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  1. #1
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    Bike Frame Shipping Rant

    Over the last 10 weeks I have shipped several frameset using FedEx. I always cut the box down to save on costs. I have only shipped 2 frames since Jan. 5, both were under 50cm and costs were $10-$15 more from Chicago to NY or Chicago to L.A.. So $55 to NY and $68 to LA

    I know FedEx announced their Jan. 5th 4.9% rate increase back in Sept. but that seems more like a 20% increase and gas prices are way down.
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  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Gas prices are down but for some reason diesel and I believe jet fuel is not. Shipping is jut ridiculous these days.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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  3. #3
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    Profit margin is king.
    Fuel is often bought on a contract, so shorter term market variations don't mean that much.
    A number of airlines have done well or suffered depending on how they arbitraged.
    It appears that those with a corporate account did not get hit as hard, but "volume" weight, when something is big and light has been discriminated against even more now.
    The question is what are the alternatives?
    for a 50 cm frame, possibly USPS. But not for anything much bigger.
    Wheel sets are really going to be expensive now.

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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Why would they lower costs with lower fuel costs? They're going for max profits while they can. Same with airlines, look for mega profits in that sector.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Why would they lower costs with lower fuel costs? They're going for max profits while they can. Same with airlines, look for mega profits in that sector.
    For American Airlines most likely as they bought a refinery.

  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r0ckh0und View Post
    Over the last 10 weeks I have shipped several frameset using FedEx. I always cut the box down to save on costs. I have only shipped 2 frames since Jan. 5, both were under 50cm and costs were $10-$15 more from Chicago to NY or Chicago to L.A.. So $55 to NY and $68 to LA

    I know FedEx announced their Jan. 5th 4.9% rate increase back in Sept. but that seems more like a 20% increase and gas prices are way down.
    1. You need to get an account with Fed Ex as your before prices are high.

    2. Fed Ex and UPS have gone to dimensional pricing this year which will cost more.

    3. Price has little to nothing to do with cost. They will charge the max price they can, until they lose volume to others. Their goal is to max profits not save us on shipping.

    USPS does not charge dimensional shipping so if you can get the box under 108, they are usually the best deal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Why would they lower costs with lower fuel costs? They're going for max profits while they can. Same with airlines, look for mega profits in that sector.
    Specialty formulations don't always follow consumer gasoline prices. And remember, some carriers frequently add fuel surcharges when costs escalate, but many are forced to eat the increases. So if the price goes down they are just offsetting past losses.

    I'm in the chemical business and the lower oil prices have had zero effect. Supply and demand of other raw materials is a huge concern for us, such as MDI, which is in many of our adhesives.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Why would they lower costs with lower fuel costs? They're going for max profits while they can. Same with airlines, look for mega profits in that sector.
    They would lower their costs when fuel drops because they is what they and the entire industry does in other segments of transportation/shipping.
    My guess is that due to the limited competition in the small parcel market, there isn't nearly the pressure to adjust rates based on fuel, even though they do that thousands and thousands of times a day as a company overall.

  9. #9
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Why would they lower costs with lower fuel costs? They're going for max profits while they can. Same with airlines, look for mega profits in that sector.
    Sometimes companies lower prices in anticipation of their competitors doing it. It becomes more likely as it becomes more possible, i.e. dropping costs.

    I don't know why rates are going up, though. Maybe demand is on the upswing.
    Please put your location in your profile. It makes things so much more interesting.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    1. You need to get an account with Fed Ex as your before prices are high.

    2. Fed Ex and UPS have gone to dimensional pricing this year which will cost more.

    3. Price has little to nothing to do with cost. They will charge the max price they can, until they lose volume to others. Their goal is to max profits not save us on shipping.

    USPS does not charge dimensional shipping so if you can get the box under 108, they are usually the best deal.
    When you say under 108......your referring to the combination of height, length and width?
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  11. #11
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    length width and girth I believe. The entire distance around the width of the box.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Senior Member inkandsilver's Avatar
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    Yes, 108" length + girth is an important cutoff at usps. You should be able to get all but the largest/longest frame in a box that size, but it takes quite a bit of effort to get it just right.

    I recently shipped a frame from SLC to Boston. 108" box. FedEx (with an account) was something like $48 before insurance, I think about $7-$8 more than USPS. And I shipped a frame from SLC to Idaho. 108" box. USPS was under $15! Fedex about twice that.
    197X Raleigh Grand Prix (beater) -- 1977 Centurion Semi-Pro (all-arounder) -- 1987 Schwinn High Sierra (dropbar conversion) -- 1996 Trek 930 (MTB) -- 2011 Jamis Coda (supercommuter)

  13. #13
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Here's the catch with 'girth'....

    G= Girth
    H = height
    W = width

    H+H+L+L = G

    Working backwards from 108 subtract length (random 48" for this example

    108-48 = 60 So girth needs to be 60" Every place I've been to rounds up...7.5" becomes 8 etc.

    If width is 7.5" then height must be no more than 22.5 rounding up you get 23+23+8+8 = 62" Two inches over!!!

    If you wrap the measuring tape around the box it's comes out to 60" 22.5 + 22.5 + 7.5 + 7.5

    Framesets can be packaged in 7" wide boxes with ease. Lay the frame against the side of the box, mark the exact length and height then add two inches to each for wiggle room and padding. A 60cm frame with the fork removed can be packed in a 108" box.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  14. #14
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Fuel prices...

    Back in 2010 when we were selling our Long Island house gas prices were on the rise following the bottoming out after the recession. The local heating fuel company tacked on a 'fuel surcharge' fee to compensate for the increase in gas costs. OK, fair enough, expences are up. Do you think they've reversed that 'fuel surcharge' fee? NFW. They, and every other transport company have become accustomed to that extra revnue, there's no way any of them are giving it up....untill someone else does to get a competitive advantage.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  15. #15
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    FWIW: In my experience so far,the US post office is the only carrier to not round up. Instead, they have a long fabric tape, they wrap it around the girth, then continue on the length.

    Rounding up really sucks. 7 1/4 inch width becomes 8 inches (which they double to 16 inches), 26 1/4 inch tall becomes 27, doubled becomes 54 inches, that leaves you 38 inches for length. With the USPS, I can go to 41 inches long.

    The challenge with the width of bike boxes is most are about 7 1/4 or more. I cut the width down on one, major PITA, in order to fit a 25 inch frame set in a 108 box.

    If you are not working to the 108 inch standard, you are paying way too much to ship. You cannot "luck" into 108, a bike box starts at somewhere in the 134 to 138 inch number. Lots and lots of cutting is required.

    Cross the 108 inch mark, and rates go up 2 1/2 X. Cross the 132 mark, and they double again.

    So 108 could cost you X. 110 will cost 2 .5X, 134 inches will cost 5X.

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    I am willing to bet it would cost more to deliver the frames yourself! Seems 55 bucks is a deal.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    I haven't shipped a bike in a year or so, but I got a pretty good rate (better than Fedex) with bikeflights.com. Is anyone here using them?

  18. #18
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    If you're fortunate to work at a company with a corporate account, they may allow you to ship a package and them reimburse them. Mine does, and the savings are remarkable. I sent a frame from CA to VT for $7.85, and a box of wheels to MA for $8.11, both via UPS Ground. Pricing was based entirely on weight. I know not everyone has this advantage (my company does a high volume of shipping and is willing to allow employees to send personal packages at work), but it's worth exploring.

  19. #19
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
    I haven't shipped a bike in a year or so, but I got a pretty good rate (better than Fedex) with bikeflights.com. Is anyone here using them?
    A few people have...

    They're not worth my time and effort. I drive past the USPS and FedEx twice a day.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    FWIW: In my experience so far,the US post office is the only carrier to not round up. Instead, they have a long fabric tape, they wrap it around the girth, then continue on the length.

    Rounding up really sucks. 7 1/4 inch width becomes 8 inches (which they double to 16 inches), 26 1/4 inch tall becomes 27, doubled becomes 54 inches, that leaves you 38 inches for length. With the USPS, I can go to 41 inches long.

    The challenge with the width of bike boxes is most are about 7 1/4 or more. I cut the width down on one, major PITA, in order to fit a 25 inch frame set in a 108 box.

    If you are not working to the 108 inch standard, you are paying way too much to ship. You cannot "luck" into 108, a bike box starts at somewhere in the 134 to 138 inch number. Lots and lots of cutting is required.

    Cross the 108 inch mark, and rates go up 2 1/2 X. Cross the 132 mark, and they double again.

    So 108 could cost you X. 110 will cost 2 .5X, 134 inches will cost 5X.
    I had an ebay seller who was able to pull a fast one, for him anyway. Won a bike on ebay, seller charged me appropriately, he got a pack and ship label off his computer, declaring 108". Box makes it to my local post office, I get a note on the door, to go pick it up as it is oversize. I go and to get the bike in my hands it costs $38 more. It was the best of bad alternatives. Never got a reimbursement from the seller, ebay was useless. I was only able to leave very negative feedback. Bike fortunately was component wise better than I expected. So it goes. Post office was unsure how it made it all the way either.

  21. #21
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    Shipped a frame last week AZ to WI for $32 insured USPS.

  22. #22
    If I own it, I ride it CV-6's Avatar
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    Be aware that FedEx home is more expensive than FedEx Ground in most cases.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post

    USPS does not charge dimensional shipping so if you can get the box under 108, they are usually the best deal.
    Oh really? Not according to their website and my local post office. Sent a set or rims to a memeber here last week. Quite a bit under 108 total, in a wheel box. Price was $14.50 for postage, plus extra for "oversize" box. Total was $38.

  24. #24
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    If you can deal with the drop off and pick up, greyhound freight can save you some money.
    Please put your location in your profile. It makes things so much more interesting.

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Oh really? Not according to their website and my local post office. Sent a set or rims to a memeber here last week. Quite a bit under 108 total, in a wheel box. Price was $14.50 for postage, plus extra for "oversize" box. Total was $38.
    While USPS has had dimensional charges, new rules by Fed Ex and UPS are cranking it up, a lot.


    "FedEx and UPS recently announced that, starting in 2015, ALL packages are subject to dimensional weight, which will result in the largest cumulative shipping fee increase in history.
    What this means is that you’ll have to divide the dimensions of every package by 166 to determine the minimum billable shipping weight. If, for example, you have a box that measures 8” x 8” x 8”, the total cubic inches equals 512, meaning the minimum shipping weight will be at least 4 lbs."

    Using this process, a bicycle frame in a 108 inch box that Jim details above will be charged for 53 pounds weight..... Get ready guys. USPS in the past charged for 20 pounds on a bike box.


    "FedEx and UPS are the only two carriers that are implementing these new dimension rules.

    One obvious alternative is the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). USPS wants more ecommerce business, which means they’re in direct competition with FedEx and UPS, and they see these new dim rules as an opportunity to get more of that business.

    The current dimensional weight rules for USPS are different than FedEx and UPS. For USPS, if the package is over 1 cubic foot, it is subject to dim weight, but only when shipping to a zone 5 or higher. Additionally, USPS has a dim divisor of 194, not 166, which means the dimensional weight is lower."
    Last edited by wrk101; 01-13-15 at 10:43 PM.

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