Why are rocket companies still using USPS?

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Midnight777

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Why? Everyone knows the USPS is BEYOND screwed up at this point, beyond saving. I’ll gladly pay more to have a kit shipped UPS or Fedex, especially if it the kit is a few hundred dollars. I ordered a kit from Composite Warehouse back on Black Friday that was “marked” as shipped on 1/8, that was 3 weeks ago. The post office cannot do anything because in their eyes, it was not dropped off by the seller (possible but who knows at this point). I will no longer order from any company that only uses USPS because I would like to actually get my kit. Btw, if a kit is WILLINGLY shipped USPS during all this and it gets lost, surely it is up to the seller to make it right.
 

Peartree

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I would assume that its for the same reason that I rarely, if ever, ship packages via UPS (other than prepaid Amazon returns). The distance to the the UPS store and to the Post Office is about the same but a package that costs $3.00 to ship USPS, costs between $8.00 and $16.00 via UPS. Multiplied by many hundreds, or thousands, of packages over the course of the year and that's a lot of money. That said, if the customer is willing to pay the extra, having the option to choose is always good.
 

Midnight777

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I would assume that its for the same reason that I rarely, if ever, ship packages via UPS (other than prepaid Amazon returns). The distance to the the UPS store and to the Post Office is about the same but a package that costs $3.00 to ship USPS, costs between $8.00 and $16.00 via UPS. Multiplied by many hundreds, or thousands, of packages over the course of the year and that's a lot of money. That said, if the customer is willing to pay the extra, having the option to choose is always good.
Having the option to choose is definitely a good thing, especially during all of this. A much much higher change the customer will get his stuff.
 

mo2872

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.........*snip*......... That said, if the customer is willing to pay the extra, having the option to choose is always good.
That would be awesome, if the option was given. If available, I always pick UPS/FedEx Ground when offered......not having the weeks of anxiety wondering if a USPS shipment will ever move again is worth the extra $$.....to me. YMMV
 

Midnight777

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That would be awesome, if the option was given. If available, I always pick UPS/FedEx Ground when offered......not having the weeks of anxiety wondering if a USPS shipment will ever move again is worth the extra $$.....to me. YMMV
I ordered some stuff from LOC over the weekend and specifically paid a bit more to have it shipped Fedex instead of USPS
 

HHaase

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Takes me 3x as long to make a label with FedEx or UPS, costs double or more to ship it, and then they charge extra to come pick it up if you don't have daily pickups scheduled.
 

Midnight777

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Takes me 3x as long to make a label with FedEx or UPS, costs double or more to ship it, and then they charge extra to come pick it up if you don't have daily pickups scheduled.
But know your packages will arrive safe and on time :)
 

dr wogz

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It gets really pricey once you start shipping international with them shippers.. their fees, plus a usual added 'duties & brokerage'

USPS is severely strained by the current pandemic (increases in parcel post), and that apparently half their workers have called in sick.. so, really, I think expecting the same (or better) service from someone who is directly hampered by the current situation is a little unfair. Their volumes have gone up over the past year, and their workforce has declined.. And toss in the government silliness..
 

HHaase

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But know your packages will arrive safe and on time :)
I think it also depends a lot on where the starting point is. I've been keeping a close eye on my outbound packages, usually 10-20 a week, and so far only international packages seem to have hit any regular snags, and those are likely due to the limited international flights carrying parcels in the cargo hold. That is one big difference between the services in that UPS and FedEx have their own aircraft, where USPS piggybacks onto scheduled passenger flights, which have been limited severely.

All my domestic stuff has been the expected 2-4 business days for the most part, with only 1 exception when I just checked the most recent 100 packages.

Sure beats the FedEx driver who sometimes completely skips my house because the packages are heavy. I see you on camera, Mr. FedEx Driver. You never got out of your truck to make an attempt. Didn't even require a signature on this shipment!
 

Mushtang

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This week I had a (non rocketry) package take too long to get to me after ordering so I went to cancel the order on the website and the entire website was closed down. So, assuming the company just ripped me off, I disputed the payment with Paypal. They somehow contacted the seller who provided a USPS tracking number showing that it had been delivered on the 15th.

What the heck?

Luckily I have two cameras, one at my front door and one at my driveway, and neither of them shows a delivery on that day.

Because Paypal has already ruled on my claim and denied it I can't file another one.

I've filed a claim with USPS with all the details trying to see if they can determine if the package was delivered to the wrong address, or at all. Not sure if it's possible to fake a tracking number or not.

There's no doubt that I'll never see the product nor a refund, but I'm not just going to roll over and get ripped off without trying.
 

Midnight777

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This week I had a (non rocketry) package take too long to get to me after ordering so I went to cancel the order on the website and the entire website was closed down. So, assuming the company just ripped me off, I disputed the payment with Paypal. They somehow contacted the seller who provided a USPS tracking number showing that it had been delivered on the 15th.

What the heck?

Luckily I have two cameras, one at my front door and one at my driveway, and neither of them shows a delivery on that day.

Because Paypal has already ruled on my claim and denied it I can't file another one.

I've filed a claim with USPS with all the details trying to see if they can determine if the package was delivered to the wrong address, or at all. Not sure if it's possible to fake a tracking number or not.

There's no doubt that I'll never see the product nor a refund, but I'm not just going to roll over and get ripped off without trying.
I’m fighting both USPS and the vendor because the vendor claims they dropped it off but surely after 3 weeks, tracking would at least show something other than Pre-Shipment had it truly been dropped off. Another week will have been a month since I got my tracking number. Why would you ship something USPS if the customer has requested Fedex or UPS? The vendor is also not responding to my PM’s on here and I know they have been online and seen it. Regardless of who a seller is, if the package was truly lost in shipment, the seller should claim the insurance and either refund or resend the item
 
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TSMILLER

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I have a non rocketry related order that is currently on day 17, after the shipping label was created.
Going to wait a few more days before contacting the vendor via PayPal.
It's not just the PO that is seeing lost and postponed orders.
Mrs imports her cosmetics from Israel. Usually they come via FED-EX and arrive at most 7 days after she approves the invoice.
Last shipment was more than a month in coming.
 

Midnight777

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I have a non rocketry related order that is currently on day 17, after the shipping label was created.
Going to wait a few more days before contacting the vendor via PayPal.
It's not just the PO that is seeing lost and postponed orders.
Mrs imports her cosmetics from Israel. Usually they come via FED-EX and arrive at most 7 days after she approves the invoice.
Last shipment was more than a month in coming.
I’m going to give it till the end of next week before contacting Paypal. I just checked and I have purchase protection through the end of May.
 

afadeev

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Why? Everyone knows the USPS is BEYOND screwed up at this point, beyond saving.
Funny you should phrase your opinion in those terms.
I just had a conversation with my elementary school-grader about avoiding logical fallacies that are based on (argumentum ad populum) phrases like:
  • "everyone knows"...
  • "scientists say"...
  • "it doesn't need saying"...
If "everyone knew", and it did not "need saying", there would not be a need to write that out in the first place.
:cool:

As to USPS being "beyond saving", that's highly unlikely to be true, unless you are in position to share verifiable facts that would support such a conclusion.

I’ll gladly pay more to have a kit shipped UPS or Fedex, especially if it the kit is a few hundred dollars. I ordered a kit from Composite Warehouse back on Black Friday that was “marked” as shipped on 1/8, that was 3 weeks ago. The post office cannot do anything because in their eyes, it was not dropped off by the seller (possible but who knows at this point).
USPS status of "Tracking # provided" but package "not received" is very likely to be accurate. USPS has had challenges updating the status during transit, especially when ground-shipping, especially post last year's "cost saving" measures implemented by the past administrator. But inbound scanning upon taking possession has been 100% accurate and timely.
Virtually every vendor out there, including Amazon, rushes to mark the package as "shipped" long before they actually drop it off to the shipping company. Sometimes the lag extends for days.
In your case, I would cast the suspicion on the seller, not the shipper.

I will no longer order from any company that only uses USPS because I would like to actually get my kit.
That's up to you, and your vendor.
Most people, myself included, are cheap.
There are a bunch of vendors who offer multiple shipping choices, and every time, USPS is much MUCH cheaper than the alternatives. There are also many rural places were FedEx and UPS will not pickup, nor deliver.

My most spectacular recent (Dec'20) shipping fiasco has been with FedEx, which took 12+ days to move a package from VA to NJ. Over the distance that I can cover in ~6 hours of driving.
Interim package status updates were sporadic, misleading, and useless.

If you want to pay 2x-5x more for shipping, that's up to you.
You should be prepared to find yourself in the minority.
 
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prfesser

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Certainly the reduced workforce and increased load from people buying more stuff is hampering the USPS. But another important issue is hometown service (sender and receiver both).

I know my primary post carrier very well (dropped him off a slice of cherry cheesecake a little while back). If I have a package that's gone awry, I can text Brad almost anytime and he will get wheels in motion to find out what happened. I know he'll do this. Because he already has. I'm equally certain that if a package was clearly and visibly damaged, he'd take the necessary info right there and get on it immediately.

We have no serious problems with UPS delivery around here, but since he's not here almost every day, I don't know him--or them, as there's more than one who delivers here. So if UPS goes awry, at the least I have to drive to the UPS store to get quick action. And might not get it, I dunno.

Bottom line: Service on both ends of the purchase is pretty important in selecting a shipper
 

tab28682

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I know some are having major USPS issues, but I must be living right. In the last year, I have had several dozen packages delivered by USPS, I have had one run about 5 days late. The shipment never updated from when the vendor, E Rockets, created the shipping info for USPS until the day before it arrived. Plus one or two others that were a day or two late. Over 90% were right on time.
 

crossfire

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I haven't had issues with USPS. Sometimes it a day or 2 later than stated. USPS needs to be charging the other carriers more money to deliver their packages. A lot of times I see UPS trucks back up to a USPS post office unloading. Amazon is a big thief of tax payers dollars get way to low of rates.
 

Midnight777

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Since Composite Warehouse is run by two people, the maker and the shipper (at least this is what I was told so correct me if I’m wrong), I feel like there is a lot of misinformation between them. The last time I managed to get the vendor to get in touch with me, it was the supplier and he said he saw that it shipped, however part of me still thinks it really didn’t because 3 weeks without any sort of scan seems odd. USPS is of no help since to them, it hasn’t arrived yet and I did call the drop off post office but they have no record of it.
 

dhbarr

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For all the people who live in a place where USPS brings most of the FedEx and UPS, I'm sorry a bunch of people want your parcel service to be as terrible as your internet.
 

cerving

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We use USPS because people don't want to pay $20 for shipping a $15 item. The reality is that USPS, even now, is fine as long as 1) you're not shipping batteries, and 2) you're not shipping international. Those two exceptions can take a long time... orders with the teeny tiny LiPo for the Apogee are averaging about 3 weeks because they don't ship them by air. I've seen international shipments take 6 weeks... I let my international customers know ahead of time, but very few of them take us up on the extra shipping charges for FedEx/UPS (which starts at $50 for a very small item can can be over $150 for a tracker with the hardware).
 

Initiator001

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All of you are missing one important reason:

DOT-E-7887

This exemption allows a rocket motor manufacturer/vendor to ship 25 pound boxes of rocket motors containing no motor with more than 30 grams of propellant without HAZMAT charge by surface transportation.

Only USPS can do this.

If you try to do it with UPS or FEDEX the shipper will have to pay HAZMAT charges.
 

pollux

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I don't understand what you are saying.

I ship a lot, and USPS is always cheaper, significantly. Usually faster, too.

And they don't play the games that FedEx and UPS do, scanning your package as delivered, when really they mean they'll bring it tomorrow.
 

tsmith1315

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I shipped an LP via USPS Media Mail (their slowest method) on Jan 20th, delivered a couple days ahead of schedule on the 23rd. Not bad.
 

jbr

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no issues with usps here
keep in mind covid has slowed everybody down
 

AeroTech

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Actually Bob, 7887 has nothing to do with it. The motor or reload must be classed as 1.4S (30 grams per motor or reload grain) by the DOT to be able to be shipped vis USPS without a hazmat fee. No hazmat labels are allowed on the package. USPS basically operates outside of DOT regulations and makes up their own rules. They do however reference the DOT classification of the item to qualify it for USPS shipment (parcel post only).

The original logic behind 7887 was to persuade the DOT to issue a shipping exemption so that model rocket motor packages could be sent to households without bearing an “explosive” label, which Estes felt would alarm parents of children buying their products. I participated in the testing at El Dorado dry lake in the ‘70s that brought it about, along with Dane, G. Harry, Lonnie Reese, John Davis and others.
All of you are missing one important reason:

DOT-E-7887

This exemption allows a rocket motor manufacturer/vendor to ship 25 pound boxes of rocket motors containing no motor with more than 30 grams of propellant without HAZMAT charge by surface transportation.

Only USPS can do this.

If you try to do it with UPS or FEDEX the shipper will have to pay HAZMAT charges.
 

quickburst

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I have been shipping via USPS for 19 years now.

The reasons I use USPS are as follows:
1.) They have never lost a package. A few have been delayed due to mistakes made at the sorting facilities. All of the delayed packages were delivered, either to back to me or the addressee. For the record I've never had a package return to me for anything, ever.
2.) I mark my packages well. Distinct labeling insures delivery or return to me. Either way Its not lost. USPS does not guarantee a delivery time, neither does UPS or FedEx.
3.) Cost. To put it simply it saves money. Less cost than FedEx or UPS.
4.) In my area, FedEx and UPS both charge pickup fees, USPS does not. We have a guy that comes around six days a week and he/she don't send me a bill.
5.) I have had both FedEx and UPS damage or misroute packages.
6.) If my customer requests FedEx delivery I'll gladly do that. Just understand that the cost goes up. I don't do UPS delivery because I don't have a UPS account, and I see no need to have one.


USPS is both dependable and cost efficient. Its a win, win for both of us, me and the customer.
 

gtg738w

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We've started using UPS for a lot of shipments when it makes sense. UPS ground is even overnight for most of the north east from us. Under 1 lb still usually goes First Class and obviously Non-Haz motors must be USPS.

We also honor any customer request for a specific carrier or expedited service - just ask your vendor. Most will do whatever they can to help you out.
 

Funkworks

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Historically, I've used USPS because it's cheaper and I'm never really in a hurry hobby-wise.

Lately, I see a lot of people blasting the government, so as a non-anarchist rebel, I support USPS. A country without a federal postal service doesn't make much sense to me. Hopefully, they'll solve their issues.

The USPS also hires vets so hey.
 
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