Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Methods for Faster shipping!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Methods for Faster shipping!
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 131
Back To Top

What are your methods for getting books to where they need to go the fastest?

Me, I live in a small town about  1.25 hrs west of Minneapolis but work in Minneapolis. So, I drop most of my books in the mail at a Minneapolis post office (the mail hub for MN). It takes me a little over an hour to get there but it would take the local PO 2 days to get the book to Minneapolis. Time saved= 1+ days.

Date Posted: 4/3/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
Back To Top
I just do standard media mail ... sometimes I drop it off at the post office or I give it to the mail person if they come in at my office. Though I live in a major city so I don't have the problem going to the post office.
Date Posted: 4/3/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2009
Posts: 13
Back To Top

Wow!  Wonder what takes them so long.  I live 2-3 hrs away from The Cities and know that my package will be loaded onto a truck in Duluth that night on it's way to Minneapolis.  (I worked at the po and loaded those trucks for a little while.)

Date Posted: 4/11/2009 11:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
Back To Top

another route is shipping Fedex  they can get the book to the destination the next day

(well I'm a little bias here since i work for FedEx office (kinkos) and i get discounted rates if i ship fedex


Date Posted: 4/12/2009 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I'll frequently pay a little extra to send a book 1st Class if it's only an extra .25 or so. 

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
Back To Top

Wow!  Wonder what takes them so long.  I agree, my books mailed from Fargo, ND usually get scanned in The Cities the next day.

Maybe you should offer to take the mail for your town in when you go :)

Last Edited on: 4/12/09 11:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 131
Back To Top

Duluth probably has more frequent runs to Minneapolis than Hutchinson does, Duluth it quite a lot larger.

Not sure what else could be slowing them down.

Date Posted: 5/7/2009 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
Back To Top

Check the pickup times on the mail boxes and remember to mail your package before the pickup time.  Find and remember the location of the local box with the last pickup time to insure you get your package mailed that day.

Last Edited on: 5/7/09 12:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
Back To Top

I like mailing out on the weekend.  Since there is much less business mail going out, it leaves more room for media rate items.  I mailed out a big batch of books last Saturday and Sunday in anticipation of the postage increase.  Many of the books reached their destination across the country by Monday and Tuesday.

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,405
Back To Top

I like mailing out on the weekend.  Since there is much less business mail going out, it leaves more room for media rate items.

My carrier actually suggested that.   I have to drive quite some distance to the post office so rather than just drive to the main postie in town (which has long lines, no parking and crappy service) I combine my postie trip with my grocery store trip and go to the postie a few more miles up the road.  Because it is a smaller post office there is always room on the truck for my media mail packages (and there is always parking and the workers are actually nice!)  So trying a smaller brach office might help too.

Last Edited on: 5/13/09 1:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/17/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
Back To Top

Well, when I worked at the PO when loading the truck(s) the class of mail determined what got loaded first. ie: overnight, priority and so on were loaded into the truck first. Once they were full that was it. Everything else waited until the next trip. Because media mail is a cheaper class and has a longer promised delivery time it is one of the last considerations when loading the truck. I live in a very small town (pop. "around 90") Sometimes my books sit at the PO for two days before they ever leave because the truck(s) get filled and mine have to wait.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 12:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
Back To Top

Do media mail items cross the country in trucks. or do they sometimes travel in planes if space is available?

Connie C. (Cade) - ,
Date Posted: 5/25/2009 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2006
Posts: 24
Back To Top

I can't imagine it makes any difference what post office you mail from. ALL post offices are to advance ALL their mail to the plants EVERYDAY. Now, the plants may hold a package but that is unlikely. If you have a smaller office holding bulk or any kind of mail then they are not following procedure. They may hold bulk for delivery (3 days only) in their own office but cannot hold outbound mail at their office. Now what office would be the plant in your area, that's easy. Your zip code and all the ones around you usually have the same first three numbers. Now all the towns with those same first three numbers send their mail everyday to the same plant. Zips are arranged alphabetically in number order with the A's having the lowest number starting with 1 like 11, 12, 13 and so on. The plant usually is the biggest city in that area and has the 01, 02, etc. numbers. The plants then send their mail every night to the main plant in the district. Like most of Indiana it is Indianapolis.

Now the question about how media mail travels. It is usually by truck but has been know to fly if there is space available. Believe it or not, FedEx flys most of the mail for the USPS. The USPS buys a certain amount of space and obviously, express mail, priority mail and first class goes first. Then they will load bulk if there is any room left. The goal is to optimize the space and not let any go to waste. That would be like throwing away something you paid for and not using it.

Date Posted: 5/25/2009 9:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 510
Back To Top

Wow, I'm learning a lot about post office procedures.  I always use media mail, and regardless of what they say about it taking from 2 to 6 days, my books almost always get there in 2 days, and the same with books I receive.  I live in the Orlando area (actually about 15 miles north, but it's all one big metro area) and there are two PC's (Processing Centers), one in Orange County and one in Seminole County.  The PC picks up the mail from the various PO's and takes it back to the PC, and it leaves on trucks at midnight.  So it doesn't matter what time of day you put your package in the mail, it still doesn't leave until midnight.  There are several PO's I can use because each town has its own, and each town just merges into the next town with no visible dividing lines.  I mail a package every month to my daughter in the midwest, and there is one PO that always gets it to her one day sooner (2 days), while all the others take 3 days.  I have no idea why.  However, I usually don't even go to the PO anymore.  I use Paypal printed postage and just stick the package in my own mailbox.  As long as it's printed postage (not stamps), it doesn't have to meet the 13 oz. limit either.

Subject: media mail versus first class parcel post only 3 cents difference
Date Posted: 6/16/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
Posts: 61
Back To Top

Hi -

I've discovered that the majority of the books I mail are $2.38 media mail and $2.41 First Class parcel post.  I always opt to pay the three extra cents to get it there faster.  However, I have to go through a big deal and cut off the media mail info, paste on a first class sticker.  How about giving an option to print either media mail or pay the extra three cents when things are on that margin?

? bookskt

Subject: 1st class was cheaper than media mail
Date Posted: 6/16/2009 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2009
Posts: 1
Back To Top

Took a book with the printed wrapper to the Post Office today and the clerk told me it was actually $.14 cheaper to go 1st class than the $2.38 postage that printed on the wrapper. She grabbed a Sharpie  and scribbled out the media mail wording on the label. Really nice of her to do that (I guess she really didn't have to tell me it would be cheaper 1st class either - I never would have questioned that!!)

Date Posted: 6/21/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
Back To Top

Karen, I do the same thing... if there is just a few cents difference, I opt for the first class mail.  Also, I only ship on the weekends, so occasionally, I will get an order in at the VERY beginning of the week and if I don't have alot to mail out, I will send that member a first class package since they had to wait a while already.

That is funny what was said about the USPS mail going on the FEDEX planes.  I lived overseas on a military base when I was applying for colleges and a couple of times deadlines crept up on me and I needed to get documents sent to the states within a couple of days.  I ended up paying a ridiculous fee for fedex next day shipping... I found out later on when I went to the military post office (using USPS) that the FEDEX next day air mail items went on the military carriers as the normal mail!  I could have gone with standard priority mail at a fraction of the price.  :(

The military postal worker told me that I had no idea how many times he got yelled at by people who didn't realize that FEDEX used the same carriers but charged 3x the amount for shipping... as if it was his fault! lol