The Postal Service Shipped This Guy's Package Across the Country Twice for No Reason

Illustration for article titled The Postal Service Shipped This Guy's Package Across the Country Twice for No Reason

This fellow wanted to have something shipped to his house in LA. It started off in Union City, California. Should have only taken a few days, right? Try two weeks—because USPS sent it across the entire continent. Twice.

Why was the package routed thousand and thousands of miles instead of a few hundred? Why would the USPS, an entity with some serious financial troubles (death rattles?) go so, so far out of its way? Redditors, as usual, have some speculation:

The system isn't designed so that your package is shipped in the most efficient manner, it's designed so the whole system is efficient. That sometimes means packages take odd routes do to space on trucks, planes, and trains. I used to work at a shipper and had a few friends in logistics, they constantly joked about some of the crazy routes packages would take because it saved the company money.

The mail was flown there most likely. Strangely enough, it is sometimes cheaper to send things far away than to do it nearby/ in-house. Those large sorting factories most likely process most of the U.S. mail.
And since the USPS is practically bankrupt, cheap always comes before efficiency

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Illustration for article titled The Postal Service Shipped This Guy's Package Across the Country Twice for No Reason

Are absurdly indirect routes like this really the best way for the Post Office to deliver mail in a timely way and not die? I find that hard to believe, if please chime in below. There has to be some reasoning to this—it's a government bureaucracy, after all.

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DISCUSSION

morningaj
phoenix_AE

It's not a "USPS is inefficient" thing, it's a "this is what all shipping companies (USPS, UPS, FedEx) do to ship as cheaply as possible" thing.

Too bad the example above wasn't a UPS log — I've seen UPS hold a ground-shipped package at their depot for 3-4 days, for no reason other than to make sure it didn't get there "too soon." The Post Office, as best I know, doesn't do this.