How Long Does Overnight Shipping Take UPS? (Is It Really Overnight?)

One of the latest and greatest developments in the modern shipping industry is the ability to ship a package over nearly any distance overnight.

But how long does overnight shipping really take, and is it actually overnight? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I discovered on this topic!

How Long Does Overnight Shipping Take with UPS In [currentyear]?

Overnight shipping is the fastest shipping service offered by  UPS in [currentyear]. With overnight shipping, a package will be delivered on the next business day, which typically means the package truly is shipped overnight. However, the package might not be delivered for a couple of days if it was sent on the weekend or during a holiday.

If you need to send an urgent, overnight package with UPS, or just want to better understand how overnight shipping really works, be sure to keep reading to learn more!

How Fast Is UPS Overnight Shipping?

Overnight shipping with UPS is one of the fastest services on the market and guarantees that your package will be delivered on the next business day after it’s picked up.

This means that for most packages shipped with UPS overnight services, deliveries are made within 24 hours of the time the package is shipped.

However, it’s important to note that UPS guarantees delivery for overnight packages on the next business day, not necessarily the next chronological day.

Since deliveries are only guaranteed on the next business day, packages that are overnighted on Fridays or Saturdays will be delivered on Monday, as that is the next business day.

Packages that are overnighted on Fridays are eligible for Saturday delivery, however, this option costs extra, typically around $16 per package.

Therefore, if you’re not interested in paying the fee for a Saturday delivery, you can expect to have your package delivered on Monday.

While overnight shipping is one of the fastest services offered by UPS, if you have an urgent package that needs to be delivered quickly, you may want to consider UPS Express Critical.

UPS Express Critical is a truly fast service, typically specializing in same-day delivery- if you’re interested, you can call 1-800-714-8779 to inquire about the service.

Is UPS Overnight Shipping Really Overnight?

Is UPS Overnight Shipping Really Overnight?

The term “overnight shipping” tends to conjure images of a frantic courier coming to pick up the package, speeding to the airport, and putting the package on a red-eye flight to its destination.

While the truth isn’t quite so dramatic, UPS overnight shipping truly does happen overnight in most cases.

As mentioned previously, UPS overnight services only guarantee delivery on the next business day.

You can, of course, purchase Saturday delivery for an overnight package picked up on a Friday, but this does come at an extra charge of around $16.

For all other packages, however, UPS overnight shipping truly does happen overnight.

If you’d like to learn more about UPS’ overnight shipping options and how they work, be sure to check out this pdf UPS created explaining overnight services!

How Much Does UPS Overnight Shipping Cost?

UPS determines the cost of shipping by looking at three main factors:

  • The dimensional weight of a given package
  • The distance the package needs to travel
  • The speed with which it needs to be delivered

As overnight shipping means the package needs to be delivered particularly quickly, you can imagine that these services tend to cost more- but how much more?

To find this out, we first need to begin filling in some blanks about our hypothetical package.

Let’s say that we’re planning on shipping a 5 lb package from Austin, Texas to Los Angeles, California, and we need to overnight the package.

Knowing we have our weight and distance variables filled in, we can start to consider the different overnight services UPS offers.

There are three overnight UPS services you can choose from:

  • UPS Next Day Early Air, which guarantees delivery at around 8 am to most anywhere in the United States
  • UPS Next Day Air, which guarantees delivery by 10:30 am to most anywhere in the United States
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver, which guarantees delivery by 4:30 pm to commercial addresses and by the end of the day to residential addresses

To ship the package with the parameters we’ve discussed with UPS Next Day Early Air, you can expect to pay just over $150 in shipping costs.

For the same package to be shipped with UPS Next Day Air, you’d pay around $116.

Finally, if you were to opt for UPS Next Day Air Saver, you could expect to pay $113 for shipping.

As you can see, overnight shipping is definitely not cheap, and then if you need to add in Saturday delivery, things get even more expensive.

It’s also important to keep in mind that these shipping costs are estimates, not set prices.

If you want to see prices that better reflect what you might pay for your next urgent package, be sure you visit the UPS website and use the price calculator.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not UPS delivers at night, if UPS delivers to your door, and if UPS delivers on Sundays.


UPS overnight shipping is a true overnight service for packages that are shipped from Sunday to Thursday. However, UPS overnight services only guarantee delivery for the next business day.

Therefore, packages shipped on Friday or Saturday commonly won’t be delivered until Monday, unless you pay an out-of-pocket fee of about $16 for Saturday delivery.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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