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Expedited Parcel Shipping 101: Tips for Quick and Reliable Service

Aman Chopra
October 13, 2023

Expedited parcel shipping is a great way to get your packages to their destinations quickly, but knowing where to start can be confusing (and sometimes challenging). With the ever-expanding realm of e-commerce and the increasing demand for swift delivery services, mastering expedited shipping has never been more critical.

This guide will walk you through the basics of expedited shipping, including:

  • What is expedited shipping, and how does it work?
  • How to choose the right expedited shipping service for your needs

This guide will help you with the knowledge and strategies necessary to navigate the world of expedited parcels confidently.

What is an expedited shipping service?

Expedited shipping is a type of shipping service that promises a faster delivery speed than standard shipping options. Depending on the carrier, express shipping, priority shipping, overnight delivery, and next-day delivery are all terms used to describe expedited shipping.

Usually, expedited shipping works by prioritizing your shipment throughout the shipping process. This can entail sending your product via the carrier network more rapidly or employing faster modes of transportation, like air freight.

What is the difference between expedited shipping and standard shipping?

what is expedited and standard shipping

The main distinction between expedited and standard shipping lies in the speed and duration of the delivery process.

How fast is an expedited delivery?

Expedited shipping offers a quicker alternative, with packages typically arriving in 1-3 business days. Expedited shipping is often preferred for time-sensitive deliveries or customers seeking swift delivery times.

How fast is standard shipping?

Meanwhile, Standard Shipping is the most common and economical option, typically requiring 3-7 business days for packages to reach their destinations.

It’s important to note that expedited shipments usually come at a higher cost than standard shipping. The specific expedited shipping cost varies based on factors such as the carrier selected, the package’s distance of travel, and its weight and dimensions.

Below is a table outlining the primary distinctions between expedited shipping and standard shipping:

FeatureExpedited ShippingStandard Shipping
CostMore ExpensiveLess Expensive
Delivery Time1-3 business days3-7 business days
Typical UsesUrgent deliveries, customers who need their package quicklyNon-urgent deliveries

Is Express Shipping similar to Expedited Shipping?

Yes, as mentioned, Express Shipping and Expedited Shipping share considerable similarities as faster alternatives to standard shipping. However, depending on the carrier, there are subtle differences that set them apart:

Express delivery consistently ranks as the speediest shipping choice, frequently serving urgent deliveries and those requiring overnight arrival. It’s worth noting that express shipping is typically the most expensive option.

On the other hand, most expedited shipping works at a slightly slower pace than express shipping, yet at a more budget-friendly rate. It’s frequently chosen by customers seeking fast delivery but without the urgency of an overnight arrival.

What are the carriers offering expedited shipping options?

couriers offering expedited parcel shipping

Several carriers offer expedited shipping options to meet varying delivery needs. Some of the well-known carriers that provide expedited shipping services include:

Canada Post Expedited Parcel Shipping

Canada Post is the national postal service of Canada, responsible for overseeing postal services throughout Canada. It was established in 1867 and is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. Canada Post efficiently delivers to more than 16 million Canadian addresses and handles a staggering annual volume of over 5.5 billion mail items.

Canada Post provides an expedited parcel shipping solution called the Expedited Parcel service. This ground shipping service offers a cost-effective way to deliver parcels to most Canadian destinations, including major urban centres and other remote locations, within a window of 2 to 8 business days. It is the perfect option for customers looking for a balance between budget and speed where the absolute quickest delivery is not required.

Please note that the Expedited Parcel service is exclusively available to customers with a Standing Offer Agreement or a Solutions for Small Business card. To utilize this service and send a package via Expedited Parcel, you can visit your local post office or access the Canada Post website for convenient shipment processing.

Purolator Express

Purolator is a prominent provider of comprehensive, integrated freight, package, and logistics solutions. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Post, its primary operations span Canada and the United States.

Purolator provides various expedited parcel shipping options, ensuring you can choose the one that best suits your delivery needs. These options include:

  • Purolator Express® 9AM: Guaranteed delivery by 9:00 AM the next business day.
  • Purolator Express® 10:30AM: Guaranteed delivery by 10:30 AM the next business day.
  • Purolator Express® 12PM: Guaranteed delivery by 12:00 PM the next business day.
  • Purolator Express® Evening: Guaranteed delivery between 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM the next business day.

These services are accessible for most destinations within Canada. Additionally, Purolator provides a number of other expedited shipping options, such as Saturday and same-day delivery options.

UPS Canada

UPS Canada is a subsidiary of the worldwide logistics and transportation leader United Parcel Service (UPS). It delivers extensive shipping and logistics solutions to businesses and consumers throughout Canada. It remains dedicated to furnishing its customers with dependable and cost-effective shipping and logistics services, boasting a vast network of over 600 facilities and a workforce of 10,000 employees spanning the country.

UPS provides a diverse range of expedited options to cater to your specific delivery requirements, ensuring flexibility and convenience. These options include:

  • UPS Next Day Air: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the next business day.
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the second business day.
  • UPS 3 Day Select: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the third business day.

Like Purolator Express, UPS has several other expedited options, including same-day and Saturday delivery.


DHL is a worldwide logistics corporation providing extensive services, such as express shipping, package delivery, freight forwarding, and supply chain management. Operating across more than 220 countries and territories, DHL is a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, a global postal and logistics company.

DHL offers a variety of expedited shipping options, including:

  • DHL Express Worldwide: Guaranteed delivery within 1-3 business days to most international destinations.
  • DHL Express 9AM: Guaranteed delivery by 9:00 AM the next business day to select destinations.
  • DHL Express 10:30AM: Guaranteed delivery by 10:30 AM the next business day to select destinations.
  • DHL Express 12PM: Guaranteed delivery by 12:00 PM the next business day to select destinations.
  • DHL SameDay: Door-to-door delivery on the same day for shipments placed before a certain cutoff time.


FedEx Canada is a subsidiary of the world’s largest express transportation company, FedEx Corporation. It offers numerous shipping and logistics services to Canadian businesses and consumers, including package and freight delivery and tailored logistics solutions. With a network spanning over 600 facilities and a workforce of 10,000 employees nationwide, FedEx Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering dependable, cost-effective shipping and logistics solutions to its customers.

FedEx offers a variety of expedited parcel shipping services, including:

  • FedEx First Overnight: Guaranteed delivery by 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 9:30 AM the next business day.
  • FedEx Priority Overnight: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the next business day.
  • FedEx Standard Overnight: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the second business day.
  • FedEx 2Day: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the second business day.
  • FedEx 2Day A.M.: Guaranteed delivery by 10:30 AM on the second business day.
  • FedEx Express Saver: Guaranteed delivery by the end of the third business day.


Founded in 1976, Canpar is a Canadian parcel delivery enterprise based in Brampton, Ontario. With a widespread presence comprising over 50 terminals and a dedicated workforce of 1,700 employees throughout Canada, Canpar provides an array of shipping solutions encompassing ground shipping, expedited shipping, international shipping, and specialized services.

Canpar offers two expedited shipping options:

  • Canpar Select: This service delivers packages to most destinations in Canada within 1-2 business days. It is available for packages up to 150 pounds.
  • Canpar Express: This service delivers packages to most destinations in Canada within 1 business day. It is available for packages up to 100 pounds.

Both services are available for pickup and drop-off at Canpar locations and online shipping.


Stallion is a Canadian e-commerce shipping company that serves businesses of all sizes. Founded in 2016 and has its headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario (17 locations across Canada). Stallion is committed to offering reliable and affordable shipping solutions, including domestic, cross-border, and international shipping.

Stallion is currently the cheapest e-commerce shipping option in Canada. You can purchase discounted shipping labels from some of the best carriers in Canada (including Canada Post) via Stallion.

How much does expedited shipping service cost?

How much does expedited shipping cost?

The pricing for expedited shipping services can fluctuate based on several factors, including the chosen carrier, package weight and dimensions, shipping distance, and the desired delivery date. Generally, expedited shipping tends to be more costly due to the carrier’s commitment to prioritize and expedite the delivery.

Here are some examples of expedited delivery charges from major carriers:

  • FedEx First Overnight: Starting at $26.50
  • UPS Next Day Air: Starting at $25.99
  • DHL Express: Starting at $29.99

It is important to note that these rates serve as initial prices. The actual cost will be subject to fluctuations based on the earlier factors.

Is there an expedited delivery for international shipping?

Yes, expedited international shipping is indeed available. Major carriers, including DHL, FedEx, UPS, APC, and PostNL, provide expedited shipping solutions for global deliveries. Expedited international shipping generally offers delivery within a swift timeframe, ranging from 1 to business days.

The exact duration can vary depending on the chosen carrier and the specific destination country. These expedited services cater to the needs of businesses and individuals looking to ensure timely and efficient international deliveries, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a faster alternative to standard international shipping options.

How can you ensure quick and reliable services?

Ensuring quick and reliable services is paramount in various industries, from shipping to customer support. Achieving this goal requires meticulous planning, efficient processes, skilled personnel, and the use of technology. Let’s explore strategies and best practices to help you maintain speedy, dependable services in your field.

Choose the Right Shipping Carrier

Choosing the most suitable shipping carrier is essential to guarantee prompt and dependable service. The decision impacts delivery efficiency, cost, and general customer satisfaction. Your shipments can be delivered more efficiently and reliably if a carrier handles them with a good reputation, effective logistics, and appropriate service options.

Use Expedited or Express Delivery Options

The decision to use expedited or express delivery options when you deliver your parcels hinges on your shipping needs. If your priority is swift and dependable delivery, and you’re prepared to allocate extra cost for expedited shipping, it may be advisable to explore these services as a viable solution.

Packaging Best Practices

Properly packaging items for safe shipping involves securing them in suitable containers, cushioning fragile items, and sealing packages securely. Select packaging materials like sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape that match the item’s size and weight to prevent damage during transit.

Shipping Protection

Shipment protection is crucial to secure your parcels against loss or damage during shipping. Assess the need for shipping protection by considering the item’s value, potential risk during transit, and the carrier’s liability coverage. Investing in this service offers peace of mind and a financial security net for high-value items or fragile goods.

Efficient Labeling and Addressing

Following labelling requirements guarantees that products contain accurate and unambiguous information, including recipient information and tracking numbers. To prevent issues and delays, avoid common mistakes like illegible handwriting, incomplete addresses, or covering barcodes to prevent shipping errors and delays. Accurate labelling enhances efficient parcel handling and on-time delivery guarantee.

Tracking and Monitoring Shipments

Enable real-time package tracking to monitor shipments, ensuring transparency and customer satisfaction. Utilize tracking data to proactively address potential issues, such as delays or misroutes, by promptly communicating with carriers or customers. Tracking provides visibility and helps maintain a smooth shipping process.

Dealing With Peak Seasons

Effectively manage shipping a large volume of parcels during holidays and peak seasons by planning ahead. If needed, prepare for increased volumes, engage additional staff, and coordinate with carriers for extended hours. Implementing efficient processes and having a contingency plan helps avoid delays and ensures timely deliveries during peak periods.

International Shipping Considerations

The ability to navigate customs rules and paperwork is essential for successful international shipping. Verify duty and tax obligations, submit appropriate customs paperwork, and understand import/export requirements. Compliance, adequate documentation, and proactive engagement with customs officials and carriers are essential for efficient international shipping.

Shipping Software and Tools

Explore shipping software to improve productivity and streamline operations. Shipping software offers an automated shipping system for order processing, label generation, and shipment tracking, reducing manual tasks. Automation improves accuracy, speeds up the process, and helps manage higher shipping volumes with ease, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Customer Communication and Expectations

Providing regular shipment updates via tracking notifications and projected dates is considered best practice in customer communication. Customer expectations can be managed with the use of clear information regarding potential delays brought on by unforeseen events. Keeping customers informed fosters transparency and builds trust, enhancing the overall shipping experience.

Weather-Related Shipping Challenges

Canada can experience weather-related shipping issues, particularly in winter, with snowstorms and freezing conditions affecting transportation and delivery. Thus, by keeping an eye on the forecast and creating backup plans for potential disruptions, you may be prepared for weather-related delays. Work closely with carriers to ensure safe delivery once conditions improve when shipments are hampered by bad weather, promptly inform customers about delays, and provide updated arrival estimates.

Cost-Effective Shipping Strategies

Discover strategies to reduce shipping costs while maintaining reliability by optimizing packaging, consolidating shipments, and utilizing discounted rates. Negotiating rates with carriers to secure cost-effective shipping solutions, benefiting both your bottom line and customer satisfaction without sacrificing service quality.

Build Strong Carrier Relationships

Cultivating strong relationships with carriers yields benefits like priority service and cost efficiencies. Effective communication is key, involving clear expectations, performing feedback, and collaborative problem-solving. Regularly engage with carriers to build trust and ensure a mutually beneficial partnership, resulting in smoother shipping operations and improved customer service.

Key Takeaway

“Expedited Parcel Shipping 101” underscores the importance of selecting the right shipping carrier, using proper packaging, and understanding insurance needs. It provides valuable insights into managing peak seasons, navigating international shipping, and optimizing customer communication for achieving quick, reliable, and efficient shipping services.

Explore Stallion’s Shipping Services

Stallion's shipping services

Stallion provides a comprehensive range of shipping services catering to the requirements of both businesses and individuals. Among its offerings are:

  • Domestic Shipping: Stallion covers domestic shipments, extending its services to all major Canadian cities and towns, with delivery times varying from 1 to 5 business days based on the recipient’s location.
  • Cross-Border Shipping: Stallion offers affordable US shipping solutions featuring discounted rates on US postage, ideal for businesses sending parcels to the United States.
  • International Shipping: Stallion collaborates with APC and PostNL, extending its reach to over 200 countries and territories across the globe.

If you have any questions about our services, you may contact our hotline at 877-863-7447. Our reliable customer support team will be happy to assist you.

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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