FedEx Could Have Kicked This Package Once More

[Utica, Michigan, July 20. Image via Nuxx.net]

Surprisingly, the infrared thermometer inside was not damaged.

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    Package shippers have no respect for your property. A few months ago I ordered a $700 Tivo series 3. As the UPS truck drove up I watched the driver from my office window. He got the box from the back, and then proceeded to drop it 4 feet from his driver seat onto the ground. When I confronted him with this he just shrugged. I told him that if this item was damaged I’d be on the phone to his supervisor before he’d even make it back to the depot.

  2. mopar_man says:

    That’s nothing. I’ve seen pictures of automotive transmissions with destroyed crates and cracked housings on the transmission itself. I’ve also seen packages packed by UPS, destroyed by UPS and UPS denying the claim because of packing/padding issues. I’ve had good experiences with FedEx compared to UPS but I’ve also heard bad things about them, like every courier. UPS takes top spot for the worst though.

  3. Kezzerxir says:

    I’ve received more packages then I want to remember from UPS that have been beat up. I choose FedEx if I can. Some online shops don’t give you an option. One example is B&H-Photo. I order from them quite a bit and they use UPS, they also do a poor job of packing . They just toss in a thousand dollar lens or camera with a couple of those plastic air bags. They items will even have room to slide around. The best method when ordering items online is to find out how will they pack their merchandise, and don’t use UPS.

  4. pearlandopal says:

    At my previous job with a DoD defense contractor (yeah, all the stuff you hear about those guys is true), a co-worker of mine needed to send a prototype missile nosecone and a couple of other parts to a conference. He didn’t insure them (figures). The DHL truck ran over the package and of course denied the claim because it was uninsured. Made for a great water cooler story if nothing else.

  5. ptkdude says:

    Seeing that picture I felt certain it was UPS, since pretty much everything that gets shipped to me through them gets delivered looking like that. What a shock that the label says FedEx!

    I do my best to get people to ship things to me via USPS Priority Mail. It usually gets here faster, and damage-free. I know it is hard to believe, but the post office is much better than United Package Smashers and FedEx.

  6. Consumer-X says:

    The picture above shows classic incorrectly packaged item damage. That occurs when a small item is placed in a big box. Yes the box is malformed but that is because there is no packing material to properly support the sides and top of the box.
    When packing a box to be shipped one must assume that their item will be shipped with other packages and that it will be placed on the bottom of stacks of other parcels. If the item is expensive then insure it.

  7. dbrown10028 says:

    Seeing the next picture and the laack of stuffing, its like tossing an egg into a bunch of rocks

  8. eli_b says:

    This looks like a ups box…

  9. ZekeSulastin says:

    Why is it that out of the commenters here, only two of them saw the true issue at hand? The box was much larger than necessary, and there did not appear to be any packing material. No crap the box got crunched – all that was inside to support it was air.

  10. KernelPanic says:

    Friday, I watched a driver not toss but spin toss every box into the back of his truck.

    KP

  11. Hawkins says:

    Pack the box correctly, or don’t complain about it.

    And if you do complain, by sending photos to the Consumerist, people like me will taunt you, and call you a silly bad-box-packer.

  12. PenguinBlue says:

    *FLING*, *THROW*, *TOSS*… ooh, this package is insured… *nicely set in truck*

  13. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    That box looks much too thin to be of much good. Not shipping quality in my mind. I have that issue with newegg.com occasionally… using too thin a box. I always cringe when they arrive with the peanuts stuck to the tape or falling out.

    It would be fun to pack an accelerometer and record some of the impacts a box takes during shipping. Would be interesting for sure.

  14. zolielo says:

    There is a FedEx next to a comic shop that I go to,from a hallway mirror in the comic shop one can see into the FedEx.

    I saw the FedEx sorters literally drop kicking the packages to each other.

  15. truebrains says:

    I’ve worked with someone who works for UPS, he said the warehouse guys actually kick boxes like soccer balls (including the higher ups…er managers). They’ve gone through boxes, especially when it was going to a celebrity’s address. I asked him how to avoid it, he said, first never use a “Fragile” sticker, and second, don’t ever use UPS. I’m looking forward to hearing more from some “inside” folks.

  16. legotech says:

    I knew someone who owned a business that used FedEx Ground. He had so many packages (double boxed!) destroyed and so little response from management that he had a website “fedexgroundtoapulp” unfortunately he had to take it down when they finally settled the dispute. They paid the insurance claims and forgave the shipping bill in return for the website being removed :) The power of teh intarwebs!

  17. appleface says:

    @eli_b: While I agree that the condition of the box looks similar to a package that I received from UPS, the label clearly says FedEx.

    For those who can, I would recommend having UPS deliver to your work address, that way you don’t have to sit around wondering when, rather if UPS is going to show up. This isn’t likely to get your package better treatment, but it might get better treatment for you. I’ve done this with FedEx and DHL also.

  18. stevekal says:

    For $8, or whatever it costs to ship that thing, you don’t get a magical bubble, and FedEx doesn’t build you a sturdy frame around your crap-ass excuse for a packing job.

  19. c0nsumer says:

    That’s my package there. For what it’s worth, it was actually FedEx Ground and not just plain old FedEx. I’m not sure how much of a difference that made, though.

    In reference to some of the other comments about the box being thin, it was actually a pretty durable box. There wasn’t any other packing material in there to help it hold its shape, but I don’t know how much that would have helped, as the box held its (now deformed) shape pretty solidly. I imagine that if there was a bunch of packing material in there it would have simply torn open then.

    Also, in reference to the people who say I should have packed the box better: This was sent to me from Tenga. It was actually a purchase from one of the deals posted here a few weeks back.

  20. Nick986 says:

    After all the packing classes I have taken online(I work for UPS Store), clearly this box (as stated above) lacks sufficient packing material. The box is too large for the item as well. I have this problem quite often with shipments I receive from NewEgg. They use a large box for a small item like a 120mm fan for my computer and use hardly any materials.

    That’s not to say that UPS/FedEx don’t occasionally screw up. I had a customer ship a painting (I wrapped/packed it). The recipient of the package called to say there were tire marks on the box and the picture frame was cracked. UPS truck drove over the box. I got the usual runaround from UPS Claims/Insurnance dept, but eventually got their $ back.

    According to UPS, a package should be able to sustain a 4 story drop and not suffer any damage if packed correctly. Right…

  21. Thrust says:

    OK, to deal with delivery drivers molesting the mail they send out, get their name when they drop it off, and record the truck plates, date, and time of delivery. While his supervisor may not do much, and his entire delivery hub is probably the same form of retard as him, I guarantee that their higher-powers will help you with the issue. (Typically it’s not the company as a whole, but the local RM is a douche so all the local staff become shitheads)

    I personally prefer to ship Purolator. My company and personally, never had any issues, damages, or lost packages. Also they’re very reasonable in prices, and great for their delivery speeds. FedEx is our backup when Puro can’t deliver. We NEVER send Canada Post. FUCK those guys are incompetent.

    I order a LOT from Chapters/Indigo’s online store. You get free shipping on all orders over $39 before tax. As such, when I order, it’s usually at least the size of one hardcover D&D rulebook, or four paperback novels. Neither of these fit in my mailbox, and these are the smallest packages I’d recieve. Now Chap/Ind ships canada post courier. I have checked with CP’s rules and they have this “service” called safe drop. That is where they will look for a “safe” place to leave the package when nobody is there to sign for it. In order for them to safe drop, you MUST sign a waiver to allow them to do this, AND have it marked on the parcel “Safe Drop”.

    Now Canada Post, to date, has always done one of two things with my orders. Either they Safe Drop the package (and I have not signed the waiver, and even mark the boxes “Do NOT safe drop”), or they put the “Could not deliver” slip in my mailbox. Where this pisses me off, is not once EVER have they actually rang the doorbell and seen if I was home. Three times I had been staring out the window and seen them walk up and just slip the nobody home slip into the mailbox without entering the yard, and twice witnessed them just dropping the package at my door and walking away. Where I live, I do not feel comfortable having my mailed parcels sitting around for the local kids to fuck with, or my crack-head neighbor to steal. Now what’s worse than all this was when they safe-dropped my package last winter. It was five paperback novels wrapped in Indigo’s sheet-cardboard wrappers. I come home to find the Canada Post fucker dropped the package off in the snowbank just passed my fence’s gate. Didn’t put it at my door, or under an overhang, or where maybe there wasn’t any fucking SNOW. Nope, a nice waterlogged package in a snowbank that I wouldn’t have found till spring if it had snowed anymore that day.

    So guess what Canada Post’s solutions were… I need to log THREE complaints for the same reason in one year, THEN they’ll look into it. So safe-dropping when not authorized needs three complaints, not attempting to even deliver the package is three seperate complaints, and water-damage to my purchases is ALSO three seperate complaints before they MAY do something.

    Fuck you Canada Post, Fuck your couriers, and Fuck the vans you rode in on!

    Hell, I’d take that fedex package above over what I get.

  22. WolfDemon says:

    Well thank god my family knows the guy who delivers to our house via UPS

  23. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    You guys are slacking, only a couple posts about how it’s the victim’s fault??
    Yes I agree, it’s called insurance for the customer. It’s also called professionalism for the vendor, be it UPS, Fedex, DHL, whoever.

  24. swalve says:

    It’s OK to blame the victim when they are only a victim of their own bad judgment.

    Like the one poster said, you have to assume that your package is going to ride in the belly of an aircraft under a crated, incontinent Rottweiler, between two boxes full of bricks.

    We cannot EXPECT above and beyond service. We can only EXPECT normal, regular service, and we should prepare for bad service.

    Cardboard boxes are not designed to specifically protect things, only to contain them. Your choice of proper packing material protects them.

  25. ExtraCelestial says:

    My friend used to work at a pet store that had nearly all of its animals delivered by UPS. The delivery guy every Tuesday without fail would bring in the packages marked “Live Animal” and “this way up” and flip them over onto the desk to be signed. When my friend confronted him about it his response was simply, “you should see what we do to them to get them into the truck.”

  26. TechnoDestructo says:

    @legotech:

    There is no such thing as taking something off the internet.
    [web.archive.org]

  27. cheviot says:

    UPS actually has packing rules regarding boxes. They have to be packed well enough to survive medium height falls undamaged.

    Their website recommends at least two inches of packing around any item in the box. For electronics (like a Tivo) they recommend even more cushioning or double boxing the item.

    Do most shippers follow these guidelines? No. Especially not places like Amazon or Buy.com who don’t have any cushioning in their boxes.

    Granted, UPS workers shouldn’t be assaulting boxes that don’t meet the packing guidelines, but the problem would be avoided if the shipper packaged the product correctly in the first place.

  28. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    This doesn’t appear to be blame the victim or blame FedEx. It’s blame the bozo who packed it.

  29. legotech says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Cool, that rocks :) So he got paid the insurance money they owed him AND they forgave the bill AND the stuffs still up there…that rocks :)

    reg

  30. dink23 says:

    Well at least you still got your item. Had that been a package shipped via UPS to my office, odds are it would have been stolen- er “missing.” I’ve gotten a handful of UPS workers fired for “missing” merchandise, so much so that their head of security gave me his cell phone number so that I didn’t have to keep going through their customer service department to file a claim.

  31. Rusted says:

    @cheviot: I have thought of working in an UPS center but there are easier ways to make a living. Or maybe not if the last four months have been any indication. I like to plan a crush factor and pack accordingly. Also tape it well and L.A.B.E.L clearly….always hated figuring those out with some illiterate indecipherable scrawl.

  32. Thrust says:

    @cheviot: The couriers are not being PAID to drop or molest the packages they ship. Yes it’s nice and all to take precautions when you send something, but what they fuck are they doing dropping your stuff in the first place, it shows total disregard for the packages they have been entrusted with.

  33. Consumer-X says:

    I used to live in the Boston area and received a lot of UPS packages. I lived in a safe neighborhood and never locked my door. I got along with the UPS driver so well that she used to let her self in to use the bathroom or borrow the occasional cigarette. Needless to say all my packages were well cared for and placed neatly on the kitchen table.

  34. consumer_999 says:

    These speedy delivery firms are vermin. They have their guys drive to your residence, drop the box on the front porch in full view of anyone with eyes, knock or ring and drive away. Often this is regardless of specific instructions to wait for a signature. They gamble their ability to deliver fast and thus profit more against the value of your packages. If they can succeed at losing or damaging say, only 1 package in 100, and the profit earned by throwing the other 99 successfully exceeds the cost to cover the damaged one, then hot damn, it’s a good business day. No matter what the package may have been, sentimental value be damned, as long as the bottom line is positive profit. Dirtbags.

  35. Candyman says:

    I work at UPS, and I’ve never seen anything like the outrageous behaviour some of you posters claim. Still, considering how many thousands of packages pass through our center each day, inevitably a few get lost or damaged.

    Our acceptable limit of errors is only .05%. I suppose you all work somewhere where the error rate is 0%. Can’t think where that could be, since I’ve never heard of a company with no screw ups.

    As to paying damages on claims, of course our reps don’t just roll over and pay out for every caller every time without any investigation, etc. Would you? But, I know personally that on the handful of pkgs our center messes up (below .05%) that we DO pay. Often before the shipper even complains. But that’s when it’s clearly our fault; packing issues are different.

  36. StevieD says:

    The shipper is entirely responsible. The package does not begin to meet UPS/FedEX package requirements.

    My kiddies, I mean employees, are taught to protect the item from the package and other packages.

    On the first day of business I let every new employee pack a box. Even office and sales staff. Everybody.

    Then I lift the package to should height and drop the package. You should see the shock on their faces, it is truly magical. The employees are not happy, but I tell them that the standard for packages is a drop of 3ft. My standard is 5ft. If the packer can not expect the goods to survive a drop of 5ft then it is not a properly package box.

    Then I lift a special box that I have set to side. The box contains 50 lbs of metal washers. I then lift that box to my should height and drop the box unto their package sitting on the ground.

    Of course the box below is destroyed, and most likely the contents as well. I then explain that not only must you pack a package to protect the goods from damage, you must also packa a package to protect the goods from other packages.

    I then tell the new employee if they EVER package my goods so poorly that the package can not withstand a direct strike from another package the employee will be FIRED. 1 strike and you are gone. Now, go visit Bob the shipping manager and learn the right way to pack a box.

    I gotta say the company that shipped that package should be fired. The entire company.

    By the way, my receptionist will refuse a package that does not meet HER (meaning my) standards. I guess my little lesson must have sunk in quite well.

    PS: My total package claims in FY 06 were 7 packages of the 32,000 that I shipped. 3 of those were lost. 4 damaged claims. Of course the package company denys all of the claims, even though one of the damaged package looked like it had a ski pole inserted through the box (entrance and exit wounds).

  37. Buran says:

    @ptkdude: That would be great, if USPS could actually get its act together and build a working tracking system. They haven’t, so I refuse to use them.

  38. StevieD says:

    @Candyman:

    As to paying damages on claims, of course our reps don’t just roll over and pay out for every caller every time without any investigation, etc. Would you? But, I know personally that on the handful of pkgs our center messes up (below .05%) that we DO pay. Often before the shipper even complains

    I beg to differ with your statement “DO pay”.

    I ship exclusively with UPS. 3 packages out of 32,000 were lost. 4 packages out of 32,000 were damaged after leaving my business and before arriving at the consignees location. My loss / damage rate is a very small decimal number.

    And all claims are DENIED. No exceptions. Automatic denial. After complaints to my AE, the Zone and District Manager and the claims office, the claims are still denied. Even the lost shipments.

    As a small business owner I lack inhouse legal council to pursue the claims, and hiring an outide attorney for what amounts to $280 of lost or damaged goods in FY 06 is not practical or cost effective.

    UPS knows these facts.

    And since the UPS damage department (like the FedEx dept as well) receives bonuses based upon their refusal of claims, it is in their best interest to refuse claims of customers that can not afford to pursue the claim.

    Hobby and casual customers will often be paid. Claim to ship a high value item in a shoe box, and UPS will gladly pay the claim. Most importantly UPS will pay these claims because the Hobby customer will find the time to pursue the claim.

    And the big businesses will have their claims paid. Of course they will, the big business has a barn full of slimly lawyers working as their inhouse legal counsel ready to pounce if they don’t get their way.

    That leaves the small business. We, the small businesses, get the nice UPS screwing. And the claims department gets their nice little bonus at my expense.

    Switching to FedEX or any other carrier is no good, their policies are identical to UPS, thus their refusal to pay small business claims is just as bad.

  39. cheviot says:

    @Thrust: Agreed, UPS employees aren’t paid to molest packages.

    The problem is, what is considered molesting a package? If, to ship via UPS, you must pack a box to survive a five foot fall, is a four foot drop molesting a package? Heck, the mechanics involved in moving your package through the sort center may cause it to be dropped that distance. Boxes routinely get stacked one atop another without regard to the strength of the boxes, again because to ship via UPS you’re required to pack the boxes to stand up to this sort of punishment.

    If you’re saying UPS employees were taking properly boxed packages and purposefully damaging them? Hey, I’m right there with you.

    But claiming that it’s UPS’s fault when an improperly packed box gets split/crushed/damaged in transit is disingenuous at best.

  40. Xenuite says:

    Of course the thermometer is fine, that hard plastic is the only thing to have defeated Superman.

  41. frank26080115 says:

    That’s nothing, one of my envelopes had a tire mark on it and the contents were crushed.

    The contents were little integrated circuit chips :-(

  42. FLConsumer says:

    @Candyman: 0.05%, eh? Screw that. UPS shipments which arrive to my doorstep looking like they’ve been used as footballs or were part of a forklift soccer game is close to 75%. While I’ve had the occasional molested package from FedEx, UPS packages seem to take the most abuse.

    Ironically, I’ve had the most unmolested packages arrive via USPS. I just wish USPS’ prices for heavier items were more competitive so I could use them more and the others less.

    I remember hearing that FedEx Ground was a different operation than regular FedEx…wish I knew the source on it now.

    On packing, yes, properly packing a box DOES make a difference and that few do it well, but I’ve still seen plenty of packages where this went horribly wrong, despite proper packaging.

  43. roothorick says:

    That’s nothing. I’m currently working a temporary job during a store remodel. You should see the boxes we get from Wal-Mart corporate during this remodel. Usually there’s very little actual box left.

  44. rockergal says:

    damn!! where do yo guys live??? I can honestly say that I never had problems with UPS and Fedex in all my years of doing business with them. Then again we take the time to get the know the drivers and thank them when we get the chance.. you know treat them as humans. Maybe its because this is still a small town area where people leave doors unlocked.. I guess delivery service depends on the area???

  45. WTRickman says:

    My father worked for Yellow Freight for 22 years, and he always requested that anything he bought NOT be shipped Yellow Freight. I guess he knew how packages were treated.

    “Y’aint sendin’ that through Yellow, are ya?”

    He also said there was no point in calling UPS supervisors to complain about reckless driving and package carelessness – when you do, you’re just telling them what a good job their driver is doing.

  46. KillDeer says:

    @WTRickman: So as punishment we should call them and say “Hey! my package arrived ON TIME and the damn thing isn’t BEAT TO HELL! Whats wrong with you guys?!?”

  47. Thrust says:

    Ok. Here’s the deal. In my hand is a Purolator Bill of Lading. The back of the label does not mention anything about shipping/packing requirements, only how to affix the label. Now the front has a little blurb about how little they agree to pay you for loss and damage ($2/lb) unless you declare the value, in which case it’s a max of $5000, with surcharges for shipping anything valued over $100. There is however NOTHING about how the parcel must be packaged, or that they intend to drop the thing from four feet. Add to that how small and flimsy Purolator’s boxes are, the customer would be under the belief that Purolator is being paid to deliver an undamaged package, not to toss their item around, smash it with a box full of metal washers, and back over it with the truck.

    YES you do need to use a box that can withstand items being stacked on top of it, but any commercial corrugated cardboard box should work, they are tested to be able to withstand quite a lot of weight even when empty. But stacking is not the same as throwing things on top. These couriers should not be hucking the boxes ontop of eachother, they should take the time to actually place them quasi-gently, but they don’t. Since they charge by weight and dimensions, it’s unfair to tell the customer they should be packing their parcels in steel-bar crates or else they won’t be responsible for damages.

  48. sciencegeek says:

    I don’t see why this picture was posted. I worked for a good number of years in a lab where we got about five boxes of various things delivered every day. About one out of ten boxes were pretty badly beaten up: crushed, holes in the box, wet, and so on. This kind of damage is too common to warrant a post. As a customer, I contact Fedex as well as the company I purchased the item from to tell them if the item has been damaged – I’m not going to pay for a non-functional item, I’ll just let the originating company and the shipping company duke it out. They’re the professionals here, this isn’t my job.

    A more relevant post would have been a picture of StevieD’s ski pole impaled package and discussion of why his claim was denied.

    I’ve had problems with Fedex over the years – mainly related to international shipping and why it takes a week to get a package of perishable goods to Spain and at a cost where it might be more efficient for me to fly there and back with the box as checked luggage.

  49. As someone who worked in a sorting center at UPS, I can clear some things up: If it is truly fragile, ship it air. Air shipments are treated a bit better, not because they are more pricey, but because they aren’t loaded and unloaded from 6 different trucks before getting to you.
    Second, we never purposely mistreated a package. You have to assume that your box, at some point, is going to have 6 other boxes stacked on top of it. a properly packed box WILL keep the contents from being damaged when this occurs.
    Of course the box itself is usually going to look beat to all hell by the time it gets to you, but the question is: Are the contents ok? Cardboard crushes, fact of life.
    I’ve seen some horribly mangled boxes delivered to me, but 100% of the time the contents of the boxes are fine.
    I say complain when damages ACTUALLY occur, otherwise stop moaning about some bent cardboard.

  50. RandomHookup says:

    When I was a wee lad, we would have been happy to live in a box like that. The 14 of us had to live in a teacup and for nourishment we licked the road clean every night. We would have been happy to have some of that fancy packing tape, mind you.

  51. Blueskylaw says:

    For some good reading go to unitedpackagesmashers.com

  52. forever_knight says:

    i seriously doubt there is any difference between UPS, FEDEX, and DHL on issues like this. but if you need to justify something…

  53. kris in seattle says:

    We once received a box of cds for the office I work in that was so mangled, I was surprised it was still holding together. Even the tape was all bunched together and not even attached to the box in areas. It was really sad. However, I think that was delivered by UPS.

  54. macaddict428 says:

    @Hawkins:
    So because someone improperly packs something, that gives the shipper the ok to use it as a football?

  55. StevieD says:

    Why does damage occur?

    Let’s start with the basics.

    Each major UPS, FedEX etc package handling facility may cover several football size buildings. The boxes travel via conveyors throughout the facility at fairly high rates of speed. (hey, if you must handle a few million packages per year, you would want the conveyor to crank along at a high rate as well). Some of these conveyors will raise and or lower the package from one level to another in order to tranfer the package to the appropriate department. According to an ex-FedEx employee in the Memphis FedEx air freight hub the largest change in elevation is 3′, with many, many much smaller changes.

    Very small packages will be placed in plastic carriers. Most packages will travel the conveyor system on their own.

    An UPS employee talked about 0.05% acceptable rate of errors. Seems reasonable. For 99+% of the packages handled, the conveyor system works quite well.

    But loose tape, string packing or exposed box edges can and will get caught in the conveyor system.

    I will NOT blame UPS, FedEx etc for these failures. Remember 99+% of the packages do travel the system very well.

    Packages that travel the conveyor system will accummulate at the bottom of the conveyor system in a que waiting to be transfered to the next system (much like airline luggage). Packages sitting at the bottom of the que can and will be struck by other packages entering that segment of the conveyor system.

    Now, up the road from me is a company that makes some sort of high grade steel bits and other stuff for oil drilling industry. Their packages are HEAVY. Little 6x6x6 cubes that weigh 30 pounds. Most of their packages weight 50 to 150 lbs. And they ship dozens, maybe even hundreds of thes packages every day. I am sure that there are more companies just like this one through out the country.

    Trust me when I say that these packages will damage anything they contact.

    So, with regards to the conveyor system, these little 30, 50, 100, 150 pound bullets are bouncing around just looking for something to contact.

    Way too many people are blaming the package companies. How about blaming the proper party to this issue?

    I ordered specialized shelving several years ago. Heavy, stiff metal poles wrapped only with string tape. I can imagine one of those poles going through just about any thing they meet.

    Then there are the delivery trucks and short haul trucks. UPS, FedEx etc do not palletize their packages. Instead the trucks are hand loaded, and offloaded, and transfered and loaded and hand loaded again.

    When I was in college, there was a UPS hub that was hiring my fellow college students to perform tasks at the hub. Tasks as in grunt work loading and offloading trucks by HAND. That was 30 years ago. The companies still perform the same tasks by hand.

    When I look at the package industry I am surprised that any package makes it through the system. Most do.

    Let’s just remember what our packages when through and pass the blame unto the responsible parties… the shippers.

  56. JayXJ says:

    I used to be a trucker. I can say with confidence that “Fragile, Handle with Care” is a running joke in 70% of warehouses…

  57. Thrust says:

    @StevieD: The factory I help run is very much a conveyor-driven system just like a courier dispatch would be. Conveyors are wonderful in that everything moves at a constant speed. Packages would never collide at high speeds if the design of the system was proper. If they are going from a low-speed loader, to a high-speed conveyor, they must put a low-speed offloading belt, sometimes a double belt to slow down twice. When these places neglect to put the proper belt system to slow down the parcels, you get a real shitstorm of damage and collisions. It’s not the customer’s fault if FedEx doesn’t downstep speed with multiple belts, and there is no reason a customer should pack his 2′x1′x6″ box in anticipation of a collision with a 4′x4′x4′ box filled with metal traveling at 100kph.

  58. tsiremusnocfan says:

    I work part-time in a UPS sorting hub. It is definitely hard work but the education and health benefits are worth it. I work a four hour shift and during that shift I will handle 1,300 to 1,500 packages an hour(more if I am dealing with small and light packages, less if they are heavy). Those packages can range from a simple letter to a 70 lb. box (in our hub, anything from 71 lbs. to 150 lbs. are handled differently and anything over that is not shipped with the other packages. During my four hour shift, we usually process around 100,000 to 160,000 packages (more during the holidays). Another commentor explained the basic belt driven lay-out, which is pretty accurate. We see alot of shippers pack items extremely poorly, but we do the best we can with what we are given. do not blame us for something that is the shippers fault. If you do not want your package to contact other packages then it would take a month for you to get your package. If what you are shipping is even remotely fragile, protect the hell out of it. there is no such thing as overkill when it comes to protecting your package. Our semi’s come in loaded floor to ceiling with boxes stacked on top of each other so there’s no telling how many boxes were on top of it or how much weight was on it. Of coarse we are not going to put a 5 lbs. box on the bottom but if your 40lb. box isn’t packed right then when it’s placed on bottom it’s going to get crushed.

    If you are caught stealing something, no matter how small or inexpensive, UPS will fire you and have you arrested on the spot and prosecute you as much as they can. UPS cannot afford to have people think we are going through their stuff and as such, vehemently protect their image. so do not worry about anyone stealing your stuff.

    If a manager or supervisor sees you toss or mishandle a package you better believe you will be ripped a new one or even fired if it is serious enough. Now what people do in those little UPS and fedex stores, that’s up to them. I always thought they were just licensing our name and not subject to the same oversight we are, but I do not know. either way, it’s just another place the UPS driver comes to pick up packages.

    Writing “Fragile” or “This way up” does nothing. The only thing we look for on a box is the address. That’s all we care about. Think about it, with all the packages i handle an hour, all I have time to read is the shipping label. I literally spend 2 seconds looking at your package before I place it on another belt and I am on to the next one. And on that note, please write clearly and in large bold letters. If I misread your handwriting and I send it to the wrong area of our hub then it gets sent back to my work area and all that means is more chances for a heavy box to collide with your package.

    Get to know your UPS drivers, and they will bend over backwards for you. If you regularly recieve and ship packages, take the time to get to know your driver. I would go on to explain how much this will benefit you but i have written so much already. just trust me on this.

    All that being said, as soon as I graduate i’m telling my boss to shove it. no love affair for me, I just like the truth.

  59. Candyman says:

    @ StevieD

    OH! Sorry, I didn’t know you were THAT guy!

    Yeah, we’re doing it to you on purpose. It’s all part of a carefully crafted cunning plan to make you lose your mind! Is it working? :-)