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  1. #1
    Big Member cookiepuss's Avatar
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    UPS Sucks for Bike Shipping!

    This is more of a warning to those needing to ship their bike places. I had my bike (worth about $1000) shipped from Atlanta to Chicago. It was packed properly in a bike box and insured for $1000. When it arrived the side of the box had a big gouge in it. One of the wheel hubs was sticking out and ground down. The quick release spundles wwere off so the threaded end was ground down and rounded off.

    The box was also banged up like it was dropped off the truck a few times. Upon examining the frame there are gouges in it where the paint has been rubbed off to the metal. The wheels are way from true. It is just a mess and it pisses me off!

    I have never heard good stories about ANY carrier (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc). So my recommendation would be to just not ship the bike. Or else put it in a wood crate or hard plastic case. Even though the cases are like $200 by themselves.
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  2. #2
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - have to echo the lousy handling by UPS in our area... i've ordered a number of larger items... in one case, the item was T-boned quite badly, but was so strong that it survived... in another instance, i had a 30-meter collapsible antenna mast shipped to me from Ohio... the mast was made out of carbon fiber, but was destroyed so badly that UPS simply returned it to the shipper...

    - without exception, every single box i get delivered to my door by UPS is mashed, crushed, crunched, corner-ended, or otherwise mishandled...

    - whenever i can, i specify FedeX, which delivers clean, crisp, and fresh packages with no signs of mishandling whatsoever...

  3. #3
    Big Member cookiepuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author
    - whenever i can, i specify FedeX, which delivers clean, crisp, and fresh packages with no signs of mishandling whatsoever...
    Looking back I should of used FedEx. I was trying to save money on shipping since the calculated cost from FedEx was much higher than UPS. You get what you pay for I guess. . .
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  4. #4
    BOATS AND HOES! Medpilot's Avatar
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    I worked at a UPS receiving center as a summer job once and I’ve witnessed the package abuse first hand. Boxes are thrown and crushed on a regular basis. On the other hand, I believe they honor damage claims pretty well.

    Last month I mail-ordered my bike from California to Texas via UPS without any problems. I guess the moral of the story is to always get insurance. I’m sure the majority of packages make it okay, but there will always be the few that don’t.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    no, no, no, this isn't good news. I'm going to Georgia this October (from California). All the research I've done says airlines beat up bikes - ship it whenever you can.

    Am I going to be okay with FedEx? Any success stories out there?

    I've got to ship it two times of course so I'm twice as risky!

  6. #6
    Big Member cookiepuss's Avatar
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    I also came across this old thread that tells an even worse tale. I am getting ready to show this insurance guy just what's up!

    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-58666-p-1
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  7. #7
    Retro. Grouchy.
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    I've shipped (and had shipped to me) 4 bikes via UPS. I haven't had a problem, but maybe I've just been lucky. As for the comment that they honor insurance claims pretty well, HAH. I've made three claims for other things that arrived broken. Two of those claims were denied; UPS stated that the items weren't packed well, which was total crap. A local UPS employee told me that since they outsourced their insurance claiming department, they usually deny claims.

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    How many inches of padding was between the bike and the box? UPS' website clearly recommends 2 inches of foam padding, as I recall. A standard bike box does not have enough room for this. Bike manufacturers don't use enough padding, choosing to accept the risk of damage to save a little shipping cost.

    Hopefully UPS will compensate you for your loss since they did damage the box. But next time, invest in a hard sided padded case or use a box within a box with the requisite padding between.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbdean
    no, no, no, this isn't good news. I'm going to Georgia this October (from California). All the research I've done says airlines beat up bikes - ship it whenever you can.

    Am I going to be okay with FedEx? Any success stories out there?

    I've got to ship it two times of course so I'm twice as risky!
    I forked over the $225 for a plastic bike case so I could take it on the plane with me. I've flown w/ it twice, no problems what so ever. I flew Southwest so I had to take my baggage to the TSA center myself. I let the guy know it was a bike. It was too big to fit in the scanner so I assumed he would hand inspect it. He didn't!! He even let me put on my own locks. I would never dream of shipping my bike, i'll only take it on a plane in a bike case.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattP.
    I forked over the $225 for a plastic bike case
    What's the brand of the case? I'd like to look into this option some more. I have heard that Southwest is pretty good for bikes, but I don't think they fly to Atlanta.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    How many inches of padding was between the bike and the box? UPS' website clearly recommends 2 inches of foam padding, as I recall. A standard bike box does not have enough room for this. Bike manufacturers don't use enough padding, choosing to accept the risk of damage to save a little shipping cost.
    Interesting. During the time that I operated my own bike store I received over 1,000 factory shipped bikes via UPS. That's a pretty good sample size. Care to guess how many damage claims I had? None, Zero, Nada, Not-a-One. It's appearant to me that the majority of shipping woes could be prevented by proper packing. It doesn't sound to me, for example, like the original poster used the plastic axle end caps that bike manufacturers use when packaging bikes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Interesting. During the time that I operated my own bike store I received over 1,000 factory shipped bikes via UPS. That's a pretty good sample size. Care to guess how many damage claims I had? None, Zero, Nada, Not-a-One. It's appearant to me that the majority of shipping woes could be prevented by proper packing. It doesn't sound to me, for example, like the original poster used the plastic axle end caps that bike manufacturers use when packaging bikes.
    Were the bike boxes packed vertically as they are supposed to be? I've shipped a bike and a set of wheels with UPS...both boxes and contents were destroyed. Truck driver tells me that most bike boxes get laid on their side and other boxes piled on top. He says they don't have time to pack it properly in the truck, so "This end up" means nothing. No matter how well the bike is packed, if it's laid on it's side it will probably get damaged.

  13. #13
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    UPS denied all claims I have presented over the years. I rarely get a package not damaged in some way.

    Fedex is the only way to go for me.

  14. #14
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    United Parcel Destroyers is terrible for all kinds of shipping.

    The only places I know that make 'em work ok for them, pack everything so a tank could run over it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    United Parcel Destroyers is terrible for all kinds of shipping.

    The only places I know that make 'em work ok for them, pack everything so a tank could run over it.
    I work for a company that makes tanks you should see what a Bradley can do to a lop top. Even if protected by a good back pack. We got a very nice loptop that is in suprising good shape for being ran over by a Bradley sitting in the shop. No it can't be fixed but we did get the hard drove out of it and the data.

    If you look at the pounds per square inch a tank is not so bad.

    A fork lift will kill almost any packing.

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  16. #16
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Many bicycles are very poorly packaged for shipping. As someone said above, there should always be more than 1 inch of protection on all sides between the contents and the outside of the package. You aren't paying UPS enough to treat your package as if it were the crown jewels, so you shouldn't expect it. Packages are often dropped 6-10 feet, stacked 10 feet high, and stuck in conveyor jams. You should EXPECT these things, and pack your items accordingly!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbdean
    What's the brand of the case? I'd like to look into this option some more. I have heard that Southwest is pretty good for bikes, but I don't think they fly to Atlanta.
    I got it from Performance. It was $189 on sale and I had a 10 or 15 percent off coupon and after $55 shipping ( ) it came to 225.

  18. #18
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I have not had a problem with UPS, every time I sell something i ship with theme also. You should always pack your stuff well anyways. I have a lathe coming with them this week, so i will see what condition that comes in
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  19. #19
    @#$% cars
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    And UPS is still way better than USPS

  20. #20
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    UPS sucks for shipping period. I worked there years ago--most young guys here have put in their time at one of the many sort centers here in Chicagoland--and let me tell you how everyone is taught to WEDGE, SHOVE and CRAM boxes into the delivery trucks to make a "wall" one after another until the truck is full. I never use UPS.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Ok i guess UPS only focks up bikes and nothing else. you think of the millions of packages sent everday a few aren't gonna get damaged, get real.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    I believe they honor damage claims pretty well.
    i shipped my bike and insured it, and never got a dime when they wrecked it, so i'd have to disagree.
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  23. #23
    UareFASTjustNOTfastENOUGH MasterSezFaster's Avatar
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    I have sold and shipped a few bikes with UPS and never had any problems. I have also shipped bikes to Hungry and Denmark. I do how ever make sure they are boxed properly. Make sure end caps are on the axles, only blunt parts of the bike face the sides of the box and use bubble wrap as well as foam padding. I also use pieces from cut up boxes to place between the box and areas of the bike that may puncture the box. Lastly I will be sure there is sufficiant support in the corners of the box so they do not rip open.

    It does take a bit more time and the expense is only a few extra dollars but the bikes do arrive safely to their destination.


  24. #24
    Buddha Khan
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    Yes, UPS parcel handling sucks! Airborne and FedEx are much better in my area. But one good thing (if you're stuck with using UPS) is that it's relatively easy to make a claim....like the time my $2,000 surround system ended up with a hole on the front of the receiver. Somehow UPS managed to pushed/jammed the main power/volume button 2" into the unit...and the receiver unit was in a box, inside another box with foam... It makes me wonder if UPS personnel move these boxes like soccer balls...

  25. #25
    Bike Nut Roadie Rob's Avatar
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    I AGREE WITH EVERYONE.

    I had a my custom $2500 Calfee frame sent UPS and they messed up the whole she-bang. Thankfully, Craig builds them to be bullet proof in the first place.

    I have shipped 10 bikes / frames via Fed Ex Ground with 0, zip, nada, zilch problems. Cardboard bike boxes are really meant for one or two-times shipping - be honest with yourself. I wouldn't trust any of my bikes to "ruffled recycled paper".

    I picked up the Performance hard case (identical to Supergo's, Nashbar's, simialr to Trico, etc...) for my recent trip to Colorado (Triple Bypass Ride) and while it cost $50 each way, my $6k Calfee came out perfect both ways with no issues.

    Bottom line - if you're cheap, expect more cost outlay in the long run when you're forced to replace frames, wheels, forks, etc... from damage. Pay a little for a hard case and extra shipipng costs and you'll get MUCH better results.
    -Roadie Rob

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