are cost and time.

Cost – Standard vs Expedited Shipping

Regular delivery is generally the most cost-effective way to deliver your products to customers. Many shipments can be loaded onto one delivery vehicle for standard ground delivery. The vehicle might stop in several metropolitan areas to drop off packages at local pickup centers, thus reducing fuel costs.

Expedited shipping costs more because more direct shipping methods are involved. If you offer expedited shipping, your customers will want to know what they must pay to get their packages delivered faster. However, it’s difficult to say precisely how much expedited shipping costs because many things affect the price: the weight of the package, where it needs to go, and the carrier used.

Speed – Standard vs Expedited Shipping

Traditional shipping methods tend to have slower transit speeds. For example, standard shipping within the U.S. generally takes an average of three to seven days. This is the result of slower transportation methods and more stops. Standard shipping often involves visiting several shipment centers where packages are unloaded, processed, organized, and reloaded onto different transportation.

Expedited shipping involves a faster transit speed so that packages arrive more quickly at their destinations. Depending on the origin location and final destination of a delivery, expedited shipping within the U.S. usually takes two to three days. These improved speeds are because of faster transportation methods and fewer stops while in transit. 

Why You Should Offer Expedited Shipping to Your Customers

When you offer expedited shipping, you provide your customers with a level of customer service that will make you stand out from your competitors. Here are three major reasons to offer expedited shipping.

1. Delivery of Perishable Goods

If your business involves perishable or time-sensitive goods, expedited shipping allows your customers’ orders to arrive at their final destinations in good condition. Some perishable goods—frozen foods, vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, dairy products—may expire in transit if you rely on traditional shipping methods.

Other items that may be needed in a timely fashion include important documents, items for a quickly approaching event, replacement parts for machinery, and medical supplies.

2. Reduction of Touch Points

Touch points refer to when people touch or move your packages. The more touch points, the more the chances of damage during transport. With expedited shipping, a package will travel to fewer places on its way to its destination, which reduces the number of possible touch points. 

Fewer touch points also protects valuable merchandise. When your freight travels slowly and makes multiple stops, the risk of theft increases. Expedited shipping involving fewer or no stops reduces the chances of stolen packages

3. Better Tracking Performance

An expedited shipping service allows your customers to track their shipments. This includes tracking the current location of a package in transit in real time, information on arrival and departure from shipment centers, and approximate delivery time. Your customers may like having the ability to track their shipments so they can plan to be on hand for their deliveries. 

How to Offer Expedited Shipping to Your Customers

Expedited shipping can increase customer satisfaction by decreasing the time packages take to reach their destinations. Customers are able to see what’s happening to their packages at every step. Here are three ways to make expedited shipping work for your business.

1. Institute a Minimum Spending Threshold

You could offer free expedited shipping as a marketing tool and decide on a minimum spending threshold to help manage the cost. For instance, offer free expedited shipping for customers with orders that total more than that of your average customer.

2. Outsource Fulfillment to a Third Party

Expedited shipping orders can involve a lot of work, especially for small businesses. A third-party logistics (3PL) provider can streamline the delivery process and ship products to your customers more quickly.

3. Ship Products From Several Fulfillment Centers

Using several strategically located fulfillment centers can cut shipping costs and reduce shipping times. Spreading your products out around the country makes it easier for customers to receive them more efficiently and affordably.

A major reason for abandoned shopping carts is when people see the unexpected cost of shipping at checkout. 

Expedited Shipping: The Bottom Line

Basically, expedited shipping gets your package to its destination faster than the standard delivery time. Customers like it because they want to receive their items as soon as possible. If you can offer this service, you’ll have happier customers and more sales.

That’s where AmeriShip comes in. We offer same-day delivery and next-day delivery for businesses of all sizes in cities throughout the U.S. We are dedicated to providing the very best in customer service. Talk to an AmeriShip representative to learn how we can help get your packages delivered quickly and securely!