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One more reason to avoid UPS, surcharge for residential delivery.


scorpio616
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I don't necessarily see it as a reason to avoid UPS, but it is definitely a factor to consider when selecting a means of shipping.

 

You have to look at the costs and benefits of each method and choose the one that makes sense for your application.

 

Thanks for bringing it to our attention though.  It will be of particular concern to those planning Kickstarters.

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That sucks. I've had no issues with USP in terms of delivery or returns. Amazon has been shipping my prime orders via USPS for the past month or so. I wonder if that is related to this.

 

This could open the door for other companies to get into the market or get a larger piece of the market. 

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UPS is right that delivery to residential customers is (broadly) more expensive than delivery to businesses, though. I don't think it's unreasonable for them to charge more for a service that costs more.

 

Doesn't mean I'm happy about it, but I understand. (And I rather like the current service from the USPS, though they're talking about major changes in delivery schedules, also because of cost increases.)

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After a dismal 2013, in which weather and consumers’ growing love of e-commerce conspired to leave more than a million parcels undelivered by Christmas day, UPS went all-in for 2014, sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into improvements and hiring around 100,000 seasonal workers. And while it all meant that packages were delivered in time for the holidays, there wasn’t enough business for UPS to ultimately recoup those expenses.

I think there's a flaw in the logic of that statements. Improvements to infrastructure, business process etc. don't have to be recouped the very next year as those improvements continue to provide value to UPS year-round from that point on. The additional seasonal workers on the other hand, do need to pay for themselves each year.

 

I'm also curious about where home-based businesses fall under this plan.

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Thing to remember, though, is that UPS, FedEx, etc., give enormous discounts to large businesses as incentive to sign longterm contracts, so they actually make less money off of all those thousands and thousands of daily transactions than they do off of individual consumers and smaller companies that cannot afford to negotiate by promising huge numbers of transactions. (They also bank on overweight, Dangerous Goods, super-urgent, and unusual packaging to pick up some of the difference, but that is another discussion.)

 

Which means individual customers are picking up the tab for the couriers' costs twice. Once by not receiving the same flat rate as do the big boys. Twice when the home delivery surcharge is tacked on.

 

So you pay more so Facebook can take a huge discount. Or Apple, or whoever.

 

But given that the alternative is the Post Office - an organization that routinely fails to deliver as promised, often loses things, charges too much and refuses to take responsibility for its own clear mistakes, well... what can you do?

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UPS already uses the USPS.

 

UPS and FedEx pick and choose who they deliver to, and they do not bother going to remoter, more difficult private addresses.

 

That job they hand off to the faithful old US Post Office, which does deliver absolutely anywhere, unlike those slackers, and it doesn't rake in the cash for it either.

 

UPS also has a terrible reputation among artists, art dealers and craftspeople for "losing" artworks, antiques, and other valuables in shipment with little or no recompense. The US Post Office, however, is stellar.

Edited by Pingo
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You should also expect to see a push toward centralized delivery locations, like the Amazon Locker depots that are set up in retail locations like 7-Eleven stores. These allow shippers to bring multiple parcels to one spot where customers can pick them up at their leisure. Don’t be shocked to see Amazon try to make these more attractive, especially for Prime subscribers, and other companies attempt to replicate this model.

I remember this model from when I was a kid. We called it the Sears Catalog Store.

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Which carrier is the good one depends a great deal on where you are. Some places FedEx has a deservedly terrible reputation, some places UPS, and some places USPS (I knew John Cade before he was sent to jail, for instance, and I'm reliably informed that he didn't just fail to deliver junk mail).

 

I've received, unpacked, packed, and shipped quite a lot of artwork and have not noticed a systematic difference between carriers here.

 

As to whether the USPS has some sort of moral superiority because they deliver everywhere? It's legally mandated, so no special moral advantage to the organization, and it's supported by a legally mandated monopoly on letters, so real competition is impossible.

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As to whether the USPS has some sort of moral superiority because they deliver everywhere? It's legally mandated, so no special moral advantage to the organization, and it's supported by a legally mandated monopoly on letters, so real competition is impossible.

Really? We get sent letters via FedEx all the time.

 

Yes, it is legally mandated that the USPS deliver everywhere. That's why UPS, FedEx and the like can get away with not bothering to.

 

Mandates also control strictly how much money the Post Office can charge, which is why it is such a bargain to ship a package cross country via the Post Office compared to the rates charged by the profit-driven private companies that piggyback on USPS capabilities.

 

I do not consider this a matter of morality one way or the other. But the illogic of it bothers me. It pains me to see cheap humor at the Post Office's expense when it is an underfunded, undersupported, massive government agency that still manages to convey millions of letters and packages safely across the country in reasonable time at bargain basement prices.

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As to whether the USPS has some sort of moral superiority because they deliver everywhere? It's legally mandated, so no special moral advantage to the organization, and it's supported by a legally mandated monopoly on letters, so real competition is impossible.

Really? We get sent letters via FedEx all the time.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Express_Statutes

 

You can deliver letters by yourself, but only if you also pay for US postage. You can deliver "Extremely Urgent" letters without paying postage, but there is mandated minimum charge. And so on.

 

It's the typical set of byzantine rules that any student of the USGov can expect.

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