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  #1  
Old 09-08-2021, 08:31 PM
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The shortest distance between two points is Not the USPS!

Nothing of any importance, just some musing on my part.

I ordered some spark plug cable ends from a company in Fort Wayne, Indiana on August 27th to be delivered to Tucson, Arizona. On September 1st I received a notice they had shipped. Being a curious kind of fellow I decided I'd track them to see where they went.

First they went to Indianapolis. Made sense, Indy is a major distribution point. Next they went to Kansas City, seemed odd but what do I know? At least they were moving in the right direction, West. The next stop for them was West Valley Center (Ogden) Utah. Huh? "Oh well", sez I, "Maybe the truck driver doesn't use Google Maps". I mean Ogden is only 800 miles North of Tucson but it is in kind of parallel with Tucson West-wise. Easy mistake to make, I guess.

The next link in the journey does baffle me though. They sent the package to Boise, Idaho, 400 miles North and West of Ogden where it sat for two days while they tried to figure out what to do with the package. They did the usual thing a large corporation/business does. They punted the package BACK to Ogden where, at last report, it is sitting waiting to be shipped, hopefully, to Tucson.

Distance between Fort Wayne to Tucson 1825 miles.

Distance between Fort Wayne and Indy 125 miles

Distance between Indy and K.C. 485 miles

Distance between K.C. and Ogden 1075 miles

Distance between Ogden and Boise and back again 800 miles

Distance between Ogden and Tucson 800 miles

So, for a shipment to travel 1827 miles it appears the shortest route is, as of the present estimate, 3300 miles. Now, THAT'S how to run an agency!

Assuming the package arrives tomorrow, it will have travelled at the blistering pace of 15.25 MPH. Whoa! Look out Pony Express! We're coming after your jobs!

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Last edited by Mike D; 09-09-2021 at 05:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2021, 10:17 PM
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When FEDEX presented their business plan to get a loan/investors they had to present a plan. Their plan involved ever single package going through Memphis. Sending a package tour your neighbor....goes through Memphis. Los Angeles to SFO....Memphis. everyone looked at him crossed but...it seemed to work out.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2021, 11:54 PM
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Shortest route is not the most monetarily efficient. If they need to deconstruct a pallet, itll go to where it best fits before it gets distributed to other routes.Not to say usps is the best at this, but a common logistics scenario.

I used to work for a company/industry/product that was extremely temperature sensitive. To the point that reefers (refrigerated cargo units) could only maintain temps +/- 5 degrees before spoilage. Those crazy routes were pretty typical based simply on the weather.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:12 AM
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I assume you mean the US Postal Service, USPS, not UPS right? I had an interesting experience with them recently when I bought some stuff from Kiev, Ukraine. It took only a week to arrive and was tracked every step of the way. From when UKRPOSTA issued the tracking number, thru their post office, thru customs and thru international shipping. The odd thing thougth was what happened when it got to the US. Arrived ISC NY. Went down the road to NJ. Then up the coast to Connecticut. Back down to Jersey, BACK UP to Connecticut, and then finally started on it's way west to Phoenix. Pretty damn amazing that it got here in 8 days with all that.

- Peter.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:26 AM
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Back when FedEx started in the early 1970's, the gooberment strictly regulated who could operate passenger and freight airlines. But, there was a loophole that small aircraft were not regulated. FedEx used Dassault Falcon business jets to get around the regulation. Sometimes, large cities would have a squadron of FedEx Falcons fly in one right after the other.

Fred Smith was working on his MBA and wrote a paper that ended up being the business plan for FedEx. He got a lousy grade on the paper. Years later, he was back there (probably to dedicate a building he donated to the university), and he walked up to the professor's office. The door was closed, but he could see that that the lights were on in the office. He was going to day rub the guy's nose in it, but instead walked away.

FedEx almost went bankrupt early on. A lot of his pilots would fly for free to keep the company afloat. When things stabilized and FedEx started buying big jets (after deregulation), and took care of those "kids" who worked for free to save the company. There were a lot of 20-something year old widebody captains at FedEx.

FedEx almost lost their ass again with Zap Mail, essentially fax machines linked by satellite dishes. The documents would be scanned and printed at FedEx offices, and delivered by FedEx trucks.

The early FedEx model was a spokes-and-hub. They eventually added more hubs, but the idea was pretty much the same. But, vast increases in efficiency came with true networks, where a package could have multiple paths to get where it was going. The trick was to keep every path between network nodes operating at or near full capacity. When traffic on one link in a path hit 100%, packages would be routed through less direct paths that still had unused capacity. Sometimes a package staying in Texas flies to Memphis first, sometimes it goes from one Texas city to another by truck.

Southwest Airlines uses a network instead of spokes-and-hubs. On my frequent flights from Bubbaville, FL to Norfolk, VA back in 2010-2011, I'd go through Orlando, Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago, or Houston, without any apparent rhyme or reason.

A lot of FedEx's and UPS Air's business is two-day air freight. They fly every plane they have at night to cover the next-day freight, and then fly their most efficient planes in the daytime to get the two-day freight moved.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:45 AM
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Fascinating .
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2021, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
Back when FedEx started in the early 1970's, the gooberment strictly regulated who could operate passenger and freight airlines. But, there was a loophole that small aircraft were not regulated. FedEx used Dassault Falcon business jets to get around the regulation. Sometimes, large cities would have a squadron of FedEx Falcons fly in one right after the other.

Fred Smith was working on his MBA and wrote a paper that ended up being the business plan for FedEx. He got a lousy grade on the paper. Years later, he was back there (probably to dedicate a building he donated to the university), and he walked up to the professor's office. The door was closed, but he could see that that the lights were on in the office. He was going to day rub the guy's nose in it, but instead walked away.

FedEx almost went bankrupt early on. A lot of his pilots would fly for free to keep the company afloat. When things stabilized and FedEx started buying big jets (after deregulation), and took care of those "kids" who worked for free to save the company. There were a lot of 20-something year old widebody captains at FedEx.

FedEx almost lost their ass again with Zap Mail, essentially fax machines linked by satellite dishes. The documents would be scanned and printed at FedEx offices, and delivered by FedEx trucks.

The early FedEx model was a spokes-and-hub. They eventually added more hubs, but the idea was pretty much the same. But, vast increases in efficiency came with true networks, where a package could have multiple paths to get where it was going. The trick was to keep every path between network nodes operating at or near full capacity. When traffic on one link in a path hit 100%, packages would be routed through less direct paths that still had unused capacity. Sometimes a package staying in Texas flies to Memphis first, sometimes it goes from one Texas city to another by truck.

Southwest Airlines uses a network instead of spokes-and-hubs. On my frequent flights from Bubbaville, FL to Norfolk, VA back in 2010-2011, I'd go through Orlando, Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago, or Houston, without any apparent rhyme or reason.

A lot of FedEx's and UPS Air's business is two-day air freight. They fly every plane they have at night to cover the next-day freight, and then fly their most efficient planes in the daytime to get the two-day freight moved.
Everything goes to Memphis. Tennessee, first. FedEx basically has their own terminal and runway (depending on wind direction, and passenger airlines) at Memphis International Airport. The International freighters start leaving Memphis, mid-afternoon, M-F. Domestic freighters start leaving Memphis 3 to 4 a.m.

Point to point is the most efficient use of aircraft and fuel. Southwest was genius to have instituted that flight plan. I use USPS exclusively, when I can. They're very efficient and the cheapest rates. For me anyway.




.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2021, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
Everything goes to Memphis. Tennessee, first. FedEx basically has their own terminal and runway (depending on wind direction, and passenger airlines) at Memphis International Airport. The International freighters start leaving Memphis, mid-afternoon, M-F. Domestic freighters start leaving Memphis 3 to 4 a.m.

Point to point is the most efficient use of aircraft and fuel. Southwest was genius to have instituted that flight plan. I use USPS exclusively, when I can. They're very efficient and the cheapest rates. For me anyway.


.
My bad. UPS Air Freight has multiple US hubs. FedEx has an international hub in Indianapolis, though.

Yeah, USPS is cheaper and they're getting pretty fast and reliable. Here in Bubba County, UPS contracts out some of the smaller package delivery to USPS.

The USPS office in Bubbaville Beach is usually crowded. But, there's a contracted post office on the military base I used to work on and still have access to. They don't take credit cards, but there's almost never a line. Actually, the clerk there is lonely and welcomes the company.

USPS got rid on the idiot mail carrier we had in Bubba Estates. That improved things greatly.

A friend is a UPS Captain. He was flying chartered business jets, living hand- to-mouth and got laid off right about the time UPS Air Freight started up. He applied, but didn't think he'd get hired. But, he was in the right place at the right time, and got in. He works three weeks and is off a week. They want him at his airplane almost a day beforehand. So, he flies a passenger flight on Monday, flies a UPS jet on Tuesday, chills on Wednesday, flies a UPS jet on Thursday, and takes a passenger flight home on Friday. His seniority keeps him flying in the daytime, and he doesn't do any international flights. He said over the ocean, there's no "Plan B."

My friend's early days with UPS was rough. He said those two flights in the early morning hours every week would kick his ass. He was always tired and he was aging fast. He really enjoys his daytime only schedule now. He had an eight-figure inheritance ($10M+) about 15 years ago. But, he loves his job so much he's going to work until they boot him out at 65.

His wealthy dad paid for his flying lessons when he was young, and let him work at his company off-and-on around his intermittent flying jobs. He kept working his way up in flying jobs, and having a lot of jet time when UPS started up put him over the top. He said he knows he's lucky, but that he also "prepared for being lucky." There's probably a life lesson there.

He's had one close call, a TCAS incident years ago. He was sweating bullets until the cause was determined and it wasn't him. If he'd been the one who ****ed up, he'd have been out of a job.

When heavy jet cockpits went from three seats to two, a lot of pilots who were second officers (flight engineers) lost any hope of getting into the the right front seat. A lot of jet pilots lost their jobs after 9-11 and never got them back. My friend said he was glad he was flying freighters after 9-11.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2021, 11:42 AM
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It's a miracle that anything gets delivered to the correct address in good working condition. Between the shippers not packing items properly to delivery drivers delivering to the WRONG addresses and/or the packages getting good and abused during transit, the consumer is screwed.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:22 PM
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Post

husky man is back and in stride : all negative, all the time and zero grasp on reality .

Always with his hand out of course .
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2021, 01:48 PM
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I ordered something from the E coast via FEDEX smartpost and it took 1 day short of 3 weeks to arrive. It was like watching a Greyhound buss stop at every town for 3000mi. I wrote it off several times then it would move to another town for a few days.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2021, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc lover View Post
It's a miracle that anything gets delivered to the correct address in good working condition. Between the shippers not packing items properly to delivery drivers delivering to the WRONG addresses and/or the packages getting good and abused during transit, the consumer is screwed.
You should stop digging. The efficiency of the the USPS, fed ex, UPS... is quite amazing. Over my life, I have received a hand full of misdelivered parcels. Very few things have been damaged or mishandled.

You continuously make up stories with out any first hand knowledge and it just makes you out to be a fool. Just do us all a favor and STFU unless you have something worthwhile to say.
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- God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller as time moves on..." Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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- When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2021, 03:17 PM
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There are two 'hoods with similar 'hood names (Bubba Estates and Bubba Acres) and similar street names (Bubba Wood Lane and Bubba Breeze Road). We're always getting the other guys' crap, and they're constantly getting ours.
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2021, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
My bad. UPS Air Freight has multiple US hubs. FedEx has an international hub in Indianapolis, though.

Yeah, USPS is cheaper and they're getting pretty fast and reliable. Here in Bubba County, UPS contracts out some of the smaller package delivery to USPS.

The USPS office in Bubbaville Beach is usually crowded. But, there's a contracted post office on the military base I used to work on and still have access to. They don't take credit cards, but there's almost never a line. Actually, the clerk there is lonely and welcomes the company.

USPS got rid on the idiot mail carrier we had in Bubba Estates. That improved things greatly.

A friend is a UPS Captain. He was flying chartered business jets, living hand- to-mouth and got laid off right about the time UPS Air Freight started up. He applied, but didn't think he'd get hired. But, he was in the right place at the right time, and got in. He works three weeks and is off a week. They want him at his airplane almost a day beforehand. So, he flies a passenger flight on Monday, flies a UPS jet on Tuesday, chills on Wednesday, flies a UPS jet on Thursday, and takes a passenger flight home on Friday. His seniority keeps him flying in the daytime, and he doesn't do any international flights. He said over the ocean, there's no "Plan B."

My friend's early days with UPS was rough. He said those two flights in the early morning hours every week would kick his ass. He was always tired and he was aging fast. He really enjoys his daytime only schedule now. He had an eight-figure inheritance ($10M+) about 15 years ago. But, he loves his job so much he's going to work until they boot him out at 65.

His wealthy dad paid for his flying lessons when he was young, and let him work at his company off-and-on around his intermittent flying jobs. He kept working his way up in flying jobs, and having a lot of jet time when UPS started up put him over the top. He said he knows he's lucky, but that he also "prepared for being lucky." There's probably a life lesson there.

He's had one close call, a TCAS incident years ago. He was sweating bullets until the cause was determined and it wasn't him. If he'd been the one who ****ed up, he'd have been out of a job.

When heavy jet cockpits went from three seats to two, a lot of pilots who were second officers (flight engineers) lost any hope of getting into the the right front seat. A lot of jet pilots lost their jobs after 9-11 and never got them back. My friend said he was glad he was flying freighters after 9-11.
I don't know how many heavy jet pilots FedEx or any commercial air carrier has in the cockpit, but I'd venture it's damn few 20 somethings. The golden age of putting both sexes, (esp. women) of very inexperienced 20 something pilots in these heavy cockpits was in the late 1980s. We're very fortunate there weren't many if any situations where these inexperienced were in command of the craft.

Last edited by Skid Row Joe; 09-09-2021 at 07:10 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-09-2021, 07:08 PM
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Several years ago (2000) after the load shifted a cargo jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Mather Field(Sacramento)into several auto salvage yards a few miles away. More than 200 autos were set ablaze along with the aircraft wreckage.
Unrelated we have a PO box for all our sensitive mail as our mail finds it's way into neighboring boxes from time to time.

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