Orchids forum: Our USPS

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 12, 2014 8:47 AM CST
A lady who lives in FL wanted to gift me some coconut shells, knowing I use them occasionally to put orchids in and then attaching the shell to a wood mount. She boxed several shells and shipped the box Flat Rate Priority. This was a two-day shipment, since I live in Mississippi. Six days later I got the battered box. The post office at some point had to wrap the box in cellophane just to hold it together! Three of the four shells were cracked.

When I saw the tracking information I saw that the box was in Portland, OR for three days. Why would the USPS ship a box from FL to OR and then back to MS? Why hold it in Portland for three days, when it was shipped as Two-Day Priority Mail? I figured that the box traveled approximately 5000 miles to get to me, and I live less than 500 miles from where it was shipped!

This is just one (recent) story of how inept our USPS is. I have lots of (just as bad and worse) stories.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Dec 12, 2014 2:53 PM CST
AMEN! No wonder they're in a budget vortex! My grandma would've said, "Well they just went around their a** to get to their elbow."
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 12, 2014 4:55 PM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Dec 12, 2014 8:30 PM CST
Those coconut shells have seen more f the U.S.A. Than I have! How fortunate that travel broadens the mind.
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 12, 2014 9:05 PM CST
Ah, if those shells could only talk. What a story they could tell! Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Dec 13, 2014 3:51 PM CST
Ken, It sounds like a local issue to me. I've always received Priority mail packages within 3 days from the east coast to Ca. Even a regular mail package came from Ar. to Ca. in 2 days.
Good thing your's wasn't expensive china or live plants!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 13, 2014 4:57 PM CST
Carol, I have had many boxes of live plants take 4-7 days, when they shipped 2 or 3 day Priority Mail. That's the only way I ship plants.

I am not sure about the "local issue". Do you mean local here in Starkville, local as to my buyer's town/city, or somewhere in between? Here is another example, and this happened just last/this week.

I shipped two large boxes of orchids to VA, with the shipping costing over $33, and they went out my usual Priority Mail. According to USPS tracking, they shipped out 2-day Priority Mail. After all, VA is not that far from MS. The boxes were picked up on Wednesday, Dec. 3, and went to Jackson, MS (only 125 miles from here) and left Jackson on Friday, Dec. 5. So far so good. The USPS shows delivery was scheduled for Monday, Dec. 8. Well, that's not quite 2-day shipping but its acceptable. My buyer called me Monday and said the plants did not arrive. I rechecked tracking and sure enough, Monday was supposed to be the delivery day. I asked him to immediately call his post master and have him/her do their own tracking. Guess what, the post master did not know where the boxes were? He/she said the tracking simply showed "In Transit". The buyer called me again on Tuesday - no plants. We're talking about $500 + in orchids! He said he contacted his post master and he/she still could not tell him where the boxes were. There was nothing I could do but hope and pray. What was I going to do about $500 worth of plants lost in the mail? File for insurance? Good luck! The two boxes arrived on Thursday, Dec. 11, eight days after they were picked up for shipment. I could have ridden a bicycle to Virginia in less time!

Carol, I am glad you have had such good luck with our USPS. My shipping results tell a far different story.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 13, 2014 5:22 PM CST
I've had good service until recently as well. Just recently had a Priority package take over a week from FL to UT.

Something must have changed. Priority used to be great value. Now? I'm paying a bit more and using UPS.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 13, 2014 5:28 PM CST
I don't know what to do, Elaine. I have shipped over 300 boxes out this year, so I spend a lot of money shipping as it is. To use UPS or FedEx, I would either have to take the boxes to their drop-off facility (FedEx is a 30 mile round trip and UPS ONLY 8 miles) or pay (a lot) extra from them to pick the boxes up. As you say, shipping with UPS (and FedEx) is basically more expensive than the USPS. My customers don't like to pay for shipping as it is and I am awfully hesitant to tack on more cost. Sighing!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 13, 2014 6:16 PM CST
Ken, maybe that decision will be easier when you find out the bottom line on your $500 shipment. Nobody likes to pay for shipping but a bit extra to guarantee safe arrival is worth it.

Perhaps risk the small packages/lower value shipments to the Postal service and absorb the higher cost on big shipments going with UPS. If you get in the car to go to the Post Office anyway, a little farther drive doesn't seem too bad in the cost of doing business.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 13, 2014 6:53 PM CST
All my boxes are picked up at the house in the morning. That's the major advantage (other than lower cost) of use USPS.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
Image
karmatree
Dec 14, 2014 6:38 AM CST
Ken, I'm with you. I've had the same experience with tracking using USPS AND FedEx. That "In Transit" status is completely useless and I don't quite understand if that means it's sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting for a ride or if it's actually in a moving vehicle....My box of succulent plants were "In Transit" for 3 days AFTER their expected arrival date. Where'd they go? Mars? 2 of the plants were moldy but not dead, so they can't be replaced. I'm sure they'll be dead soon or a later. Moisture plus darkness for days and days equals doom for desert plants I think.

Did the guy's $500 worth of orchids survive??
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Dec 14, 2014 7:05 AM CST
He says he thinks they will all be OK. I will contact him tomorrow and see what he thinks then. Perhaps orchids travel better (for more days) than succulents.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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