November 15, 2022   

Tracking USPS

I used the cheapest option to ship a package to Japan (”First Class”) to see what the difference would be compared to other options like “Priority Mail Express” and “Priority Mail.” I would think that it would be more work for them to set up three different shipping routes and protocols just so that they can charge different prices. I figured, maybe, they would deliberately keep the package at the post office for a few days just so that it would take longer than the more expensive options.

I signed up for their notification system that sends me an email every time it moves somewhere. I must say this system is quite good—I might say too good for their own good—because it exposes how inefficient they are. I’ve been getting several emails a day, letting me know that it left a particular facility and arrived at another.

So, from the Lower East Side, it first went to Jamaica, Queens, to their “International distribution center” on the next day. I was thinking, “See! They don’t actually have different delivery routes with different speeds. The speed would be the same as their Priority Mail Express.”

But I was wrong. From there, it didn’t just get on the plane at JFK nearby. It was shipped to Syracuse. I figured, maybe, they have a cheaper flight from the airport there.

But I was wrong again. It moved to Rochester. Weird. But it gets weirder. It then moved to Phillipsburg, NJ. My package went all the way upstate, only to come down to New Jersey, where there is no international airport.

Then, I just got another notification saying it arrived in Jamaica, Queens again.

So, when you select the cheapest option, they don’t just hold it at the post office to punish you for choosing the cheapest option; they actually ship it around, probably to increase the chance of getting lost somewhere, so that you’d learn your lesson and choose the more expensive option next time.

But the saga is not over yet. Who knows; it might not get on the plane from there yet.

To be continued...