Fedex is learning from UPS

You know how many times I’ve said UPS nickname that tickles me is Shit Wrapped in Chiffon? I’ve written of it a lot.

So I found a good deal on a 55″ 4K TV – as in sub $300. Now it was shipped Fedex this time but it was SUPPOSED to be delivered yesterday. It’s 42 miles from the place and is in Kennesaw, GA right now. But delivery date has now been shoved to Tuesday. The reason for the exception – a damaged shipping label. Dear non-existent deity it’s like they took the playbook from UPS.

I know, I know – the package weighs all of 51 pounds. And I know USPS for example, up to 70 pounds they’ll deliver it.

So why on this Earth do businesses think Fedex and UPS are the best where the Postal Service is the best. There should be incentives to make them use USPS – now that Amazon has done and end-run around the postal service. And congress should stop screwing with the postal service.

When it comes to shipping

Here’s how I rank shipping companies:

  1. USPS – always delivers no questions.
    It’s very simple – if it can be left on your porch it gets delivered. If it’s too heavy you go pick it up at your local post office.
  2. Fedex – just like USPS delivers and no bullshit.
    I ordered a pair of Reeboks – I note they no longer ship UPS but Fedex instead. Much better. It means I don’t have to go and pitch a fit at the local UPS office.
  3. UPS – They used to say they love logistics, well they love bullshit.
    They are Shit Wrapped in Chiffon. That’s the best term I’ve heard for them. And I’ve had some epic dealings with them as detailed in other blog posts. I mean truly epic though my takedown of their presidents office was the pinnacle. It ended with me telling UPS President’s office that they were inept and stupid. It did conclude though with them waiving all signature requests for shipments to me.


Investigating USPS

So I notice every time we ship something like a package to North Carolina – it always routes through the Greensboro, NC 27495 office.

So I did a little poking around. Checked USPS web site and it says the zip code 27495 doesn’t exist. Then it hit me – there are certain zip codes that only route to what are called Sectional Sort Facilities. For example here in Providence the main post office is 02904 – that’s the first automated post office in the country btw. But it has the code 02940 assigned to it too – that’s for the sectional side. So 27495 is the Greensboro, NC Section Sort Facility. Another – Boston is 02100 Sectional Sort Facility.

So then I went to google and plugged in the 27495 zip code. I got this:


It’s at

3701 Wendover Ave W

Greensboro, NC 27495

This is the facility that held a package for near 4 days back around mothers day which meant 7 total days in transit. If you looked at the track it almost appeared the post office shut down for the weekend.

But better the google results let you write a review of the post office. The reviews that people have written so far haven’t been flattering. So i reviewed and and told of the saga of mother’s day.

USPS is getting somewhat better

So two 3 Day Priority package  that left Providence, RI on Friday July 3, destined for two different cities in North Carolina took only 4 days to deliver.

Perhaps it’s because I count the day I dropped it at the post office as a shipment day. I certainly should as the local Post Office did its job.

Here’s the proof – it’s identical for both packages:

July 3, 2015 , 9:59 pm

Departed USPS Facility

July 3, 2015 , 8:47 pm

Arrived at USPS Origin Facility

July 3, 2015 , 7:32 pm

Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility

July 3, 2015

Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS

And wonder of wonders on the 4th of July the Greensboro, NC post office – the one I said shut down for Mother’s Day, it processed receipt of the package at 11:52PM. Which of course meant they won’t process shit on Sunday and it went out to the local post offices today.

USPS needs to get on the ball.

USPS is failing

So in a prior post I’d related how a 3 days package took close to 7 days.

Now I haven’t had a problem with things being delivered per se. Items I’ve ordered on Amazon have arrived ahead of Amazon’s predicted date.

However one issue – I ordered a Rigol carrying case for my DS1054z/DS1104z (Split personality, the outside says it’s a DS1054z, but I’ applied the keys to make it a DS1104z). The tracking number for USPS says nothing found, but I received the bag yesterday. I let the vendor know I’d received it. But if I were a little less ethical I wouldn’t have said that it never arrived – and the USPS track is gone.

So USPS is falling down on the job. I blame congress, since those in congress are the assholes that forced USPS to front end fund the retirement and benefits for workers. So as a result USPS is using more temporary employees. And they just don’t give a shit.

Even to how they deliver. The carrying case was in a big box left on the front porch. Other items get left by the back door. No rhyme or reason to it.

So lo and behold, USPS delivers

So I got a call from the Amazon vendor today. They contacted my post office and got them to deliver the package. And there was nothing wrong with the address label. They just didn’t want to deliver the item.

This is new behavior on the part of USPS. But as I alluded in a prior post – part of the problem is the Postal Service is hiring what are essentially temp employees.

USPS missed the boat. They should have seen that net connections would reduce the volume of mail pieces and diversified, say into banking, or improving package services. But they chose to continue down the same path. At some point they’ll just become another package carrier with the same shitty attitude like that of UPS or Fedex.

Never talk to your post office

Because when you do you find out it’s essentially a cluster fuck.

My latest two odysseys with the United States Postal Service include one where I shipped an item, and one where an item was shipped to me.

In the case of the former a 3 day delay was inserted into the process by a sort facility in Greensboro, NC. Just so happened those three days were on fin de semana or Weekend. I told the USPS CSR it sure like they shut down shop for the weekend. She insisted that they didn’t so I asked then what could be the cause for the item to be 250 miles from the destination and just sit there for the better part of three days? That was an entertaining conversation in which it emerged that Priority Mail 3 day is a best effort, no real guarantees but it IS fully tracked.

Now the latter – a pair of clippers for plants and flowers from Amazon. I check the status on Amazon, it was supposed to be delivered yesterday but I check the status and I see Undeliverable – invalid address.

But better – the item had gone through full sort – got into my local post office, went through secondary sort and got put on the truck for delivery. So the address label had to fly to get through that.

But talking with the local Post Office – the other factor emerger – the USPS uses a fuck ton of temporary workers. So it’s entirely likely that my item had a munged label where the ZIP+4 was present and the track number was there so it just slipped through the system.

But here’s the thing – that track number and zip code are enough to deliver the package.

USPS doesn’t do themselves any favors by putting all the information they do on tracked items. Because that’s how I surmised this whole thing.

So the USPS 3 day priority mail is a BEST EFFORT ESTIMATE?

What the ever loving hell? Shipped a package down to North Carolina last Wednesday. Package cleared RI postal within 3 hours of acceptance and went into Raleigh. Raleigh tossed it to Greensboro, NC at 10:13AM on Friday. And then the package SAT in Greensboro until this morning.

The postal service in the south ain’t shit. Up here as I said – From acceptance to outbound was 3 hours. Down there it sits for 3 days. This jibes with a study I participated in several years ago. It was a mail accuracy study and at the end the results were shared with all participants. The northeast and west coast handled mail like nobodies business. The south sucked even then and it hasn’t gotten any better.

So I call USPS about this 5 to 6 day 3 day package. That’s when I found out it’s a best effort to meet three days. But it’s pretty clear the package sat in Greensboro, NC from Friday morning until this morning. What the fuck?

Wherein USPS Screws the Pooch

So we tried to get a package down to North Carolina in time for Mother’s day. Sent it out via USPS on Wednesday. Now following the track the problem isn’t with the local USPS, here’s how it went:

May 6, 2015 , 8:40 pm

Departed USPS Facility

May 6, 2015 , 6:55 pm

Arrived at USPS Origin Facility

May 6, 2015 , 5:40 pm

Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility


Now the package was handed to a postman and went into the local post office at 5:40PM. By 6:55PM it was at the main Sectional Sort facility and then departed at 8;40PM

It apparently spent two days getting to Raleigh, North Carolina, finally arriving in at 2:54AM. And then out the door but to Greensboro at 4:18AM. It arrived in Greensboro on the 8th at 10:13AM. And that’s the last status update USPS has for the package.

They say it will be delivered today which is FOUR days, not the THREE promised. But as yet the package hasn’t arrived.

They do say that Christmas and Mother’s Day are the two busiest times for USPS. But really – it shouldn’t fall down like this.

The incompetence of UPS

So my package that they couldn’t deliver. They set it up so I have to pick it up between the 9th and 15th. But I told them that was unacceptable. They set it up anyhow.

So I talked to the vendor – they’re pretty much hamstrung by UPS but they shipped me a new pair of Stablicers via SurePost. This is the one where UPS hands off to the postal service. In other words another parasitic layer in the shipment process.

But the thing is the postal service delivers. UPS does not.