Life in the USA
Public Services I
Letters and Packages
Express services specialize in getting letters and packages to a destination the next day. This can mean spending $20.00 to send two sheets of paper to get somewhere by 10:00 am the next morning, instead of a fraction of that expense to have it arrive in two or three days by first class mail. Businesses use this service for their most important items, like time-sensitive contracts. Many use it by habit for less timely materials, because the service is considered highly reliable.
Federal Express (“FedEx”) is the leading express company, and, in fact, has given rise to a verb in the American language as in the sentence, “I’ll FedEx the documents to you right away.” To be less commercial, a person could say, “I will overnight the package to you,” here using the word “overnight” as a verb.
U.P.S. and DHL compete with Federal Express, as does the United States Postal Service. All the companies advertise heavily and the competition is intense. They all offer less expensive two and three day delivery services.
Express companies have sophisticated systems that allow users to track their packages online and be sure of delivery. Customers can bring their letters and packages into one of a network of convenient offices and drop-off points or pay extra for the express service to pick up the item on their premises.
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