We live during a time when a wide variety of shipping options are readily available. No matter what you want to ship or where you want to ship it, you more than likely have several options to choose from. With so many options available, it can be difficult to remember them all and decide which one is best for you. In today’s blog post, we are going to break down the most common shipping options at USPS and local couriers so you can be confident in your future shipping decisions.

USPS Shipping Options Explained

Because nearly every town in the United States has a local post office, we will start by breaking down the different shipping services they offer. The most common options are First Class, Priority, and Next Day Air Saver. Which one should you choose? The best shipping option depends on how big your package is, how soon you would like it to arrive, and how much you would like to spend.

First-Class: 1 to 5 Business Days

According to USPS.com, First-Class shipping delivers mail in one to five businesses days, and it delivers small packages in two to five business days. When you mail a letter with a stamp, it automatically uses the First Class shipping service. If your envelope or package weighs more than 13oz, you will have to use a different shipping option. But if your package is 13oz or less, this is the best priced option.

Additional fees apply to unusually shaped or oversized items.

Priority: 1 to 3 Business Days

USPS’s Priority Mail® service offers a faster delivery option for individuals. Additionally, the prices for this service are flat rate, so you won’t pay extra to ship a heavier package—and you won’t save money on lighter packages! In order to utilize Priority shipping, you have to use designated Priority boxes or envelopes. You can pick them up for free at your local post office; you do not have to pay for the box, just the flat rate shipping.

USPS Priority Mail comes with tracking services and $50 of insurance.

Priority Mail Express: Next-Day to 2-Day Guarantee

Priority Mail Express is the most expensive USPS shipping option in this list, and for good reason. This shipping service is the fastest offered by USPS, guaranteeing delivery by 6PM the next day with a money-back guarantee. Within this Express service is also a flat rate option; if you use specific USPS shipping materials, you can pay a flat rate. Depending on your package, this may or may not be the most cost-effective option at USPS. Flat rate prices start at $26.95.

Is USPS the Best Shipping Option?

USPS offers many advantages, convenience being one of the biggest. With so many post offices in the United States, you can count on finding one if you need one, no matter where you are. Every office offers the same services and shipping options, so you know exactly what to expect. The familiarity and convenience of USPS is definitely something to consider, especially when mailing something cross-country or from out of town (if you are on vacation, for example).

It is not up to use to decide what the best shipping option is for you, but we can say that USPS is not the only shipping option available. Oftentimes, we resort to USPS because we are used to it, or because we don’t realize there are other options. If you are looking for other options outside of standard USPS shipping, consider shipping your next package via a local courier.

Shipping via Local Courier

Shipping with a local courier is just one alternative to USPS or other mainstream shipping services. Not only do local couriers provide personalized service and reliable delivery, but they can offer expert guidance to ensure you are making the best shipping decision. Additionally, they can often accommodate special requests that standard couriers like UPS can’t, such as specific drop-off or pick-up times. If you regularly need to ship packages, establishing a working relationship with a local courier can make life easier.

Using a local courier does not have to mean severing ties with USPS. Many local couriers, including Modern Express, offer services to pick up and drop off US mail. This service is especially convenient for businesses who are looking for ways to streamline processes and increasing productivity.

Modern Express Shipping Options

For local businesses and residents of Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Oakland, and surrounding Northern California areas, Modern Express offers a variety of shipping methods to suit your needs. If you are not local to Northern California, look for a local courier near you! They will most likely be able to offer similar options to the ones highlighted below.

Same-Day Delivery

  • Regular: 4-Hour Window
    Our most popular same-day delivery service guarantees pickup and delivery within four hours. Vans and trucks are also available for this service to accommodate larger shipments. No more hauling multiple loads to the post office!
  • Rush: 2-Hour Window
    This shipping option guarantees pickup and delivery within two hours. This option is perfect for busy professionals with tight deadlines. This service is available for smaller size shipments and can fit in a Prius size vehicle.
  • Exclusive: Immediate
    If you have an urgent delivery, this same-day service is the best option. With Exclusive delivery, you will get a dedicated car and driver assigned to your delivery, so it gets delivered exactly when you need. Exclusive van service is also available to accommodate larger urgent deliveries.
  • Truck Service: 4-Hour Window
    We offer regular and refrigerated truck services for larger deliveries or those that require temperature control. This is perfect for businesses with large shipments.
  • Refrigerated Delivery
    Our trucks can be set to a specific temperature so that your goods remain intact and safe during transportation. We have experience delivering temperature sensitive products such as food, beverage, and medical items.

Overnight Delivery

Need something delivered overnight? We will pick up your shipment the day before delivery, hold it overnight at our secure warehouse, then deliver it between 8am and noon the next business day. Our overnight delivery service is a cost-effective alternative to using standard courier services like USPS and UPS for deliveries within the San Francisco Bay area. If you need a custom drop-off time, our team is happy to accommodate you.

Looking for a Different Delivery Option?

If you don’t see the shipping option you’re looking for here, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will take the time to understand what you need and then share the options available to you. And again, if you don’t live in Northern California, be sure to look for a local courier near you. We think you will be pleasantly surprised with the cost-effective, reliable shipping services that they can offer you.

As you can see, the shipping world is a little more complex than many of us realize. There are a variety of shipping options at our fingertips, and it is important that you understand your options so that you can make the best shipping decision for you. Whether you need to deliver something locally within a few hours or a few days, Modern Express is here to help. Our team is reliable, professional, and easy to work with. If you have any questions about our shipping services, or if you are ready to schedule a local delivery, contact us today.