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USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS :: Archived
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XcalibeR
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:56 pm
Post subject: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

You know how when you track something via DHL, UPS, or FedEx, you can track your package as it travels accross the country? Usually, this means that at every point where you package stops, the tracking information shows when it arrived, when it leaves, and where it's going next. I find this fascinating and, quite honsetly, fun to watch your packages progression. Now, I ordered a few DVD's from amazon, and shipped them (free) via USPS. I've been keeping up to date on the package, just to see where it's at. So here is my story of government tracking vs. business tracking.

Here's the final verdict:
- Delivered, February 08, 2006, 5:04 am, GRAND FORKS, ND 58202
- Electronic Shipping Info Received *, February 06, 2006
- Enroute, February 06, 2006, 6:14 am, CINCINNATI, OH 45235
- Acceptance *, February 03, 2006, 3:02 pm, LEXINGTON, KY 40598

Seems easy enough, right? Look closer. If the tracking is supposed to go bottom up, it looks like they accepted and sent out my package before they even knew where it was going. So maybe it goes top down? Then they delivered the package before they sent it out (or knew where it was going), and sent it out before they even had it. By date/time then? Same thing as bottom up. Since I kept a close eye on it, maybe I should put them in the order they posted the different lines, and disregard the date? Ok, let's try that. If that was the case, then they knew where it was going, and sent it out (posted Feb 4th. Postdated departure?). Fine and dandy, right? Yeah, except if that was the case, they had send it out three days before they had it (posted Feb 7th).

So now it's the 8th. All of the sudden, it's been delivered. Why did it take three days to get the package sent out? (accepted on the 3rd, sent out on the 6th). It went from Lexington, KY, to Cincinnati, OH. Ok, that makes sense. Then it magically arrives at my dorm. What? I know a plane certianly didn't fly direct from Cincinnati to my dorm room. Did it go through Minneapolis? Chicago? San Fransisco? Miami? When did it arrive in Grand Forks?

Me thinks that the postal service needs to work on their tracking software Laughing I'm still not sure it's actually delivered, cause the dorm mail room doesn't open for a little while yet. I just found this really funny, hope you guys liked my story Smile

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:01 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- XcalibeR
Me thinks that the postal service needs to work on their tracking software Laughing I'm still not sure it's actually delivered, cause the dorm mail room doesn't open for a little while yet. I just found this really funny, hope you guys liked my story Smile


STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Twisted Evil

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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:07 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

Easy does it.

Would hate to see someone go Postal!
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:15 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- fr8ycat
Easy does it.

Would hate to see someone go Postal!


Good point....he might load up an RC aircraft with a bunch of matchheads and fly into the "Luv Shak" at an....inconvenient moment to take me out. Shocked

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:58 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

Easy now.....been too much in the news about that kinda thing lately...

I don't know nuthin about none of any of that stuff but a friend read this and sez.....

Hey XcalibeR, one thing I'm not clear on is when you actually ordered your DVD's through amazon? You mention a couple of "posted" dates but what is the correct date you should see? Missed that in your description.

Other than that, the data is in reverse chronological order. Went from Lexington, north to Cincinnati (bigger facility) to join more stuff going east to Grand Forks out your way. Once there, it was last "seen" on a piece of equipment at 5:04 this morning during the last automated step before it went into your mail carrier's hand. In actuality there may be more data points along the way on some of the wonderful, fantastic, extremely well-engineered, robust and bug-free automated systems in use, but they likely took place within the same facility so aren't terribly interesting or germain to most people's interests, so they get omitted to reduce clutter.

Unless it's certified, the data points come from the automated equipment (ahem) only, so the "Delivered" time doesn't indicate the time it actually got received by you - it's semantics, but it really means "processed for delivery" at that time. Unless something more than rain. or snow, or gloom of night happened to your mail carrier this AM, it should be waiting in your mail room when it opens up.

I'm not privy to what amazon chooses as far as tracking options (barcodes) for their DVD's but I'd guess that you will see two barcodes on the front of the envelope. Both will have tall/short bars that are even at the bottom and only vary in height, and - excluding the very first and last bars - one will have 2 tall bars per every 5 bars, the other will have 3 of 5 tall bars. If that's the case, it's the simple-yet-effective method of tracking something point-to-point that is only "seen" on the automated equipment, not by anyone scannign the piece individually. If it's something like certified (green label) then would it be hand-scanned upon delivery to your house/apartment/mailroom/hovel/cave/sty.

I fully agree it's a pretty interesting topic and am curious when you actually placed the order......the 3rd would be Friday so (judging from what I know of some of the 'other' companies) it still beat some of their service standards...but I suspect ol' Ben Franklin's folks regularly do even better so don't judge 'em by one example.....coulda been a contract carrier (like an independant truck or air carrier) broke down on 'em this one time.

Oh yeah - did these show up in a LARGE envelope (size of a magazine, roughly) or smaller, like about the size of a business-sized envelope but taller (like 10.5" by 5 or 6")??

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Kitform
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:28 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- JG300-Stoopy
I'm not privy to what amazon chooses as far as tracking options (barcodes) for their DVD's but I'd guess that you will see two barcodes on the front of the envelope. Both will have tall/short bars that are even at the bottom and only vary in height, and - excluding the very first and last bars - one will have 2 tall bars per every 5 bars, the other will have 3 of 5 tall bars..........


*Thud*
ZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZZzzzz

UH! What!

Oh Sorry Stoopy, you were saying...

Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green Mr. Green
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XcalibeR
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:32 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

Naw, I'm not judging anyone. I just found it hilarious that the software was so much peculiar than other shipping companies. It did in fact get here today, the earliest date that I was told it would be, so all is good Smile

I placed the order sometime on the 2nd. And I know that the data comes in reverse chronological order. I just found it humorous that the "Electronic Shipping Info Received" and "Enroute" to Cinncinati thing were posted before the package was accecpted, or, at least before the "Acceptance" thing was posted. Which, when it finally showed up, was four days earlier. I also found it funny that the tracking started by showing where the package was at, like other companies, then all of the sudden, it just skipped right to the end. Like it got put in a transporter or something Smile

Wasn't trying to ruffle any feathers, just trying spread around a little humor.

The Government has a time machine, I know it!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:33 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

Well.....man, all I can say is that there's a TON of stuff that goes on behind the scenes (amazing amounts of unique technology, I'll tell you that - it's a real eye-opener for people who come in from outside "the service") and there s no one "software" per se.....it's many different systems all collating and forwarding data which eventually gets consolidated into the form you see there...explaining sometimes the lag in availability (improving all the time) and the format, to an extent. I agree that the way it's presented is something that can be looked at.

Funny how you mention it has a "government" look and feel. Fact is, the postal service seems to only be government-affiliated when convenient to the government. Makes a profit more years than not, but when that happens, it has to hand over every penny of profit to the government (instead of banking it) and then in years when there isn't a profit, aren't allowed access to the funds from the profitable years, instead takes it on the chin until the next rate hike at which point, profit occurs and said profit goes elsewhere permanently. At least (I believe) rates haven't even kept up with inflation so its not all that bad for the public.

LOL you didn't ruffle my feathers at all, I really do find it interesting (lots of data, data is good, lots of goodness, me like!). Boring as it is to some you actually have to be careful how much you discuss in public about things like tracking, which is a big deal in the competitive shipping/delivery business. Which brings me to that time machine......dangit man, I'd keep mum if I was you......can't gaurantee you won't see some black helicopters outside your dorm if ya bring it up again!


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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:38 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- JG300-Stoopy
Which brings me to that time machine......dangit man, I'd keep mum if I was you......can't gaurantee you won't see some black helicopters outside your dorm if ya bring it up again!



...and believe you me...JG300 has access to black helicopters...ifyaknowhutimsayin'. Can't go any further than that, I'm afraid....

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:00 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- JG300-Ascout

...and believe you me...JG300 has access to black helicopters...ifyaknowhutimsayin'. Can't go any further than that, I'm afraid....


...other than to say they come in Mineral Grey as well... and odds are very low that you'll be able to outrun 'em.....:D

This all reminded me of an article I read a while back that's pretty entertaining stuff....just please don't try it yourself...for the sake of the beloved equipment....

http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html

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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:18 pm
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- JG300-Stoopy
- JG300-Ascout

...and believe you me...JG300 has access to black helicopters...ifyaknowhutimsayin'. Can't go any further than that, I'm afraid....


...other than to say they come in Mineral Grey as well... and odds are very low that you'll be able to outrun 'em.....:D

This all reminded me of an article I read a while back that's pretty entertaining stuff....just please don't try it yourself...for the sake of the beloved equipment....

http://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume6/v6i4/postal-6-4.html


Good read. I know somebody that'd probably enjoy my "Journal of Irreproducible Results"...my favorite learned article on genetics..."The Inheritance Pattern of Death" (Which postulated the discovery of "a recessive transmission pattern, apparently with very high pentrance, often greatly delayed expressivity, and no racial or sexual predilictions")
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:20 am
Post subject: Re: USPS vs. FedEx or DHL or UPS

- Doug_Kibbey
Good read. I know somebody that'd probably enjoy my "Journal of Irreproducible Results"...my favorite learned article on genetics..."The Inheritance Pattern of Death" (Which postulated the discovery of "a recessive transmission pattern, apparently with very high pentrance, often greatly delayed expressivity, and no racial or sexual predilictions")


Sounds downright....fascinatin'. No, really! Not that I followed the pentrance and expressivity bit.....but willing to learn!

Sounds even better than "On Yawning; or, The Hidden Sexuality of the Human Yawn" in their 2005 issue.....drives the wifey wild I'm tellin' ya....

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