Moving from Day-Definite to Time-Definite Deliveries

Moving from Day-Definite to Time-Definite Deliveries

In the shipping services industry, the terms such as “Day-Definite” and “Time-Definite” make the world move. It is because the entire shipping process revolves around these two aspects.

What exactly are “Day Definite” and “Time Definite” shipping?

Let’s assume you have ordered an item from an e-commerce or omnichannel store on June 9, and the retailer guarantees to deliver your parcel through an air or ground shipping service by June 11.

It means you should receive your package any time on that date. Currently, for express day-definite shipping, most companies are charging an additional shipping fee. So, in the whole process, time is not significant. This is day-definite delivery.

Understandably, in time-definite delivery, the shipping is time-sensitive or time-critical. Taking the same example above, the retailer may specify that your parcel will reach before 9:00 a.m or 12 o’clock on June 11. There can also be a time window, for example, between 9:00 a.m and 12 o’clock.

Both of these delivery processes have their pros & cons. However, numerous retail and logistics companies all over the world are slowly shifting more towards time-definite delivery.

You may naturally ask “Why”? Aren’t still the biggest shipping companies in the world such as FedEx and UPS offers day-definite services? The answer is “yes,” and for lesser urgent or heavier shipment day definite deliveries are likely to stay. However, for priority and lighter shipment, time-definite delivery can be more useful, speedy, and cost-effective.

Why Moving to Time-Definite Deliveries can be a Good Idea?

Why are an increasing number of shipping/logistics companies opting for time-definite deliveries, particularly for domestic shipping? It is because this type of delivery enables them to ship urgent and lighter packages faster. Also, it is economical for both logistics firms and consumers.

In U.S, one of the leading courier services U.S. Ground are competing with FedEx, UPS, and DHL by offering a dedicated “rush” small package delivery by using fuel-efficient small vehicles. In this way, the company provides faster and cheaper time-definite delivery service. Retail companies can also request for specific vehicles such as cube van, cargo van, straight truck, or minivan.

Take a look at the example of these two types of deliveries in clearer terms.

4 p.m Time Definite Delivery (Economy Express)

• Guaranteed delivery by 4 p.m on a particular business day
• Suitable for lighter and priority parcels/freight
• Covers major domestic cities and associated countries
• Maximum weight – 500 kg
• Faster and cost-effective for domestic shipping and last mile delivery

Day Definite Delivery (Economy Express)

• Guaranteed delivery on a particular business day with no time window
• Suitable for heavier and lesser urgent parcels/freight
• Worldwide
• Maximum weight – 1500 kg or more
• Ideal for lesser priority international shipping

As you can see in the example that to send larger/heavier parcels that don’t require immediate delivery, day-definite delivery is ideal. On the other hand, for lighter parcels that require urgent delivery, time-definite delivery is likely to be useful. This may prove to be beneficial for e-commerce deliveries, particularly for improving last mile efficiency.

Time-critical Delivery at Pick-up/Drop Points to Make Customers’ Life Easier

In this digital era, Internet-savvy customers look for more product options, lower prices, greater convenience and a seamless process to receive and return parcels. Such consumer preferences have made retail and courier-express-parcel (CEP) companies rethink and revamp their traditional parcel delivery methods.

Even though digital consumers have been driving e-commerce demand, it is also posing challenges for retail companies to sustain this demand through customer retention. This is where the last mile delivery works as a key differentiator when it comes to staying ahead of the competition.

The emergence of new-age logistics methods is, however, providing the much-needed solution to retail companies by introducing access points, parcel lockers or crowd storage. Now, by using time-definite delivery and access points or lockers, retails logistics can be faster, cheaper and more convenient.

Integration of time-critical delivery and automated forward & return will bring in the following benefits:

• Control over Delivery: With time-definite delivery, consumers will get better last mile service and have better control of when, where, and how they receive their parcels.

• Convenient Pick-up/Drop Points: As more options are coming up, consumers are looking for new, more effective, and convenient delivery options such as automated click & collect lockers and 24×7 in-store pickup.

• Flexibility in Delivery Time: As speedy delivery is a major differentiator, through time-sensitive delivery, CEP companies can provide more flexible service by offering consumers a wide window of delivery times (even at different price points).

A study carried out by Accenture called “Adding Value to Parcel Delivery” reveals that this industry segment is likely to grow at the rate of nine percent annually and will be worth more than $343 billion by 2020. CEP companies will do so focusing on competitive parcel delivery methods, services and supply chains to close the revenue gap.


Implementation of time-sensitive delivery also needs a state-of-the-art delivery method for distributing products to customers. It will ensure time-definite and guaranteed deliveries. In this context, an innovative option like click & collect lockers can create a win/win situation. Retail companies can deliver parcels faster at a fraction of the traditional logistics cost, and customers can avoid unnecessary coordination and communication with courier personnel. Most importantly, consumers can choose the place and time of their product delivery.

If you are seeking “the best in class” logistics solution for your e-commerce or omnichannel business, a consultation with us can open up avenues that would be lucrative for your company’s growth. Just give us a call at +91-8882-760-760 or email us to, and one of our experts will get back to you shortly.


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