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Thread: P.S.A. or... Note to self.

  1. #1
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    Default P.S.A. or... Note to self.

    Do not, repeat do not, use Federal Express to send anything to China.

    Holy frickin' hell!

    The story...

    I just came from Federal Express a few minutes ago because I'm shipping a couple Pluto's to Bill Benner at his request, to evaluate the PT-40k and PT-A40 scanners. I also figured while I was there that I would send back a small box to Lightspace with a couple of replaced defective parts. When my two new Pluto's recently came, the direct diode green module was probably out of alignment and one touchscreen board didn't work. (My guess would be some rough handling either in shipping to me originally or, the trip back and forth to SELEM.) Lightspace was quick to send replacement parts via DHL and they got here yesterday morning after being shipped from China on Tuesday.

    This is a small cardboard box we're talking about... maybe about 2.5 to 3 pounds. I told the clerk for shipping speed, it could be strapped on the back of a dolphin or something - the slowest and cheapest route. $131.13 !!!!! And it won't be delivered until next Wednesday!

    DHL originally delivered the whole 50 pound flightcase with the Pluto in it to me in under 48 hours for about $156!

    So... if you ever are in a situation where you need to send something to China. Competely bail on the idea of ever using FedEx!!

  2. #2
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    Hello,

    Did you use FedEx packaging or your own?

    I shipped a package to Sweden once (in a brown box) and the lady at the desk advised me to try and get it into a FedEx box or envelope. The difference in cost, by just changing the outer packaging, was around $65.

    ED

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    Sadly, I used the box that they shipped to me. When it arrived it was inside a plastic DHL bag. I kinda wondered if I could have put it in a FedEx pouch although it says on the international waybill that "FedEx Economy" does not apply to FedEx envelopes and FedEx Paks.

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    The few times I've shipped something back to China, I used good 'ol USPS. They try to up-sell me regarding the service options, but I'm convinced that the cheapest option arrives as fast as their most expensive route. (I ask them for the cheapest possible option about 3 times in each conversation (after checking the price on-line). Surprisingly, they eventually come up with a cheaper option than I can get on-line at least some of the time. In any case, I've found when you are talking shipping to China, USPS was significantly less than UPS or FedEx.

    -David
    "Help, help, I'm being repressed!"

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    As I was driving away after having been removed from my $131.... I remembered that the last time I shipped back a green module to Lightspace that I used USPS and I'm kicking myself for not remembering that. I think it was closer to $50.

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    Interestingly enough USPS actually handles many of the UPS envelopes and small boxes. I have been to a couple of the facilities doing controls engineering work. Its quite amazing at how many packages and envelopes can be scanned in 1 minute buy their conveyor system. The only place the system can not read the bar code is when it is face down. The system can handle bar codes in any direction on any of the other 5 faces on the package. This trend is being driven by paces like amazon who want you to get the package fast but UPS does not want the small parcels so now UPS has dedicated facilities for smalls and once sorted go to the local USPS for delivery. The facilities are still UPS run for efficiency but USPS is the carrier to your door. That is why USPS will deliver amazon packages now.
    Watching Lasers Since 1981

  7. #7
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    Most of the laser companies in China send their stuff via a logistics company that has such crazy volume that they can ship to North America for ungodly low rates. However for us, sending stuff back, it's standard rates, which are insane. Last time I bought a 4 watt RGB from lightspace, and my 600mw? 640nm failed on my 1st show, they DHL'd me a replacement, and provided their account # for the return of the original. When I had a 300mw green (part of a GS pj) fail on me, they promptly sent a replacement, and gave me their UPS # to return the original. I guess they didn't like the return shipping fee, as they refused/abandoned it - then I got billed from UPS for the shipping cost (which I refused, as it was shipped on account w/authorization). I'm still flabbergasted at times by the speed to receive stuff. My last order: a 1.8w 638/520/445 OPT projector, smaller than a kleenex box - was picked up from Hong Kong 11:30pm Sat night - I received it in Canada Monday at noon - $80 shipping cost - in a pelican case via DHL.

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    One problem I discovered with USPS when shipping to China is that the tracking system breaks down at the border. This is unlike FedEx ,yet they charge so much I just assume China is a one way street in may cases. Here is a cynical thought. Do you think that the export shipping from China is subsidized or facilitated while inbound (import) shipping is hindered?

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    Get a DHL account, that is the cheapest way I have found to ship to China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post
    Do you think that the export shipping from China is subsidized or facilitated while inbound (import) shipping is hindered?
    this is very very probable. and if you consider cheap labour, large scale production, and an exchange rate of 6 cny to the dollar you can understand why the world has been flooded with chinese products
    "its called character briggs..."

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