Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If You Want To Ship Internationally and Don't Have a Car

My pick is UPS.

I have to ship two 20 lb. boxes measuring 16"x12"x9" to Moscow, Russia, and I don't have a car. So I want to schedule a pickup with a carrier service.

The USPS doesn't let you schedule pickups for international post for so much weight, and so they tell me to go to my nearest postal office, which is not that near when you are using a squeaky dolly cart to drag 40 lbs. Also, the nearest postal office doesn't let me ship more than 10 lbs, so I have to go to the main branch that is not as near. What's up with that?

FedEx's website is good for businesses with FedEx accounts or those with an excessive fondness for that weird movie, "Castaway." I have two graduate degrees and two bachelor's degrees, and could not figure out how to do a personal shipment to Russia, as the website kept saying I was in error for not specifying a company name for myself or my recipient. So after all these error messages and nothing getting processed, and not figuring out whether preparing a shipment was the same as scheduling a pickup, I bolted to UPS.

Which was remarkably easy to use. Where for $836.50, you can send two 20 lb. boxes of books to Russia in three business days, so that Favorite Russian Dude finally has his books that he's been storing at my house that he suddenly needed by the next month. It's a bit pricey, but I stayed within the allotted $1000 USD budget.