*originally posed in July 2012*
Heck, am I so pissed lately at USPS and Canada Post! Their constantly slower service is driving me nuts! As some of you might know, I’m a long haul O/O trucker, so I know how logistics work and how much time it takes to get to point A to point B.
That being said, I order most of my stuff in the US because the prices down there are cheaper than in Canada even though our respective dollars have been on par for a few years. In the US, you are lucky enough to get your parts either directly from the manufacturer or through a main distributor. The problem we have up here is that all the imported parts pass through 2-3 parties that each take their cut on profits, so that means when it finally gets into the hands of the consumer, we pay 40-50% more than the US price, and that’s NOT counting shipping, brokerage, and taxes. So roughly, adding all of it up, a performance part bought in Canada is twice as expensive as in the US.
Alright, since I’m on a tight budget I try to save money where I can, so I started to rely more and more on USPS for shipping because UPS is charging way too much in brokerage fees while USPS charges none. The problem is that a few years ago it used to take 6-7 business days from an item bought in California to travel 3000 miles to Quebec, but now it takes 10+ business days! Even worse, as a recent example, I bought something from Indiana and Illinois (approx 1000 miles from QC); it took no less than 9 days for the first and 8 days for the latter to arrive. I mean WTF ? I can easily do Montreal to Chicago in a day and a half of truck driving and that’s also running legally within all laws and regulations.
Now, I understand that Canada Post takes over USPS’s duties as soon as the item clears customs but the other problem is that CP is even worse than USPS when it comes to travel times. I know these are both government run services and they always try to save money where they can but geez, their service is really BAD. I also do not understand some of their logistical practices;
As another recent example, I bought something from Utah and Colorado. The USPS dumb fucks took my packages 700/900 miles the wrong way to the San Francisco international hub, and then holy crap another 1000 miles to Vancouver BC which is all the way on the other side of Canada. Now, because of that, the packages have to travel another 3000 miles to Quebec. I mean WTF, Utah and Colorado are approx 2300 and 2000 miles from Quebec, but my packages will have traveled a total of nearly 5000 miles; OVER TWICE THE DIRECT ROUTE! Are they supposed to save money this way ? WTF WTF WTF! If I’d run my trucking business like that I would have filed for bankruptcy a LONG time ago! ARGH, now I guess the insane amounts that UPS charges for brokerage doesn’t seem that bad now, although their service too has become slower (+1 or 2 days).
I’ve just thought of another lame performance from USPS: I once applied by mistake for a trucking permit in the US, and the IRS sent me a reply letter that went to the UK before coming back to Canada. I still have the enveloppe with the UK Royal Mail stamp on it as proof… Come on USPS, try and do better!
The fastest shipping I’ve ever experienced was from FedEX, however they are often not a shipping option as their shipping fees are usually too high for most tastes. They also charge brokerage and taxes but you get the bill in the mail, which is sort of nice as you don’t have to pay the delivery guy to get your stuff. *UPDATE April 2014: FedEX has become my favorite service. Their fees have since lowered and most companies that use them offer a nifty “all included” shipping fee that includes customs charges. They are quick, professional, and I have yet to have an issue with them.*
I didn’t mind much waiting on my parts when I was working on my car in the winters, mainly because I always had something to do on the car, but now this is pissing me off. I’m also going back on the road soon and will have less and less time to dedicate to my project so that means I must plan things better. The poor shipping services don’t help one bit.