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Do I need time-critical or expedited shipping services?

Posted by Becca Soard on April 18, 2019 - 4:00 PM
Learn more about expedited and time-critical shipping solutions

Compare ArcBest time-critical and expedite solutions

When standard delivery times and options don’t fit your needs, ArcBest® offers two solutions: time critical and expedite. These fast shipping services provide unique benefits for shippers — from speed and precision to enhanced safety and security. While both options can provide faster-than-average transportation times, there are a few differences to consider. Take a look at what these solutions entail, and learn when each one is right for your business.

When would I need time critical?

ArcBest time critical is best for freight that needs to be delivered quickly, on a specific day or at a specific time. Essentially, any shipment that requires something other than standard delivery times could need time-critical service. This includes trade show supplies, freight that needs overnight air transportation, and items that must be delivered or picked up within a certain timeframe.    

Look at these hypothetical scenarios for more info:

When there’s no choice but to meet a day- or time-specific appointment

Say a business in Seattle, Washington, only accepts deliveries from 1-3 p.m. If a company in Portland, Oregon, needs to get products there within that delivery window in two days, the company would need to use time critical. While this distance is short enough for standard transportation times to work, a day-specific or time-specific appointment requires this service.

When you need to get a critical part across the country yesterday

If an aircraft is on ground in Austin, Texas, and the manufacturer with the part needed to fix it is 545 miles away in Wichita, Kansas, ground transportation may not be fast enough. The time-critical group can arrange an air shipping solution to get the part there faster — saving valuable time and money. Count on our team to coordinate custom air transport services including same-day flights, air charters and deferred air shipments.

When a precise delivery time is required to meet an installation schedule

If a shipment of office doors needs to be installed in a new building, use time critical to get them there exactly when they’re needed. We can arrange a precise delivery time that fits your installation schedule, preventing freight from staying in an empty building and keeping the crew on track.  


When would I need expedite shipping?

Expedite service provides swift pick-ups, fast transit times and exclusive-use equipment. High-value items, shipments that need the fastest ground transportation possible, and temperature-sensitive freight that must be delivered quickly could all benefit from expedite. We utilize our Panther Premium Logistics® service to provide best-in-class ground expedite solutions across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Check out these examples to learn more:

When you need high-value, temperature-sensitive equipment delivered fast

Say a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, needs a medical imaging device delivered from a company in Pittsburgh by the end of the day. Because the machine is delicate and valuable, it should travel in temperature-controlled equipment with no other freight.

In this scenario, expedite would be the right choice. While other transportation options may be able to accommodate a 300-mile shipment in one day, the request for temperature-controlled equipment makes this suited for expedite service. 

When you’re shipping high-value freight that requires close monitoring and quick delivery

If a shipment of high-value electronics needs to be delivered to a distribution center 700 miles away, expedite is the way to go. With the ability to monitor trucks through geo-fencing technology, and team drivers available to overnight shipments with speed and agility, expedite service provides everything you need to transport valuable freight.

When a shipment needs to move fast, but it won’t be ready for pickup during normal business hours

If an order needs to get on the road quickly but won’t finish production in time for normal pick-up hours, call the expedite team. We can pick up freight 24/7, helping you keep deliveries on schedule.

Rely on ArcBest for time-sensitive shipping

When time is of the essence or prompt delivery is crucial for success, look to ArcBest to take care of your freight. Still not sure which service you need? Just call one of our logistics specialists at 800-874-2061. You give us the requirements, and we’ll offer solutions.

Ready to start shipping? You can get a time critical quote or expedite quote online or over the phone!