General Question

bookish1's avatar

What is the best way to ship documents quickly in the U.S. ?

Asked by bookish1 (13040 points ) December 11th, 2012

I have a paper application that’s due this Saturday, but I won’t have all the components gathered together until tomorrow. I am willing to spend a decent chunk of change, although of course cheaper is better. The important part is that the package arrive by Saturday. Do any of you have experience sending overnight by US Mail or FedEx? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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16 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Are you sending to a P O Box or a street address?

jaytkay's avatar

If reliable delivery by a particular day is most important, I would use Fed Ex. Use their packaging, available at any Fed Ex office, and I think it’s slightly cheaper.

Mostly I use US Priority mail for 2-day delivery. $5.15. It’s about 90% reliable (meaning 10% of the time it’s 3-day).

bookish1's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe : It’s a street address in NYC, and I am in the southeast.

@jaytkay : Thank you. I was tending toward fedex but wondered if US Mail might have a better option I had never heard of. If I’m only sending this out Wednesday or possibly Thursday, I can’t trust priority mail unfortunately.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@bookish1 Fed Ex and UPS are both good and reliable for just about any delivery, including next day, etc. They just need a street address. US Priority mail is fair, but I wouldn’t count on them 100 percent if it was really important.

marinelife's avatar

Saturday delivery Fed Ex is best. It’ll cost ya.

creative1's avatar

FedEx does Saturday delivery but that option will pricey. So if they can receive them earlier and since you will have them tomorrow I would check with your local usps office though they can tell you if priority mail will deliver the next day or not to the location they are going to and they could have them as early as Thursday given you send them on Wednesday (tomorrow)… do they need to be original documents because a fax they will have them the same day??

jaytkay's avatar

@creative1 do they need to be original documents because a fax they will have them the same day

Oh yeah!

For legal and medical paperwork, a fax is often acceptable. For most other things how about an emailed PDF?

bookish1's avatar

@creative1, Great idea, I have some buddies at my campus post office and I can ask them for advice. Thank you.

@jaytkay: It’s a nice idea, but these are old fashioned folks and the only way to submit this application is via snail mail (and I have to include a check as well).

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Fedex Overnight – - -it will be there on Thursday AM.

Jeruba's avatar

If I were in your place, I’d use FedEx.

But I wouldn’t denigrate U.S. Postal Mail in any case (which isn’t snail-like at all, in my opinion, and I hate to hear it called that). They do have express options. If this is important, it’s worth a few bucks.

WestRiverrat's avatar

FedEx, UPS, USPS in that order. Check with each about Saturday deliveries to the desired address.

Whatever you do, do not use DHL. I have never had a good experience with them.

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bookish1's avatar

@Tropical_Willie : Thank you, I might just do that

@Jeruba : Thanks for your advice. I am sorry to offend your ear. I did not mean to denigrate U.S.P.S. I am not one of those people who thinks it should be shut down. I appreciate it and spend lots of my money with them. I have always heard “snail mail” as a generic term for real world delivery as opposed to email or fax, and that is how I use it.

@WestRiverrat: Thank you. I’ll stay away from them!

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Jeruba's avatar

“Snail mail” is a derogatory term that I first heard sometime in the 1970s. There was no e-mail or fax or anything of the sort at the time, and even FedEx was just getting off the ground; all mail was postal mail. The expression was funny the first time. I’m not offended. I just don’t think it’s necessary to put down the U.S. postal service at every mention by calling it a name that says it’s slow.

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