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Amazed at the difference in shipping costs between UPS and USPS from Mainland to HI

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Amazed at the difference in shipping costs between UPS and USPS from Mainland to HI

Old 08-26-10, 08:30 AM
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Amazed at the difference in shipping costs between UPS and USPS from Mainland to HI

I am shipping a frame to Honolulu in a 42" box. UPS is $141 and USPS about $30. I'm guessing that USPS service, although privatized to a degree, must subsidize postage between Hawaii and the Mainland.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:34 AM
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Absurd, isn't it?

I have run across these huge price differences many times and cannot help but wonder how companies like UPS stay in business. Admittedly, there are times when one must go with the shipper but more often than not, I can ship via post. How about a complete bicycle from Canada to Japan. Fedex wants close to $700.00, as I recall but I can send the bike via Canada Post for roughly $200.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:41 AM
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UPS only offers premium air service(1 or 2 day) to HI, whereas the USPS treats it as if it were on the mainland.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:47 AM
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Ups was off the charts for a frame set I sent to Japan, USPS priority international was a third the price and much faster.


i always use usps for international
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Old 08-26-10, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by toytech View Post
Ups was off the charts for a frame set I sent to Japan, USPS priority international was a third the price and much faster.


i always use usps for international
I've ran into this when shipping guitars. They're always too big for USPS international, though. I've always used FedEx, which is a little less than UPS, but still crazy expensive.
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Old 08-26-10, 11:06 AM
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I have shipped a few bass guitars, always expensive. I will disassemble the neck from the body (if the buyer is capable of setup) and ship in a smaller box (or two boxes) to save cost. Obviously for set neck or neck through that does not work.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:21 PM
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UPS has always tacked on an oversize box fee that basicly says; if it's that big of box, then we charge you that it weighs 80lbs. That's why I never use UPS anymore.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
UPS has always tacked on an oversize box fee that basicly says; if it's that big of box, then we charge you that it weighs 80lbs. That's why I never use UPS anymore.
Absolutely not true. Their OS limit is the same as everyone else's. Over 108" one price, over 130", way more.

A standard bike box is under 130".
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Old 08-26-10, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
I am shipping a frame to Honolulu in a 42" box. UPS is $141 and USPS about $30. I'm guessing that USPS service, although privatized to a degree, must subsidize postage between Hawaii and the Mainland.
If you ever wonder why the USPS continually loses money . . . . .

UPS is set up to cherry pick the easy and profitable routes (say, packages between NYC and Boston, etc.). Since they're strictly a profit making concern, they're free to set their charges for a combination of costs and desirability. Obviously, shipping a bicycle frame from the continental US to HI isn't exactly desirable in their book.

On the other hand, the USPS has to: a. Keep absolutely even rates not necessarily based on distance, b. Provide mail service at the same cost to someone in Manhatten AND Podunk, KS no matter what the difference and available infrastructure, and, c. Keep certain services going for their customers, even when they're financially untenable. Prime example: Just watch what happens when the USPS decides to shut down the one room post office in Podunk, KS (pop. 75) and have the area served by the post office in Nowhere, KS (pop. 225 - 35 miles away). Suddenly everyone that's ever lived in Podunk, or ever stops by on a Saturday morning (main socialization time) is screaming to their congressman, who's damned well going to short circuit such an unfair move.

The USPS is one of the better bargains of our age, and they do a rather decent job. I ran a mail order business for ten years, and UPS lost more shipments for me than the USPS.
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Old 08-27-10, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
If you ever wonder why the USPS continually loses money . . . . .

UPS is set up to cherry pick the easy and profitable routes (say, packages between NYC and Boston, etc.). Since they're strictly a profit making concern, they're free to set their charges for a combination of costs and desirability. Obviously, shipping a bicycle frame from the continental US to HI isn't exactly desirable in their book.

On the other hand, the USPS has to: a. Keep absolutely even rates not necessarily based on distance, b. Provide mail service at the same cost to someone in Manhatten AND Podunk, KS no matter what the difference and available infrastructure, and, c. Keep certain services going for their customers, even when they're financially untenable. Prime example: Just watch what happens when the USPS decides to shut down the one room post office in Podunk, KS (pop. 75) and have the area served by the post office in Nowhere, KS (pop. 225 - 35 miles away). Suddenly everyone that's ever lived in Podunk, or ever stops by on a Saturday morning (main socialization time) is screaming to their congressman, who's damned well going to short circuit such an unfair move.

The USPS is one of the better bargains of our age, and they do a rather decent job. I ran a mail order business for ten years, and UPS lost more shipments for me than the USPS.
Not only that, USPS has to provide subsidies for delivery to certain areas. I remember hearing about construction practices in rural Alaska; often they'd mail the cinderblocks they were using via parcel post. It was the cheapest way of getting them up there.
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