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Archive 2010 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail
  
 
graham_martin
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p.1 #1 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


I used to use UPS Ground for all my shipments mainly due to their continual tracking while en route, and my perception that they were more reliable than the USPS.
Recently I have started using USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. While I cannot track the package en route I have found that the shipping time is much quicker than UPS. For example I live in Florida and on this past Saturday I mailed a lens that I had just sold to an FM member living in California. The lens arrived today (Monday) which essentially is the next business day. If I had used UPS, it would have taken several days to get there.

Clearly the USPS sends everything by air. They are usually no more expensive than UPS Ground. So far I have been very pleased with the USPS service. What has been the experience of others here?



Aug 24, 2010 at 01:42 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


graham_martin wrote:
Clearly the USPS sends everything by air. They are usually no more expensive than UPS Ground. So far I have been very pleased with the USPS service. What has been the experience of others here?


Air vs. ground depends on the shipping distance.

As a shipper I can see the appeal of the USPS. As a recipient I would not buy anything of value that was sent by USPS.

EBH



Aug 24, 2010 at 03:00 AM
Bobster2
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p.1 #3 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


USPS folded a book in half to make it fit in my mailbox.

Maybe it was partly the seller's fault for using a soft package, but who would really expect the mail carrier to work so hard to damage the contents that way?




Aug 24, 2010 at 03:09 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #4 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


Nope. OTOH UPS just flings the package over the fence and it bounces off the door and down the little steps.


Aug 24, 2010 at 03:45 AM
beauport
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p.1 #5 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


USPS Priority Mail crosses the country for delivery in almost all locations in 2 days, UPS Ground is 5 days. Heavy items which fit in a USPS "flat rate" box can be much less expensive than UPS Ground and get there faster. Even the USPS tracking has gotten better with intermediary scans which they never provided before. With letters going away it looks like they're trying harder with packages.


Aug 24, 2010 at 01:14 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #6 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


beauport wrote:
USPS Priority Mail crosses the country for delivery in almost all locations in 2 days, UPS Ground is 5 days. Heavy items which fit in a USPS "flat rate" box can be much less expensive than UPS Ground and get there faster. Even the USPS tracking has gotten better with intermediary scans which they never provided before. With letters going away it looks like they're trying harder with packages.

+1 Priority my go to shipping method for 10 years now. The thought of UPS ground
drop kicking the crap out of a lens/body for 5 days coast to coast, makes me more
uncomfortable than USPS's archaic lack of tracking. 600+ transactions and never an issue.
There are horror stories with ALL carriers, we plops down our money....and takes our chances.



Aug 24, 2010 at 04:44 PM
carlsbadbum
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p.1 #7 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


Since they started the flat rate boxes I've been using USPS. I ship UPS if the buyer request for it.


Aug 24, 2010 at 06:15 PM
GC5
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p.1 #8 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail



Love the convenience of the flat rate boxes. Never had a problem with USPS proprity mail but always ship delivery confirmation and insure for at least some of the value.



Aug 25, 2010 at 07:45 PM
graham_martin
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p.1 #9 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


If I am not mistaken you are automatically covered by USPS for the first $100.00


Aug 25, 2010 at 08:30 PM
nb_ken
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p.1 #10 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


5 days for UPS ground? I'm not sure I've ever seen that kind of speed from that service.

I don't ship enough have a preference in that direction, but as a buyer -- especially if I'm paying for the shipping -- I want it sent USPS priority. It's cheap and it's fast. Anything else and I'm either paying more or waiting longer or both.



Aug 26, 2010 at 12:20 PM
 

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trenchmonkey
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p.1 #11 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


5 days for UPS ground? I'm not sure I've ever seen that kind of speed from that service.
yeah BUSINESS days is where they get ya...I've had that "5" milked to as many as 8 on more than one occasion.




Aug 26, 2010 at 01:19 PM
CGrindahl
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p.1 #12 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


Much happier with USPS. My most recent purchase came with tracking info from the Postal Service that actually WORKED. No doubt they're working to improve service but even without tracking information, I'm confident that what I buying or sending will get to its destination.


Aug 26, 2010 at 06:53 PM
sfxmn
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p.1 #13 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


USPS doesn't provide any insurance automatically. If you have ever paid extra for postal insurance and had to place a claim, well, it's totally worthless.

UPS provides $100. in insurance automatically. (For additional insurance they're cheaper than USPS insurance for the same amount.)

I've switched to FedExGround for my own shipping. They also provide $100. insurance automatically. For most things I specify 'signature required' to make sure nothing gets left on a porch or pitched over the fence. And a claim gets processed in an eyeblink.

Just had an experience this month with Adorama. They sent me a filter via USPS "Mail Express" and it never arrived though the tracking info said it did. Adorama shipped a replacement via UPS, signature required, and it was here in 3 days.



Aug 27, 2010 at 12:25 AM
kodakman
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p.1 #14 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


carlsbadbum wrote:
Since they started the flat rate boxes I've been using USPS. I ship UPS if the buyer request for it.


+1. And USPS ships to Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska with no additional cost using flat rate box.



Aug 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM
JustinThyme
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p.1 #15 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


My 2 cents is USPS priority. No the tracking isnt as good but who cares, I dont. If the two parties live close to a majot airport across country it can be an overnight deal, 3 days at worst if both are in remote locations. If you have a high dollar item and you want to insure it go express. While the cost of the express is much more than that of priority the insurance is for some reason is cheap so on a $2k item insured its actually cheaper to go express. I avoid UPS ground like the plague! Not only will they drop kick it you dont know where on the skid your item is going to be loaded. Say you were shipping an 800L and had it in a large box as would be required guess where its going....on the bottom with 1000lbs of whatever on top of it then its exposed to the openings in the skid for fork trucks to gouge up etc. I have seen a UPS terminal in operation up close and personal and insuring no damage is not in their creed. I recently bought a 400L and it was shipped UPS ground from Chicago to Princeton, took 4 days and the box looked like it went through a war zone with the bottom nearly ripped completely out of it (fork lift) with damage to the case but thankfully not the lens.

Another kicker for USPS is the deliver on Saturday with no additional charge and if its a direct signature package you get a note and can go pick it up fromt your local post office at your convenience. If its UPS or FedEx your going to either be there when they come which is god only knows when, no set route or your going to wait another day all day long on when are they coming. My mail is 2PM give or take 15 minutes every day. If I miss it the post office is a mile from the house, If I miss UPS or FedEx I have to call them to get them to take it off the truck and hold for pick up and its a 30 minute drive to get to their depots.

NEVER USE FEDEX GROUND FOR RESIDENTIAL DELIVERIES!!!!!!
All FedEx ground residential delivers are now sub contracted. Yes they show up in a truck that says fedex on it but they are sub contract people who lease that truck from fedex. When your delivery occurs is when they get around to driving to your neighborhood. I have had a high dollar item that rode in the same truck for 3 days and never made it to my house, I was waiting for it. Tracking said Out for delivery for 3 days. On the 3rd day I called and was not very nice to them. They called the driver and I could overhear the conversation in the background that he didnt have any other deliveries in that area and wasnt going on that side of town until he did. Then the lady came back on the line with a story of it was delayed because it had been put on the wrong truck. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when I about reached through the phone at her! When she found out I overheard the conversation because she was too stupid to mute the phone or put me on hold she was all too compliant and the package was at my door in less than 30 minutes.



Aug 29, 2010 at 01:16 AM
sfxmn
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p.1 #16 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


I had large reverse white on red labels printed up: "FRAGILE / TOP FREIGHT ONLY/ DO NOT ACCEPT PARCEL IF DAMAGED," always put one on each side, and another on the top adjacent to the address label, no matter how much the box weighs. Then print "THIS END UP" with arrows using a black Sharpie marker on each side of the parcel. Double box or use an incredible amount of foam or plastic peanuts. Then overinsure the item. If you report a damaged item you've shipped and had returned to UPS or FedExp this has always assured full claim payment. I'm less concerned with speed than safety. At least this has been my experience.


Aug 30, 2010 at 07:01 PM
Ray.T
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p.1 #17 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


i pack my items well and always ship ups ground, usps priority mail is too flaky, i do not trust it at all.


Aug 31, 2010 at 12:59 PM
JustinThyme
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p.1 #18 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


Here is what UPS gets you.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=876269



Sep 04, 2010 at 03:19 AM
Chris Ventura
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p.1 #19 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


A fellow employee at my place of business at one time held a job at UPS. He told me that if you ever ship anything fragile with them, to pack it VERY well, and write fragile all over the package. The reason why?

From his description of the process.. he worked on a line sorting packages, and he said the normal method for getting the packages off of the conveyor quick enough ( I assume it was a conveyor belt type system) was to toss them over his shoulder with a good amount of strength. The packages would fling a good 10 feet into the air.. hit a fence, or wall of some sort.. and pile up against each other into one big pile that someone else would sort. He made it clear that this was not his preferred method for doing his job, it was the method that was taught to him.. because of the speed needed to get the packages off of the moving belt. Now, I don't know how much truth there is to this, I have no reason to suggest he is lying, and I am sure similar stories can be heard from USPS, and Fedex. The reality is.. Package your item VERY well.. insure it.. and cross your fingers no matter who you use.

If you are shipping coast to coast USPS is usually faster. If you are shipping to a nearby state, UPS is usually just as fast, and sometimes faster than USPS. USPS is less expensive for shipping overseas usually by a large margin. I recently sent a lens to Australia.. it was $20 bucks from USPS.. and UPS quoted me $95.



Sep 04, 2010 at 02:35 PM
kodakman
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p.1 #20 · UPS Ground versus USPS Priority Mail


JustinThyme wrote:
Here is what UPS gets you.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=876269


I can't connect to the link. It says I have to be a member, which I'm not.



Sep 12, 2010 at 08:00 AM





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