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USPS Overnight Shipping: Prices, Features, & More

by EasyPost
usps truck driving

If you're in need of a fast and reliable shipping option, USPS overnight shipping - also known as Priority Mail Express - is a great choice. This service guarantees speedy delivery, with transit times ranging from overnight to two days. USPS offers competitive rates, making overnight shipping a cost-effective option for businesses and individuals alike.

What is USPS overnight shipping?

USPS overnight shipping is a fast and convenient way to send packages. USPS refers to this service level as USPS Priority Mail Express, and it breaks down into three different service options, including next-day, 2-day, and international delivery.

With a few exceptions, you can use USPS Priority Mail Express to ship to most addresses and PO boxes within the United States 365 days a year. Depending on availability, delivery by 10:30 am, Sunday delivery, and holiday delivery may be purchased for an additional fee. Most shipments include complimentary tracking, up to $100 of insurance, and proof of delivery signature if requested.

Next-day delivery

Next-day delivery is the quickest service level offered by USPS. This service level is available to a limited number of zip code delivery areas, and items are delivered by 6:00 pm on the next day.

2-day delivery

Priority Mail Express 2-day delivery is available to nearly all zip codes across the United States. Items are delivered by 6:00 pm on the second day of transit.

Priority Mail International

Priority Mail International delivers to over 180 countries, including Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Items shipped with this service level are delivered in six to 10 business days.

What is included with USPS overnight shipping?

When you choose USPS overnight shipping with Priority Mail Express, you get access to the following features:

  • Money-back guarantee on delivery transit times
  • Sunday and holiday delivery for an additional fee
  • Free tracking and package pickup
  • Complimentary insurance up to $100 on most shipments
  • Proof of delivery signature upon request
mail carrier check package against tablet

What is the cost?

The cost of USPS overnight shipping typically varies depending on the weight and size of a package, as well as the distance it travels. Additionally, USPS does offer options for flat rate pricing when shipping with Priority Mail Express.

Below we'll break down the basics of Priority Mail Express pricing methods, but if you're looking to quickly determine how much it will cost to ship your package, check out EasyPost's shipping calculator.

Weight and zone (distance)

If you're shipping a package that weighs less than 70 lbs and is traveling domestically, you can pay for your package based on its weight and how far it's traveling - also known as the zone.

USPS offers complimentary Priority Mail Express shipping materials that come in standard sizes. If you choose to use your own box, you'll need to measure the package to ensure it meets the size standards set by USPS. In most cases, your package will meet the size standard if its combined length and girth (girth is the distance around the thickest part) is equal to or less than 108 inches. Packages that exceed the size standards may be subject to additional fees.

Flat rate

Alternatively, you can pay a predetermined amount by using flat rate shipping. These prices are consistent, no matter the weight or distance your package travels. Flat rate shipping materials are available for free at USPS locations.

USPS overnight shipping rates

Rates updated as of June 2023.

You can get these shipping rates directly from USPS, based on weight and zone. With USPS Flat Rate Boxes or Envelopes, you can transport any object up to 70 lbs to any destination for the same fee as long as it fits correctly and without bulging inside the allocated box or envelope. Flat rate options are available for USPS overnight shipping, although flat rate for Priority Mail Express only has envelope options available. You may always ship using USPS Flat Rate Boxes or Envelopes with Priority Mail if you don't mind forgoing speed for cost savings.

Domestic retail

usps priority mail express retail rate chart june 2023

How to save on overnight shipping

As one of three PC Postage providers in the world, EasyPost users can save time and money by printing USPS postage through our portal. EasyPost gives users access to USPS Commercial Pricing for free and enables them to print labels even when USPS servers are down. Printing through EasyPost's shipping API simplifies the process, so you can skip the trip to the post office and print labels with USPS and any of the 100+ additional carriers EasyPost supports.

Let's examine a few instances of how your costs for USPS overnight shipping from San Francisco to Austin can appear (zone 7). We'll compare the costs of shipping sneakers as opposed to t-shirts using USPS's direct shipping options and EasyPost's shipping rates.

Sneakers vs. T-Shirt Price Comparison

Air Jordan 3
18.6 oz
6 oz
Size Constraints
13.25” x 8.5” x 5”
USPS Retail Rate
Priority Mail Express 1-Day
Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope
N/A (Too large)
EasyPost Rate
Priority Mail Express 1-Day
Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelope
N/A (Too large)

The best shipping method for the Air Jordans is Priority Mail Express 1-Day through EasyPost, while the best shipping method for the T-shirt is the flat rate envelope through EasyPost.

USPS overnight shipping with EasyPost

EasyPost users can print Priority Mail Express labels to get overnight shipping with USPS. To get started, sign up for a free EasyPost account and select the Create Label tool. From there, accurately enter your package details, and select Priority Mail Express at checkout. Once the parcel is in transit, you can easily track it with custom-branded tracking pages and webhook notifications.


Is USPS overnight shipping the same as USPS Priority Mail?

No, USPS overnight shipping is a different service from USPS Priority Mail. While both services offer fast shipping times, Priority Mail does not guarantee the same overnight or 2-day transit times that you get with Priority Mail Express with a money-back guarantee.

What is the cutoff time for USPS overnight shipping?

The cutoff time for USPS overnight shipping is 6:00 pm. This means that your package must be postmarked by this time in order to be shipped overnight with a money-back guarantee. Anything postmarked after 6:00 pm will be shipped the following day.

Is USPS shipping reliable?

USPS has a reputation as one of the most consistently reliable shipping carriers. According to USPS, they process and deliver 167.3 million pieces of First-Class Mail each day. In January 2022, 86.6% of First-Class Mail was delivered on time. In the next ten years, USPS plans to meet or exceed 95% on-time delivery for all deliveries.

What happens if I request USPS overnight shipping and my package is not delivered on time?

The USPS offers a money-back guarantee for all Priority Mail Express shipments. This means that if you request USPS overnight shipping and your package is not delivered on time, you will receive a refund. You can apply for a refund on the USPS website or in person at a post office location.

How do I request USPS overnight shipping?

You can request USPS overnight shipping online or at your local post office. To request USPS overnight shipping online, simply enter your package information into the shipping calculator on the USPS website. Then select Priority Mail Express as your shipping option. You will be given the option to pay for shipping online or at your local post office.

If you would like to request USPS overnight shipping at your local post office, ask the clerk for a Priority Mail Express shipping label. You will be able to pay for shipping at the post office.