News Shipping

There’s no question that the pandemic has disrupted shipping.  It didn’t help that Trump basically tried to shut down the entire postal system so he could try to steal the election (which he instead tried to take by force on Epiphany), but shipping services still haven’t quite recovered.  I can’t help but wonder if it’s all the “middlemen” who’ve gotten involved.  I still buy things from the internet and if they’re not coming from Amazon they give you tracking numbers, sometimes for companies I’ve never heard of.  No matter whether it’s UPS or OSM, it always comes to the same message when you type in that tracking number that’s just shy of pi in length.  The package is awaiting USPS pickup.  I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened in the past several months.

Limbo is an old religious concept that seems to have been revived.  Your package simply can’t be found.  You can try the Post Office, but since they haven’t picked it up yet they can’t tell where it is.  Or you can call the company involved.  They’ll tell you the Post Office has it.  So you go stirring the alphabet soup of shipping company names while your parcel’s MIA.  I wonder if what these other companies do is go to the loading dock of the seller, get the package, then drop it off at the PO on their way home.  That sounds like the business to get into.  Why say you’re a shipping company when you’re just going to let the beleaguered Post Office handle it?  Because someone will pay you to do it, obviously.

We recently had a package that took three weeks from its drop-ship to UPS to get to the Post Office and finally here.  I stopped into the local PO and asked about this strange partnership.  The woman at the counter told me, “It’s the slowest way to ship, that’s why companies use it.”  Slowest, and therefore least expensive.  Never mind what they charged you for the shipping and handling.  Handling will cost you, you know!  Meanwhile I’m thinking maybe I should start calling myself by my initials and hire out my services to drop things in the local mailbox.  As a corporation I’d have greater protection by law than I would as a guy in his own car.  And besides, if I ordered something myself I’d be able to pick it up directly without having to wait for the tracking number to catch up.

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