UPS or FedEx for shipping our product?

Hi all -
This may be slightly off topic, but I'm looking for the group's collective wisdom about shipping finished goods (part of which is made
of sheet metal, so there's the metal content)
I anticipate our cartons will be approximately an 18" cube and weigh about 50 pounds. The value in each package is approximately $6,000.
Shipments will be going only to business locations. Probably low volume of 2-5 per week.
Which carrier offers the best rate and most reliable delivery service?
Thanks in advance - My email is spam-trapped so replies to the list are appreciated, or else remove the two x's, the word 'spam' and one of the periods to email me.
Carla "The Pledge of Allegiance says '..with liberty and justice for all'. What part of 'all' don't you understand?" --- Rep. Pat Schroeder (D) Colorado
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I switched to DHL a couple of months ago and have had good results. They offer online shipping lables like the other guys and you can get once a week pickup for a set rate or ask online to have your package picked up at your location for 3.00 a package. I have also had good service from USPS. My package value is considerably less than yours and when it did exceed a certain value they insisted on opening and examining the contents at UPS. (Which I didn't have a problem with.) Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Carla Fong wrote:

I don't use UPS at all any more. I generally use FedEx. They're cheaper, much gentler, more convenient and less sleazy.
GWE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Grant, you must be west coast... UPS provides much better service for its ground packages than FedEx does here on the east cost.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe AutoDrill wrote:

We get much better service out of UPS, mainly because FedEx ground doesn't know where our street is (we're somewhat rural). I've tracked a couple of packages that got closer, closer, got to Portland, Maine (we live in Brownfield, Maine), turned around and went back to sender. FedEx overnight doesn't have a problem, just ground.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Smith wrote:

I hope FedEx re-delivered your parcels free. I had a similar problem with Parcel2Go.com in the UK. I was shipping goods that I had sold on eBay. One time Parcel2Go sent back a parcel saying they couldn't find the address. I called the guy, and he said the address was correct. I phoned Parcel2Go and they refused to accept that they might possibly be at fault. So I phoned them again, and they agreed to book a pick-up free of charge. I waited for the pick-up, but it never came. So I sent the parcel with Royal Mail and it got there fine. I finally got my money back from Parcel2Go using PayPal's buyer complaint process. I will never use Parcel2Go again. They are a bunch of jokers.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Smith wrote:

I had a similar problem with the USPS. They couldn't find my shop. I couldn't really blame them though. It was cleverly hidden right across the street, and the building only filled 80% of the block. :(
I ordered a piece of equipment for my shop and it was shipped UPS. It sat in one of their warehouses for over a week. One place I worked shipped a lot of very expensive equipment via UPS. Then they went out on strike without sufficient warning. We had about a million dollars worth of equipment missing for well over a month. After that we only shipped via UPS when the customer insisted, and had faxed us a signed release that we were not responsible if the shipment was delayed.
--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My experiences with UPS convinced me that any other shipper would be better. I've received packages by UPS that were subjected to somewhat extreme shock stresses, and sides of cartons with huge gashes in them. Corners of boxes smashed into accordian shapes, and serious damage to contents even though the packaging methods were practical or sufficiently adequate. They seem to ignore Fragile stickers.
For calculating costs, you might want to consider the employee's time and parts/material for dealing with damaged goods. Another consideration would be customer satisfaction related to the delay.
If a securely packaged item is dropped far enough, it will be damaged. Some of the packages carried by UPS appeared to be test subjects. A number of damaged items were properly packed electronic devices.. sheetmetal cases with internal supporting members. The instrument damage was external as well as internal in several instances (bent chassis members) indicating severe shock.
The UPS damage policy is annoying.. return to sender and wait. They wouldn't even give a receipt for expensive products. Unless the sender is prepared to send another item (while waiting for an insurance determination by UPS), the customer might be very aggravated by this type of policy.
The packages that I've received by FedEx were in perfect condition, without any package damage at all and no indications that the contents had endured any type of abuse.
I've sent a lot of packages by USPS, and none of the customers have reported any damage. I package tiny and large expensive items securely, trying to anticipate what abuse could happen, and provide substantial padding and reinforcement when required.
For a heavy dividing head, I found that sending it in two packages by USPS was considerably cheaper than a single UPS package, when the weight of the dividing head exceeded the USPS maximum weight for a single package.
WB ..........
Carla Fong wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think it's "ScockWatch" that sells the stickers with G-force meters in them. A tip or jolt causes it to go red; your customer then refuses shipment and you initiate the claim. One would think/hope that the people handling the boxes, would recognize the stickers and treat them accordingly. Regardless of carrier, those might be a good investment, I can't see them being more than a few bucks each.

To be fair, I get a lot of parcels by USPS as well, and breakage is about the same in both.

Worth a shot but his size/weight might be out of their realm?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Carla Fong wrote:

We *only* use FedEx unless a customer really, really wants it shipped another way. We're in the electronics business and we feel that there's a certain goodwill associated with the white FedEx box and their reliability has been nothing short of astounding.
I suggest that if you go with FedEx, you set up a self-insure program. Take the money that you'd pay FedEx to insure your shipments and set it aside in a separate account. If and when FedEx looses a package, use that money to replace it.
We've shipped an average of about 4 packages a day for 10 years. In all that time, FedEx lost one. Many thousands of dollars can be saved by self-insuring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
07:26:00 -0700, Carla Fong wrote:

I've shipped roasted coffee USPS priority flat rate and FedEx express saver. USPS is the definite winner for 5 lb. boxes (flat rate).
Green coffee (where 4 or 5 days delivery time is fine) works out a LOT better by FedEx Ground than Parcel Post, and somewhat better price-wise than UPS. I've had boxes mangled by UPS, but never by FedEx.
For the product specs you gave, I'd definitely ship FedEx.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Carla,
I ship up to a dozen packages a day from here in NJ. Most are 55 to 75 lbs. Some much heavier. I have found that UPS provides the absolute best service for packages of this size IF and ONLY IF they are packaged correctly. I stuff at least 2-3" of cardboard around everything and make sure that the item inside is VERY secure. I also tape the box top to bottom and around the sides to make sure it doesn't burst. Our packages are generally insured for $3000+ with high numbers close to $20k. I ship with UPS although self-insurance or after-market insurance is cheaper but more of a hassle.
Every carrier - UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, etc. all abuse heavy packages. It's not really something that can be avoided as the heavy packages usually get pushed off the back of the truck and then loaded onto a hand cart. After all, would YOU want to lift a 75 lb. package off the back of a truck when it could simply be slid off from the inside? I'm not saying it is right, but that is what they do.
I refuse to ship my fragile, heavy parts with any of them. I use trucking companies for those - even if it is just a box.
Anyhow... DHL rules the international scene - although UPS has some GREAT 10kg and 25kg boxes that are virtually indestructible. I personally use UPS for international on big stuff because of those "Hulk-like" bikes. FedEx rules the overnight scene here in the US and UPS rules the ground scene. UPS is much better on the east coast than it is on the west coast and FedEx is much better in the west than it is in the east.
Personally, I wouldn't use anyone other than UPS. Our local DHL rep even told us that he doesn't want ground accounts, only international - simply because they don't make much money - if any - on ground packages yet.
Our local FedEx guy (ground only) is a contractor paid by the package so he delivers to us at 8 PM sometimes - with or without my signature. UPS won't do that. They at least find someone here in the complex to accept the package and make them sign for it.
Feel free to e-mail me with questions, but that just about covers it all from my perspective.
Oh... One more thing. If you are east coast, avoid FedEx ground. Or did I say that already. <grin>
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Look at the postal (USPS) website. Insure and have return or tracking. I just shipped three boxes like that several thousands of miles and it was much better than UPS!
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member http://lufkinced.com /
Carla Fong wrote:

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my personal use of UPS............. They do letter size stuff OK, but anything bigger or heaver ...they destroy the item shipped
Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am mainly a receiver and not a sender and have received hundreds of packages from both UPS and Fedex over the years. I don't like either of them. Both are _extremely_ rough with their packages. I prefer the good old postal service, especially Priority Mail. But then again I have never received a package worth anything close to $6K.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.