Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Hurry Love

I grew up in Africa where the mail system is somewhat different to the UK.  If I wanted to post a letter from one town to another, I would have expected it to take a week or two.

No, that wasn't a typo: I did say a week or two, even if the distance involved was perhaps 20 miles.  That's how mail worked and what seemed normal to me.  It was therefore a revelation when I came to the UK and found that most mail should be delivered overnight.  And that you could be confident that it would arrive.

However, recently I had to send some important papers to South Africa and so I thought I had better use a courier, both for security and speed.  I will not say which courier, but the clue is in the title.

The pickup was ordered on Tuesday for Wednesday collection. 

The picture above is taken from the web site and shows that in two days the parcel has got as far as Heathrow Airport.  According to Google Maps, this is a journey of under 30 miles.  Google Maps also has a cute feature that estimates how long it would take to walk that distance.  Here's what they say

Yes, that's right: If the courier had walked it would take less than seven hours.

At this rate, I calculate the parcel will be delivered in a bit over a year. 

Consequently I feel a little aggrieved at being charged £45 for "courier delivery".

It takes me back to my childhood, where post was a "hit and miss" matter and I have to say I have noo feelings of nostalgia for this kind of service.

Don't Hurry, Love.


The bloggers code of ethics compels me to add the following update to this fast-moving story (and parcel).

As shown above, the parcel has now arrived in Cape Town.  This journey of about 6,000 miles, was apparently done in 3 hours, or approximately at an average speed of 2,000 mph.  That's 50% faster than Concorde.  I can only think that the courier company, in response to my original blog, purchased an SR-71 Blackbird to peform the delivery.
I am impressed!

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