FedEx 2 Day vs. UPS 2nd Day Shipping: Which is Best for You?

Deciding which carrier to use as a 3PL can be a difficult choice

  • Written by Ellie Kwon
  • Published on July 13, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Deciding which carrier to use as a 3PL can be a difficult choice. It can all seem similar at times between pricing, specialties, and reliability.

Let’s walk through the definitions, differences, and advantages of each.

What is FedEx 2 Day Shipping?

FedEx 2 Day shipping is when you ship an item with the expectation that it will arrive at its destination within two business days. That really does mean that it won’t take longer than two days to get there!

But remember, weekends and holidays don’t count as business days. FedEx is a well-known private shipping company. They offer premium services that help you send things to others, like packages and letters, as efficiently as possible.

FedEx offers an additional service, not to be confused with FedEx 2 day. It’s called FedEx 2 Day A.M. This means the package arrives before 10:30 A.M. This is an excellent option for items that must be delivered before the work day ends. This includes lab samples, urgent documents, and perishable items.

The FedEx 2 Day afternoon service delivers by 4:30 P.M. to most places and 8 P.M. to residences. This option costs less and provides a balance of speed and cost.

What is UPS 2nd Day Shipping?

UPS is another private company that helps you send things to other people. UPS 2nd Day shipping provides a competing two-day delivery service. Just like FedEx 2 Day shipping, your package or letter won’t take longer than two days to get there unless the shipping overlaps with weekends or holidays.

What Are the Differences?

If you’re looking for a reliable and speedy shipping option, consider FedEx 2 Day or UPS 2nd Day shipping. But what are the differences between these two services?

First, let’s take a look at their eCommerce support.


FedEx has joined forces with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to improve domestic shipping. In this teamwork, FedEx handles most of the shipping using their planes, but when it comes to the final delivery part, called the “last mile,” they let USPS take over. This well-constructed plan helps FedEx save money and make deliveries faster within the country.


UPS not only delivers packages but also provides services related to managing supply chains, handling customs procedures, and distributing freight. As your business grows and expands into global eCommerce, UPS can be a reliable partner to support your operations and ensure smooth logistics.

Delivery Time
FedEx 2 Day and UPS 2nd Day shipping guarantee delivery within two business days. However, it’s important to note that this timeline does not include weekends or holidays. If you need your package to arrive on a specific day, it’s best to check with the carrier to ensure it’s possible.

UPS Will deliver on Saturday.

FedEx will charge additional fees for Saturday delivery.


A US map is shown with a comparison of UPS and FedEx costs to deliver coast-to-coast in 2 days.

The cost of shipping with FedEx or UPS depends on several factors, including the weight and size of your package, the distance it needs to travel, and any additional services you require. 

FedEx time-sensitive rates are more expensive when considering the A.M. option, while UPS does not offer that time frame.

However, the reciprocal is valid for ground shipping.


Generally speaking, FedEx 2 Day is slightly more accessible than UPS 2nd Day, but this can vary depending on your specific shipment.

This is because UPS excels in providing domestic ground package delivery services. Their more extensive fleet of ground vehicles allows this in comparison to FedEx.

On the other hand, FedEx has twice the amount of airplanes as UPS. This allows them to specialize in global air express freight. 


Both FedEx and UPS offer robust tracking options, allowing you to monitor your package’s progress from start to finish. You can receive updates via email or text message and even track your package on your mobile device. FedEx calls its tracking system “FedEx Tracking,” and UPS calls theirs “UPS Tracking.” 

Both systems let you see updates about where your package is and when it will arrive. However, some people think FedEx’s system is easier to use because it shows more information on one screen. Other people think UPS’s system is better because it updates more often. Both systems are easily accessed anywhere you can find an internet connection. 

Customer Service

If you have any questions or concerns about your shipment, FedEx and UPS offer customer service options to help you. You can contact them via phone, email, or live chat; they’ll gladly assist you.

So, which is better: FedEx 2 Day or UPS 2nd Day shipping?

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

Both carriers offer reliable and speedy services, ensuring your packages reach their destinations within two business days. FedEx has partnered with USPS to enhance domestic shipping, while UPS specializes in ground package delivery and provides additional supply chain and freight services. 

Consider factors such as delivery time, pricing, specialties, additional services, tracking options, and customer service to make an informed decision. Assess your specific needs and preferences to determine which carrier aligns best with your requirements and priorities. It’s up to you to decide which is right for you using this guide to determine the best fit. 

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