Cheapest Overnight Shipping Options in Canada

If you are running an eCommerce business in Canada and have customers across the country, shipping cost is a crucial factor. 

Luckily, Canada has various global and local carriers that operate to provide affordable domestic shipping services. You can even look for the cheapest overnight shipping services available. 

According to the Future of Commerce report, 60 per cent of consumers said fast shipping offerings had a “very significant influence” on their buying decision. 

Due to the benchmark of fast shipping set by Amazon Prime and other retail giants, online shoppers now want at least next-day or overnight delivery from their retailers whenever they shop online. 

Using overnight shipping service can help you provide your customers with a memorable shipping experience and meet their ever-growing expectations.

What is Overnight Shipping?

Overnight shipping is the fastest shipping option that carriers offer with a guarantee to deliver packages to customers the next business day.

Various carriers that offer overnight shipping have a daily cutoff time after which they cannot guarantee overnight delivery. Besides, depending on the carriers and their shipping services, orders placed during the weekend may need two days to reach the recipients.

Shipping carriers in Canada that offer overnight shipping have widespread transportation networks that enable them to offer fast shipping with a quick turnaround time. 

The transportation network allows retailers to drop off their packages for early morning delivery. These services are often limited to specific locations, for example, remote areas. 

How Does Overnight Shipping Work?

Through overnight shipping, a retailer can drop off a package one day and get it delivered to the recipient the next business day (or sooner). This type of shipping needs to fulfill several logistical requirements before completing the process successfully. 

First, when sending a package, it should meet the conditions of overnight shipping. It means the package should carry proper sealing, be within the weight limits, and reach the carrier before the cutoff time.

Regardless of how many shipping carriers you are considering, they all have a specific time of day after which they won’t log a package for that business day. They will assign it to the next day’s shipments, and the delivery time will be extended by one day.  

Besides, the shipping company you choose needs to have enough space in their cargo. Shipping carriers transport overnight packages from shipping facilities to airplanes, airports to distribution centres, and eventually to the customer. 

The shipping company should have a network of transportation that will fit the routing between the point of origin and the destination. Shipping companies usually have a vast distribution network that helps send overnighted packages efficiently. 

Overnight shipping is ideal for domestic destinations within Canada because packages can’t make it to international locations by the next morning. 

Before finalizing the shipping carrier and hiring their service, check if the shipping company can deliver the package to your customer’s location. Or else, you need to find another shipping company that offers overnight shipping. 

Why is Overnight Shipping Ideal for your eCommerce Business?

Overnight shipping is ideal for your online retail business and can do better than other types of shipping because it can make your online store more competitive with faster shipping. 

Once you start offering overnight shipping, you will create better delivery experiences for your customers.

Online shoppers prefer and appreciate fast deliveries. Various studies have already proven that one of the reasons customers abandon their shopping carts is because a retailer doesn’t offer any express shipping. 

Factors that Affect Overnight Shipping Costs

Overnight shipping costs may vary due to various factors, including the following:

1. Parcel Weight

Shipping heavier parcels costs more than lighter ones. If the weight of a package is higher than the dimensional or DIM weight, the shipper will use it to calculate shipping costs. Larger and heavier packages will cost more to ship.

2. Package Dimensions (DIM Weight)

All major shipping companies use a standard model to calculate shipping prices called dimensional weight or DIM weight. This pricing model considers the dimensions of a package to figure out the shipping cost.

The formula of DIM weight = Length x Width x Height ÷ DIM Divisor 

For example, if the Length is 30,” Width is 12,” and the Height is 12.” The DIM divisor is 139.

The calculation will look like 30 x 12 x 12 ÷ 139.

Shipping companies’ base shipping rates whichever is greater: the actual package weight or its DIM weight. It will be the billable weight for your overnight shipping cost.

3. Shipping Zone

Through shipping zones, a carrier measures the distance between a parcel’s point of origin and its destination.

A shipping company calculates the shipping cost of a package based on the distance. It means two different points of origin with the same destination may have completely different zones and varying shipping costs.

For overnight delivery and other express shipping options, the costs increase between zones and vary drastically due to long distances.

4. Your Contract with a Shipping Carrier

You can get discounted shipping rates based on your agreement with a carrier. Some shipping companies offer special discounts for small businesses, while other discount rates depend on bulk shipping. When selecting a shipping service provider, check the available discount rates.

What are the Cheapest Overnight Shipping Options?

Whether you are running an online store of clothing items or personal gifts, shipping costs will always be a major factor. 

Canada has the advantage of having several prominent carriers that provide extensive shipping services all over the country. You can ship your packages using Canada Post, FedEx, UPS, and others.

These days, it is easier to compare the shipping prices of all these companies which allows you to decide on the most affordable way to ship your packages within Canada.

You can send overnight packages through any one of the above-mentioned carriers. Let’s have a look at these shipping companies and find out the cost of shipping an item in a small 6 in x 6 in x 6 package weighing 2 lbs from Toronto to Montreal.

  1. Canada Post Overnight Shipping

If you ship a 6x6x6 parcel weighing 2 lbs with Canada Post’s Priority service, the shipping cost would be around $40 without insurance.

Toronto to Montreal (2 lbs)

Canada Post Regular – $18.35

Canada Post Priority – $40.48

Canada Post offers one of the cheapest overnight shipping services in Canada. However, considering the long distances between the cities and towns in the country, Canada Post does not give any guarantee of delivering a package overnight for long distances.

  1. FedEx Overnight Shipping

If you ship a package of the same size through FedEx Priority Overnight shipping over the same distance, it would cost nearly $47.69 without insurance. The other two overnight shipping services of FedEx are below:

FedEx Standard Overnight: When sending a package to reach by the next business day, the end of the day is soon enough. FedEx Standard Overnight provides that flexibility. 

This FedEx overnight shipping delivers a package the next business day by 8 p.m. to residential addresses and 5 p.m. to businesses across Canada.

Toronto to Montreal (2 lbs)

FedEx Standard Overnight – $70.90

FedEx First Overnight: It is a door-to-door shipping service available to most metropolitan areas in Canada and reaches the destination by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.

Toronto to Montreal (2 lbs)

FedEx First Overnight – $70.48

  1. UPS Overnight Shipping

To ship a package of the same size and weight through UPS’s Express Early would cost around $69.16 without insurance.

Toronto to Montreal (2 lbs)

UPS Standard – $30.48

UPS Express – $70.91

After all the comparisons, it looks like Canada Post offers the cheapest overnight shipping In Canada. However, as mentioned earlier, because of the long distances between the locations in Canada, Canada Post does not guarantee to deliver a package overnight.

Overnight shipping within ShippingChimp

If you partner with ShippingChimp, the best shipping carrier for Canadian eCommerce businesses, you will have more flexible shipping options and get up to 53% discount on shipping rates. 

Distance is a decisive factor in overnight shipping costs, and ShippingChimp has fulfilment centres in all the major cities in Canada. 

This way, your business can keep the inventory closer to your customers. It will reduce the number of shipping zones every order goes through and help you save shipping costs on overnight shipping options.

Hiring the services of a reputable carrier that offers overnight shipping can get the packages faster to your customers.

Closing Words

If you plan to offer overnight shipping options to your retail customers in Canada, your order packaging should be on time. It will enable you to ship the packages before the cutoff time of the shipping carrier.

Another factor you need to consider is identifying the cheapest overnight shipping service provider. Although overnight shipping is relatively expensive, you will likely get cheaper and more competitive pricing offers with ShippingChimp. 


  1. How do return policies and processes work with overnight shipping?

Return policies, like shipping policies, are dependent on the shipping carrier you are choosing. In overnight shipping, eCommerce businesses provide a return label and specify if the item has to be returned overnight. 

  1. What are the potential delays or exceptions to overnight shipping guarantees?

Potential delays or exceptions include – 

  • Weather – Extreme weather conditions affect overnight shipping. 
  • Technical problems – Worker strikes, issues with the system and vehicle breakdowns are a few of the many technical issues that affect overnight shipping. 
  • Peak season – During peak seasons like BFCM, it may take longer for overnight shipping. 
  • Cutoff limit – Orders placed after the carrier’s daily cutoff time will be processed the next day, extending delivery time.
  • Remote areas – Mostly, shippers don’t do overnight shipping to remote places. 
  • Custom regulations – Cross-border issues can cause delays. 
  1. How do shipping insurance options and costs vary among carriers for overnight shipping?

Most carriers have basic insurance up to $100. Here are three major Canadian national carriers and their insurance:

Canada Post –  Basic insurance up to a certain amount, such as $100, with additional coverage available for purchase.

FedEx – Shippers can declare a value of up to $50,000 per package. Costs depend on the value declared, and the first $100 might be included.

UPS – Similar to FedEx, UPS offers declared value coverage with costs based on the value of the shipment. Coverage typically includes the first $100, with additional coverage available at a set rate.

  1. What are the packaging requirements or guidelines for overnight shipping?

Same as normal shipping – sturdy boxes, labels, proper dunnage, size and weight limits and ceiling. 

  1. What are the best practices for integrating overnight shipping options into an eCommerce platform?

There are many options to integrate overnight shipping in your eCommerce platform:

  • In the checkout process – Let your customers know the overnight options you offer when they are on the checkout page. 
  • Carrier integration – Use APIs provided by your shipping carrier to display real-time shipping options. 
  • Shipping platform – An integrated platform helps in carrier management.
Revathi Karthik
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