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What is Expedited Shipping and Can I Offer It?

Originally published on December 28, 2021 by Logiwa Marketing, Updated on May 30, 2024

Shipping is one of the most critical elements to track when running a business. This is not to say that there aren’t other aspects you need to prioritize, but shipping is one of the ones you need to ensure is running well to become successful.

However, “shipping” as an umbrella term can cover a lot of different types of shipping. From freight shipping, to ground shipping, to expedited shipping, there are many kinds of shipping to know about.

For this article, we’ll be focusing on the latter: expedited shipping.

What Is Expedited Shipping?

By now, you may be wondering what expedited shipping means. As you may see from the name, expedited shipping means faster shipping.

But what does faster shipping mean? Is it faster delivery to the recipient? Faster shipping from the seller? Something else entirely?

In truth, it’s a little bit of all of it.

Expedited shipping ends up meaning that, ultimately, the customer will end up getting their product faster. However, there are two different ways that this can happen:

  1. Expedited Shipping
  2. Expedited Delivery

Although these may seem like the same things initially, they are slightly different. In most cases, if you purchase something – or if a buyer purchases something – and they pay for expedited shipping, they are ultimately expecting that they will receive their product in a faster manner than normal.

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Expedited Delivery

When a product is sold with “expedited delivery,” this means that the buyer must find a way to not only get the item packaged and boxed up but also have it arrive at the customer’s house faster than usual.

For example, if you were to offer “same day” (a form of expedited shipping) delivery for an item, that would mean that the item must arrive at the customer’s house the same day that the order is placed.

Trying to get an item to a customer on the same day they place an order can end up being very expensive. As such, unless you are charging a customer enough to cover it, don’t try to offer same-day shipping if possible.

The concept is slightly similar for “expedited delivery,” as you might be able to guess. Expedited delivery means that you must make sure that the customer gets their item faster than they would otherwise expect if they were to get standard shipping.

Expedited Shipping

When a package is shipped with “expedited shipping,” this means that the faster aspect of the whole shipping process comes down to the shipping method that is selected.

To put this in other terms, a business – or their associated WMP – will spend however much time they need to package, handle, and box up the item. However, once they finish the handling portion of the shipping situation, they should pay additional money to make sure that the item arrives at the customer’s house faster than usual.

However, when it comes to expedited shipping, they might make sure that the item leaves their warehouse or faster than standard shipping would allow, but they might decide to still send the package with standard shipping. Few businesses will do this, as it’s splitting hairs somewhat, but be aware of what loopholes you’re creating for yourself. Make sure you know the difference between expedited shipping and expedited delivery and readjust to whatever situation you find yourself in accordingly.

Perks of Expedited Shipping and Delivery

For the rest of this article, we’re going to use expedited shipping and expedited delivery interchangeably to describe the idea of “no matter the cost, get the package to the customer faster than normal.” That’s the whole point of expedited shipping – making it so that the customer has to wait for less time to receive what they’ve bought.

A famous and well-known example of this is Amazon. In recent years, Amazon has offered one-day and two-day shipping – this means that you can expect to receive a shipment within 1-2 days of placing the order.

This is very fast!

That Amazon manages to offer this extremely fast shipping to all of their members and Amazon Prime-connected individuals seems odd when you try to imagine how many people use their expedited shipping services and how much money expedited shipping costs. However, it seems to work for them (somehow), and they must be turning a profit since they are such a successful company.

However, very few – if any – companies can pull off what Amazon does. Make sure that, if you decide to use Amazon as a company to copy, you have the funds to back up how much consistent it will cost.

Most companies find the most success by offering expedited shipping as an option that the buyer pays for. Giving the buyer options to choose standard shipping or expedited shipping (for an increased price that they must pay) puts the power in their hands.

If you do it this way, that buyer won’t come to expect extremely fast shipping (like with Amazon), but they’ll know that they have the option in an emergency.

Despite its cost, avoiding expedited shipping is a bad business plan. People are constantly forgetting loved ones’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days, which means they must then find ways to get gifts fast.

If you offer expedited shipping – whether you pay for the shipping or not – you’ll be able to gain more customers and offer more versatility to your potential future customers.

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What makes expedited shipping so fast?

It is much faster than other shipping because of how it is transported across the country (or across the oceans). When you offer or select expedited shipping, you are essentially telling whatever shipping service you’re working in that you want them to get this package to its destination as fast as possible . . . no matter the cost.

If that means putting it on a plane and having a driver transport it overnight, that’s what will happen. You just have to make sure you can pay for these services!

What is the best service for expedited shipping?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a question with an easy answer. It comes in all sorts of forms and it has many different costs as well. You’ll need to do your research and weigh the pros and cons of shipping with different carriers. From there, check which of them work within your budget and for your needs, and make your decision from there.

Is expedited shipping necessary?

When it comes to business, expedited shipping isn’t a necessary thing for your business, but it is something that can help your business get a leg up. Many customers will forget important life events and need rush order products in a hurry. If this happens to you, offering expedited shipping will have a larger chance to net you a potential customer. The reason for this is that the customer will know that you can get quality products on a short schedule.

So, although it may not be necessary, it will certainly help drive traffic and bring about sales to your company.

Does expedited shipping work internationally?

This depends, of course, on whatever shipping service you’re working with, but in most cases . . . yes! There are internationals expedited shipping services. So, if you have friends or loved ones who live abroad, you can still get them something in an emergency.

Having said that, make sure to remember that expedited shipping internationally is going to cost a lot of money. Additionally, the package will still have to go through customs. No matter how expedited a package is marked, if it gets flagged at customs, it’s going to be quite a bit of time before the package is released and returned to its journey to its destination.

Just keep these factors in mind and make sure you schedule out enough shipping time (when you can) to get your products where they need to be in a timely (or even hastened!) manner.

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