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Re: Plant disaster/ups versus usps

Marge, interesting!  I ship with the pot which is 8" and the plants average
20" tall.  I believe that I have found a good way to ship them without
damage assuming I don't use Fed Ex.  More about that in a minute.  I do
charge for materials as boxes are unbelievably expensive however, being a
one man band I don't charge for my time though I suppose you can make a case
for doing so.  I do send an email asking whether the plant arrived in good
shape or not and I'm on a pretty good streak with my new method.  With this
size plant the cost of 2nd or 3rd day is astronomical.

FedEx ground is what used to be RPL and it is truly awful.  I began with
FedEx ground and some of the boxes showed up absolutely crushed with the 8"
pot itself broken.  That took some talent.  The final straw was when I
received a phone call at 4am one morning telling me they had found my
package in Idaho when it was supposed to be in Colorado.  Since then I have
shipped UPS and I have only had one problem with them since.

Marge, I get shipped plants from all around the country in pots and really
have had few problems.  The key as I've finally found out is to make sure
there isn't any wiggle room in the box at all.  If you can keep the plant
from moving and Igor doesn't sit on it it should arrive in good condition.
I also ship the plant laying down and pack it that way.

David Franzman
A Touch of the Tropics
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 8:42 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Plant disaster/ups versus usps

> David, when you ship a plant, is it still in the pot?  How large a
> pot?  How tall are the plants you're shipping?
> Virtually every nursery sending plants from west coast to east will
> either ONLY send 2nd day or 3rd day or highly recommends it - or
> takes no responsibility for the state of the plant on arrival if the
> buyer selects ground shipping.  Forestfarm will ship ground between
> certain dates only, when they can be sure the plants are dormant and
> the weather in other parts of the country won't either freeze or cook
> the plants.
> There's been a thread on Trillium-L about shipping costs - got fairly
> lively - but the upshot is that shipping costs are high from the
> carrier standpoint and those costs need to include pulling, packing
> and paperwork as well as the actual shipping for a nursery to not
> lose its shirt in the long run.  Labor and materials for shipping
> ain't free - even if it's your own labor....that shouldn't be free as
> you are in business to make a profit, not go bankrupt:-)
> One of the reasons you generally get smaller plants via mailorder is
> the cost of shipping!
> From what I gather, figuring out shipping charges is one of the major
> headaches of doing mailorder sales!
> Seems odd that your UPS isn't offering 3 day select...but you can't
> account for what UPS does or does not do these days.  I used to
> prefer them, but now, when I ship plants, I send them priority
> mail...haven't had any problems with that method.  Have also shipped
> Fedex Ground and thought I'd found something better than UPS, but
> with the tacked on fees, the costs ended up being more than priority
> mail...so that's the end of Fedex ground for me!  I think UPS has
> lost its collective mind with their charges, but they have the market
> fairly well sewn up and guess they can charge what they like these
> days.
> BTW, Kitty, I don't trust any of the carrier's web site pricing...the
> end price is ALWAYS substantially higher than the web site quote...at
> least that's been my recent experience.  You get a ballpark and
> comparison between carriers for x size and weight of box going to
> x...but what they show online ain't gonna be what they want to
> actually ship it.
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> ----------
> > From: David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>
> > Kitty, I've checked with my UPS folks for the fastest yet most
> economical
> > delivery and if 3 day select was among the choices it had to have
> been
> > considerably more expensive than that. I will certainly ask again
> but I'm
> > afraid the cost differential is significantly higher.   (I"m not
> doubting
> > you I just wonder if that is offered here and if the cost is only
> $10 more I
> > would have used it.) Now mind you that my plants don't weigh 20# so
> if the
> > choice were $13 (which is what is typical for that distance and by
> the way
> > they guarantee 7 day delivery) or $46 that's a huge difference when
> you
> > talking about a $20 plant.
> >
> > Parcel post, as I've been told could take up to two weeks as they
> don't
> > guarantee a particular delivery time.
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
> >
> > > David,
> > > Other choices include UPS 3-day select and USPS Priority Mail -
> also 3
> > day.
> > > They are more expensive than ground shipping but are a  bit less
> than some
> > > of the faster services.
> > >
> > > If you shipped a 20 pound 12x12x12 inch package from Santa Rosa
> CA  to St.
> > > Augustine FL by UPS:
> > > Next Day Air -  $94.61
> > > 2nd Day Air -  $59.36
> > > 3day select -  $46.75
> > > Ground  -   $25.25
> > >
> > > Same package via USPS:
> > > Express Mail - Overnite (usually, they say)  $53.45
> > > Priority Mail 3day  - $36.40
> > > Parcel Post 7day  -   $26.12
> > >
> > > For an extra $10 I might opt to get my plants in better
> condition.  I once
> > > ordered from Greer and they sent via UPS ground and it took 10
> days.  They
> > > don't offer 3 day select for some reason, so it has to be ground
> or 2nd
> > day
> > > air.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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