Mail express: Toronto to Buffalo
February 1, 2006 4:42 PM   Subscribe

So, if you were in Toronto tomorrow night, and you had a document that needed to be in Buffalo by Saturday, how would you get it there?

I've been researching courier services but the international rates all seem to be designed for delivery over the ocean. Is there any sort of local cross-border alternative?
posted by DrJohnEvans to Travel & Transportation (24 answers total)
FedEx has Canada-to-U.S. services... Have you spoken to someone there? P.S. nice tag.
posted by Robot Johnny at 4:45 PM on February 1, 2006

If I had 5 hours free (approx time for round trip), I'd probably just drive it there myself.

But I like road trips.
posted by dersins at 4:52 PM on February 1, 2006

FedEx has Canada-to-U.S. services...

Strange, they only offered me their International Priority service, which involves airplane coordination. I will check again.

dersins, if I had time, I wouldn't be selling the tickets in the first place. :)
posted by DrJohnEvans at 4:58 PM on February 1, 2006

Go to a Canadian post office and send it via Priority Courier.
posted by unSane at 4:59 PM on February 1, 2006

(According to the FedEx website the International Priority service appears to have Saturday delivery for Canada-to-US shipments. Doesn't say anything about "airplane coordination".)
posted by blue mustard at 5:04 PM on February 1, 2006

You can definitely ship overnight from Canada to USA, as well as paying extra to have stuff arrive on Saturday.
posted by Manhasset at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2006

If it's that important, I'd drive or (if I had no car) take the bus.
posted by websavvy at 5:45 PM on February 1, 2006

Definitely FedEx. At my previous job, I frequently had to get stuff to the USA fast, and Fedex never fucked up. Just schedule the pickup for tomorrow morning, it'll be in Buffahole by Friday.

Do not, under any circumstances whatsobloodyever, use Purolator. They are atrocious. And I believe they're who Canada Post uses for priority mail.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:52 PM on February 1, 2006

FedEx, yes. My girlfriend had a large package to Germany in a day and a half with them, I'm sure they can get something to Buffalo next day.

UPS, on the other hand, couldn't get a package of yarn from Markham to downtown Toronto in a week.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:15 PM on February 1, 2006

unSane, priority courier is only for shipments within Canada.

Personally, I'd probably go with FedEx too. When all else fails, they offer International Next Flight, which is basically "get it there regardless of costs."
posted by lowlife at 6:15 PM on February 1, 2006

You probably want Xpresspost-USA from Canada Post.
posted by acoutu at 6:37 PM on February 1, 2006

Xpresspost-USA is a three day service I think.

I personally use FedEx exclusively. I don't know why I suggested Canada Post. I'd avoid UPS, DHL and Purolator like the plague.

You can take it to the FedEx place at Lakeshore and Sherbourne which is close to downtown... the stuff there goes straight to the airport and the staff are very good.
posted by unSane at 6:42 PM on February 1, 2006

Odd. My last job required me to ship packages to the States regularly and I found UPS to be far better than Fed Ex. Probably a function of the employees in the sorting center. Anyway almost any courier company can offer you two day service to major metropolitan areas, and Canada Post does offer next-day document delivery to the U.S. from any post office, via Purolater.

Doesn't really seem like much of a problem.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:36 PM on February 1, 2006

FedEx will be around $25 to $35. For FedEx overnight shipments, no matter where in Canada or the US it's going (unless it's local), it will fly to Memphis during the first part of the night and fly from Memphis to the destination city during the second part of the night. Doesn't matter if it's going to Buffalo or NYC or Miami or LA or Vancouver.
posted by winston at 7:43 PM on February 1, 2006

If possible, fax it with the original to follow by regular post. Of course that probably isn't an option.
posted by JamesMessick at 8:02 PM on February 1, 2006

Maybe you can call a Kinkos in the city and you can email them the file and they could print it out and have someone come to pick it up?
posted by lockle at 10:00 PM on February 1, 2006

You could put it on a Greyhound bus.
posted by Kololo at 10:10 PM on February 1, 2006

Another vote to avoid Puralator. They're the ass of couriers. They've never successfully delivered a package to me on time. I sent an iPod from to Jamaica, NY (with proper postal code) and they sent it to Jamaica the country. They're idiots.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:11 PM on February 1, 2006

Purolator put something being delivered to us on the wrong truck. Then they gave me a huge runaround "Oh, it's buried in the truck, won't be out until tomorrow, you see what happend is blah blah blah blah." It got to the point where I had to say 'I don't care what happened. You guys screwed up. If you have to get on the truck and find the package by hand, I don't care; we were guaranteed delivery. Make it happen."

Lo and behold, the package was mysteriously found and delivered. Then there was the time... oh, never mind. THEY JUST SUCK JESUS GOD KILL PUROLATOR.


On the other hand, I was shipping something to NY via FedEx, and only realized a couple hours after it had been picked up that I'd addressed it to the wrong building. I called them. Their response? "No problem, we'll just frangify the gribulator in the computer."

And it got there early. I heart FedEx.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:21 AM on February 2, 2006

My experience with UPS has been that if the package makes it through customs, going to the USA, it will get there fast and fine. Within Canada, forget about UPS and use Canada Post or Purolator (faster and cheaper). Fedex has been pretty even for going to/from the US or within Canada, their service is "not bad", but not amazing or anything like that. Within Canada Purolator is very fast.

So, for this package, I'd go for Fedex or UPS. Don't forget to mark the package well and include LOTS of paperwork, as customs in the USA have been complete dumbtards over the past year or so, making shipping there from Canada so difficult my store has quit dealing with Americans (the requirement to fill out several sheets of documentation, then the several subsequent calls to/from the shipper for me to fax several MORE pieces of documentation to sell one item to an American customer is just not worth the money).
posted by shepd at 5:50 AM on February 2, 2006

Don't use UPS to ship between Canada and the US. They don't go through regular customs, but rather use their own thing, for which they charge utterly unreasonable amounts of money at the other end. And of course, no delivery until they get paid.
posted by transient at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2006

Thanks for the answers, everyone. It sounds like FedEx Canada-to-U.S. is the way to go, with arrangements made over the phone because their website is a pain to deal with.

In any case, in an unexpected twist, the high bidders right now all seem to be from Toronto, so I may not have to resort to last-minute shipping. But thank you!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2006

Kololo, Greyhound doesn't do international shipments -- they do within Canada or within USA but not between the two.
posted by winston at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2006

Which, given the posting history involved, may be exactly what is being looked for here.
posted by lowster11 at 3:43 AM on March 13, 2006

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