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Old 03-11-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 26,540,027 times
Reputation: 10704

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Interesting to me, and I thought others might find the info useful.

Whenever I ship gifts to the mainland, I use USPS Flat Rate Boxes if possible. The service is excellent, and the cost is unbeatable compared to everything else. But what to do with larger items than Flat Rate boxes will hold? I recently wanted to ship a large item weighing 50 pounds to the midwest. Express Mail offered a two day delivery commitment for $268. Priority Mail offered a three - four day delivery "expectation" for $107. Standard Mail (Parcel Post) would be maybe three weeks delivery, for the bargain rate of $54.

For logistical reasons I preferred to use UPS instead of US Mail for this particular shipment, but having chosen UPS shipping to receive purchases from the mainland when mail was not an option, I was prepared to be deterred by their rates. A similar sized package from Ohio had cost me $250+ a couple of years ago.

But I was pleasantly surprised when I inquired and discovered that the UPS rates from Hawai'i to the mainland are only about half what they are from the mainland to Hawai'i. So this shipment, via UPS Ground, with a seven day delivery schedule, would cost only $130, and I could have it picked up, without needing the repack that the mail would have required, so it was the most convenient solution for me. And the subsequent shipment via UPS Ground was flawless, on-time and in perfect condition, so I was happy with the choice.

Looking over the tracking log was quite interesting to me, so I did a little analysis and added that to it, below. One surprise was that my shipment spent more time at rest than it did in motion as it wended its way across approximately 4,000 miles. Another surprise was the circle route it took leaving the islands.

NOTE: The times listed are local time.

Fri 9:39:00 AM PICKUP SCAN HILO, HI US GMT +10
--49 hr, 21 min hold
Sun 11:00:00 AM DEPARTURE SCAN HILO, HI US
--15 min travel
Sun 11:15:00 AM ARRIVAL SCAN KAILUA-KONA, HI US
--17 hr, 4 min hold
Mon 4:19:00 AM DEPARTURE SCAN KAILUA-KONA, HI US
--33 min travel
Mon 4:52:00 AM ARRIVAL SCAN KAHULUI, HI US
--1 hr, 20 min hold
Mon 6:12:00 AM DEPARTURE SCAN KAHULUI, HI US
--34 min travel
Mon 6:46:00 AM ARRIVAL SCAN HONOLULU, HI US
--3 hr, 37 min hold
Mon 10:33:00 AM DEPARTURE SCAN HONOLULU, HI US
--5 hr, 14 min travel
Mon 5:47:00 PM ARRIVAL SCAN ONTARIO, CA US GMT +8
--5 hr, 39 min hold
Mon 11:26:00 PM DEPARTURE SCAN ONTARIO, CA US
--56 min travel
Tue 12:22:00 AM ARRIVAL SCAN LOS ANGELES, CA US
--2 hr, 34 min hold
Tue AM DEPARTURE SCAN LOS ANGELES, CA US
--49 hr, 11 min travel (ground)
Thu 4:07:00 AM ARRIVAL SCAN DESTINATION CITY GMT +6
--1 hr, 5 min hold
Thu 5:12:00 AM FORWARDED TO THE FACILITY IN THE DESTINATION CITY
--1 min hold
Thu 5:13:00 AM OUT FOR DELIVERY DESTINATION CITY
--7 hr, 53 min travel
Thu 1:06:00 PM DELIVERED DESTINATION

80 hr, 41 min hold time - 64 hr, 36 min travel time
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:13 PM
 
100 posts, read 256,851 times
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Is this an unsolicited UPS advertisement or are you a UPS employee?
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 26,540,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8o8state View Post
Is this an unsolicited UPS advertisement or are you a UPS employee?
Don't be silly. It's not exactly a glowing endorsement, just an experience that I thought might be useful or interesting to others. I had no idea before this that their rates were so much lower going the other way than they are coming in, and I found the routing to be curious, one of those goofy little things I just never would have suspected.

There are 1,008 things... wait, this might be 1,009... that are different about living in Hawai'i that you don't know until you run into them. Like the fact that "Overnight Letters" to most of the mainland actually take two days. Or the early afternoon cutoff times for that two-day "overnight" service... I think it was 2 pm the last time I used it in Hilo. It's noon the previous day in Volcano. Where I lived on the mainland before it was 9pm or so.

If anything, I suppose you could call this an ad for the US Postal Service, which I will continue by preference to use whenever I can. Be sure to read HiloDiver's posts about moving to Hilo from St. Croix, largely by US Mail. They're very entertaining.

Last edited by OpenD; 03-11-2013 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Hawai'i
1,392 posts, read 2,867,927 times
Reputation: 709
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8o8state View Post
Is this an unsolicited UPS advertisement or are you a UPS employee?
You've got to be kidding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
If anything, I suppose you could call this an ad for the US Postal Service, which I will continue by preference to use whenever I can. Be sure to read HiloDiver's posts about moving to Hilo from St. Croix, largely by US Mail. They're very entertaining.
I heart USPS!!! Nothing went missing, nothing was damaged in shipment except for a very few things that we did not pack properly. Media mail came at the same time as our household stuff. Customer service on both ends was stellar.

We shipped some really odd stuff too, spouse's large professional keyboard and a long PVC pipe containing fishing rods and spearguns. We kept one piece of furniture: my dogs' grooming table, because it was far cheaper to ship it than to replace it, but it too was oversized. We packed light items such as clothing in cardboard boxes and there was no damage to the boxes. Other items were shipped in several sturdy plastic containers you can get from Home Depot. Those arrived 100% intact and as a bonus, they are awesome for storage at this end and they stack beautifully.

We love the flat rate boxes, too. People where we moved from were all hoping we would sell our dive weights to them cheaply, ha ha!!! You can put up to 70 pounds in a flat rate box.

Our stuff really had to travel, too. First it had to leave the USVI and go to Puerto Rico to clear Customs. From there, it went to Miami and from there, across the country to California, then on a boat to Hawai'i. We were resigned to losing half of our stuff to theft or damage or just plain carelessness, and we were pleasantly surprised! It was like Christmas in September.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:58 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
29,676 posts, read 40,593,144 times
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Good to know that rates leaving Hawaii are lower. I don't usually use UPS because of the higher costs. Is the lower rate because they have empty space going back to the mainland? Less business headed east than they have arriving in Hawaii?

Those "3 week delivery" shipments with the post office don't take nearly that long. I've sent "book rate" to Britain and was told it would take 8 weeks and the package was there in 3 days.

On the other hand, 1st class letters have been known to take weeks to go 120 miles, and I've more than once paid for overnight delivery and had it take 3-4 days.(with both the post office and UPS).

Still, if UPS can deliver those Christmas presents back to the mainland for a competitive rate, that's good to know,
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Hawai'i
1,392 posts, read 2,867,927 times
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I ordered a small item off eBay on Saturday from a favorite vendor in Florida. She shipped it "USPS First Class Package". It was in my mailbox this afternoon (Monday, two days later). I was shocked!!!

We usually have excellent luck with packages to and from the mainland coming and going in a very timely manner. However, I'm not real happy that my 2012 IRA check, mailed to my financial manager last Monday as first class mail, still has not arrived at his office in Florida.

I've had way too much bad luck with UPS breaking stuff over the years. I'd only use them as an absolute last resort.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:21 AM
 
100 posts, read 256,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
If anything, I suppose you could call this an ad for the US Postal Service
Okay, perhaps I misread and for some reason I was picking up a lot of pro UPS vibes and that put me a little on the defensive as UPS has managed to virtually destroy anything and everything I have tried to send using their service, including a monitor which I had wrapped in bubble wrap so thick all around that I could literally bounce it down the hallway like a super ball. Needless to say, leave it to UPS, they still managed to break that monitor into a million pieces, which had me speculating that they must have spent half the day dropping that monitor from a height of at least 25 feet onto the tarmac. And of course all of you know the drill from that point on "Sorry, the item was not packed according to acceptable UPS shipping and packing standards" blah blah blah. After UPS managed to annihilate the 4th item I shipped using their service with no apologies, no nothing, I took a vow for life to never use their services again. So I am a USPS person all the way and will never look back. Very glad to see someone else promoting the cause for USPS.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:38 AM
 
1,730 posts, read 3,567,809 times
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Pricing affects my choice in shippers, but if price is not a big factor, I avoid the USPS if possible for larger boxes. I've had them "dead letter" a large insured box, and nobody at the USPS managed to think of working out the problem through the tracking number on the insurance sticker. They just stuck it on a shelf in a warehouse. I take that back, I suspect they knew they could do it through the tracking number, it was just that they did not care if I got my package or not.

It was only after I finally reported the box "stolen" that they finally did some thorough checking and located the package.

Meanwhile, I've never had a problem with FedEX (my preference) breaking or loosing anything.

Overall, no matter which shipper, I suppose it is just anyone's "good luck" if they get their package on time and in good condition, because it seems we've each had different sad stories about shipping... and each company has had problem moments.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,992 posts, read 22,146,870 times
Reputation: 10714
Shipping to and from the island is a huge part of living here so it is always useful to hear other folk's experiences with shipping. It's not like we can drive to the mainland and pick stuff up so we have to rely on stuff shipped in.

I've also heard that one can use UPS Ground service in certain instances shipping to or from Hawaii although I forget at the moment which ones specifically work.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:43 AM
 
1,730 posts, read 3,567,809 times
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Get a FedEx account, and the rates are cheaper than without an account. You can get one even if you are not a business. (I don't know about UPS.)

USPS "flat rate" boxes are a good deal on price, but won't work for bigger packages.
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