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Three things come to mind when I think of courier firms. First that wonderful film "Castaway" where the Fed Ex plane crashes and the remnants are washed up on the beach including the football which is lovingly named "Wilson". The film portrays accurately the precision of the organisation where deadlines and planes co-ordinate taking off and landing to ship items all over the world. Secondly it reminds me of the time recently I was at Edinburgh airport really early in the morning and was able to watch one courier flight after another landing with their cargo. The final thing that really struck me was a few years ago when I sent a parcel to America via a courier and was able to track the house on a map to a remote intersection miles and miles from anywhere.
Until my son emigrated to America I really didn't need to use courier services much but in the last two years since he left I have sent many items by the normal post. Somewhere many of these items rest in peace because they never arrived. Many after many mysteriously went missing in both directions and last year when all his birthday gifts sent airmail just disappeared into thin air I had had enough! I decided to investigate couriers and this is how I came to know and love DHL!
This time of year getting a parcel to a loved one overseas is of paramount importance. I purchased a duvet for him and started to investigate methods of shipping it. Having spent many minutes on various websites I found that a company called Transglobal Express offered the cheapest deal acting as agents for DHL. DHL are a German company DHL Express and are a division of Deutsche Post World Net.
I parcelled up the duvet and weighed it and made sure it was compressed into the smallest possible size. This is important as the cost is by weight and size. With DHL if the item is not boxed you will also be charged a further £2. I didn't mind this as tightly wrapped in plastic was the best way. Just over £30 was the charge for this which was the most competitive price cutting over £12 off the Post Office surface mail charge which would have taken 8 weeks not 5-7 days as I was quoted with DHL.
We booked the delivery over the internet which was simple and straightforward and printed off the paperwork. The driver came to collect the parcel at three in the afternoon last Wednesday 17th December. It was wrapped and bound for Tucson which is in Arizona a few miles north of the Mexican border where he lives on the edge of the desert. My heart skipped a few beats as it left us because I have lost so many things between here and The USA that I was depending on them to deliver. Missing someone at Christmas is really hard and you really depend on these services to do what they promise.
We were given a tracking number which was great and the next morning I entered it onto their website. I was impressed, it had already been to Gatwick, the East Midlands airport, and it had taken off at 0350hrs for New York where it had already landed-so Essex to New York overnight- incredible. In the States foreign couriers are not allowed to operate internal services so these are contracted out and ASTAR and ABX Air operate on behalf of DHL to fly the goods onwards.
By 20th December it had arrived in Wilmington Ohio which is the hub of DHL a massive airport and distribution centre where parcels are sorted and dispatched. By the 22nd the Duvet was in Phoenix which is about 100 miles north of Tucson and by 23rd December it was in Tucson awaiting delivery.
On Christmas Eve I had the knowledge that my son and his wife had received the duvet despite the USA being in the grip of some severe winter weather. In the North where my son's inlaws live in North Dakota it is -40 and most of the US is blanketed in snow.
So for me DHL has been very impressive but spare a thought for the families of Wilmington who are faced with an uncertain future as DHL has plans to hire UPS to take over the work in the Hub and in the small town in southwest Ohio is now full of poverty as workers are laid off and the economy struggles. The operation will be moved to Louisville.
So for me the experience with DHL was second to none-a professional service which could be relied upon 100% and which has provided my son with his present on the day it mattered.
Summary: A great service which has taken all the uncertainty out of sending parcels to the USA. (Also posted on Dooyoo by myself under the user name Machair1)