When time is a critical factor, expedited shipping is the driving force behind swift and reliable deliveries. Let's explore the basic fundamentals of expedited shipping in Ground, Air, and Cross-Border freight transportation.

Expedited Ground: Speed on the Surface

Expedited ground shipping serves as the backbone of time-sensitive deliveries — generally within a specific region. By leveraging a network of efficient transportation options, this service is particularly advantageous for businesses seeking a balance between cost-effectiveness and timely deliveries, making it a popular choice for regional shipments. 

For ground transportation, expedited services can take the form of less-than-truckload (LTL) and exclusive service shipments. When it comes to expedited LTL shipments, the backend operational process can require meticulous planning by the carrier.

For instance, a customer may require an early morning delivery that cannot make the needed time due to their location on a standard LTL pickup and delivery route. With strategic planning, a customized expedited solution can combine traditional LTL service and exclusive trailer service to make the delivery. In this scenario, the shipper would not require an exclusive trailer and driver for the entire transit of the shipment. The customer would still receive the freight when they need it, but also achieve the benefit of efficient pricing. 

Another scenario that a shipper may occasionally encounter is the need to distribute multiple time-sensitive shipments within a region. Rather than putting each shipment on a different trailer, the carrier can consolidate the shipments into one exclusive trailer. This can help streamline the delivery process and help the shipper avoid paying for multiple exclusive trailers.

A trustworthy transportation partner will work closely with you to help identify the best expedited ground shipping option they can provide for your shipment(s) in need of quick delivery. Averitt offers a variety of expedited ground options for your LTL and FTL shipments, including:
  • Guaranteed Standard – Delivered by 5 p.m.
  • Guaranteed Time-Critical – Delivered within a specified window
  • Guaranteed Exclusive – Dedicated equipment
  • Holidays
  • Nights and Weekends
Learn More About  Averitt's Expedited Services

Expedited Air: Soaring Above Constraints

When speed is of the essence, expedited air shipping takes center stage by significantly reducing transit times, making it the preferred choice for the most urgent deliveries. Not just useful for domestic expedited shipping, the global reach of air freight ensures that businesses can connect with markets worldwide, overcoming geographical barriers and meeting tight deadlines with unmatched efficiency.

Expedited air cargo shipments are specifically tailored to provide expedited and highly efficient delivery, surpassing the capabilities of standard air freight services. This mode of transportation plays a critical role in ensuring the prompt arrival of time-sensitive shipments, including emergency supplies, valuable goods, and just-in-time inventory for a wide range of industries.


Let's explore some of the most common types of expedited air cargo services available:

  • Next Flight Out (NFO): This service ensures that your shipment is placed on the next available flight to its destination. It's one of the fastest options in air cargo shipping, suitable for extremely urgent deliveries.
  • Overnight Shipping: This service guarantees that shipments will be delivered by the next day. It's often used for business documents, medical supplies, or other urgent items that need to be delivered by the start of the next business day.
  • Same-Day Air: As the name suggests, this service delivers cargo on the same day. It is one of the quickest, albeit expensive, options available and is used for critically urgent shipments like medical emergencies or essential machine parts needed to prevent downtime in manufacturing processes.
  • Charter Services: For large or highly urgent shipments, some logistics providers offer charter services, where an entire aircraft is chartered to transport the cargo. This is a highly tailored service for situations where commercial flight schedules cannot meet the urgency or specific requirements of the shipment.

Not all air cargo shipments are technically expedited in nature. Deferred air services, for example, can be a cost-effective option for shipments that are not urgent. In deferred air shipping, cargo is usually loaded onto flights only after higher-priority shipments (like expedited or overnight freight) have been accommodated. This means that deferred shipments might wait for available space on a flight, leading to longer transit times.

Expedited Cross-Border: Bridging Countries

With international and cross-border expedited shipping, the rapid movement of goods across borders ensures that businesses can fulfill international orders with precision. Whether it's utilizing air cargo services for speed or expedited ground transportation for regional distribution upon arrival, international and cross-border expedited shipping adapts to the unique requirements of each leg of the journey.

Expedited cross-border freight shipping is a critical service for shippers in the U.S. who need to move goods quickly to or from neighboring countries, particularly Canada and Mexico. Shippers can use carriers with extensive networks in North America that specialize in expedited services. These carriers often have dedicated lanes, partner carriers, and experienced teams for cross-border shipping.

Shipping across borders comes with its own set of challenges, including customs regulations, documentation requirements, and potential delays. For that reason, it's critical that shippers work with a licensed customs broker to ensure that an expedited cross-borders shipment doesn't become delayed due to technicalities with paperwork and not following proper customs protocols. 

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The right expedited Partnership

Expedited shipping is often a necessity for businesses at one point or another. In order to meet the needs of these urgent shipments, the right partner carrier is paramount for shippers. For over 50 years, Averitt has provided award-winning transportation services to shippers of every industry, including expedited shipping. At Averitt, shippers have quick access to shipment management and tracking tools on our website and the backing of a centralized team of expedited shipment experts that are available 24/7, monitoring your time-sensitive shipments every step of the way.

And when it comes to our service, we believe the numbers speak for themselves:


To learn more about Averitt's expedited services, watch the short video below:


Another benefit of partnering with Averitt is that shippers have access to customized logistics and transportation solutions at every turn. Powered by our five service units, our team can streamline your supply chain and increase your velocity to market while reducing the confusion of working with multiple partners. From warehousing to drayage and expedited delivery, we can tie it all together to help you unlock greater efficiencies within your operations. We call it The Power of One! Learn more about our wide range of capabilities by downloading our brochure belowl

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