727EMflyer
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Posts: 538
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 3:22 am

A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:57 am

Hello, all! Seeing as how I live in Hawaii, virtually all of my mail comes in the belly of a bird. I have been continually amazed, though, that postmarks are so often 4-5 days old, and occasionally it takes even longer, even from places like california where there are loads of flights it could get aboard! I would like to assume the mail should take one day to process in, one day to fly, and one day to deliver. When I assume that I realize I have no idea who is shuffling the mail at airports or what routes it gets shuffled around on. Anyone have some insight? It would be particularly interesting to see the "itinerary" of a letter from my hometown in GTF to me here in HNL.
Thanks, Jeff
 
GSPITNL
Posts: 342
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:10 pm

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:21 am

I dont know about Hawaii but I can mail something from my house in SC and send it to my friend 20 miles down the road and the same day send my grandmother a letter in Florida and the letter to her will arrive before the one that is just going 20 miles.

Only thing I can tell you is that the USPS makes no F'ing sense

GSPITNL
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Oykie
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:21 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:36 am

I do not now how the USPS does operate. But since I have worked quite a bit for DHL I can tell you that there is no logic in the way your content is sent. It is all a matter of how the network has been built up. Sometimes a letter from 20 miles away can travel quite a distance. On some occasions a express parcels going from capitol Oslo in Norway to Bergen, the next largest town in Norway (about 300 miles apart) can travel thru Belgium, but since all parcels are moved during night in DHL Airexpress the customer will still receive his or her express package the next day. Unaware of the distance the package has traveled is 1300 miles.

In these rout network there can be weaknesses in some part of the world. I had a costumer which said all their parcels shipped was with DHL except from Norway to Germany where they found TNT to be faster and cheaper. Discipline is very important in the express parcel market. Don't be late! It will slow down the entire chain. Perhaps USPS is not so strict in this matter??
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litz
Posts: 1849
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:54 am

Considering the USPS gets it there at all, with the volume of material they move, is quite amazing.

For $0.39, it's also one of the best deals, postage-wise, in the world.

FWIW, I've never been able to figure out or understand their sorting system either ... I've seen the same thing : mail a letter to a neighbor, it takes longer to arrive then a letter to the other side of the country.

Sometimes it's faster to just drive there and put it in his mailbox yourself ...  Smile

- litz
 
Tornado82
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:01 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 3):


Sometimes it's faster to just drive there and put it in his mailbox yourself ... Smile

But illegal, even if the owner of the mailbox gave you full permission to do so.

Does the USPS move all their flown letters exclusively in the bellies of commercial passenger flights? When you look at the DC8's and 727's that the DHL's, Fed Ex, and UPS's of the nation fly into even somewhat-smaller airports that would only receive RJ's commercially... how does all the USPS mail make it to them without a dedicated air fleet?
 
ehho
Posts: 769
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:26 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:31 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 4):
how does all the USPS mail make it to them without a dedicated air fleet?

From what I know, and correct me if I'm wrong, USPS actually has a lot of subcontracting to UPS, DHL, FedEx and the like. On USPS's wikipedia page there's even a reference to subcontracted cargo planes occasionally painted in USPS livery.
A few years ago they even had their own fleet supposedly, with a hub in IND:


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[Edited 2006-01-07 22:32:39]
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star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:09 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 4):
But illegal, even if the owner of the mailbox gave you full permission to do so.

What do you mean by this?
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:28 am

Quoting Star_world (Reply 6):

What do you mean by this?

There's some kind of federal law against anyone delivering mail to an official "US Mail" mailbox but a postal employee, as odd as it sounds, but it's to protect their monopoly basically. That's why Fed Ex, etc., even if its just a little overnighted envelope, deliver it to your door... and why rural people get their newspapers delivered to separate "paper boxes"
 
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litz
Posts: 1849
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

RE: A Day In The Life Of Airmail

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:52 pm

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 4):
Does the USPS move all their flown letters exclusively in the bellies of commercial passenger flights? When you look at the DC8's and 727's that the DHL's, Fed Ex, and UPS's of the nation fly into even somewhat-smaller airports that would only receive RJ's commercially... how does all the USPS mail make it to them without a dedicated air fleet?

USPS moves letters in any manner they can manage to get them from point A to point B ... some go by commercial air carrier (Postal contracts are VERY lucrative to airlines), some contracted to the express companies (ever noticed those Fedex dropoff boxes at USPS post offices? There's crossover there), but most actually goes overland; either in trucks, or in containers shipped by rail, depending on distance.

- litz

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