Same day delivery was once associated with bouquets of flowers, legal documents and forgotten keys. Fast forward a lockdown or three, with people demanding greater convenience, same day is fast becoming a standard offering from all kinds of businesses, from local convenience stores like Co-op to luxury retailers like Net-A-Porter. 


But to think about same day as one standard kind of delivery is selling it short. There’s an incredible amount of flexibility across same day: with varying levels of speed, efficiency and certainty of ETA on offer. So to help simplify things, we talk about different types of service as flavours of same day, and here are some of our ‘favourites’;


 Same hour [same day]

  • The flashing blue lights of same day
  • Courier goes direct from pick up to drop off, and usually delivers within one hour
  • Relatively expensive on a per drop basis because direct routing means the courier can’t accept any other jobs along the way
  • Traditionally used for legal docs or urgent medical supplies but is increasingly being used by online grocers competing with a trip to the corner shop
  • Pre-book option for scheduled urgent deliveries, e.g. for hot food delivered at a specified time


Ultra fast Ultra local [same day]

  • An upgrade on same hour that cuts delivery times to under 30 mins for those ‘I absolutely need it now’ deliveries
  • Deliveries are usually limited to a 2 mile radius from pick up point 
  • Local traffic conditions determine what kinds of packages can be ultra delivered. In London, ultra fast only works with bikes or motorbikes, which means bike-sized packages
  • In less dense cities, cars are in play, and can handle bulkier items, like tools and building materials that are needed on site ASAP


“Order by 4pm get it by 10pm” [same day]

  • The best value version of same day
  • Combining a later cutoff and longer delivery window means the courier can ‘stack’ or bundle together orders from multiple customers into a single multi-drop booking, offering significant cost savings per drop
  • Traditionally used for B2B services and facilities management 
  • Increasingly used by retailers for non-urgent ‘ship-from-store’, especially for those last-minute/pre-weekend shopping occasions


Two hour scheduled delivery window [same day]

  • An increasingly popular upgrade on a scheduled ‘next day’ service
  • Shoppers benefit from a combination of get-it-to-me-now convenience, and a certainty of ETA that means they won’t have to wait in all day for the delivery 
  • Businesses can offer near ASAP convenience but with more efficiency; slightly longer lead times allows more time to receive and prepare orders, meaning a courier can potentially pick up multiple orders in one go 
  • Works well for local grocery and pharma (particularly test kits)
  • Also works for retailers looking to build on an existing click and collect offering


How to choose… 


Same day offerings continue to develop and evolve at speed, and more flexibility is (nearly) always a good thing. But if you need a hand whittling down the options and working out which flavours of same day could work best for your business, then chat live or get in touch with partnerships (