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Shipping orchids? Best carrier....

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gore42

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For the past couple of years, I've used USPS for 90% of the orchids I've shipped and haven't had any real problems (except when shipping to Lien Luu, for some reason). They've been pretty fast and the cheapest for 3 day delivery.

However, the USPS is now charging a LOT more for shipping boxes that are more than a cubic foot. I shipped a package to Florida today that weighed about 3 lbs 10 oz, which would have cost about $12 last week. As of this week, the US postal service requires that I provide box measurements... so the same package cost $24.10 (though a package of the same weight still only costs about $12 and change if it's a smaller box).

I don't want to try to shove large orchids into smaller boxes. I also don't want my customers to have to pay exhorbitant shipping rates.

So, when the rest of you have orchids shipped to your homes, what carriers do you prefer to use, and how much do you expect to pay?

I just checked on using UPS ground service for my shipping, and the aforementioned package would have cost $11.30 to ship to the east coast. Being in the middle of the USA (more or less), I think that orchids would get to their destinations within a few days even by ground, but I'd rather not risk it.

Thanks for the help!

As Ever,
Matthew Gore
 

Carol

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I think that it depends where your item is being shipped. I have received orchids by Fed Ex and DHL(from Parkside). Check out their rates and see if they are any less expensive. Both of them have reliable service.
 

bwester

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I personally prefer fedex, but USPS isnt too bad
 
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gore42

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Thanks :)

I think that a lot of people would agree that FedEx is about the most reliable, but I've also found them to be pretty expensive... I generally would rather let people spend their money on orchids rather than shipping.

Perhaps I'll check into a FedEx account.

Anyone ever have orchids shipped UPS ground from out of state?

- Matt
 

Candace

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Matt, have they upped the postage when you use the special USPS priority boxes too? The ones that are like the triangular shaped tubes? I know they're over a foot long. I've got lots of USPS boxes, that if the rates are that high, will now be sitting in the garage and NOT used:mad:
 
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gore42

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I have a bunch of those triangular boxes too... I haven't checked on the rates for them yet. I think the USPS also has a new line of priority mail boxes out, but I haven't checked on them yet either. Looks like I still have some checking to do :)

- Matt
 

Candace

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Edit:

I just checked and the smaller, triangular boxes are just under a cubic ft. .88 and they could fit one or two smaller plants. I looked at the smallest cube boxes they carry(I received them yesterday). They're also just under a cubic ft. near .88. But, they are TINY. One small plant only. Looks like lots of folks will start using UPS...
 

littlefrog

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I am also eagerly awaiting finding out the best way to ship larger boxes. I suspect it will be UPS.

I have had orchids shipped to me UPS ground that arrived overnight (from Cleveland to Michigan). I have had packages shipped UPS ground from the west coast that took a week, or 2 days... I don't know if there is a way to tell. I think as long as the weather is good, a week in a box isn't really going to hurt any but the most delicate orchid, so maybe that is ok.

UPS and FedEx both have dimensional weight shipping as well. FedEx can get very pricey for even a modestly sized box, overnight.
 
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gore42

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When I was shipping out my large box today (that ended up being $24 with USPS) I also checked UPS 3 day select, and it was $37. *sigh* FedEx ground is cheap too, and it's been pretty fast for me, but I don't know if there's a way to tell how fast it will be before I actually ship.

- Matt
 
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blueovalgal

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I personally prefer USPS Priority Mail because I know my mail carrier really well. I also know my UPS driver, but I don't think he's ever delivered an orchid package to me. As for FedEx, at least for me, it's always a crap shoot. I know the driver who delivers in the afternoon, and if he's delivering the package, he'll come to the front door and knock. A week or two ago, I received a package from FedEx (around noon), and THANK GOD the orchids were packaged well. THAT particular driver decided to toss the box into our front yard!! If I know (or have an idea) of the shipping costs in advance, I don't mind paying more to have the orchids arrive safely. Barbara
 

Marco

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ive always had my orchids shipped via usps or fedex.....but as for ups....i ordered golf clubs on sunday...just got it just now. then again they shipped from new jersey
 
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MoreWater

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Thanks for the heads up on the usps package size.....

I think it does depend on where the addressee is - outside of city areas, the postal service may have a leg up... I used to ship fedex ground because they were more convenient for dropping off packages (not an issue if you have an arrangement with UPS) and cheaper as well, but their ground service was not well integrated into the rest of fedex. This may have changed, however. When I last checked (years ago), Fedex couldn't track a ground package - they had no way of knowing where the package was until it was actually delivered. Hopefully they do a better job now....?

I would be concerned about ground shipments during weather extremes.....
 

SlipperFan

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gore42 said:
Anyone ever have orchids shipped UPS ground from out of state?

- Matt
Yes. UPS is more expensive than USPS from my experience. But I don't know about now with the new postal rates.
 

gonewild

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If you use a box purchased from USPS (Ready Pak) the new rates are cheaper than if you use a plain generic box.

Check with FedX about special shipping rates, Orchids of Los Osos gets very competitive rates for 2nd day delivery and has very few delivery problems.
 

gonewild

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Using either FedX or UPS ground would not be wise for live plants and is asking for problems. If the shipment is mis-routed it could take weeks to reach the destination where as with air shipments the delay is short.

We shipped perhaps a thousand Priority Mail boxes this last year and have not had a lost one yet and only 2 or 3 that arrived a day or two late. Even at the increased rates the USPS service is a bargain.
 
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MoreWater

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just remembered that repotme uses dhl, saying that the prices are better. I dunno, but...? I've been happy with my dhl deliveries, although I can't remember right now if I've gotten live plants via them.
 
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gore42

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Thanks for the responses everyone :) I'm looking into getting a FedEx account setup, among other things.

- Matt
 

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