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Topic: How does Media Mail work?

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Subject: How does Media Mail work?
Date Posted: 8/22/2007 2:19 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2007
Posts: 7
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I am just currious on how Media Mail works, and why it takes so long to get to its location?  In a system they had to make more efficient to keep up with the private companies, I would think they would just throw it into the already established system.  But 21 days to get somewhere?  You would have to purposfully hold it back and work at not getting it there earlier.

Thoughts?

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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You would have to purposfully hold it back and work at not getting it there earlier.  That's funny.  :)

The way it works is that media mail is only put on the mail trucks once they have room for it.  This is why it is the least expensive way to mail something, it follows that old "you get what you pay for" thing.  So, this means that if you drop a package off at the post office today, it may not be mailed out for 3,4, 5, days or more if there is no room for it.  This is why it may take up to 21 days to get to it's destination.  Although I have noticed packages getting to me much quicker recently - I requested a book sunday that was mailed out monday and it got to me tuesday.  But that's sort of a rarity.



Last Edited on: 8/22/07 6:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2007 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2007
Posts: 7
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Well that makes sense.  But I have a hard time seeing a postal truck filled to the brim to the point where they look at the Media mail boxes and say -  "Nope, can't fit them in there again today."   Maybe "I am tired, I will load the Media Mail boxes tomorrow".   But I could be wrong.  I know nothing about the process.  It just seems kind of fishy that it takes so long.  It isn't like these are huge packages.

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 4
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Media mail takes 'so long' because it is all trucked mail, meaning it is not loaded onto airplanes like Express and Priority Mail. No mail is 'left behind'. If you mail a book from your home, or the post office, it is on it's way that day to a processing and distribution center. It is then trucked to a bulk mail facility (in your state) which could be anywhere from 300-600 miles away. Once there it is processed to be mailed to wherever it is going by truck. If you mail a book from Florida to California it will probably take 2 weeks. If you mail a book from Florida to Alabama it will probably take 2 days or less.  Media mail is not efficient however it is cost effective.

 

Sunny

postal employee



Last Edited on: 8/22/07 8:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/23/2007 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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If the above is true, then why is there wild variation in how long a book takes to get from point A to point B?  For example, I've had books get to me (in Virginia) from California in under a week, but on other occasions, I've had it take weeks to get here.  In both instances, the books went media mail.  The "books being held back" info is something that has been repeated over and over here on PBS without dispute. 

I am now pretty curious as to the truth myself!

Date Posted: 8/23/2007 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Ha... to bad we can't put GPS on the books to see where the holdups are :  )