The "Modern" USPS

Ever wonder why the mail from the US to Nicaragua is so slow? I initially would blame Correos of Nicaragua but quickly found that mail from the UK, Spain and Australia to Nicaragua seemed to be much faster. Well, today I have yet another data point.

The attachment actually shows two problems. The first has to do with the delay. USPS has had this package for a week. In that time they have managed to move it from Anaheim (home of Disneyland) to Los Angeles. I mention these specifics because when Disneyland first opened, we (that is, my mother driving and some of my and her friends) managed, without even the aid of a freeway to tavel in her 1950 Henry J from Los Angeles to Disneyland, spend the day there and get back before dark.

The other information I gleen from this information is at least part of the reason the USPS seems to be bankrupt. The cost of having warehouses all over the country to store packages, rather than actually getting on with their delivery, has got to be expensive.

In the manufacturing sector of the US, companies figured out that a thing called "just in time inventory" could decrease costs significantly. Maybe it is time for a new concept called "just deliver it".

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And the answer is ...

OK, I incorrectly badmouthed the USPS here. It turned out that the vendor double-shipped the product. The one shipped directly from the US did end up in Correos of Nicaragua. The other one, the one that ended up handled by TNT, was shipped from Korea. Once the vendor figured out what happened, we refused that one and all is well.

Now, I have no clue when the USPS finally dispatched the package to Nicaragua. It had been sitting in Correos in EstelĂ­ for some time -- a feature of the fact that the person in charge of packages is, well, a problem. When Ana inquired he said there was no package for Ana but his boss said "yes there is and it has been here for a long time".

Now, Aduanas seems to be "on vacation" as there was no import duty on a package with a value, including shipping, of $600.

WTF Update

Ana just got a call from "the agency" who said they charge $40 to deal with this package. (No, there is no update on the USPS site so the package has been in limbo all this time.) The main reason I had it sent by USPS is so that Correos de Nicaragua deals with the customs clearance and gets it to EstelĂ­. It works. Correos charges something like $10 to do this.

Well, the "agency" is TNT. I had one previous dealing with TNT and I would rather have a tooth pulled without anesthetic than deal with them again. If I had not just wanted correos to do do all this, I would have used TransExpress. While I am not impressed with their service on the Nicaragua end it does eventually work and, as I remember, they charge $15.

TNT just told Ana that she needs to talk to the vendor because they shipped it via TNT, not USPS. As I posted the USPS tracking info here weeks ago, the best thing I can guess is that USPS no longer ships anything. It just stacks it in a warehouse for a while and then hires a shipping company to actually do the work.

And, yes, let me apologize in advance for, once again, attacking the US. Please tell me why I am being unfair again.

Well, Attacking USPS

is not exactly like attacking the US.

The server I referenced in the post below arrived with a stick of memory and the heat sink on the processor knocked loose. It was shipped in the original box with conforming foam . . .

How did they do that without completely destroying the box? A memory stick knocked loose?

Luckily the receiving party shook the case, and when it rattled, opened the case and put everything back together for me. The server worked fine . . .

His only complaint was a mild remonstration: " I never use USPS for shipping . . ."

In all fairness to the USPS, it was my first bad experience in a really long time.

I Use USPS

quite a bit when I can, trying to save a few bucks. Compared to Fed Ex internationally, there is a big savings, and even domestically, substantial savings. I used to use Fed Ex exclusively, but I'm trying to save my pennies to buy more land in Nicaragua.

I've noticed of what you speak, but it's more a matter of inconsistency than a way of doing business.

The advantage to me is, I can ship a box weighing 30 lbs across the country with USPS using Express mail for $100. Fed Ex is closer to $200, but I KNOW that it will be there tomorrow. Other nice thing is, I just leave the box by my mailbox and the postman picks it up. I can drop off the box at a Fed Ex Kinko's 5 minutes from my house, but still, nice that the mailman picks it up. He comes at 2:30 so it usually works out pretty well.

Yesterday, I had a server going to Texas. I missed the mailman, so had to go to the PO. No drop off point at the PO even though like the Fed Ex shipment the box is already labeled and postage paid. I had to stand in line, fifteen minutes later, I get to the counter, the lady weighs the box (it's already been weighed, labeled and paid) and tells me the postage is $141 (instead of the $97 on the label). I draw her attention to the label, with the address, and the weight, 1 pound less than I paid for, and the Postage Paid legend -- -never want to be short with the USPS, even an ounce, they will send it back ---- and explain to her that the USPS offers a very substantial discount for creating the label on-line). She leaves to check with a supervisor --- (Lady, just take the box so I can leave!) --- and comes back and reluctantly takes my box.

I hate to say this, and I know Juanno is waiting out there with the AA, but I couldn't help thinking, this is like Nicaragua! (here comes the FLAK).

I do have to say, I've had really good luck with USPS international shipments and domestic shipments. 38 pounds to China, about a week, $138. Priority envelopes with DVD's get there even faster. Never a customs issue. I had a priority envelope of software going to Tijuana languish forever in Santa Clarita -??

USPS tracking is not nearly as sophisticated as Fed Ex, and I think that might be one of the problems. I suspect they use either the UPS or the FedEx infrastructure for their actual shipping. The Tijuana shipment might have actually left Santa Clarita and just not got checked out -and sat in Tijuana waiting to be delivered. So, Phil's package MAY have moved down the road, but missed the scanner. Then again, who knows? Maybe someone was studying a map trying to find ...>>>Nicaragua, there it is, just north of Costa Rica. At least they seem to know where China is.

I've only done one USPS box shipment to Nicaragua. I thought it was surprisingly expensive, but I might have pushed the wrong button. The USPS online site takes a bit of getting used to, but it caches addresses, prints out the label to a standard printer (no plastic pouch available, I have to use FedEx pouches -or a glue pot), and apparently there IS a good savings by doing business online.

USPS has been getting a lot of package business. EBAY has a link where you create a USPS flat rate label as you sell your item, really convenient. A lot of sellers use them UPS is probably competitive for the really large sellers

Deuche Post

They at least used to use Deuche Post (DHL on the US end). Years ago, back when the USPS still offered non-air international delivery I received some books about 3 months after they were ordered. I grumbed to "Don Bigote", a person in the post office, and he said "What do you expect. It came by boat from Germany."

More recently I was charged duty on some US products because, while they should have been duty exempt if they were from the US, they also had been shipped through Germany.