Pros: easy to use, very reliable service, great option of service, good customer service
Cons: a tad expensive
Federal Express is one of those companies that everyone has heard of, and a lot of businesses use on a daily basis around the world. It is one of the shipping companies that I often frequent as well, and I have used many of their different delivery options. They offer everything from ground delivery to this particular version of their overnight deliveries. The FedEx Standard Overnight delivery is the cheapest option that they offer to get your parcels/packages to their destination the following day. It's an easy enough process, and I have never been disappointed with the ultimate outcome of using the Standard Overnight delivery. That isn't to say that there aren't things that I dislike about it, or would have them changed if possible, but some things you just have to live with when you interact with a business on this scale.
For the FedEx Standard Overnight, the terms of agreement are that your parcel will arrive in its destination by 3pm or by 4:30pm depending on which "grid" that your destination falls into. Their grids are explained on the web-site, but basically boil down to different sections of the map. If you are sending your package to a grid that is far off, you can expect closer to the 4:30pm deliver time, and if you are closer you obviously fall into the 3pm bracket. Those times apply to the time zones within each one, so if you are going to have your package arrive at 3pm in an Eastern Time Zone city, it will get there at about Noon Pacific time if that is where you are sending it from. Keeping that in mind, you can gage at about what time the package will get there, and be able to notify the recipient when they should be expecting it to show up. This makes the whole delivery process that much easier, and allows you to keep in touch with your parcel.
The delivery destination also plays into the amount of your expense, as the grid which you are shipping to in part determines a percentage of the base rate that you are charged for the shipping. It is also much more expensive to ship something overnight, but when you need to get something there the next day, most people are willing to pay a little bit extra. There are faster ways that Federal Express will ship, including same-day to some locations, and morning of the next day (express), but both cost even more to have those specifications attached to your transaction. If you want to pay the extra charges, and that is something that you need, then consider it, but if you are looking to have something delivered the next day (and the time doesn't matter) then I say go for the FedEx Standard Overnight shipping.
Costs for using the Standard Overnight shipping are not necessarily static, as the cost changes based on the weight and delivery distance of your parcel. In my most recent example of a use of the FedEx Standard Overnight, I sent a package in state, with a total distance of almost 300 miles. The weight of the package was 25 pounds, with a measurement of the dimensions of 10 x 15 x 4 inches. With all of that information provided pre-shipping, the total costs were given to me. There was a $44.10 base rate charge applied to the shipping, and additionally a $7.06 fuel surcharge placed on the parcel. That came to a total of $51.16 to have the parcel mailed to its destination. They accept credit cards, and if you wish, you can also sign up for Cash On Delivery, where the recipient will pay the shipping charges associated with the parcel being mailed to them.
I haven't had problems associated with sending overnight through FedEx, but there are a few requirements that complicate matters. If you are sending the parcel to a Government building, or an Educational facility, or even a place of business, someone can sign for it on the spot and accept the parcel. Usually they get dropped off at the mailing center for these places, and it works out pretty well. If you are sending it to a home though, there has to be someone there to receive it. If there isn't, FedEx leaves a note, and will return the next day. That can be frustrating if you are sending it to someone who works during the day, thus making them unable to receive the package. I have experienced this on my end, not being there to sign for something, and having them refuse to leave it at an apartment where I was living.
Using a service such as the Federal Express Standard Overnight Delivery, you are running the same risks as with any other service, but I have come to really rely on them as a carrier. Sure, I have heard of people who have had problems with the service, but it also leads to only negative reviews of Federal Express. I think that when people receive/send their packages on time, they don't even think twice about Federal Express, because the company has performed its function. I think that way more often than not, Federal Express really comes through on their delivery promises, and I am a customer who has enjoyed dealing with them very much. With a functional web-site, the ability to have the parcels picked up from my home or office to be sent, and a 1-800 line (1-800-go-fedex) to reach if you are concerned about something or have a question, I think they do their best to provide everything a customer needs. I recommend the Standard Overnight if you need something to get there the next day but don't want to pay the charges of it getting there that morning, yet want to insure you are using a good option.