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montmill

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
252
Location
13528 Old Hwy. G Montfort, Wisconsin
This change so much it's hard to keep up. Yesterday my wife came out of the post office with changes in rates that are supposidly in place for a bit but will come back down sometime in the future. I understand things are in a state of flux until covid is under control but given the reality, how can you possibly figure out how to charge for an item you sell and need to ship?

What do you use and what you found when you ship? Can you find predictable reasonable prices? Sometimes shipping is more than the item itself.
 
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monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,954
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Related topic - - -

A couple of days ago, I received a shipment from Amazon that was delivered to the door by the Amazon delivery service (not UPS or USPS). The truck pulled up in front of the house, and I watched the driver spend at least ten minutes sorting through and arranging packages in the back of the truck before he brought the box to the door. Then, the truck sat in front of the house for anther 5-10 minutes while the driver continued to shuffle and arrange packages.

I understand that 'Last mile delivery' is the most difficult part of any shipping process. That's why many vendors choose USPS, and also why companies like Amazon and UPS partner with USPS for 'last mile service' - USPS is required to deliver to every address in the country, while other deliver services only deliver upon demand, so 'last mile' is baked into their DNA. . And while there are occasional errors, for the most part USPS does a very good job of 'last mile' delivery. USPS has a clear advantage and in my opinion, they should charge Amazon, UPS and the others for taking on that responsibility.

But if Amazon or UPS insists on doing the 'last mile', then I would think that they would have implemented some automation to organize and simplify that process. Specifically -

  • They dispatch a group of trucks to deliver to a specific set of addresses - presumably with the addresses grouped together so that multiple trucks are not crossing paths as they make deliveries. I don't know if they do this, but I would think that they would have a GPS system that is programmed to optimize the route taken by each truck to minimize the miles driven, and that would be updated daily to reflect the actual addresses that they are delivering to. They have a computerized database listing the packages and delivery addresses - all it would take is to link that to a GPS system to optimize routing. Incidentally, I think UPS may have something like this - part of the lore surrounding UPS is that they consciously route their trucks in a way that avoids left turns since left turns tend to introduce delays along the way.
  • The antics of the Amazon driver in shuffling through the packages on his truck were absolutely silly and unnecessary. Why aren't packages placed on trucks in the order in which they are to be delivered? USPS does that - so why can't Amazon? Again, the addresses are in their computer, so why don't they just get their act together to use that information to simplify the task they have to do?

FedEx is different in that their core service is overnight delivery, while UPS and Amazon's core service is merely 'fast' delivery' The only practical way for FedEx to assure overnight delivery is to do it themselvs - but that also means that their delivery is strictly 'upon demand' which means that coordinated optimized routing and package sorting has to be part of their process.
 
Last edited:

Arnold

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Cookeville, TN
Just a comment on "USPS is required to deliver to every address in the country"... If the Postal Service does not deliver to your address you will get a free post office box...
 

Amanap

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
65
Location
Plant City, Florida
Related topic - - -

A couple of days ago, I received a shipment from Amazon that was delivered to the door by the Amazon delivery service (not UPS or USPS). The truck pulled up in front of the house, and I watched the driver spend at least ten minutes sorting through and arranging packages in the back of the truck before he brought the box to the door. Then, the truck sat in front of the house for anther 5-10 minutes while the driver continued to shuffle and arrange packages.

I understand that 'Last mile delivery' is the most difficult part of any shipping process. That's why many vendors choose USPS, and also why companies like Amazon and UPS partner with USPS for 'last mile service' - USPS is required to deliver to every address in the country, while other deliver services only deliver upon demand, so 'last mile' is baked into their DNA. . And while there are occasional errors, for the most part USPS does a very good job of 'last mile' delivery. USPS has a clear advantage and in my opinion, they should charge Amazon, UPS and the others for taking on that responsibility.

But if Amazon or UPS insists on doing the 'last mile', then I would think that they would have implemented some automation to organize and simplify that process. Specifically -

  • They dispatch a group of trucks to deliver to a specific set of addresses - presumably with the addresses grouped together so that multiple trucks are not crossing paths as they make deliveries. I don't know if they do this, but I would think that they would have a GPS system that is programmed to optimize the route taken by each truck to minimize the miles driven, and that would be updated daily to reflect the actual addresses that they are delivering to. They have a computerized database listing the packages and delivery addresses - all it would take is to link that to a GPS system to optimize routing. Incidentally, I think UPS may have something like this - part of the lore surrounding UPS is that they consciously route their trucks in a way that avoids left turns since left turns tend to introduce delays along the way.
  • The antics of the Amazon driver in shuffling through the packages on his truck were absolutely silly and unnecessary. Why are packages placed on trucks in the order in which they are to be delivered? USPS does that - so why can't Amazon? Again, the addresses are in their computer, so why don't they just get their act together to use that information to simplify the task they have to do?

FedEx is different in that their core service is overnight delivery, while UPS and Amazon's core service is merely 'fast' delivery' The only practical way for FedEx to assure overnight delivery is to do it themselvs - but that also means that their delivery is strictly 'upon demand' which means that coordinated optimized routing and package sorting has to be part of their process.
Amazon Delivery Service are just sub contractors for Amazon. Almost anyone with a reliable vehicle can become part of this service and they have no requirements for automation. Amazon has grown faster than their ability to deliver so this service is being used more than ever.
 

Amanap

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
65
Location
Plant City, Florida
FedEx and UPS have been implementing peak surcharges at this time of year for a long time but it is new for USPS. It should come back down after Christmas but who knows since all are hitting pre pandemic peak numbers on a daily basis. Amazon is not a transportation company and I don't know enough about their pricing structure.

USPS is a great low cost, dependable option but limited to United States. You can mail to other countries but do your homework first on who USPS is handing off to. Level of service is consistent and they have a few options for speed at a price. They are limited to size of shipment (no pallet) but I doubt pen turners would need this service unless they are ordering equipment. UPS is a lot like USPS but more expensive and much faster. They also do not have a pallet size option but can subcontract. You get a consistent experience world wide with UPS unlike using USPS when mailing outside the USA. FedEx has the most options but more expensive. You can literally ship anything to almost any place in the world from a pen to a giraffe. Several options for price depending on what you are shipping and how fast you want it there.

Since I am not allowed to use FedEx and wont use UPS I am stuck using USPS. USPS is a great value when you think about what you get for how little you pay.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,792
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Shipping and logistics can be a vary complex situation.... I worked in the forwarding and logistics field for 40 years. But I've also been out of the business for 16 years, so there has been a lot of changes. And I worked with packages mostly much larger than pens and pepper mills.... some of my packages could be the size of a full sized 18 wheeler truck... sent by both air, ocean and truck.... I often had to charter whole air crafts and sometimes even whole ships or partial charters of ships.

My small packages were often documents and letters of credit that absolutely had to be delivered on timely and reliability basis.
During my tenure, I rarely ever relied on the USPS... their volume dictated that they simply could not provide the service I needed. I used UPS or DHL for most of my documents, but FEDEX for really import documents like the letters of credit... you just didn't want a million dollar letter of credit delayed or lost.

Today most of my shipping is through ETSY and I rely exclusively on USPS priority mail which has served me well for the last 20 years. Pricing is fairly consistent and reasonable... I offer free shipping on my listings, I've just added an amount that will cover most of my cost and absorb the rest.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,505
Location
Washington, IN
I am finding completive rates at Pirate Ship, have you ever tried them?
I do not actually use Click-n-Ship anymore, just recommending it for the OP.

This year we moved our website to Shopify and are able to take advantage of their discounted shipping rates with most providers. They have the ability to link with Pirate Ship but I haven’t checked their prices. Will look into it.
 

Alewis1020

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Lafayette, IN
This change so much it's hard to keep up. Yesterday my wife came out of the post office with changes in rates that are supposidly in place for a bit but will come back down sometime in the future. I understand things are in a state of flux until covid is under control but given the reality, how can you possibly figure out how to charge for an item you sell and need to ship?

What do you use and what you found when you ship? Can you find predictable reasonable prices? Sometimes shipping is more than the item itself.
I use Shippo for my pens. You can send out 2 pens for $3.01. That is a 5 day delivery. Most of them are there in 3 days. In shippo they give you several options and you can print the labels.
 
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