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Topic: Strange DC hops explained at last!

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Subject: Strange DC hops explained at last!
Date Posted: 3/28/2009 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Okay, we've all wondered about some of the strange "hops" or books have taken when we use DC from PBS.  It wasn't until today though that I actually dug into it and discovered what I believe to be the reason for the weirdness.

When you look at "Details" on PBS you see that the package is marked as "Electronic Shipping Info Received - (your city and state)" as the first entry.  After that, whenever it gets scanned the system updates with the new location. 

So, I've been trying to figure out why a book was sitting in a PO in Florida, when it should have been delivered already, and put the DC # into the tracking system on USPS.COM, which showed it as having been delivered.  That last entry wasn't showing up in the PBS details, even though it was delivered 5 days ago.  Still trying to see where the communications problem might be I dug a little further, and made the astonishing discovery that no matter what it says on PBS as far as what city and state the "Electronic Shipping Info Received" from claims, in the actually USPS records they all start from SUWANEE, GA 30024, home city of PBS.

No wonder there have been some mighty odd hops shown in the system!  PBS is editing the data as it comes from USPS.


Check this out...  These are both the same package, as you can see from the DC#  The first set of data is what PBS shows, the second set is what is in the actual PO records.

USPS DC#: 9102165561353006981562

  • 3/19/2009 6:00 PM - Electronic Shipping Info Received - FREDERICKSBRG,VA
  • 3/22/2009 6:52 PM - Enroute - ORLANDO,FL
  • 3/23/2009 8:23 AM - Arrival at Unit - PALM BAY,FL


Label/Receipt No.: 9102165561353006981562

March 23, 2009 - 12:54 pm
Delivered: PALM BAY, FL 32905

Package History

Date/Time Location Activity
March 23, 2009
12:54 pm
PALM BAY, FL 32905



7:23 am PALM BAY, FL 32905

Arrival at Unit


March 22, 2009
5:52 pm



March 19, 2009
4:50 pm

Electronic Shipping Info Received


Results provided by U.S.P.S. March 28, 2009, 6:43 PM MDT

Last Edited on: 3/28/09 9:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 2:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Odd. That doesn't happen to me.  When I use DC and check it on USPS.com  it always has the right info. Never shows GA. Maybe this only happens for people who buy postage?

ETA: I just checked the package I mailed today. It doesn't even list a town or state. Even odder. Maybe I made up that it shows the right info. :)

Last Edited on: 3/29/09 2:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 2:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Try it through www.packagemapping.com Janelle.  Their system uses the raw data direct from the USPS database.


Date Posted: 3/30/2009 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Thanks for that link, Bernhard.  Doesn't mention GA for me on that site either.  Info is exactly the same as it is when I check the details on PBS. Weird.

I do suspect it has something to do with the printable postage. I don't use PBS postage, just the DC.

Last Edited on: 3/30/09 2:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2009 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 655
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I usually use just the PBS DC, but have used printable postage, too...so, I checked it out.  Printable postage shows GA as the starting point, while DC shows San Jose (my home) as the start. 

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 869
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i used the usps and packagemapping.com for a book i sent out the other week. both said it was delivered last monday (3/23), but pbs says it's still in another city updated last on the 21st ... when's pbs gonna be updated? it's annoying