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Re: Plant disaster/ups versus usps

RPL was Roadway's venture into small package delivery.  Total disaster.  Fed
Ex bought it up.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 1:34 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Plant disaster/ups versus usps

> Well, David, an 8" pot is large by mailorder standards - about a 2
> gal, right?   Have you thought of removing pot and excess soil to
> lighten the weight or won't your plants stand that?   Seems like the
> cost must be associated with weight as 20" isn't all that tall.
> Totally agree that the primary concern is making sure the plant is
> absolutely rigid in the box.  There are some creative ways I've seen
> this done tho' I basically use plastic peanuts, which I find kind to
> foliage as well as light weight, when I send plants to people.  I
> have poked a hole in the box and run wire twist-tie through, around
> the rootball and back out to be twisted and taped to the box for
> heavy rootballs to make sure they don't go anywhere.  I've gotten
> plants that have been contained with specially inserted cardboard
> bits made so the pot fit in a cutout and can't move and Lazy S'S'
> sent theirs with 1/4" wood dowels - 1 each corner of the pot  (square
> pots), the exact length of the direction the plants were placed in
> the box and secured to an empty pot opposite- all taped to the box so
> they wouldn't move...and they didn't.  Most ingenious, I thought.
> Fedex did do a job to crush not only the box but the pot...some
> driver must have stayed up late to figure that out or set a safe on
> your box!   Isn't it nice they found your box and let you
> know...sheesh!  I do not blame you for not using them again; I
> wouldn't either.  At this rate, their ground service will destroy the
> good reputation their express service has for on time, safe delivery!
>   What was RPL?  Interesting as I did find out that Fedex ground and
> express are two totally different businesses.  We've had a Fedex
> express account for 25 years or more - for the business - but I had
> to apply for a ground account - I mean they have absolutely nothing
> to do with each other in any way, shape or form.
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> mtalt@hort.net
> Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> ----------
> > From: David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net>
> >
> > 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.
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