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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Burien, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 10:51 am    Post subject: USPS delays of late?         Reply with quote

Any experiences to report?

I ordered a dagger from Tod last month. Within just a few days of placing the order, Royal Mail tracking showed it arrived in San Francisco and handed off to USPS. From there it went to Chicago (an odd route to Washington state), where it has sat unmoving for 14 days. I'm starting to get discouraged...
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I’ve seen a lot of usps delays recently, with both local and international shipments. In a few cases, I’ve put in inquiries/made calls on stuck packages and they mysteriously started moving again.
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 188

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe, I have almost the same situation.
An order from Tod went off the grid somewhere.
Fortunately this was all findings from Tod Cutler and not something custom.

Royal Mail tracking says it’s been in Los Angeles since July 12.
USPS says it’ was processed through Miami on July 12 and it hasn’t moved since then.

I filed a case with USPS and I haven’t heard from then since the initial “we got your message” email 2 weeks ago.
Another order from Tod placed 2 weeks later than the above arrived in 10 days.

I suggest you let Tod know so he can file an insurance claim.
He has already sent me a new shipment for my order and that apparently is in Chicago as of today.

Why then the worlds mine oyster
Which I with sword will open.
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
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Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shipping in the US has been random - some things come faster than I expect; others are taking way longer. Just completely unpredictable.

Shipping from Europe (and elsewhere) has been mostly super-slow. Had one item sent from Scotland take under a week. Another item from Norway took 35 days. An item from Croatia took three weeks (which was actually faster than I thought). A nice bottle of rum from the Netherlands took 3+ months...and then, when it got her, it had broken and spilled all over the inside of the box! There's a shipment from UK that's who-knows-where right now.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,557

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 2:35 pm    Post subject: Yes!         Reply with quote

How about hell yes even! Their quoted transit times seem to have become a complete joke in the last month or so. I have a Leeds brigandine that has been in transit since the 21st of last month. And it still in transit.
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 417

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Joe M.,

There's a thread that discusses some reasons for recent shipping delays, which starts by talking about international shipments but spends a fair amount of time on the USPS.

More recently, the new Postmaster General has instituted cost-saving measures that appear to have a significant impact on delivery times, to the extent that he's been called to give testimony before Congress. My guess, and it's only a guess, is that Chad's experience is not so mysterious: Postal workers now are allotted less time to handle the volume they're expected to process, so things get held up. Asking about them bumps them to the top of the backlogged pile. I don't know whether there's a way to improve the situation short of contacting your state's Congressional delegation and letting them know that you're concerned about the postal system's performance. Also, go easy on the USPS's line workers; these directives have come down from on high--as I say, they've been decreed by the recently-appointed Postmaster General--and the workers are no more happy about them than we are, and are overburdened to boot. A lot of them seem to be doing their best to skirt the new regulations (which include such points as eliminating overtime and instructing that items left unprocessed when shifts end be left as they are--it used to be that they'd be processed the same day regardless of when the shift ended) in order to reduce their impact.

As for packages taking unexpected routes, within the past six weeks I've had two different packages shipped from within my own state that were routed out of state before coming to me. Again, I can only guess why, but the possibilities seem to come down to:

1. routing efficiency (a truck was leaving for an out-of-state distribution center before one was scheduled to travel more directly toward me);

B. cost (there weren't enough items in that day's shipments coming to my area to make it worthwhile to send a whole truck straight to the distribution center nearest me);

iii. human error.

These were, however, both books, and Media Mail shipments are cheap, not fast, which undoubtedly influenced the routing.

I also had two shipments of scabbard chapes (not, regrettably, Tod's) sent from England, and each got to me a week after it was sent; but they were both small enough to be sent under the rules for letters, rather than having to go as parcels.

And then there's the package from Hong Kong that was sent on July 4, which is presumably still on its way. But Hong Kong Post doesn't offer tracking on shipments to the U.S. and doesn't co-operate with USPS tracking, so I have no way of following it and just have to wait until it shows up. That could, according to the delivery estimate, be as late as some time in early September.

In your case, I suppose it's possible that your shipment got tagged for Customs attention, and Chicago had the most efficient (by whatever criterion) Customs warehouse--which would also explain the two-week delay. The same thing might have happened to Lloyd. But I'm afraid this has to remain speculation.

Best,

Mark

P.S.: Apologies to all for any confusion about whom I meant to address in this posting. I hope at least that the information proves helpful to everybody. --M.


Last edited by Mark Millman on Sat 08 Aug, 2020 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,557

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I figured it was the new guy trying to kill it off...because yeah...that makes sense. I'm not going to go yelling at employees who have nothing but the misfortune to work there. But I've never had things disappear into a black hole like this before with USPS (once with UPS though...so it happens). I'm asking the shipper to check his end to see if there is anything to know and do other than wait.
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 417

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Joe F.,

To be sure, I've sometimes wondered whether "In Transit" doesn't really mean, "sitting on a shelf waiting until we can deal with it", but then I've had items marked "In Transit" for a week that went from point of origin to "In Transit" (for that week) to my doorstep with no other information appearing in the tracking updates.

Best,

Mark
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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Posts: 3,518

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2020 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tracking info doesn't mean much at the moment because workers aren't scanning every parcel. They just assume that it will be scanned by someone else down the line.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Sun 09 Aug, 2020 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: USPS delays of late?         Reply with quote

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
Any experiences to report?

I ordered a dagger from Tod last month. Within just a few days of placing the order, Royal Mail tracking showed it arrived in San Francisco and handed off to USPS. From there it went to Chicago (an odd route to Washington state), where it has sat unmoving for 14 days. I'm starting to get discouraged...


Chicago is almost certainly customs, so technically nothing USPS can do about it until released (by the way, Miami and New York are also customs black holes. Chicago is the worst). All of my orders from Todd get routed through Chicago customs for some reason. It should be released in 2-4 weeks (maybe longer!).

Also, be aware the 'processed through x facility' doesn't mean it has left that place, just that it has arrived there.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Burien, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 179

PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, guys -- if it doesn't start moving again soon I'll make some calls.. I was thinking Chicago might be customs, but in 25 years of collecting I can't recall anything stalling in customs so long.
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 102

PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had a package delayed for a few days, bouncing around the LA area from one distribution facility to the next. Tempted to just call and tell them to leave it whatever facility its at and I'll just drive and pick it up, rather than wait for them to unscrew their heads out of their netherparts...
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 417

PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Dan,

On Saturday 8 August 2020, you wrote:
Tracking info doesn't mean much at the moment because workers aren't scanning every parcel. They just assume that it will be scanned by someone else down the line.

Actually, I've come to suspect that items that formerly would have been put on planes to cross the country are now often put on trucks to go by road, and the "In Transit" designation shows up during the carriage time--when indeed, because they're on a cross-country truck, they're not getting scanned.

Earlier in the pandemic I do think that items sometimes sat for a few days because postal staffing levels were reduced in line with anti-contagion guidelines, but I think that's largely no longer the case. Of course, given the new regulations I mention above, things may be sitting around again because of lack of staff time to handle them.

Incidentally, postal workers have been describing parcel volume during the pandemic as equal to Christmas-season volume, but lasting for five months (and counting, no doubt) instead of a month and a half.

Let me remind everybody to be nice to their postal workers. Most of the current issues are not their fault, and they're at least as unhappy as anybody else about them. Complaints should be sent to the top--to the Postmaster General and to Congress.

Best,

Mark
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

USPS is just a mess these days, in the future I would try to see if DHL is possible.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,557

PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2020 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately, from some parts of the world, its national postal systems or pay somebody to fly there and pick it up. Worried
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2020 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had several cross the US-Canadian border each way since COVID and did not notice any customs delays compared to normal; if anything better than normal. The big delays have been items that just sit in one spot for a while. The worst (detailed in that other thread mentioned above) was an item that sat still in Texas for a month, and then disappeared another month in Chicago. But they all had delays of some sort. There have been delays within Canada as well, but nothing so extreme.
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arne G. wrote:
I've had a package delayed for a few days, bouncing around the LA area from one distribution facility to the next. Tempted to just call and tell them to leave it whatever facility its at and I'll just drive and pick it up, rather than wait for them to unscrew their heads out of their netherparts...


I tried that once at a local distribution facility; let's just say the people working there aren't used to dealing with the public or customer service...
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2020 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I have an A&A sword which is in some kind of limbo. Apparently it made it to my local distribution center but has not arrived at my local USPS office. It has been listed as "in transit- arriving late" for 2 weeks. I have a case with them and am crossing my fingers.
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Burien, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 179

PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2020 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Hoard wrote:
Arne G. wrote:
I've had a package delayed for a few days, bouncing around the LA area from one distribution facility to the next. Tempted to just call and tell them to leave it whatever facility its at and I'll just drive and pick it up, rather than wait for them to unscrew their heads out of their netherparts...


I tried that once at a local distribution facility; let's just say the people working there aren't used to dealing with the public or customer service...


This reminds me of the worst experience I've ever had with a shipping company: Saia freight.

I had a bunch of heavy gear coming for my garage gym... Saia called me to set up an appointment, with an all-day delivery window of 9am to 7pm. I burned a vacation day to stay home from work and wait for it.

The day comes and goes, with no truck and no phone call telling me they weren't going to make it. The next morning I call them again, and the conversation goes like this:

After not even offering a hint of an apology, their 'customer service' woman said, "So you want to make another appointment?"

"No, I don't want to make another appointment -- why would I skip work again when your driver burned me the first time? Just waive the signature and leave it in my driveway; it's too heavy for anyone to steal."

"I can't do that, you have to sign for it."

"Then I'll come to you and pick it up. Where's your local depot?"

"You're not allowed to do that."

"...So I can sign for it in my driveway, but not yours?"

"That's right."

(After an incredulous pause) "Then ship it back to the manufacturer -- I'm refusing the shipment."

"You seriously don't want to make another appointment?!"

"Absolutely not. I'm done with your company."


Sorry for the tangent... But it's been 3-4 years and my ass is still chafed by this!
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2020 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I currently have two packages 'in transit' at the distribution center in Elk Grove, IL since the beginning of August. It's quite ridiculous.
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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