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What is Expedited Shipping?

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Expedited Shipping Moves Freight Fast

Quite simply, expedited shipping is a form of shipping that is delivered quicker than a standard option. Since shipping companies differ on what their standard turnaround time is, there’s no universally accepted time frame for expedited shipping. Expedited shipments typically range anywhere from next day delivery to three days. Although some companies offer same day delivery at a higher rate.

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Expedited Shipping Time

As companies can set their own standard shipping and expedited shipping policies, the time it takes to deliver an expedited shipment can vary. In many cases, companies will offer more than one expedited shipping service. This enables customers to choose expedited services and shipping methods that are best suited to their needs.

The fastest form of expedited shipping is same-day service. This enables shippers to dispatch a shipment and get it to the recipient on the same day. Within this, some providers will offer a turnaround time of just a few hours, depending on the delivery times you need.

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Generally, expedited shipping services are based on the number of business days it will take for the shipment to get to the recipient. When you see an expedited shipping service advertised as taking 3-5 days, for example, this typically means 3-5 working days which excludes the weekend in most cases.

As Saturdays and Sundays aren’t considered standard working days, they don’t count towards shipping times. If you dispatch an expedited shipment on a Friday morning with a 48-hour shipping service, for example, it may not arrive until the following Tuesday. This is because the next service day is Monday, rather than over the weekend.  

Of course, the fast-paced nature of the industry means that many companies are now offering weekend delivery services. When you don’t want to be delayed because of the weekend break, look for express shipping services that offer processing and/or delivery on a Saturday or Sunday. This will ensure that your goods are fast-tracked through the shipping process, without any delays.

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Expedited Shipping vs. Standard

The main difference between expedited services and standard shipping is the time it takes for goods to be transported to the recipient. To achieve faster delivery times, however, expedited freight services use a variety of methods. Standard shipping may transport freight via trucks, for example, while expedited shipments are often transported via plane through at least part of the journey. By utilizing faster forms of transport, expedited delivery services can ensure your freight arrives quickly.

Express shipping varies from standard shipping in the following ways:

  • Faster processing times
  • Priority given to express shipments
  • Faster modes of travel used
  • Higher shipping costs
  • Dispatch methods

However, there is no industry standard when it comes to the terms of expedited or standard delivery. In fact, companies are free to establish their own policies and definitions. One company’s standard shipping service may take 7-10 days, for example, while another’s could be 3-5 days. 

Benefits of Flatbed Shipping
Similarly, express delivery definitions can vary from company to company too. When you book expedited services from one company, they may offer delivery within 24 hours, while another company may offer a 48-hour express delivery service.
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Can You Track Expedited Shipping?

Just like normal shipments, expedited shipments can be accurately tracked with a variety of different technologies and tactics. In fact, it can be even more important to track expedited shipments, to make sure that they are on track to complete the shipment at the right time. 

By keeping close tabs on expedited shipments, the shipper and the freight company can know the moment a shipment is delayed on the road, forced to go off-route, or getting close to its destination. Tracking the movement of a shipment also allows the receiver to know exactly when to prepare to accept the incoming shipment. 

So how are expedited shipments tracked? Well, there are a few techniques that companies use to keep track of their carriers. The first technique is with the use of GPS technology, which allows companies to check in on where their drivers are, how fast they are going, and whether they are on track to finish the delivery on-time. Then, that information can be forwarded to the shipper, either by reporting the status or uploading the information to a web portal that the shipper can access and monitor. 

But sometimes, GPS can be unreliable. Devices might lose signal, and outside factors could interfere with the technology. That is why many freight companies also rely on a more tried-and-true method of keeping track of their drivers. Depending on the company’s policies, they would likely require their drivers to check in either every hour or every two hours. The driver would report on their location, road conditions, and anything else that would need to be mentioned. 

Types of Flatbed Trailers

Driver check-ins are a vital part of getting visibility into the trip. Not only is it an effective way of monitoring where a shipment is and how fast it is moving, but it also gives the freight company more insight into other factors that could influence the final delivery. By staying in contact with the driver, the company can ensure that everything is taken into account to get your shipment delivered safely and quickly.

So yes. Not only can expedited shipments be tracked, but they can also be precisely monitored so their exact location is known at all times. You won’t ever have to wonder where your goods are, so you don’t have to waste time and energy worrying if it will show up on time or not. 

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Is Expedited Shipping Guaranteed?

Expedited shipments don’t generally come with additional services automatically. Shipping companies simply transport expedited shipments at a faster rate, so the delivery date isn’t any more of a guarantee than it would be with regular shipping.

The example below shows the difference between expedited and guaranteed delivery:

Expedited- A shipment is delivered in 2 to 3 days, instead of 5 to 7.

Guaranteed- A shipment is delivered between 2 to 3 p.m. on a specific day.

With that said, many carriers do offer guaranteed expedited shipping services as a value-added addition to basic expedited shipping. Working with a reliable shipping company can also improve the chances of your shipment getting delivered exactly on-time. 

There are typically fewer situations in which a guaranteed shipping service is needed, and in most cases, expedited delivery by itself is a suitable option. However, if you are set on getting guaranteed expedited delivery, you can expect to pay a little more for that than non-guaranteed express shipping services.
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Again, the shipping costs associated with guaranteed expedited shipping reflect the increased speed and reliability associated with the shipping service. However, some carriers that offer guaranteed expedited delivery services also offer a money-back guarantee. This means that if your shipment doesn’t arrive at its destination within the specified time frame, you will be able to claim the cost of shipping back from the carrier. The additional financial liability that the carrier takes on with guaranteed shipments is reflected in the increased rate.
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How Much is Expedited Shipping?

The shipping costs associated with expedited delivery vary depending on a number of factors. First, shipping companies are free to set their own rates for shipping services. Expedited delivery services are more expensive than standard shipping options because it generally takes more labor to ship freight at a quicker pace. Other factors that could influence price are the distance that the shipment must travel, what is being shipped, and how large the shipment is. 

In general, expedited shipping ranges from 30-50% more than standard shipping options. This percentage can be even higher for overnight or same-day deliveries.

As you might expect, the faster the delivery, the more the service will cost. A same-day express delivery service will be much more expensive than a 3-5 day expedited shipping option. Additionally, shipping over the weekend may also cost you extra, since carriers won’t take weekend shipments unless it pays well enough to be worth their time. 

Although express shipping is more expensive when you compare it to standard shipping, the benefits associated with expedited shipping could save your business a considerable amount in the long-term.

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Expedited Freight Shipping With R+L Global Logistics

When you’re looking for secure and reliable expedited freight services, contact R+L Global Logistics? As industry leaders, we offer a wide range of priority shipping and express delivery services. From one-off deliveries to regular shipments, our comprehensive range of shipping options will ensure you can access the services you need when you need them.

With staff on hand to answer your questions and resolve your issues, we’ll handle all of your expedited shipping needs. We’re available to assist you with choosing the best shipping options and preparing your shipments, no matter what you’re shipping or where you’re shipping it to.

Our domestic and international expedited shipping fast-tracks your shipments and gives you the speed and flexibility you need. Contact R+L Global Logistics at (866) 353-7178 to get your free expedited freight shipping quote today.

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Learn More About Freight Shipping Services
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