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USPS, FedEx, and UPS Delivery Times: Explained

Expectations in 2023 are that the supply chain will return to normal or at least settle into a new normal. Businesses are looking to reconfigure their fulfillment plans to find the perfect balance of efficiency, speed, and cost.  

An integral part of this reconfiguration is understanding the delivery times of the major carriers and using customer preferences to determine which carriers to go with. Of course, delivery times are influenced the most by the distances the parcel needs to travel and the service used. In this post, we’ll overview the delivery times for USPS, FedEx, and UPS for their most popular services.

Determine Your Customers Delivery Expectations

Delivery expectations vary widely based on the company and product. It’s important to offer multiple shipping options at checkout, but in order to decide what options to offer, you need to at least have an idea of what your customers are expecting in terms of delivery timeline and experience.

One of the easiest ways to get a general idea of what shipping options you should offer is to look at your competitors to determine what they offer. Keep in mind that while your customers likely don’t care whether you’re shipping UPS, FedEx, USPS, or someone else, there may be a reason your competitors are using one carrier over another, so if shipping options at checkout for a competitor include the name of the carrier, it may be worth looking into.  

Another way to determine customer preferences is to ask your customers what they prefer. Surveys are generally the tool of choice for this option and can be included on your website after checkout and in a confirmation email after a purchase is made. The number one data point to gather in this method is preference for delivery speed.

Once you’ve gathered this data, you’re ready to analyze your current shipping strategy and potentially make changes. The factors to balance include cost per shipment, carrier performance, customer preferences, and more. It can be helpful to consider one factor at a time, so we’ve laid out delivery times for the major three U.S. carriers below: UPS, FedEx, and the USPS.

USPS Delivery Times

The U.S. Postal Service has been around for a long time. They will deliver to every U.S. address no matter how remote. Additionally, USPS has undergone drastic changes in the last several years, to keep up with commercial competitors and cut costs. These changes have included rate reductions in some flat-rate costs and the industry's lowest GRI for 2023.  

What Time Does Mail Get Delivered By USPS?

USPS typically delivers mail between 8am and 5 pm local time. Hours will be extended to 6:30 during peak season or high-volume times.  

How Long Does USPS Take To Deliver?

USPS delivery times, like all carriers, vary by zone and service type. Below are delivery times for domestic shipments:  

How late does mail get delivered by USPS?

If a USPS shipment has a status of ‘end-of-day' the parcel should typically arrive before 5pm.

When are USPS shipment considered late?

USPS mail is considered late if it reaches seven days past its expected delivery date.  

What holidays does USPS not deliver?  

The USPS observes several holidays throughout the year. Mail doesn’t delivery on the below dates:  

  • Every Sunday in some locations
  • Christmas Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • New Year Day
  • Memorial Day  
  • Veteran’s Day
  • President’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Labor Day
  • Independence Day
  • Columbus Day

FedEx Delivery Times

FedEx is one of the biggest shipping carriers and is one of the ‘big two’. FedEx is known for its reliable and efficient delivery services. With a vast network of shipping, transportation, and distribution facilities. FedEx provides a range of services to meet the needs of businesses and individuals across the world.

What time does FedEx deliver?

For residential delivery services, FedEx delivers between 8am and 8pm local time. Some services, like FedEx Express, have extended delivery times.  

How late does FedEx deliver?

For most deliveries, FedEx provides a four-hour estimated window for delivery and a shipment will likely arrive within the given window. FedEx Ground typically delivers before 5pm and for FedEx Home Delivery can be extended until 8pm.  

How long does FedEx take to deliver?

Just like USPS, FedEx delivery times vary based on service type. Below is the general delivery times for domestic services:  

When are FedEx shipments considered late?

Technically, any delivery that has not arrived within the delivery window is considered late or delayed. Although shippers are required to wait until 21 calendar days have passed before their package will be considered ‘lost’. Once a package is considered lost, a shipper can file a claim to receive a refund.

Does FedEx deliver on holidays?

Unlike USPS, FedEx operates on some holidays. Below is a chart breaking FedEx’s holiday services:

Does FedEx deliver on the weekends?  

FedEx offers weekend delivery on most service types. However, some services do incur extra charges for Saturday or Sunday deliveries. Be sure to check FedEx’s website for full details.  

UPS Delivery Times

The other of the ‘big two’ is UPS. The United Parcel Service provides convenient and reliable solutions for moving goods around the world along with online tracking and delivery alerts, and a range of flexible delivery options, including same-day and weekend delivery.  

What time does UPS deliver?

For residential deliveries, UPS deliveries are between 9 am and 7 pm local time. For commercial deliveries, UPS will deliver before the close of business. Like the other carriers, delivery times may be extended during peak season.  

How late does UPS deliver?

For UPS, 7pm is the typical cutoff time for residential deliveries.


How long does UPS take to deliver?

UPS is no exception; delivery times vary based on service type. Below is a chart of the most common UPS services and their respective delivery times:

When are UPS shipments considered late?

Like FedEx, any delivery that does not occur during the predicted shipping time is considered late or delayed. Shippers are only required to wait 24 hours before filing a refund claim and payout typically takes 10 days.  

Does UPS deliver on holidays?

Below is the holiday services schedule for UPS:

Does UPS deliver on the weekends?

UPS does deliver at the weekends. They offer residential and commercial drop-offs on Saturdays and in some cases on Sundays.  

If your company is looking to reconfigure or realign your fulfillment plan, it’s vital to understand the features of the major shippers. Here at iDrive Logistics, we have a team of experienced logistics advisors standing by to help you! Talk with one of our experts today: https://www.idrivelogistics.com/talk-with-an-expert

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