Saturday, 18 March 2017

09:55 – When I took Colin out around 0730 it was 46.4F (8C) with a light breeze. Our high today is to be in the mid-50’s (~ 13C) early this afternoon, with snow flurries and showers overnight and winds gusting to 40 MPH (64 KPH). Another blizzard, in other words.

UPS strikes again. I was expecting delivery of a Walmart order yesterday. When I checked early yesterday morning, the shipment was listed as being on the truck and out for delivery as of 6-something AM. When it hadn’t arrived by the time we’d finished dinner, I checked the tracking information again, only to find that I’d supposedly refused delivery. UPS had never showed up, so there was no way I’d refused delivery. I knew when I saw that what had happened. UPS had damaged the box so badly that it wasn’t deliverable.

Mar 17 10:14 PM
ARRIVAL SCAN GREENSBORO, NC

Mar 17 8:44 PM
DEPARTURE SCAN WILKESBORO, NC

Mar 17 7:50 PM
YOUR PACKAGE WAS DAMAGED IN TRANSIT. WE WILL NOTIFY THE SENDER WITH DETAILS. / DAMAGED MERCHANDISE DISCARDED, BALANCE BEING RETURNED. UPS WILL NOTIFY THE SENDER WITH THE DETAILS WILKESBORO, NC

Mar 17 7:50 PM
YOUR PACKAGE WAS DAMAGED IN TRANSIT. WE WILL NOTIFY THE SENDER WITH DETAILS. WILKESBORO, NC

Mar 17 7:50 PM
SERVICE DISRUPTION OCCURRED / THE PACKAGE WILL BE RETURNED TO THE SENDER. WILKESBORO, NC

Mar 17 11:08 AM
THE RECEIVER DOES NOT WANT THE PRODUCT AND REFUSED THE DELIVERY. WILKESBORO, NC

This was an all-liquid shipment, and I suspect that Walmart packed it poorly, as is their norm. Combine that with UPS’s typical rough handling, and I’m not really surprised something leaked. The shipment contained three 114-ounce plastic containers of Heinz ketchup, two 105-ounce plastic containers of French’s mustard, and four 18-ounce glass bottles of Heinz Worcestershire sauce, all of which are bulk ingredients for the barbecue sauce we intend to make up in a large batch and freeze in quart ziplock bags or canning jars.

* * * * *

11:18 – Speaking of price increases, we use a lot of 9V batteries, which I order in bulk. Barbara was just making up small parts bags for biology and chemistry kits, and informed me that we were completely out of 9V batteries. So I re-placed exactly the same order that I’d placed last June. The price of the batteries themselves was up by 40%, and the price of UPS Ground shipping was up 38%. Geez.

I suspect that UPS and all of the other shippers are being pushed hard by Amazon and Walmart. I know that USPS is just barely breaking even on Amazon deliveries that arrive via Amazon tractor-trailer at local post offices, and I suspect that UPS and FedEx are being pushed just as hard to compete. I think they’re probably trying to make up the difference with huge price increases to smaller shippers.