Author Topic: USPS nixing international flats as a shipping method for anything but documents  (Read 28489 times)

Rockhorst

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I was thinking about local production for the EU market (I'm in the Netherlands). I haven't fully done the math yet but it could pay off and I'd be willing to cooperate with a US based party. However, you would still be losing some of the profits as it now has to be shared between two companies. Also, customer support might get a bit trickier (who'se responsible for what). I believe Barry from GuitarPCB has an arrangement with das Musikding in Germany specifically for this purpose.

BuGG

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So the majority (but not all) of my shipments now at least show that they have been received by USPS...

Here's the reply I just got from Stamps.com:

Quote
I understand the lack of any tracking events can be alarming. I can see why that would be frustrating, Robert.

Due to extremely high demand brought on by the popularity of the new FCMI Flats for Merchandise service, we are experiencing service delays for some shipments, mostly for flats originating in the Midwest, the South, and the East Coast. If the flat has not been returned to you, then this means that the flat has entered the mailstream. You may see some delays with delivery. However, rest assured that the flat will be delivered. To resolve this issue, we are now routing shipments to alternate facilities with the bandwidth to handle the additional volume.

Additionally, many packages are not receiving the tracking events that are expected for this service. To improve tracking, we will be making changes to the front-end labels that will improve the tracking events. This is expected to deploy on Friday, 2/9/18.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you and we thank you for your patience as we work through this process.

rullywowr

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USPS nixing international flats as a shipping method for anything but documents
« Reply #107 on: February 08, 2018, 01:12:11 PM »
Wow.  Great Info.  I wish I saw this thread a while ago.  Just went through all the same stuff a few weeks back.

I was using Endicia/Dazzle with WooCommerce but now with the changes / Iíve been forced to upgrade.

I switched to ShipStation/Stamps and after some small issues I got it fully integrated with WooCommerce.  Order fulfillment is easier now, however I feel for international customers who just want to buy a PCB or two.  Shipping prices are exorbitant!  Everything is shipped currently in poly mailers. 

The way I understand it is that the UPU wanted to track actual mail vs packages for better import:export data. I hope this changes back to something more reasonable, however in the meantime it is what it is. 

Just a thought.  If shipping is going to be this expensive maybe there is an opportunity for local PCB manufacturers to take gerbers and orders from sellers and make boards to order.  Kind of like OshPark.  I wonder what OshPark is doing?


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BuGG

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Alright, my shipments are starting to be delivered.       

They're not arriving in sequential order though.   The same customer had two orders.  The most recently shipped order has arrived, the older one has not.

Haberdasher

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Anyone else getting phone calls from shipstation support?  They've called me twice now.  The 1st time they called (yesterday) I didn't answer and they hung up after 2 rings.  I googled the # and knew it was them.  They called back today and I picked up, but there was no one there.
Probably just a sales call, but I was wondering if anyone else is getting these.
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rullywowr

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Anyone else getting phone calls from shipstation support?  They've called me twice now.  The 1st time they called (yesterday) I didn't answer and they hung up after 2 rings.  I googled the # and knew it was them.  They called back today and I picked up, but there was no one there.
Probably just a sales call, but I was wondering if anyone else is getting these.


Not for me.  I didnít know phone support was an option.  Was using email only support when I had a small config issue.



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BuGG

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So, as of today the FCMI shipping labels include a domestic USPS tracking bar code.

Maybe they'll actually get scanned into the system properly now.   

brucer

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It might be small consolation price-wise, but here's my recent experience with USPS international flats vs. 1st Class International:

USPS international flat (UA prefix):

Nothing recorded by USPS or Canada Post since:

January 15, 2018, 12:48 pm
In Transit to Next Facility
The item is currently in transit to the next facility as of January 15, 2018.

January 14, 2018, 12:48 pm
In Transit to Next Facility

January 13, 2018, 12:48 pm
In Transit to Next Facility

January 12, 2018, 5:48 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
AUSTIN TX DISTRIBUTION CENTER

January 12, 2018, 2:14 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility
AUSTIN TX DISTRIBUTION CENTER

January 11, 2018, 2:55 pm
USPS picked up item
MARBLE FALLS, TX 78654

January 11, 2018, 9:57 am
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
MARBLE FALLS, TX 78654 

So, shipped Jan. 11 and currently in limbo.  Transit time: 42 days

First Class International (LZ prefix):

2018/02/21   11:08   SALMON ARM, BC   Delivered to your community mailbox, parcel locker or apt./condo mailbox       
2018/02/21   07:02   SALMON ARM, BC   Item out for delivery       
2018/02/21   06:35   SALMON ARM, BC   Item processed      
2018/02/20   02:54   RICHMOND, BC   Item processed       
2018/02/19   07:29   RICHMOND, BC   Item has arrived in Canada and was sent for further processing.       
2018/02/16   07:44   USMIAA, USA   International item has left originating country and is en route to Canada       
2018/02/13   00:29   37075, USA   International item mailed in originating country

So, shipped Feb. 13 and now delivered.  Transit time: 9 days

2-3 times the cost, but it gets delivered!

Yes, I'll wait until I want few boards before ordering, but I'll get them sooner!

daleykd

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USPS international flat (UA prefix):

January 11, 2018, 2:55 pm
USPS picked up item
MARBLE FALLS, TX 78654

January 11, 2018, 9:57 am
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
MARBLE FALLS, TX 78654 
Here's what I got out of this: "Hey, my name's Bruce and I live in Marble Falls."  MARBLE FREAKIN' FALLS!

Dude... next time I get a bit of time off, I'm coming to see you.  Then I'm gonna hit up my favorite vineyard, Spicewood.  God, I love Marble Falls.

brucer

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Here's what I got out of this: "Hey, my name's Bruce and I live in Marble Falls."  MARBLE FREAKIN' FALLS!

Dude... next time I get a bit of time off, I'm coming to see you.  Then I'm gonna hit up my favorite vineyard, Spicewood.  God, I love Marble Falls.

LOL!  Sorry daleykd, the package came from Marble Falls.  I live in Salmon Arm, BC, Canada (https://www.hellobc.com/salmon-arm.aspx) where it's -14C/6.8F and there's 2 feet of snow.  We do have wineries, but right now it's all cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and praying for warmer weather.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 12:18:48 AM by brucer »

daleykd

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Here's what I got out of this: "Hey, my name's Bruce and I live in Marble Falls."  MARBLE FREAKIN' FALLS!

Dude... next time I get a bit of time off, I'm coming to see you.  Then I'm gonna hit up my favorite vineyard, Spicewood.  God, I love Marble Falls.

LOL!  Sorry daleykd, the package came from Marble Falls.  I live in Salmon Arm, BC, Canada (https://www.hellobc.com/salmon-arm.aspx) where it's -14C/6.8F and there's 2 feet of snow.  We do have wineries, but right now it's all cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and praying for warmer weather.
So... damn... sad.

bsoncini

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My latest experience. The pcbs just showed up today.

February 17, 2018, 9:25 am
Departed
PARIS, FRANCE
Your item departed a transfer airport in CH. DE GAULLE, PARIS, FRANCE on February 17, 2018 at 9:25 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

February 16, 2018, 5:01 pm
Departed
FORT WORTH, UNITED STATES

February 15, 2018, 6:16 pm
Departed
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES

February 15, 2018, 12:34 pm
Arrived
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES

February 14, 2018, 7:47 pm
Processed Through Facility
ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS) 

February 14, 2018, 7:47 pm
Arrived at Facility
ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS) 

February 10, 2018, 8:49 pm
Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
TORRANCE, CA 90505 

February 3, 2018, 1:20 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
LEESBURG, GA 31763 

All in all. Not so bad 3 weeks. About twice as long as before. But to save on time and money they might not want to ship it all over the country before leaving.  Shipping something from Georgia to California to fort worth to Paris is a weird voyage.

imjonwain

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I rolled the dice (at the receivers request) and stuck a PCB in a greeting card to France the other day. we'll see if it makes it...
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ruthlewis

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Indeed you are right. It does not seem to me at all normal what happens and does not announce in advance the new rules. They had to promote and say if the rules change about how to order and how many quantities, I always use speedpack tracking as transport is low and arrives very quickly. I don't have to worry about him that there is also a site where you can put the code on the box that should come to you, and you can see exactly where it is. XD
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 06:45:58 PM by ruthlewis »