How Long Does It Take To Fax Something?

Before computerized scanners and faxes, companies would send materials by hand. Even with the technological advances, hand-delivering materials can still be time-consuming and cumbersome. However, as small businesses continue to grow and expand, the need to quickly and efficiently send documents and information to various locations is more prevalent than ever.

Whether you are a small business using fax as a way to immediately send files or you are a large corporation with an office based in a remote location, it can be challenging to keep up with frequent communication requests and timely turnarounds.

Even with all the technology available to help businesses reduce the wait time and make sure that documents are received by their appropriate recipients, it can still take a significant amount of time to receive a fax.

What Can Cause Fax Wait Times?

There are a number of factors that can delay the delivery of faxes. Some of these reasons are highly localized, regional issues, significant equipment breakage, and access issues. However, there are also some general causes that affect all businesses that use fax.

Many of the factors that cause the delay are the same ones that cause the throughput problems of any other information-based system.

Loss of Signal – This is the most common cause of fax delay. If a fax line becomes severed when a computer receiving the fax is down, the computer will not be able to receive any data until the line is reconnected.

This usually happens when the line is out of order or the phone handset is accidentally left on the fax machine.

Long Fax line – Long fax lines can cause delays due to increased chance of drop-off. The phone on which the fax is sent often has a shorter range than the phone line, which reduces the amount of signal that reaches the fax machine.

This may be due to the fact that a local number is more expensive to dial than a long-distance number.

The Importance of a Good Fax

You may have heard some stories about how companies are using faxes to communicate with each other during World War II, or how the Federal Trade Commission forced businesses to use faxes in the 1980s.

Of course, those things never happened. Those claims are myths created by history books written by people who do not know the facts.

In reality, faxes were used for almost exclusively government and commercial communication during the first half of the twentieth century. The use of faxes skyrocketed during World War II, when teleprinter services became widespread.

By the end of the war, 70% of all communications across the United States had been handled via fax.

With the rapid growth of the Internet and other communications technologies, it only made sense to use fax for communicating with non-profit and government organizations as well.

How to Manage Fax Wait Times

There are a few ways to manage the wait time for a fax. First, you can use the “first come first serve” method. This means that if you are the first person to request a file, then you will get it first. This is the “first come first serve” method for most government services, including the United States Postal Service.

You can also give priority to frequently-requested projects, creating a “first come first serve” basis for these as well.

Tips for a Faster Faxing Process

If possible, try to keep all of your projects and correspondence together in one file. This will help expedite the delivery process.

When sending a large number of files, you can also arrange them in a specified filing order. If the first person to request a file is late with their request, then the other people who want to receive the file will still receive it, but they will have to wait until the first person who requested it is ready to receive it.


No matter what type of company you are, no two business operations will have identical wait times for receiving a fax. While there are some universal causes of wait time that can be applied to all types of businesses, the majority of time will be unique to each organization.

Depending on the number of locations you have, it can take as long as three days to receive a fax at your office.

However, with a few adjustments to your faxing process, you can speed up the receiving process and reduce the wait time to less than 30 seconds.

With the advancement of technology, there is also a significant decrease in the wait time for sending a fax. Send a fax as soon as you get a message, and you will receive an acknowledgment immediately.

There is no wait time for sending a fax, as soon as you get the message that the request is out of date.

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