In the Forums

Register

Today's Posts

Search

Get the Weekly
Inkling
newsletter





Previous Issues

Splitcoaststampers's privacy policy

Get Social

Splitcoaststampers on InstagramLike Splitcoaststampers on FacebookFollow Splitcoaststampers on TwitterPit Splitcoaststampers on Pinterest

Sponsored Ads


 
Splitcoaststampers.com - the world's #1 papercrafting community
You're currently viewing Splitcoaststampers as a GUEST. We pride ourselves on being great hosts, but guests have limited access to some of our incredible artwork, our lively forums and other super cool features of the site! You can join our incredible papercrafting community at NO COST. So what are you waiting for?

Join the party at Splitcoaststampers today!

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-07-2022, 12:56 PM   #1  
Proud Fan Club Member
 
wavejumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,386
Received 339 Likes on 169 Posts
Default An explanation about PO package mis-ships

There was a discussion about PO mis-ships the other day, so I asked a friend who works for the PO about this with packages. I got back a LONG answer/explanation in case anyone wants to read it.
I wont say it is satisfying bc it seems un-solvable but at least you know why now.

I have no idea why the boxes are moving like that. One guess is that along the way, it falls into the wrong container. I see packages and bundles falling into the wrong place every single day, multiple times. Most of the time, for me, it just lands on the floor, and we pick it up and put it in the correct container. BUT on a program where the containers are right next to each other (instead of being spaced out), if a package falls on the wrong spot, it won't just land harmlessly on the floor - it'll fall into another container (which will head to a different destination). So... that's my best guess for why packages make these side trips. I imagine that it happens a lot with the new ADUS machines. I work on the APBS machines, where it also happens a lot. It's just that the belts are going so fast, that sometimes the packages hurtle off the chute and overshoots. Or a chute gets blocked, and then the following package headed for that chute gets bumped to the next chute (which is the wrong one for that package). Every time a package reaches a new plant, I think it gets dumped onto another machine, giving it another chance to land in the wrong spot. Sooo... that is my guess.

Also... the programs for sorting incoming mail have the containers spaced out (because we only use maybe 25 slots). BUT the programs for sorting outgoing mail has the containers crammed together, one next to the other (because these programs use all 196 slots). So... unfortunately, the program that is used to send packages a very long way away is the one where it is most likely to have the most serious mistakes. Also on this program, in my plant specifically, because we are so close to California, we have huge boxes for California and other nearby states (boxes go on a truck), and sacks next to each box (sacks go on an airline). So it makes no sense geographically. A sack destined for Ohio could be placed right next to a California box, for example. So that's why a package from Tucson to Ohio could travel to California, before finally moving on to Ohio. And then the box destined for California often travels first to Phoenix. There, without being dumped again, it simply gets moved to another truck, and continues on to California. So on a scan, the package would show it going from Tucson, to Phoenix, to California, before finally (hopefully) moving towards Ohio.

The PO doesn't care if a package stops moving. No one (to my knowledge) is mandating that all packages move, even if they are moved in the wrong direction. The goal however, is to always process all of the packages, as quickly as possible (so who cares if the ADUS or APBS, etc. are understaffed). So when a machine is understaffed, they still want the numbers to be up, so they put the emphasis on having clerks shove packages through as quickly as possible, regardless of how full the containers are (which also causes packages to fall into the wrong places). Also, if there are tons and tons of packages on the floors, sometimes workers will just be like "**** it" and toss them into the nearest container without double-checking that it is the correct container. Because sometimes if we take our time to doublecheck, then we get yelled at for being slow. So.... **** it.

BUT... it is better when a package is constantly moving, because that means that at least it is still in the active mail stream. I've seen packages remain caught in the underbelly of the APBS machine for days (even though the maintenance crew is supposed to check and clean the machines out daily). I've also seen where a sack is supposed to be empty, but - surprise!!! There's a small package in it!!!! That means it's been sitting there, in a sack that everyone thought was empty, for god knows how long. (That's mainly why I always mail my stuff in larger, rather than smaller, boxes, even if it would fit in a teeny, tiny box). (because we don't charge by the size [unless it is over-size]; we charge by weight and distance traveled).

So... that happens in Tucson where there is never any snowstorm.

Oh!! In the case where a box might go back to the sender's state before finally traveling to the recipient's state... I'm going to guess that the scanners (which also aren't perfect pieces of machinery) are picking up the sender's address and interpreting that as the destination address. That's my best guess on that. In Tucson, we have more outdated scanners, so... we have to manually key in a lot of addresses. But on the newer machines (not in Tucson), scanners scan every single side of the box (except the bottom), so it picks up all the addresses?? I mean... I don't know for sure. So this is an uneducated guess on my part.

I have no idea who you would call to complain about this. Nobody, including the Postmaster General, can fix this. Because a true fix would require either new machines (LOTS of $$$$$$$), many more workers (again, lots of $$$$$$), and then if someone actually were to replace the machines or hire lots more people, then the price of shipping and mailing would also increase. There's no money for any of this.

Email: USPS® Customer Service
Call: 1-800-ASK-USPS® (1-800-275-8777)

But... then if one absolutely wanted to avoid having this happen, they can pay $$$$$$$$$ for Express Mail. If it doesn't get there within the allotted time, the sender actually can get a refund!

And actually, I think if system-wide, we magically somehow got the funds for new machinery, or to fix the machinery (which would require the machines to move more SLOWLY, so it actually processes LESS [but more accurately]) OR we magically got enough money to hire enough people so that the machines' sacks and boxes NEVER overflowed, AND we had enough manpower to pick up and double-check EVERY single piece of mail that falls on the ground, AND to double-check the mail IN the containers to make sure there were no mis-sent packages, well, I think that would actually drive up the price of shipping packages to the amount that shipping Express mail costs today.

So I think that whomever you call, if they were being honest, would say "there is no (and will never be any) realistic solution to this problem, but you can use Express Mail." Any other answer they give, they would be bullshitting you. Express Mail packages are processed (at my plant) by hand. They are still dumped by machines, but at least clerks place each package by hand, into their destination containers. However, even then, still some mail gets lost. BUT when that happens, everyone knows about it, and it causes a minor disruption (unlike when a Priority or first-class package is missing - no one cares).

If this was a case of mail always being re-routed or mis-sent at ONE particular plant, then we could do something about it. But this is nationwide, and I bet my retirement, that it happens at every single machine, in every single plant. And any USPS problem that is this widespread will never be solved, especially when the solution involves lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$ AND slower processing times.
__________________
Margot
wavejumper is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following 7 users liked this post by wavejumper:
AussieJenny (03-08-2022), Chinocookie (03-08-2022), fl_beachbum (03-08-2022), katzarm (03-09-2022), PaperMorePaper (03-09-2022), pepperann (03-08-2022), Teachybaby (03-09-2022)
Old 03-07-2022, 01:59 PM   #2  
Proud Fan Club Member
 
smhtwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 4,691
Received 237 Likes on 154 Posts
Default

Interesting to read all of this!

Always appreciate the good and the bad from someone who is actually "boots on the ground".
__________________
Lorraine
Wife to an awesome DH, Mommy to an adorable DS who is on the spectrum for autism, and Twin Sister to Linda
smhtwin is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following 2 users liked this post by smhtwin:
gobarb26 (03-19-2022), StampnRose (03-09-2022)
Old 03-07-2022, 06:22 PM   #3  
Mad Swapper
 
Alice in Md's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Towson, Maryland
Posts: 1,781
Received 66 Likes on 28 Posts
Default

Thank you, Margot, for asking your friend about this and sharing the response. We all have stories about the USPS, both good and bad, and it's nice to have an explanation for how things happen even though they often seem not to make sense.
Alice in Md is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-08-2022, 04:12 PM   #4  
Creative Crew SU Design Team Alumni
 
cnsteele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,782
Received 435 Likes on 150 Posts
Default

I ordered a record player from Best Buy in November. When I opened the badly battered and beaten shipping box upon its arrival at my home, I discovered not just the record player I'd ordered, but also an ink jet toner cartridge in its original box. Upon closer examination, I saw there was a UPS shipping label attached to the ink jet toner cartridge box.
My guess is that the shipping box my order arrived in had torn open in transit and a worker had tossed back inside what he or she thought was in the box and that's how the ink jet toner cartridge box landed there. I simply dropped it off at the nearest UPS drop box and it arrived at its intended destination, but I imagine the original sender was puzzled as to the route it was taking!
__________________
Nicole
cnsteele is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following 2 users liked this post by cnsteele:
joniworx (03-09-2022), leibetty (03-09-2022)
Old 03-08-2022, 04:51 PM   #5  
Creative Crew SU Design Team Alumni
 
fl_beachbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Melbourne, FL
Posts: 6,819
Received 492 Likes on 250 Posts
Default

That was interesting, Margot. Thank you for sharing.
__________________
Adriana
Sharing ideas on Cup&Ink

Upcoming Bible Study - Exodus - Precept Upon Precept
August 4 through October 27th, Thursday evenings 6:30 pm via Zoom
fl_beachbum is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-08-2022, 05:49 PM   #6  
Proud Fan Club Member
 
wavejumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,386
Received 339 Likes on 169 Posts
Default

Well it was not an answer that shows us a path out of it unfortunately. But at least we know now what is going on.

Seems like if they had so many more packages, they could afford at least a few more people....oh well.
__________________
Margot
wavejumper is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-09-2022, 06:06 AM   #7  
Splitcoast Dirty Dozen Alumni
Splitcoast Challenge Hostess
Teapot Tuesday TEAm
 
jacqueline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SE North Carolina
Posts: 11,087
Received 38 Likes on 30 Posts
Default

Explains why some of the late packages I've received look like they've been run over with a forklift. Tire tracks and all!
__________________
Jacqueline
Wanna see my stuff?


Instagram: @jacqueline_worksforstamps
Blog: Works For Stamps


Come join the TEAparty every Tuesday! Click here for details.

"Stamping is an addiction & therapy rolled into one"
jacqueline is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-09-2022, 09:54 AM   #8  
Rubber Obsessor
 
merollin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 105
Received 9 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Despite all the issues with USPS, I am truly impressed with how mail is moved around our country! Thanks for posting this informative piece...much appreciated!
merollin is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following 5 users liked this post by merollin:
Auntie_mky (03-12-2022), cnsteele (03-10-2022), gaylestamps (03-09-2022), leibetty (03-09-2022), Teachybaby (03-09-2022)
Old 03-09-2022, 10:03 AM   #9  
Rubber Obsessor
 
Teachybaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 174
Received 12 Likes on 7 Posts
Default

merollin, I agree with you. The Post Office is really quite amazing. At least my packages arrive clean unlike the FedEx and UPS packages that look like they have taken side trips through the Serengeti.
Teachybaby is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-09-2022, 01:39 PM   #10  
Glitter Queen
 
Sandra Harvey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Chattaroy WA. USA
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default Good Response

I am a retired Postal Employee and really got a kick out of this response. Good to here not much has changed from the early days. Thanks for sharing this.
Sandra Harvey is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following users liked this post:
gaylestamps (03-09-2022)
Old 03-10-2022, 05:41 AM   #11  
Pearl-ExPert
 
jeanne3579's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 2,555
Received 55 Likes on 45 Posts
Default

I have always been in awe of the post office, since I spent time with my aunt who was the postmistress at a small postoffice in a rural town. Most of the mail there was brought in by the postman taken from the mailboxes with the flag turned up at the homes where they delivered mail. Then she would put them into bins and sacks at the back of the building, or in the PO boxes that some used right there at the PO. This amazed me as a big city girl who walked a half block up the street and put mail in a metal box and got mail through a slot in the front door and thought it was a magical process. As much frustration as it causes sometimes, I still think it is amazing how much mail gets delivered properly and quickly, especially with the increased amount these days with all the online ordering.
jeanne3579 is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-10-2022, 09:13 AM   #12  
Proud Fan Club Member
 
wavejumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,386
Received 339 Likes on 169 Posts
Default

Oh for sure given how much moves it is a miracle. And I have been blessed with a series of great carriers to my building who will put in some extra effort to find a box for me the system says says delivered.

She added another thing...so she is Tucson, AZ. Awhile back all of Phoenix's mail (big city too) suddenly started coming to them-she thinks they closed that station...well now they got Utah stuff from Phoenix...which means they processed it, then it went BACK to Phoenix to get directly on a plane (because the Tucson one was full) so the track would read Utah, Phoenix, Tucson, Phoenix...and the guess is if a station is overloaded they send it to another to get done.

There is just a LOT of different ways stuff gets bounced around....
__________________
Margot
wavejumper is online now  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
Old 03-10-2022, 11:10 PM   #13  
Die Cut Diva
 
lylacfey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,932
Received 187 Likes on 96 Posts
Default

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanne3579View Post
I have always been in awe of the post office, since I spent time with my aunt who was the postmistress at a small postoffice in a rural town. Most of the mail there was brought in by the postman taken from the mailboxes with the flag turned up at the homes where they delivered mail. Then she would put them into bins and sacks at the back of the building, or in the PO boxes that some used right there at the PO. This amazed me as a big city girl who walked a half block up the street and put mail in a metal box and got mail through a slot in the front door and thought it was a magical process. As much frustration as it causes sometimes, I still think it is amazing how much mail gets delivered properly and quickly, especially with the increased amount these days with all the online ordering.
I also think it's magical. Even to this day. One of my family members was a Postmistress too. Town was so small the PO was everything to the town. I remember being a little girl and she would let me put the mail in the PO boxes. I thought that was just the best thing ever, lol.
Flags up for mail to be collected. She would hand deliver packages. Not only did she hand deliver packages she would say to me "We need to go see so-so new baby." Off we would go with that person's package, plate of cookies and a crochet blanket for the baby that she made. The PO was in an all brick building with real wooden floors and the streets outside were still brick. Yes, this is modern age & I am not a time traveler, lol.

I still love to go to the PO. I live near the big hub and then a few blocks away from me is the distro. I still love to go inside and look at the boxes, buy stamps, look at the most wanted sign's, lol. I love the scales & I am a big geek weighing all the packages.

I love the Post Office as much as I love the library!

The other day I was tracking a package. It got sent straight to my PO. Then it left and came back to my PO. What???? Did the carrier decide the packages were lonely and took them out for a drive around town? I don't understand their computer and it's mindset, lol.

Ladies in St. Louis. I don't know what is going on with your hub. They must be so behind. I have had a package in limbo there for four days now. It should have been there for only a few hours. They must be so short-staffed there & way behind, bless them.
__________________

lylacfey is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following users liked this post:
wavejumper (03-15-2022)
Old 03-12-2022, 12:51 AM   #14  
Pearl-ExPert
 
happy-stamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,910
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Default

Thank you for posting this -- it's so interesting. And thank you to your friend for taking the time to give us such a thorough answer!
__________________
"When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad, and that is my religion."
--Abraham Lincoln
happy-stamper is offline  
Tweet this Post! Share on Facebook Reddit!! Pin on Pinterest! Share on Google+!
Reply With Quote Likes
The following 2 users liked this post by happy-stamper:
gobarb26 (03-19-2022), wavejumper (03-15-2022)
Reply





Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off