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Topic: Who's crazy or wrong--pbs or usps???

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Subject: Who's crazy or wrong--pbs or usps???
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 9:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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My father was a postmaster and he took an earlier retirement than he was planning, partly because of some of the weird things that the USPS was doing.  When I was in college at the University of Mississippi, he would drive from his small Alabama town 4 miles to mail something to me at an even smaller Mississippi town.  If he mailed it at his p.o., it went to Birmingham, AL then to Memphis, TN, then to Oxford, MS.  The difference in my getting the package was 1-2 days as opposed to 3-5.  However, I somewhat understood this as the mail from the small towns has to go to larger mailing centers. 

 

However, I just checked the map that shows where my books are.  I mailed a book Saturday from Dothan, AL--about 20 miles from south Georgia and even less to the Florida panhandle.  It went from southeast Alabama to Memphis, TN--now it must go to southern Florida.  Another book that I mailed recently went from here to Memphis to Atlanta to northern Alabama.

 

Actually, I'm pretty sure that it isn't mistakes on the pbs system, since the arrival places are logged by the usps.  And, there is probably some logic somewhere, but it really does seem strange.  If I lived in north Alabama, the Memphis stop MIGHT make some sense.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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The info PBS has is received from the post office. They have no control over where the book goes.  They just report what the USPS server gives them and that could be a day or two old. 

The USPS frequently sends books on while tours of the US.  I posted jsut this morning on the thread about why the post office is losing money-that if if they stopped sending books on vacational tours of the US then they'd save some money.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I spent 9yrs living on a island in WA state.  Interisland mail went to the main land and then back to the island. I always wondered why they didn't just pay someone to sort the mail on the island and give it to the right postal carrier for delivery.  It would seem to be cheaper than shipping it off island, having it sorted there, then shipping it back only to have it handled by the original post office. Most people just paid their utility bills in person because they were processed faster.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,200
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Are you looking at information about actual scans on PBS or just the truck driving across the map? Because that little truck driver IS crazy and can go off driving in the ocean every now at then :-P The PBS maps are just estimates, without any actual scans they mean very little.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I'm clicking on the places where it goes which show the actual scans (as far as when it was scanned at those places)--not just the lines.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I actually think that they do a pretty good job, also, based on my receiving mail and seldom, if ever, have anything go lost.  Actually, I don't know of anything going lost except for a book and that turned up later.  I'm just questioning, as Mary did on another thread, why a book goes in such different directions.  Maybe for the lower media mail price, they don't have to be careful.  Then, when it ends up in the wrong place, it's no big deal to throw it on a different truck.

I believe that the very first book that I ordered from pbs took the longest to get here.  That's probably not at all true--it just seemed that long.  Actually, books seem to arrive more quickly now than they did when I joined two years ago.

Date Posted: 11/24/2009 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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It does get frustrating sometimes. I always use DC and like to check on the progress of the books I shipped.  Most of the books I send out go through the Bell, California processing center.  Most move on quickly, but I have one that was scanned in at the Bell center on the 11-18 and no indications after that date.  The package isn't going that far--New Mexico, and I've had other packages I shipped later that have already arrived at their destinations.

Date Posted: 11/25/2009 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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It actulally costs less to centralize sorting and prosessing. here in the KC area, if you send something that goes a certain distance away...Topeka Ks., St. Joe Mo. etc. it stays in "town" and is sorted and prosessed. all other mail gets sent to Omaha Ne. for prosessing. even if you are sending to to OK or Tx..it still takes the trip north first.

 

Fed Ex does the same thing. ALL shipments are routed through Memphis I think.

Date Posted: 11/25/2009 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 702
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I believe all the shippers use "hubs" to move their items.

Date Posted: 11/26/2009 4:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Fed Ex may have changed procedures, because (like Brandy) it was my understanding that ALL their packages were sorted in one location regardless of where origin or distination.

Otherwise, most other carriers use more regional sorting facilities.



Last Edited on: 11/27/09 5:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1