Shipping Costs

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On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:32:36 GMT, "Leon"

The alternatives I speak of are on checkout at many online shopping sources.
I like shopping on the internet. It saves the hassle of actually going to a brick and mortar with all the attendant traffic problems. Not to mention driving a goodly distance and using expensive gas to get there. Only to find they don't have the item I'm looking for.
But shipping. It's like Russian roulette. The merchandise will probably be o.k., but the packaging sure shows signs of abuse. It's like the shipper (usually UPS) isn't too concerned that the contents survive the journey, only that the package arrives at it's destination somewhat intact.
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 16:02:56 -0400, Locutus wrote:

I sent my son a much-needed computer. He lived in Minnesota, I shipped from Michigan.
It went to Chicago AND RETURNED TO MICHIGAN 3 times. On the 4th trip to Chicago, some genius sent it on to Oregon. When it got to Oregon someone pulled out a map and actually sent it to Minneapolis (that's a city in Minnesota that UPS has trouble finding).
When it got there it was crushed beyond belief ... utterly destroyed. The monitor had left here packed in peanuts in an inner box that was secured inside a larger box with roughly 4 inches of spray-in-place foam.
Because I am an individual and not a company, UPS refused the honor the insurance they had so eagerly sold me with nary a whisper about only paying off on commercial shipments.
Whenever a vendor offers me a choice, I ask that merchandise NOT be shipped via UPS.
I seem to have a regular driver (for now). He has stopped the practice of lugging my stuff back into Detroit and making me come fetch it as pennance for not taking a day off work when I think that a package MIGHT be due to arrive. Of course that will only last until I get a different driver.
The stuff I ship will fit in a Priority envelope. I can buy postage online to print on my Dymo labeler and call USPS for a pickup. If there is a particular rush, I can drive the one mile to an all-night post office.
The ability to handle a large volume of freight doesn't mean much to me when a shipper can't seem to find Minneapolis and they renege on the insurance coverage they insisted I buy.
They wouldn't even refund the premium.
Bill
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Nice touch
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Just got a package from Overstock.com -- they shipped via USPS. Also got my Daytimer via internet; it also shipped USPS. Most stuff does ship UPS, but quite a bit still is shipped by even big-name places through USPS.
UPS actually works better for me; USPS is not the swooftest. We have a cluster box; packages are placed in special boxes and the key left in the regular box. What the postal person doesn't seem to understand is that on the side where they load the mail, the whole back opens and the full width of a box is available. However, on the customer side, there is a flange that constitutes the door frame. I can't remember how many times I have gotten packages that just fit on the mailman's side, implying that I have to disassemble the package inside the mailbox in order to get the contents out of the receptacle. UPS just leaves the stuff on my doorstep.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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<snip>

<snip>
Just adding my 2 cents .... both USPS and UPS deliver to the doorstep (we're out in the country and rural delivery with USPS). Both are efficient pleasant and provide dog bones for the dogs. UPS "Parcel Princess" is really hot, but that's another story!
My gripe is with FedEx Ground. We have a FedEx Priority distribution center in the next town, but FedEx Ground is shipped though two terminals in the next state 50 and 100 miles away many times with contract drivers in private vehicles and days later from tracking estimates.
I request all shipping UPS or USPS. FedEx was good when I was in corporate America with a big budget, but sucks for the residential customer.
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FedEx is pretty reliable though. I love it when people spend extra for an overnight shipment to a person that is away on vacation for the next two weeks. We have a customer that pays for the previous shipment when he wants another. Instead of mailing a check for 39 early in the week, he overnights at the last minute for $12. I wonder why he does not have the cash to pay his bills.
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Same thing I've found. USPS leaves dog bones, and the regular UPS driver leaves packages inside the garage next to the basement door. Never had a damaged box with either of them. Maybe they're just more careful in less populated areas where there's a decent chance they'll have to actually deal with you if they mess up the packages. Post office only has two mail carriers in my town, and they alternate on a regular two-week cycle, so it wouldn't be tough to tell *exactly* who did something stupid with the mail. I'm sure there's only one UPS driver, but I'm usually not here when they deliver.
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FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight are all seperate companies owned by FedEx.
They all operate completely seperately which seems silly. You would think they could have huge economies of scale by combining some of the operations, particularly FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight.
FedEx just bought Watkins Freight and renamed them FedEx LTL. Why they didn't combine them into FedEx Freight is just silly. Around here, the FedEx Freight terminal and the FedEx LTL terminals are blocks apart.
Brian Elfert
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writes:

Marketing and systems are probably the biggest opportunities for synergies in the business. Operations will move together as makes sense, just not too quickly. There are niches in every business.
Patriarch
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George Max wrote:

You must have a VERY bad local depot.
In my experience (in the UK), UPS are about the best of a bad bunch.
I work for a company that ships 1,000 parcels a day by UPS.
I would guess that less than 1 a week arrives in a damaged state - call it 0.02%
Couple that to online tracking and insurance, it's my carrier of choice for heavier items.
--
BigEgg
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wrote:

Seriously, maybe that's the problem. I know exactly where it is, I've been there before. I'd say which one it is, but I don't wanna enrage the gorillas over there any further.

Bad bunch - grin :)

That's a lot of packages.

I'll say this - the online tracking is nice. They provide a nice list of suspects for sites my package was tossed around at.
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They must not like you, particularly. I've been getting packages from UPS for over a quarter of a century, often daily; and have had maybe two packages with damage. YMMV.
scott
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On Tue, 17 Oct 2006 23:14:27 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Yep, I must be on a list.
I met one great UPS employee once. I had been tracking my mesquite lumber and saw that it had made it as far as the depot near my house. Later that same day, I saw a note on my shipment that it was being returned (!) I called and no one could say what happened. Later that evening, the UPS driver shows up anyway with it. Of his own initiative, he recognized that it was rough lumber, and would I care to look at it and see if it was any good. Bravo for him. Boo hiss for the idiots at UPS.
I took the lumber, oil and all, knowing I'd plane it off whatever hit the wood anyway.
Now you know the rest of the story.
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I have received about 50 shipments by UPS this summer for a project and I don't recall any being crushed or unreasonably dirty. The vast majority were just as clean and new as they where when the shipper handed them off to UPS.
Brian Elfert
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wrote:

I'm please to hear that. Really. Maybe my local distribution center (if that's the problem) will clean up it's act. I doubt it though.
Until then, I pick other shipping methods when possible.
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"Locutus" snip

My company receives several shipments a day from UPS, FedEx and Airborne. FedEx is the most efficient, UPS is a close second followed by Airborne. When we ship, we use UPS, the tracking system is great and customers like it. We, nor any of the companies that ship to us would consider the USPS. They are slow, and not very user friendly. Personally, I'd rather have a package shipped to me via UPS as the driver actually puts the package on the porch or it he thinks its a tool, he'll put it around back by the shop, away from prying eyes. The mailman just drops it over the wall, rain or shine, sprinklers or not, he just drops it over the wall.
Dave
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While our normal UPS driver knows where we like packages, we had one substitute driver leave one by the side of the road. In a snowbank. 0.3 miles from the house.
Our mailman brings packages to the door if they won't fit in the box (we have an oversized box, too).
So, I think it depends on the individual drivers, not the company they work for.
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In the last 2 years, the USPS had about 1/2 billion worth of business from ebay sales alone. They may not be the first choice for the size and weight of whatever it is you are shipping, but for certain size/weight ranges they are far less expensive than UPS.
[disclaimer: I've worked for th Postal Service for the last 24 years]
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Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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wrote:

They certainly are cheaper, I never said they were not. I can see why a lot of eBay sellers would us USPS. But for higher volumes, the process is too cumbersome to be efficient.
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wrote:

Personally I don't like to recieve items via USPS, especially small ones. I've never had UPS wrap anything up in the junk mail.
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