USPS Priority Mail

What do you think about using USPS Priority Mail to ship two 50 pound boxes (double boxed, 35 pound speakers) across the country?
It would be cheaper FedEx ground but I like USPS Priority, I figure the less time anyone has my gear the less likely it is to be damaged.
In my experience, USPS Priority Mail has been more reliable and predictable than any of the other "affordable" shipping service, without question.
FedEx or UPS Ground will be less expensive. Ground service will be slower that Priority Mail. USPS Priority Mail across the country will be handled less since the package will likely have to travel via air to make the 2-3 day delivery guarantee.

Other than that, there's little difference, IMO.
I have to agree,,I have been shipping electronics for years and never had an issue with USPS..I can't say that for FED EX or UPS.......What you need to do for insurance with USPS is insure it for double the value...Its cheap anyway..I was told that by my freind who works for USPS...The reasoning is if it get destroyed USPS Pro Rates so make sure you have double insurance...........
One thing for sure: USPS will respect your package far more than Fedex or UPS. Over and over I have seen careless and obvious intentional damage by workers of these companies. And then you have to deal with the games to get insurance claims. USPS is the only way to go or look for a another option with large items.
USPS all the way(I'm up in canada)fedex,ups are way to GREEDY.
I have had a few dealings with them a few years ago as far as their pricing.Do yourself a big favor USPS.
Last time USPS took 3 inches out of a box - must have dropped the box on a sharp edge from a few feet height to protrude the box by that much. Luckily the $4500 tube amp survived without any damage. In all my 100+ transactions, I never had a problem with Fedex Ground or UPS Ground. USPS lost 5+ packages delivered to the wrong address, declared my address as non-existent.
I can't believe that it'll be cost effective to ship two 50 pound boxes via USPS Priority Mail. And if they're double boxed & packed extremely well, UPS Ground should be fine.

I've shipped delicate crystal, china, keyboard & audio equip. all over the country with UPS Ground, & no problems yet (Knock wood). But good packing is key.
For those who ship by USPS: Please be aware that your valuable Priority Mail package is transported in a 40 foot truck bed which dumps the packages onto a conveyor belt. The truck has a hydraulic system which lifts the cab-end of the container about 40% so the packages tumble over and over for 40 feet and then slam onto a conveyor belt. That is just the beginning of the journey. It may be ok for small, lightweight packages but definitely NOT for 50 pound boxes. I can't imagine a better way to ensure that delicate electronics are subjected to the worst possible shipping conditions.
One thing about UPS..If using them make sure you have it boxed or prepared for shipping by authorized UPS agent..We ship larger antiques all over and the last time UPS destoyed an item they refused the insurance claim because it wasnt packed by them...It will cost you more but( not if, but when) something is damaged its all on them..
Do you want it to get there? Then don't ever send anything USPS, sadly.
Based on my experience, US Post Office is the best! During the winter we had unusual and harsh snow storms in Seattle. I was awaiting shipments from UPS and the Post Office. In the snow, my 50 lb box was deliviered by the Post Office. It was not held at all.

I never received my delivery from UPS, even though their systerm showed it was "Out for Delivery". After three days of frantic phone calls, they finally said their system showed "Out for delivery" in error. They explained that they could not deliver because my road was "too unsafe", yet the Poast Office delivered under more treacherous circumstances. I was not able to pick it up at theuir distribustion center, because it was "already loaded" on tehir truck. Then they admitted that they could not locate a $6000.00 declared value box. Two weeks later it was delivered. From now on I support USPS 100%.
Every two weeks or so, there should be an automatic new "Bitch About Shipping Companies" thread so everyone can kvetch.

One thing is constant...everyone has their tales to tell, and no shipping service is perfect.
Commcat-I know tandem dump trucks dump their loads but have never seen a USPS trailer dump a load. Maybe I live in a different part of the country? I used to drive for a USPS contractor & everything was loaded into a cart that was wheeled on/off the trailer.

Tvad-Depending on what time of the year it is & how far away the destination determines whether the package will fly or not via Priority. There is no guarantee for 2-3 day delivery. They will *try* and deliver in 2 or 3 days.

Speaking of flying, that is the best way to ship something. Ground packages get put on the conveyor belt & get handled many more times than air packages.

Regardless, always pack your gear to survive, at minimum, a chest high drop. If you don't feel your package is secure enough to survive a chest high drop, don't ship ground or rethink your packaging.
06-14-09: Driver
Depending on what time of the year it is & how far away the destination determines whether the package will fly or not via Priority. There is no guarantee for 2-3 day delivery. They will *try* and deliver in 2 or 3 days.

That's true. However, my experience has been that 100% of the items I have mailed via USPS Priority Mail, including coast-to-coast parcels, have been delivered in 2-3 days. At this point, that's probably close to 100 Priority Mail transactions.
The USPS scenario I mentioned in my previous post in this thread is actually from a USPS promotional video showing the advantages of shipping by Priority Mail!!! The post offices in California were showing this video on their TV monitors while customers waited in line for service. The video was so revealing, and disturbing, that it became the basis of a number of lawsuits against the USPS for the intentional damage caused to the Priority Mail class of shipping through mishandling. Tends to prove that the people who operate USPS do not care about the conditions your shipment is subjected to, regardless of its value or fragile nature.
06-14-09: Commcat
The video was so revealing, and disturbing, that it became the basis of a number of lawsuits against the USPS for the intentional damage caused to the Priority Mail class of shipping through mishandling.

"Intentional damage" lawsuits?

Those will be quickly laughed out of court, if they even actually exist.
UPS managed to DESTROY the junction box on my Aries table shipped from VPI without leaving a mark on the outside. At a guess the delivery man threw it off the truck or it had received similar treatment earlier. VPI's packing is about as secure as I have seen. Earlier they managed to knock a corner off a 3" cutting board that was also well packed. UPS's standards appear to have worsened sharply from the period 74-94 when I was last active as a dealer.
"Commcat," your tale bears all the earmarks of an urban legend.
Have you microwaved your cat lately?
I recently found out that Fed Ex delivers mail, from facility to facility - not to their customers, for the USPS. Does this include packages? I do not know. They are under close scutiny by the USPS I am sure when they do this.

Overall I agree that USPS is the way to go.
i try to use usps as much as possible...they dont throw boxes around ,never had a problem with any shipments,plus they are cheaper then the big they dont charge to pick up from your house or charges 5 bucks for pick up..etc...
Always use USPS if you do not mind having your goods damaged. Oh, I know you say that you insure and therefore you are protected. Not true, as USPS claims are never paid. Rip off it is. UPS, not withstanding they a 'rough', has the best claims service that favors the receiver.
There's mention in this thread that the US Post Office Priority Mail provides a "2-3 day delivery guarantee". There is not such guarantee. The 2-3 days is strictly a target time for delivery.

In my experience more times than not delivery of Priority Mail takes longer and sometimes considerably longer than the spec'ed 2 or 3 day timeframe. Whenever I have brought this up with the Post Office their response is to use Express Mail if you want a guaranteed delivery time. More or less, Priority Mail is a rip off.

And talking about shippers. I used DHL to ship some old stereo cartridges. Paid extra to insure the contents for about 1/6 of their cost if new. DHL lost the box and refused to pay my claim. After about months of round around and lies from everyone within DHL, they finally agreed to pay. But not for the insured value.

I provided documentation of the retail cost. They said my 1/6 of retail insured value was meaningless. They would but pay my wholesale cost regardless that the insurance contract stated no such thing. After explaining I am a consumer with no access to wholesale, DHL insisted that some business at some time purchased them at a wholesale price, that I had to go back to them and get documentation of that price. How many businesses will provide consumers with documentation of their wholesale costs, especially those that have been out of business for years as was the case with me? Going to the top person at DHL did not help. My resolution was small claims court.
I too like USPS Priority after next day air,mostly the luck of the draw,cheers,Bob
I don't know whether it is true that the packages are mishandled in shipping but I can tell you that the delivery of my packages from the USPS as been atrocious. I finally had to file a complaint with the post office because the postal delivery people were lobbing the packages from a set of stairs onto my porch, from a distance of about 20 feet. I have a small dog that barks and the guy was afraid to approach a closed and locked door. So he just threw the packages. This went on for sometime until I complained directly to the postal service. I have never had this happen with Fedex who is my preferred shipper, cheaper than UPS ground and generally faster too.
Attn: Everyone, you need to listen to TVAD ! He is the designated expert on almost everything on the Gon. Check out the thousands of threads and responses. That's right thousands and climbing. Amazing! Simple Amazing! Go:) TVAD :) Go :):):):)
The scary thing may be, he is just getting started to warm-up. This is like herding up to that broadcast, all news all day, KYW 1060 AM.

I have been using USPS for my professional photography and high-end stereo equipment for eight years to my overseas assignment and never had any damages or issues. Equipment consisted of 70 lbs ea.speakers and 50 lbs amp i.e.

USPS = U - Should - Pay - Somebody else!
There is one key point that has been missed that may be important to you in some situations. USPS Priority does NOT offer tracking - just confirmation of delivery.

If you want to know where the package is in the system during transit you need to use FedEx purple or UPS.

BTW excellent results with USPS Priority shipping smaller items overseas as well. Again no tracking and in some cases no delivery confirmation either
USPS Express Mail International provides online tracking.
Tvad -

as always you are correct


USPS international express mail is wildly more expensive then internatioal priority - IMHO you lose the low cost solution that USPS priority offers which makes international trade in midprice items make sense
Think about it logically - you will either rely on a government employee to service you or a private sector employee to service you. Any day of any year for any purpose I would choose a private sector employee who knows that job stability is based on performance and success.

I have sold, bought, shipped and received many items in my life. I have had several problems with USPS, which typically results in 6-9 months before anything is resolved. The last shipment was from Germany to Michigan. The package ended up in Georgia??? How could the delivery person even try to deliver it when it was blatantly obvious that the address it was sent to wasn't even in the same State it was delivered. The person who received the shipment notified me and asked me what to do. They took it to the Post Office as instructed with the Post Office's reply being: "You signed for it, its now your responsibility". The guy had to ship it to me postage due. Fortunately, I have a pretty reasonable delivery person who let me take the box inside, cut it open from the bottom and take out the contents (replacing them with rocks). I gave the package to her and told her that I would not accept the delivery and gave it back to her. As it turns out, they lost the package on its way back to Germany and had to pay the insurance, which they finally did at less than the covered price, nine months later.

Every time I have ever received or sent anything via UPS, FedEx or DHL, any problems have been taken care of quickly and to my satisfaction. Never again will I ship anything of value via the Government of the USA (or Canada for that matter - they are no better).

Simple lesson in life - look at Amtrak. Look at our government's ability to manage things properly, reliably and at reasonable cost. It just isn't possible with the lazy ignorant people that they employ. Sorry if I offended anybody, but if you are a government employee you can relate better to these statements than non-government employees on a first hand basis.
If you're trying to convince me that UPS, FedEx and DHL employees care more than USPS employees, I'm afraid I'm not buying it. On any given day, any of these services can screw up badly.
You seem to have an ideology rather than a fair evaluation of reality.
UPS, Fedex, and DHL treat their workers like shit and the workers know that their jobs depend on ass-kissing and not performance.
If you don't like people who work for the government, next time you're mugged, call a private detective.
i've had fedex damage a package. i've never had usps damage anything. my only qualm with priority mail is it's quite pricey for very heavy items, but you get what you pay for.
A few months ago I mailed a package to Brooklyn using USPS Priority Mail Signature required.

The day of delivery my customer called and was upset the package was left on his front porch. To make a long story short, after a number of conversations with the local Brooklyn postmaster I was told there was nothing I could do and the signature fee was not reimbursible. The delivery employee is not subject to any discipline.

I doubt this would ever occur with UPS and/or FedEx.