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Express shipping: you should pay attention to this

Customers want reliable delivery of orders. Every now and then, normal shipping is not enough. Then speed is required. In such a situation the Express delivery is a sensible alternative. However, this entails additional costs and not every service provider offers the same service. So what should you pay attention to and which parcel services offer which express shipping?

What does express delivery mean?

In transport, the term express means that a delivery of goods delivered particularly quickly shall be. This implies a shipment that allows the goods to arrive at the customer much earlier than with normal delivery. Express shipping is typical for deliveries,

  • guaranteed to arrive on the same day (if dispatched early enough),
  • guaranteed to arrive the next day,
  • that are guaranteed to arrive the next day and also by a certain time,
  • which the service provider delivers particularly quickly to an addressee in another country (for example by means of fast means of transport, individual delivery or preferential treatment).

The time factor is essential. Express shipping is always faster. Depending on the start of shipping or handover to the service provider, it is even possible that delivery within Germany is possible on the same day. However, it depends on the individual constellation and the service provider. Depending on the type of express delivery, it can be overnight express, same-day deliveries or just particularly fast deliveries. The exact Names vary depending on the parcel service provider.

However, the preferential treatment of delivery by parcel service providers and other transport companies is costly. Depending on weight, package size, sum insured and destination there can be significant additional costswhich lead to a multiple of the standard price.

Advantages and disadvantages of express delivery

Delivering goods too quickly is associated with considerable effort. Nevertheless, the customer is happy about the speedy transport. This is especially true when it comes to time-critical deliveries. The main advantages and disadvantages of express delivery are the following points in detail.


  • punctual and short-term delivery,
  • (significantly) faster delivery of the goods than with standard shipping,
  • Deliveries on the same day possible,
  • time-critical orders possible,
  • no restriction to local retail.


  • considerable additional costs,
  • Goods must be handed over by a certain time,
  • delays are possible in the event of traffic problems.

Which parcel companies offer express shipping?

In principle, almost all known parcel services offer express deliveries. However, the specific services sometimes differ significantly. As of May 2019, the following offers can be found at logisticians.

Express with DHL

DHL offers different variants of particularly fast delivery. The following applies: The faster the goods should arrive at the customer, the more expensive the delivery will be. A distinction must be made between:

  • Next day delivery guaranteed,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and before 9 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and before 10 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and before 12 noon.

The Base price is based on weight of the parcel or pact. Then there are the Express surcharges. Additional services include guaranteed delivery on Saturday, transport insurance up to 2,500 or 25,000 euros and delivery with a personal receipt from the recipient or a representative.

Urgent international shipping is possible with DHL Express Worldwide. The exact details depend on the destination country. The Express Envelope service is recommended for documents. With Economy Select it is possible to realize a quick and cheaper delivery to other countries via the road network.

Express with UPS

UPS also offers various options that are available for particularly urgent deliveries:

  • Same day delivery,
  • Next day delivery guaranteed,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 9:00 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 10:30 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 12:00 noon.

In addition, UPS offers various services from Saturday delivery to pick-up service. The usual service offers can usually also be combined with express packages.

The express services from UPS also include shipping to other countries. Depending on the destination country, delivery times of one to two days or one to three days can be used. Inexpensive variants take up to five days. Customs services are optionally included.

Express at DPD

DPD advertises that parcels can be delivered to most European countries within a day. The company also offers delivery within 90 minutes with the courier service in some cities. The following express services are available:

- Delivery within 90 minutes in selected cities,

- next day delivery guaranteed,

- Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 8:30 a.m.,

- Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 10:00 a.m.,

- Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 12:00 noon.

- Delivery guaranteed the next day to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as well as Monaco.

Various additional services are possible depending on the destination country. In Germany, DPD also delivers express deliveries on Saturdays until 12 noon. Express delivery takes one to five days to countries other than those listed. The duration depends on the destination country and the tariff selected.

Express at GLS

The enterprise GLS differentiates between three levels according to destination countries: Domestic, Europe and World. The following express offers apply to Germany:

  • Delivery between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the same day within Germany,
  • Next day delivery guaranteed,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 8:00 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 10:00 a.m.,
  • Delivery guaranteed the next day and by 12:00 noon.

All offers can be combined with additional services and also apply to Saturdays. For international shipping, the earliest delivery is only possible at 9:00 a.m. However, the duration for these pacts depends on the destination country. GLS specifies a day for most countries in Europe. Parcels to other countries take "a few days". As a service for international shipping, GLS offers, among other things, an electronic export declaration.

Express at FedEx

For FedEx, express delivery is part of the company name. The "Ex" in it stands for fast delivery. However, the company only offers next working day delivery. The following express services are possible within Germany, although an appointment delivery may also be possible depending on the destination:

  • within Germany guaranteed the next day,
  • within Germany guaranteed by noon the next day (if necessary staggered according to time).

With FedEx Europe first the following urgent deliveries are possible:

  • within most of Europe in important cities the next day by 9:00 a.m.,
  • within most of Europe in important cities the next day by 9:30 a.m.,
  • within most of Europe in major cities the next day by 10:00 a.m.

With FedEx International Priority the following fast delivery options are available:

  • within most of Europe on the next day,
  • within most of Europe the next day by noon.

Further international express deliveries are possible with International First and International Priority in other European countries and destinations in other continents. A duration of one to two days is usual.

The advantages of FedEx are deliverable packages with a very large maximum weight and the delivery of unusual goods such as dangerous goods and batteries.

Express at Hermes

The typical delivery time for delivery within Germany is one to two days at Hermes. However, the company offers currently no regular express service at. Individual dealers can arrange delivery times as required.

Alternatives: forwarding agents and transport companies

If parcel services reject the goods because of the content or weight or do not offer attractive express services, are Alternatives asked. Depending on the goods and destination, shipping companies can then make urgent delivery possible at short notice. Such providers are primarily suitable for extensive deliveries of goods. Local or regional transport companies are also a good choice to pick up goods at short notice and have them delivered to an addressee.

Express deliveries as a package: well packaged and sent quickly

If you want things to happen quickly, you don't just need a competent express provider. Much more the goods must also be well packaged. Because most parcel services specify a maximum weight or a maximum girth. If a package is above these values, there is a surcharge or it will be rejected. You should therefore use optimized cardboard boxes for all parcel services and pack the goods in a weight-optimized manner. With our special cardboard boxes, which we produce especially according to the shipping specifications of individual companies such as DHL or DPD, and with light but protective packaging material, you lay the foundation for your To be able to send parcels by express.

You can find extensive offers in our shop. We would be happy to advise you if you need special dimensions or large quantities.