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Understanding expedited shipping: Meaning, benefits, and costs

Expedited shipping is a premium service offering faster product delivery compared to standard options. Learn more about its advantages, disadvantages, and costs.
expedited shipping
In the world of online shopping, customers are increasingly prioritizing swift product deliveries and are often willing to pay more for it. For businesses that do not want to lose customers to prolonged delivery times, finding quick and efficient shipping methods is crucial. In recent years, expedited shipping has emerged as an efficient solution to this demand. In this blog post, we'll break down what expedited shipping is, its advantages and disadvantages for e-commerce exporters, and the costs involved.

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping is a premium service offered by transportation and delivery services, offering faster shipping speeds compared to standard options. Although delivery times vary based on the location and carrier, same-day, overnight, or two-day deliveries are some popular expedited shipping options in e-commerce. To meet the demand for faster shipping, expedited deliveries employ priority processing and shorter transit times. This increases shipping costs, and customers are usually charged an additional delivery fee for expedited shipping.1

Key differences between standard and expedited shipping

The key differences between standard and expedited shipping are as follows:

Speed of delivery:

Although shipping speeds vary based on various factors, expedited shipping usually takes three to four days, while standard shipping can take up to 10 business days.

Costs:

When it comes to pricing, standard shipping is the more cost-effective option. Expedited shipping may cost up to $10-20 more than standard flat-rate shipping fees.

Cutoff times:

Expedited shipping usually comes with business day cutoffs. This means that a package needs to be picked up or dropped off before the logistics company’s cutoff time to prevent delays in the shipping process. This gives logistics companies enough time to sort and load goods so they can be shipped as quickly as possible.2

Advantages of expedited shipping

In a world where consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce for their everyday needs, expedited shipping offers the following advantages:

Guaranteed speed:

The primary advantage of expedited shipping is its speed and assurance of timely delivery. When your products reach customers on time, it fosters customer satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and repeat purchases.

Reduced risk of damage:

Expedited shipments make fewer or no stops along the delivery route. This minimizes the number of handling steps and significantly lowers the risk of your packages getting damaged in transit. This makes expedited shipping an excellent choice for businesses selling high-value or fragile items.

Reduced storage requirements:

Businesses operating with limited storage space can benefit from expedited shipping as items are dispatched soon after an order is placed. This can be particularly useful for businesses dealing with high-value and bulky products.3

Disadvantages of expedited shipping

Despite its many benefits, expedited shipping also has a few disadvantages:

High costs:

The major drawback of expedited shipping is its associated cost. Expedited shipping might impact your profit margins and pose financial challenges, unless you charge an additional fee to your buyers.

Limited availability:

Expedited shipping is not universally offered by all shipping companies. If you use a less well-known logistics company or live in a remote area, it may be difficult for you to offer expedited shipping to your customers.4

How much does expedited shipping cost?

The cost of expedited shipping varies based on the following factors:

Choice of service provider:

Each shipping service has its own price structure, so prices will vary from carrier to carrier.

Destination:

The destination is a crucial factor in determining expedited shipping costs. Longer distances and remote locations typically result in higher costs.

Package weight:

Lightweight packages are typically less expensive to ship than bulky or heavyweight items.

Additional services:

Extra services like special handling or insurance can add to the overall cost of shipping.

How to reduce expedited shipping costs?

The following are some ways you can make expedited shipping for affordable for your business:

Set a minimum spend threshold:

Consider implementing a minimum spend requirement, especially if you plan to offer free expedited delivery. To make this effective, the amount a customer must spend to qualify for expedited shipping should exceed the average order value (AOV). Establishing a minimum spend for free expedited shipping can also improve the AOV of your sales.

Ship from multiple fulfillment centers:

To reduce expedited shipping costs, consider distributing your inventory across multiple fulfillment centers. The closer a fulfillment center is to your customer, the quicker and more affordable shipping will be. This strategic distribution will allow you to efficiently reach a broader customer base with expedited ground shipping, which is more cost-effective than expedited air shipments.5

Fueled by growing customer demands for swift delivery, expedited shipping has emerged as a highly sought-after option in the world of e-commerce. As expectations for faster shipping times continue to rise, e-commerce exporters must find ways to meet customer demands while maintaining profitability. Exporters in search of a seamless shipping solution can explore the services offered by e-commerce export programs like Amazon Global Selling.

Ship from India to Singapore with Amazon Global Selling

With Amazon global logistics, Indian exporters can send their shipments across the world via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). To assist global sellers and exporters deliver international orders in a hassle-free and seamless way, Amazon takes care of everything from packing, shipping to delivery and customer service through the FBA program. With FBA, sellers can focus on their business expansion in terms of product quality, launches, marketing and more, while Amazon handles international shipping for them.

To export from India, register with Amazon Global Selling in just 15 minutes by sharing a few KYC documents (identity proof, address proof and credit card). With millions of customers globally, you can leverage Amazon’s global scale across 18 global marketplaces. To support you for hassle-free logistics, Amazon has also launched SEND, enabling FBA sellers to ship directly to international fulfillment centers at competitive prices. All you have to do is book, pay and track shipments without any hassles from India to the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of expedited shipping?
Expedited shipping encompasses any method that delivers products to customers at faster speeds than standard shipping options. Services like same-day delivery, overnight shipping, or 2-day delivery, are all forms of expedited shipping.
How long does expedited shipping take?
Expedited shipping timelines vary based on the destination and carrier, but most companies fulfil expedited deliveries within two to four business days.6
Is expedited shipping better?
Expedited shipping offers speed and reliability but comes at a higher cost. E-commerce businesses can consider offering expedited shipping services at an additional charge to retain customers who might otherwise reconsider a purchase due to extended delivery timelines.
Published on March 30, 2024.

Sources:
1. https://dclcorp.com/blog/shipping/expedited-shipping-101/
2. https://www.bluecart.com/blog/expedited-shipping-meaning
3. https://www.shopify.com/blog/what-is-expedited-shipping
4. https://www.shopify.com/blog/what-is-expedited-shipping
5. https://www.shipbob.com/blog/expedited-shipping/#h-how-much-does-expedited-shipping-cost
6. https://www.bluecart.com/blog/expedited-shipping-meaning

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