Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Books From Hawaii

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Books From Hawaii
Date Posted: 10/30/2011 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2007
Posts: 7,346
Back To Top

How are they sent? Do they go by boat or airplane (or either) to the mainland? I just happened to request a book from a member in Hawaii and was wondering how it was going to get to me.

Date Posted: 10/31/2011 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2009
Posts: 61
Back To Top

I recently got a book from Hawaii that took three weeks.  Almost missed getting it read for my book club, but I got it done.

Date Posted: 10/31/2011 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

No idea how they travel Jason, but time is even more unpredictable than Media Mail in the lower 48. 

Your book could arrive in a week or so, but just as likely could be around 5 weeks (so don't get in a hurry to re-order if it goes lost).  There doesn't seem to be a higher rate of lost books (ie really lost that never arrive) from Hawaii and/or Alaska, but a significant number do seem to arrive the week after the system marks them lost.

If your book travels First Class, the travel time will be very similar to continental US.

Date Posted: 11/1/2011 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
Back To Top

I have noticed that books I have mailed to HI have traveled pretty fast until they reach California, then they can disappear for a week or two without a peep. So, my guess would be boat.

Date Posted: 11/1/2011 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 22,854
Back To Top

If the book is shipped Media Mail it comes by boat.  First class or Priority should come by air.

Date Posted: 11/2/2011 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

I don't think it goes by boat. EVERYTHING in Hawaii has to be brought in by boat or plane and EVERYTHING shipped out does the same. The cargo ships I think would just stop by on the way to the far east. By plane it's going to go space available, and everything gets a spot on the plane before media mail. then it gets to California and falls into that Bell CA "black hole" before being sent on to the rest of the country. 

Date Posted: 11/2/2011 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

Cindy works for USPS, so her post is probably accurate. 

In addition, my sister lives on Maui.  They could have changed recently, but several years ago I sent her a Christmas present (probably parcel post) it was a long time enroute.  Sis finally went to her PO and asked about the package, they informed her that they had several shipping containers full of packages and were getting around to unpacking them when time permitted.  Her package was delivered about a week later. 

So yes, I believe some mail to Hawaii still travels by boat.  Like the rest of us, they need a certain quantity of consumables and don't produce their own.  Flying everything in would be very expensive, therefore there must be regular freight/boat routes (most likely out of California ports).  The same for Alaska, which I'm also sure of because Seattle is the gateway to Alaska and we ship alot of containers in and out of Alaskan cities.

Date Posted: 11/2/2011 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

I work for USPS as well

Airlines use shipping containers as well.

Several years ago they were sent by boat, Now they are not. The estimated delivery times are now about 2 weeks instead of the 4-6 week timeframe they were several years ago. USPS now has contracts with UPS and FedEx to carry the mail and they dont use boats. 

Date Posted: 11/3/2011 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

I recently received a PBS book from Hawaii, it was 5 weeks enroute.  I live on the west coast, so we're practically neighbors.  Apparently this book travelled on a very sllllooooooww airplane.

Date Posted: 11/3/2011 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
Back To Top

Media Mail igoes when there is space available. Everything else goes before Media Mail, so if the cargo hold fills up, it waits, and waits, and we all know about Bell CA That place is a "black hole"

Briana -
Date Posted: 11/4/2011 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 2,763
Back To Top

It sometimes takes weeks for a media mail book to leave Hawaii. I use DC and I watch my books all the time. I had one sit here for 4 weeks before it made it's way to Bell, CA. I guess they just wait till the bin is full and then send it out. First class mail (in my experience) to the mainland only takes several days.

Thanks to all who are patient!

Date Posted: 11/5/2011 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,171
Back To Top

I've been mailing to my sister on Maui for almost 20 years, and must say that mail service has improved alot in the last 5 or so.  First Class and Priority now have similar enroute times as my SIL in southern California.

Brianna...whales!! I've been to Maui during whale season, so awesome!   We took a family trip to Alaska last fall, and my sis and her hubby came along (mostly) to see the whales on the other end of their annual migration.  Took a whale watching trip at Juneau (brrrr). Tour guide said not only were the high numbers unusual, but two whale varieties in the same vacinity was even more unusual.  So, not only do Hawaiians love their whales, but apparently the whales love Hawaiians too!  heart