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Author Topic:  Warning About Using Ups To Ship
Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 10:39 am    
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In the last year I have shipped countless instruments with Fedex, and with great success.
Recently I have been forced to use UPS for only 3 transactions..
The first was a brand new MSA Guitar.. UPS managed to damage not only the road case, but the guitar inside as well..The second arrived damaged and cost me out of
My pocket.
Today a steel guitar is MIA in the UPS system, and they can not locate it, even though the website says it is out for delivery.
Couple that with non English speaking CS reps in other countries, and what you get is .. NOTHING.. a lot excuses, nothing resolved..
For those of you shipping steels..
Use a form fit box, Cut a hole exposing the cases handle..
Fedex has not damaged a single instrument yet.. they are batting 1000.. ups ZERO
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 11:30 am    
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I have just the opposite experiences.
In fact, I had to sue FedEx over a guitar they damaged as they wouldn't even acknowledge the damage.
Erv
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gary pierce


From:
Rossville TN
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 12:00 pm    
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I expose the handle on amps also if they are heavy.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 12:02 pm    
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I think that all 3 - UPS, USPS, and FedEx - have good and bad people randomly. Reading on here you can find horror stories about each of them, and also you can find stories of steels that arrived just as they were shipped.

Maybe the best option is to plan a family vacation in the direction the steel needs to go, and deliver it in person. A great way to see the country! Laughing
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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 4:05 pm    
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Oh I know how aweful that is; as of course I've been shipping Steel guitars all over USA and the world for 20 years at least...and have already experienced almost everything with every company > UPS; USPS; DHL and Fedex; and out of all of them I switch to JUST ONE I will EVER ship with forever and that is "FEDEX".
I became a member online many many years ago now..and invoice everything online and pack my self and drop it off to Fedex shipping company and one MAJOR thing that took away even a scratch on the box; was leaving the handle coming through top side of box. All other companies either don't let or suggest NOT to leave handle out as it may get damaged....ha....but FEDEX Loves it...as so much easier to carry; then normally putting on Dolly and slam it here; drop it there; throw off truck here...and etc....>
Almost this last 5 years there has not even been a dent on the cardboard box....let alone what you normally see with other shipping companies....and just in this last 5 years; I have shipped almost 50 ShoBuds....so there ya go my brother....You already know it...so there is NEVER a reason to use anyone other than FedEx, Become a member...and I average 25% reduction in shipping costs also.
Ricky
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 4:44 pm    
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My experience has been the same as Mickey's. I've had at least a half dozen packages with damaged or destroyed items shipped to me by UPS including 3 steel guitars, a resonator guitar, an amp and a high end B3 modeling keyboard. In only one instance was I successful getting a settlement. Roland ate one, and GD Walker ate one, musicians friend ate one too. I've had packages routed to Louisville then returned to origin and rerouted again. Sometimes takes a week or more, where FedEx averages about 3 days. Talking standard ground shipping.

OTOH, I've had zero problems with FedEx, same as Ricky. I get faster delivery with no glitches, no excuses, no lost freight and no damage. This over 20 years of shipping steel guitars and related equipment all over the continent. Call it dumb luck, coincidence or whatever you want to call it, but the evidence speaks for itself.

I get some items shipped to me via UPS, but I always request FedEx or USPS when I have a choice.

I'd never hire UPS to ship anything for me which makes me feel bad due to a major hub here employing thousands of people, many of them friends and family, but it is what it is. Oh Well
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Barry Coker


From:
Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 4:56 pm     UPS shipping
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Mickey with all you do here and your teaching I hate to here about this BS but as far as the Non English speaking CS you may have to get a little nasty with them. My wife turned me on to this from some dealings with a lawyer her boss uses. If you can't understand them or they can't understand you then you have the right to demand to speak to some one in the US. Don't let them tell you otherwise.
Good luck Barry
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 9:21 pm    
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I doubt if it’s related, but a train derailed near Tucson the other day. Dozens of UPS semi trailers were crushed and many more were toppled. There were thousands of damaged boxes littered along the railway. I imagine that put a kink in their tracking system



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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 18 Jul 2018 11:57 pm    
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I think it's just the luck of the draw, we have shipped countless items thru UPS over the years, as much as 300 per year, this includes a couple of dozen instruments. No issues other than a handful of very small damage claims.

It is probable that Servers (RE Internet systems) go down and items get supposedly lost in the system, as the tracking gets messed up. I've had this experience but it always ended well. IF it can't be logged at a hub, it can't be tracked. But the trucks keep moving, they don't wait for the internet to come back on line.

Has the internet ever gone down in your area? well if it did, UPS's system may be down as well. Net outages happen all the time , everyday. But trucks still move.

Regarding FED EX, now and then they will hand something off to the Post Office for final delivery and that has delayed packages with NO tracking well over a week, even if the last tracking was in town 10 miles away.

The only two major bad deals I have had was with the Post Office. Broken guitar and missing package for over 6 months.
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Duane Dunard


From:
Troy, MO. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2018 3:59 am    
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Fed-x Ground was best by far for me when I shipped steel guitars from my store to customers, and after 35 years in business, there were a lot of steels shipped.

Last edited by Duane Dunard on 17 Feb 2019 8:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 19 Jul 2018 8:37 am    
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Rick Barnhart wrote:



This is the nightmare I have from the time I online order any instrument to the time it safely arrives at my door Whoa!

I began buying long distance from Musicians Friend/Sweetwater/etc back in the mid 90's shipped in a pretty equal combination of UPS & FedEx and have never had an instrument arrive damaged or get lost in the system. Not sure it makes a difference in the way they handle & track, but I always go air vs ground. Of course, with pedal steel ground is the only way to go but I've been very lucky Winking
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 20 Jul 2018 4:19 am    
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Mickey,Not sure if FedEx is any better a couple of weeks ago a friend in Anchorage Alaska sent some Halibut to me via FEdEx,It was really hot on the east coast,About 7 days after it was promised to be delivered a FedEx guy left it by my front door,I ran outside and got a hold of the FedEx guy ,I asked where he was taking off to ?I opened the box and basically the fish was flying around the east coast for a week in extreme heat so I wound up calling the place that shipped the fish through FedEx and they sent more Halibut that showed up in a day and was still frozen,They told me that They would recoup their loss from FedEx.
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Larry Allen


From:
Anchorage,Alaska & Kapaa,Hawaii
Post  Posted 21 Jul 2018 12:54 pm    
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I’ve also tried them all...best prices and reliablity has been USPS Priority parcel shipping...steels, amps, electric pianos, fish and crab....Shipping from Alaska and Hawaii...Larry Shocked
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Jerry Berger


From:
Nampa, Idaho USA
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2018 2:04 pm    
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I have shipped at least a dozen psg's over the past five years using UPS and have never had any issues with them. Just lucky I guess. Very Happy
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Jerry Berger


From:
Nampa, Idaho USA
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2018 2:05 pm    
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I have shipped at least a dozen psg's over the past five years using UPS and have never had any issues with them. Just lucky I guess. Very Happy
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2018 2:31 pm    
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FedEx is terrible here - don't meet schedules and I've had deliveries at 10pm. Bizarre.

But in reality ALL the major shippers are good, and problems are simply luck of the draw. Heck, I had DHL lose an upright bass wrapped in white Tyvex (for visibility - suitably packed) for a week!

I'll give the same advice I always do that came from UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS warehouse supervisors and drivers:

1. DON'T expose handles, They can get caught on ramps

2. Don't waste time with "this side up", Fragile", handle with care" and so on. 99% of the handling is automated and machines don't read that. Drivers don't have time to, with an average of 45 seconds per stop on their schedule. FORTY FIVE seconds!

3. If you print labels make sure bar codes are CLEAR. Those contain every bit of information needed, and if there's a wrinkle or fold you can cause a problem.

4. Pack yourself and buy insurance. Don't use peanuts, which can shift. Pack every package to take a fall from 8' (eight feet) onto concrete, landing at any possible angle. Make SURE all mechanical and electrical parts inside are padded to prevent movement

I don't know why people continue to waste time with labels and "this side up" notes, which have not been applicable for almost 20 years. The toughest part is #4 - very few instruments and amps I receive are packed that well. But 8' is the height of the turns and "clog points" on the automated conveyors and the most common damage point.

Hope that helps.
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 22 Jul 2018 2:58 pm    
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Can you still ship by bus?

I had to ship a big ole heavy MSA D-10 to Herb Remington years ago. It was going from the southern tip of Texas to Houston. He had me ship it via bus. It was lifted out of the trunk of my car and loaded on to their cart, rolled to the bus and loaded in the belly. He received it the next day. It was removed from the belly of the bus, loaded on a cart and rolled over to his car.

The bus station was near his home/shop. He said he preferred shipping guitars via bus.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2018 7:35 am    
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All of the major carriers use the same basic system.
And most of the people at all three do a good job.
Bad results are either bad preparation or just plain bad luck.
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Ricky Davis


From:
Buda, Texas USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2018 8:44 am    
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Great to see you back on Here Lane and I totally agree that is actually the final result of what happens is mainly how it was "PACKED".
Ricky
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Dennis Stambaugh


From:
New Oxford,Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 8:49 am     video
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Hey Ricky , would you , could you maybe post a short video on packing a guitar for shipping. Just a thought ?
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Mike Vallandigham


From:
Martinez, CA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 9:17 am    
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I'll chime in here too.

For me, it's FedEx only. USP is terrible, from their prices, to the actual shipping, and especially the poooooooor customer service. HATE USP!.
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Kenneth Cartright


From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 9:28 am     Ups
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I agree with Mickey. I have shipped a good number of steels in the last five years, and Fedex has shipped 97% of those with no damage or loss. The other one was shipped UPS, and they smashed it, and wouldn't pay anything on it. Fedex prices are better also. Just my opinion...
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Kenneth Cartright


From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 9:30 am     Ups
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Delete
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Last edited by Kenneth Cartright on 17 Feb 2019 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 10:02 am    
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I don't like UPS at all... Fedex has been better and more reasonably priced over the years for me personally, although their prices are no bargain either.. fedex did damage a Fender 800 pedal steel, and actually put a damn forklift right through the case!... After a lot of jumping through hoops, screaming, threats, yelling, threats of lawsuits, and DEMANDING I speak to a manager, not a foreigner i could not understand, I was reimbursed for the damage on a rare old pedal steel that is not easily replaced....
Both major carriers are a crap shoot, but i would take fedex over ups... bob
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2019 12:20 pm    
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Fedex deliveries to my one horse town are mostly right on time and sometimes even a day early. UPS has a habit of being late by a day or two as they hand the package over to my local USPS for the final leg of the delivery.

There's many factors that influence how I ship but bullet proof packaging has ALWAYS gotten delivered in one piece! This is a lot of work to do yourself but not hard and the needed foam will add a bit to the cost of the packaging:

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Shipping%20Amps/Shipping%20Amps.html

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Shipping%20Steels/Shipping%20Steels.html

Cost is a factor as well. My ship and insurance rates for UPS through my work are about 1/2 of the rates you would pay by taking it directly to UPS or even cheaper than taking it to a UPS packing store.
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