What travels faster: parcels or letters?
August 5, 2015 3:06 AM   Subscribe

I'm shipping some stuff from Germany to the US. I have the choice of sending these items as letters or as parcels. I'm using DHL. Which option will be faster?

The costs are pretty much the same: letters up to 2 kilograms cost 17 €, parcels up to 2 kilograms cost 15,79 € to send. I don't really care about that difference. I do, however, care about speed. Does anyone know which is the faster option? If you only know which is faster within Germany, or which is faster within the USA, that would be helpful too.
posted by Too-Ticky to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think that there's any difference in speed, at least not within Germany. Whenever I've caught a glimpse inside a DHL van, there seem to be a mixture of boxes and bags in there, so I don't think they're treated differently. I'd personally just choose the cheaper option.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 4:23 AM on August 5, 2015

Best answer: I know your situation well because I sent literally a dozen "Päckchen" from Germany to the US this summer at DiePost through DHL. According to the helpful postal employee who advised me, I'd definitely go with the "letter" option because it's airmail whereas the parcels are sent via boat (or at least take longer for whatever reasons.) My slowest "Päckchen" took 19 days to arrive due to the strikes but my fastest took under a week. I'd see what a helpful postal employee advises you right now as well. FWIW, the Päckchen that were 1 kg or under, regardless of whether there were in yellow boxes or my own big envelope, took the least time so perhaps could you split up your mailing?
posted by smorgasbord at 4:28 AM on August 5, 2015

Best answer: Actually, thinking about it more I'd go with the letter option as well as long as the items aren't fragile. I'm wondering if they might be a little bit quicker because of the way they can be handled. Like, maybe they process boxes slower because they have to treat them with a bit more care?
posted by kinddieserzeit at 4:32 AM on August 5, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you! That was very helpful. I've sent it as letter mail and I'm hoping for the best.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:28 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It got there in time!
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:34 PM on September 4, 2015

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