UPS 2nd Day Air


July 12, 2023

In a 2021 report, the United Parcel Service (UPS) boasted an on-time rate of 95.8%. This figure is among the highest in the industry, besting other couriers like Federal Express (FedEx) and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

With such a high on-time rating, you can be confident that shipping with UPS will ensure your package arrives on time. One of the services you can use to send your item is UPS 2nd Day Air.

What is UPS 2nd Day Air? Does this service have different delivery speeds? How does it compare to other similar services from other couriers?

This article discusses how UPS 2nd Day Air works, how much it costs, and why you should consider offering this service to customers if you run an online business. strives to be your one-stop information source for shipping and mailing-related topics. Furthermore, you can use’s online search tool to locate a USPS post office near you.

UPS 2nd Day Air: What You Need to Know

The 2nd Day Air expedited shipping service is popular among UPS services. It offers 2-day delivery anywhere in the United States.

UPS 2nd Day Air is an excellent choice for sending packages that do not need overnight delivery

Aside from having relatively affordable rates, 2nd Day Air has two speeds: one that delivers early in the day and the other by the end of the day.

What Is UPS 2nd Day Air?

UPS 2nd Day Air offers fast delivery service for important, but not necessarily critical, shipments.

If you need to send domestic packages with enough flexibility to arrive any time on the second business day, consider choosing 2nd Day Air.

This service also provides end-of-day delivery and includes Saturday delivery for shipments picked up on Thursday.

How Does UPS 2nd Day Air Work?

You can use UPS 2nd Day Air to deliver packages to commercial destinations like offices and businesses. This service does not deliver packages to residential addresses.

Upon signing up for a UPS account, you can schedule your package for pickup or drop-off at a UPS location.

Afterward, the courier staff receives your package and brings it to a UPS facility where your item gets loaded onto a plane with other 2nd Day Air packages for transport.

Once your parcel arrives at its destination facility, the staff loads it into a truck for delivery to your recipient’s address.

Although UPS 2nd Day Air is not the company’s fastest shipping service, UPS prioritizes it over other services like UPS Ground and UPS 3-Day Select.

The Two Different Delivery Speeds of 2nd Day Air

UPS 2nd Day Air has two delivery speeds to help cater to your shipping needs. The following sections briefly explain these services.

2nd Day Air AM

This option is the fastest delivery option that UPS provides within the two-day service. Depending on where you ship, UPS delivers your package by 10:30 AM or 12:00 PM on the second business day.

2nd Day Air (Standard)

This service is the default option if you do not specify 2nd Day Air AM as your choice. With 2nd Day Air, UPS delivers your package by the end of the second business day.

Delivery Area

The standard UPS 2nd Day Air service delivers to all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. This service also has limited deliveries in Alaska and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, UPS 2nd Day Air AM delivers to the 48 contiguous U.S. states and limited addresses in Alaska and Hawaii.


If you need to track your UPS 2nd Day Air shipment, you can enter its tracking number in the search box on the UPS website’s tracking page.

Package Size and Weight

UPS 2nd Day Air allows you to ship packages weighing up to 150 pounds (lbs) and measuring 108 inches (in) long.

How Much Does 2nd Day Air Cost?

The cost to send a package through 2nd Day Air depends on several factors, like the package size, weight, and destination. 

The less distance a package will travel, the cheaper the shipping rate.

To demonstrate, sending a UPS Simple Rate small package (101 to 250 cubic inches) from New York, NY, to Chicago, IL, can cost $28.60.

On the other hand, a Simple Rate large package (651 to 1,050 cubic inches) shipping to the same destination costs $58.30.

“Can I Get Discounts on My 2nd Day Air Shipments?”

Some companies offer shipping software that allows you to buy postage online and get discounted rates on 2nd Day Air shipments.

UPS has a program called Digital Connections that allows these companies to partner with UPS to gain funding and discounts. Through these discounts, partners can offer lower prices for specific UPS products.

Is UPS 2nd Day Air Guaranteed?

As of July 2023, the UPS Service Guarantee remains suspended and unavailable for 2nd Day Air.

If you need a guaranteed delivery option, the UPS Service Guarantee is active for the following domestic delivery products:

How UPS 2nd Day Air Compares to Other Services

UPS offers several shipping options to help you pick one that suits your needs. The following sections compare 2nd Day Air with other UPS services:

UPS 2nd Day Air vs. UPS Ground

One of the main differences between 2nd Day Air and UPS Ground is the delivery time. 2nd Day Air delivers in two days, while UPS Ground delivers in one to five days.

In terms of shipping cost, UPS Ground is cheaper. Using the previous example of a Simple Rate large package delivered from New York to Chicago, UPS 2nd Day Air costs $58.30. Meanwhile, UPS Ground costs only $24.55.

UPS 2nd Day Air vs. USPS Priority Mail

USPS Priority Mail delivers in one to three business days. It also has Saturday delivery and insurance of up to $100. Meanwhile, UPS 2nd Day Air delivers in two days and has Saturday delivery.

However, UPS Service Guarantee is suspended for 2nd Day Air until further notice, so you can consider a different delivery service if you need to send critical documents or items.

UPS 2nd Day Air vs. FedEx 2Day

Similarities between UPS 2nd Day Air and the FedEx 2Day service include having a morning delivery option that delivers by 10:30 AM to U.S. business addresses.

Both services also let you ship up to 150lbs. However, FedEx 2Day allows you to ship packages up to 119in long, while UPS 2nd Day Air permits up to 108in only.

UPS 2nd Day Air vs. FedEx 2Day Cost Comparison

Suppose you need to send a 10-lb package from New York to Los Angeles. The price comparison between UPS 2nd Day Air and FedEx 2Day are as follows:

  • UPS 2nd Day Air: $109.87
  • UPS 2nd Day Air AM: $125.68
  • FedEx 2Day: $125.86
  • FedEx 2Day AM: $149.58

Which Are the Other Second-Day Deliveries by UPS?

Aside from offering 2nd Day Air and 2nd Day Air AM, UPS also provides the following second-day deliveries:

  • UPS 2nd Day Air Freight offers two-day delivery for freight items over 150lbs to the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. 
  • UPS 2nd Day Air Freight NGS is similar to the 2nd Day Air Freight option, except this option is a non-guaranteed service (NGS).
  • UPS Express Saver guaranteed service delivers within the U.S. and Canada by the end of the second business day.

Use UPS 2nd Day Air Delivery for Offering Competitive Delivery

If you run an eCommerce store, you can provide clients with a competitive option for shipping items with UPS 2nd Day Air. This shipping service can work for customers who don’t necessarily need an overnight delivery but want a relatively fast service.

Running an online business means you should consider shipping as an essential service for your customers. When choosing a carrier suitable for your needs, remember to pick one that can provide high customer satisfaction.

Understanding UPS Shipping Delivery Options

Aside from 2nd Day Air, other shipping options UPS offers based on delivery speed are discussed in the following sections.

1 Business Day

If you have an urgent shipment, UPS Next Day Air offers time-definite, guaranteed, and next-day delivery with industry-leading on-time performance.

When choosing this service, you have three options for shipping your item:

  • UPS Next Day Air delivers to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • UPS Next Day Air Early delivers to the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Anchorage, Alaska.
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver delivers from all 50 states to the 48 contiguous U.S. states.

2 Business Days

If you need a package delivered in two days, consider shipping it through UPS 2nd Day Air. This option also has Saturday delivery, so you will have less worry if you want your item to arrive on the weekend.

1 to 5 Business Days

If you need a day-definite, cost-effective delivery in one to five business days, choose UPS Ground.

This service delivers to homes and businesses in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. UPS Ground also offers Saturday delivery to most residential addresses.

FAQs: 2nd Day Air

1. Does UPS 2nd Day Air mean the package arrives on the second day?

Based on this service’s name, you know that UPS 2nd Day Air will arrive on the second day of your shipping date. If you ship on a Monday, you can expect your package to arrive on a Wednesday.

2. Is 2nd Day Air overnight delivery?

2nd Day Air does not provide overnight shipping. Instead, this service delivers within two business days.

You can have your package arrive by 10:30 AM or 12:00 PM on the second day using 2nd Day Air AM or the end of the second day through the standard 2nd Day Air option.

If you need an overnight service, consider choosing UPS Next Day Air instead.

3. How good is UPS 2nd Day Air?

If you’re looking for a service that can ship heavier items, UPS 2nd Day Air can be a good option for your needs.

Compared to other two-day delivery services like USPS Priority Mail Express, which can deliver up to 70lbs, UPS 2nd Day Air can handle heavier packages up to 150lbs.

4. Is UPS Ground faster than 2nd Day Air?

UPS Ground delivers in one to five days. This delivery speed means UPS Ground can be faster or slower than 2nd Day Air, depending on factors like distance.

One interesting statistic is that 90% of UPS Ground shipments arrive in three days or less.

5. How late does UPS deliver?

UPS drivers can usually deliver as late as 7:00 PM. During festivities, deliveries may take longer.

If UPS cannot deliver your parcel on the expected delivery date despite the company’s best efforts, the driver will attempt to deliver again on the next business day.

6. What days does UPS deliver during the holidays?

Some UPS Store locations and UPS pickup and delivery services continue operating during specific holidays. For 2023, these holidays are as follows:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 16
  • Valentine’s Day: February 14
  • President’s Day: February 20
  • Good Friday: April 7
  • Juneteenth: June 19
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Columbus Day): October 9
  • Black Friday: November 24
  • Veterans Day: November 11

Some UPS locations may have modified operating hours during certain holidays like Christmas and New Year. You can contact your local UPS Store to determine what holidays it opens.

7. Does UPS 2nd Day Air include weekends?

UPS 2nd Day Air offers Saturday delivery. If you ship an item on a Thursday, it can arrive at your recipient on a Saturday. This way, you do not need to wait until Monday for your package to arrive.


  1. Priority Mail
  2. Priority Mail Express