Let's focus less on what they can do for me and more on what they can't do for me. The answer: they can't screw it up any worse than FedEx has.
Pleased to learn that I would have work show in Chicago, I sent The Global Marketplace via FedEx Ground to A.R.C. gallery on Dec. 22 (A.R.C. doesn't write the name with the periods, but they pronounce each letter when answering the phone). It was slated to arrive within 2-3 business days, and with a holiday crammed in the middle, I figure it would arrive around the 28th. Currently, the work is in what is called a "destination station" in La Grange - about half way between Chicago and Naperville.
After three phone calls to Fed Ex I have learned quite a bit about their business model. Not enough to become an expert, but possibly enough to know that, unless it isn't urgent, I am sticking USPS. After all, they deliver for you.
I'm willing to believe the typical FedEx user ships from a retail store - a location to buy shipping supplies, get some "Kinkos" copies, and maybe do some computer work, all for exorbitant rates that they might deem "competitive." From there, it goes to a destination station, which differs if you ship air or ground. To the zip code I shipped, air goes to Hillside, ground to La Grange.
Destination Stations can also determine their own hours and work days. In La Grange, they don't do weekends. This might be the same for all FedEx Ground, but I cannot recall. The other thing La Grange apparently does not do is Dec. 30, Dec. 31, or Jan 2, as there is no vehicle activity for my package on any of those days.
There was a time when I swore I would never ship art again via FedEx or UPS. One summer I worked as the Assistant Gallery Manager at the Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts Gallery (they are only open during the 10 week summer season), and the Gallery Manager and I were strolling the grounds (got a coffee) and we passed a FedEx or UPS truck (f.ups for short) about a block away from the gallery as he was making a delivery to another building in Chautauqua. The f.ups guy was literally throwing boxes around the back of the truck, and I joked to the manager that those boxes were probably ours.
See... we were expecting work that week for the upcoming "craft" exhibition - most of it glass.
The exhibition at ARC I believe opens on Jan 7th. My work, and the work of several other artists, might still be in La Grange.
I miss DHL. Though the joke was that it means "Dumped, Hidden, or Lost," I never had a problem with them. I'd like to believe it is because the D meant Deutsche.