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#1
Old 12-23-2010, 12:27 PM
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Odd UPS routing - reasoning?

I ordered a package earlier this week (my new Canon 7D, yay!). It's being sent from New York to me here in Los Angeles, via UPS. Of course, I've been obsessively checking the tracking on it. Yesterday, it arrived from New York and was checked in and out of Louisville, KY. I checked again this morning when I woke up to find it had arrived from Kentucky... in Honolulu, HI.

How in the world could that possibly make sense? I can understand the logic of FedEx using Nashville as hub for most things being delivered in the U.S., but is there a logic of this package overshooting its destination by quite a whole hell of a lot to be routed through Hawaii? Or was it a mistake?

Or is my new camera just taking a vacation?
#2
Old 12-23-2010, 12:41 PM
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Being in the transportation business I can tell you that sometime shit just happens. While it happens less often with UPS and FedEx, it does happen.
#3
Old 12-23-2010, 01:02 PM
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It's possible that all the pre-Xmas space on the Louisville - LAX planes was already taken, but the route via Hawaii still had space. Maybe UPS literally went the extra mile to get you your camera on Christmas Eve.
#4
Old 12-23-2010, 02:09 PM
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I like it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
It's possible that all the pre-Xmas space on the Louisville - LAX planes was already taken, but the route via Hawaii still had space. Maybe UPS literally went the extra mile to get you your camera on Christmas Eve.
I like it because it's the only possible explanation that makes sense to me so far.

They understand the time sensitivity of the season and have reacted. At other times of the year they may, and should, say "hold the package until there is a direct flight instead of wasting company resources."
#5
Old 12-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
It's possible that all the pre-Xmas space on the Louisville - LAX planes was already taken, but the route via Hawaii still had space. Maybe UPS literally went the extra mile to get you your camera on Christmas Eve.
That does make sense, thank you! That would be very nice of them, if so.
#6
Old 12-23-2010, 04:23 PM
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I vote for the Hawaiian vacation hypothesis.
#7
Old 12-23-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
It's possible that all the pre-Xmas space on the Louisville - LAX planes was already taken, but the route via Hawaii still had space.
That, or the camera missed the SDF-LAX flight.

While it seems unlikely that an airplane would be filled so full that something as small as a camera wouldn't fit, it's certainly not impossible.

What they call Worldport is the heart of UPS' air operations, so they have a whole lot of tricks in their bag of tricks to get packages from Point A to Point B.

The air freight business may look simple enough, but behind the scenes, it's crazy-complicated and the carriers will go to great lengths to meet their advertised delivery commitments. I don't know about UPS, but FedEx runs "flying spares" every day - airplanes that fly empty in case there's a critical package that got hung up in sort, or the regular plane for a route can't fly, etc. For them, it simply works to have empty planes flying around, rather than simply having extra planes parked somewhere, ready to take off.
#8
Old 12-23-2010, 11:13 PM
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Maybe it'll take pictures while there. Let us know!

-D/a

Last edited by Digital is the new Analog; 12-23-2010 at 11:14 PM.
#9
Old 12-24-2010, 12:50 PM
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Well, it made it to Los Angeles, and is out for delivery. I DO hope it took some pictures. I also hope it brought back some Kona coffee. Mmmm....
#10
Old 12-24-2010, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bundy View Post
I like it because it's the only possible explanation that makes sense to me so far.

They understand the time sensitivity of the season and have reacted. At other times of the year they may, and should, say "hold the package until there is a direct flight instead of wasting company resources."
Bt its not wasting resources - plane headed to HI had space - they know there are flights headed from HI to LAX that will get the package there on time.

If they hadn't sent it - the customer, assuming the package arrives past the garunteed arrival - had right to request a refund - therefore it would be a waste of resources to not ship it this way.

On the ohter hand - recently I ordered a DVD from Amazon - shipped "regular" - there is an Amazon hub in the town I live in - they instead shipped it USPS priority from Seattle WA - litterally the other end of the continent (I am in KY) - and that package went thru Anchorage Alaska.

I can find no sane reasoning in that one.

Or the priority mail that I send to TN (from KY) that scans thru Columbus Ohio.
#11
Old 12-24-2010, 11:27 PM
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OP, I'm guessing your package was sent via 2nd or 3rd day air, as ground packages don't pass through the air hub in Louisville and the extra 12 hours of flying time make next day delivery for a package having made to Louisville near impossible. Other than that, holiday capacity issues as mentioned are likely to explain the routing of your package, although there are typical non-holiday 2 day air legs that make a package travel farther than it should seem to need to because of how their network is set up to handle the 2 and 3 day packages (i.e. Chicago to LA 2-day air packages will spend the first night in Philadelphia)
#12
Old 12-25-2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
On the ohter hand - recently I ordered a DVD from Amazon - shipped "regular" - there is an Amazon hub in the town I live in - they instead shipped it USPS priority from Seattle WA - litterally the other end of the continent (I am in KY) - and that package went thru Anchorage Alaska.

I can find no sane reasoning in that one.
I'm not sure why this is so strange - am I missing something? Presumably the specific DVD you ordered wasn't in stock in the hub in your hometown. As to why it was routed through Anchorage once it left Amazon and UPS (or whoever) got a hold of it - I suspect the reasons in this thread can address that.
#13
Old 12-25-2010, 12:54 AM
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Looking at UPS routes out of SDF they have direct flights to HNL so it is very likely it was set up as a back haul due to overloads to LAX.
#14
Old 12-25-2010, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
I'm not sure why this is so strange - am I missing something? Presumably the specific DVD you ordered wasn't in stock in the hub in your hometown. As to why it was routed through Anchorage once it left Amazon and UPS (or whoever) got a hold of it - I suspect the reasons in this thread can address that.
This was USPS - priority mail - not UPS - I can't fathom any reason that a parcel would go that far the wrong direction other than it getting put in the wrong bin at the post office (human error).

Why it shipped from WA? you're probably right - just odd - if memory serves, it was Castle Season 2 - a new release - to me, it was more like "you want the free shipping? well, lets just send this from the furthest point possible, then send it a little further away - you'll get it, eventually"

(and I also know that as far as USPS charges - there is zero difference to them where it ships from or where it is going or how it gets there (what route) - just a headscratcher sometimes)

Last edited by simster; 12-25-2010 at 01:12 AM.
#15
Old 12-25-2010, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simster View Post
(and I also know that as far as USPS charges - there is zero difference to them where it ships from or where it is going or how it gets there (what route) - just a headscratcher sometimes)
Are you saying Priority Mail doesn't use zone based pricing like UPS and FedEx? Other than flat-rate boxes, it's not true. A one pound box costs me $4.80 to send across town, $4.95 to send across state, and $5.44 to send across country. Priority Mail definitely takes origination and destination zips into account when determining price.
#16
Old 12-25-2010, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmNotSpartacus View Post
Are you saying Priority Mail doesn't use zone based pricing like UPS and FedEx? Other than flat-rate boxes, it's not true. A one pound box costs me $4.80 to send across town, $4.95 to send across state, and $5.44 to send across country. Priority Mail definitely takes origination and destination zips into account when determining price.
I'm thinking in terms of Amazon's (likely) deal with them - all of thier packaging is likely flat rate due to the bulk of it. I honestly hadn't compared the prices that individuals pay.
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