SurePost to Alaska: It's a long "last mile"

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by AKCoverMan, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. AKCoverMan

    AKCoverMan Active Member

    Recently my son asked me about a package that was coming to him which he had tracked online.. it showed "Transferred to local post office for delivery".....yes it was a SurePost.

    This was the first time I have seen or heard about any SurePost shipments in Alaska. But oddly enough within two weeks I encountered two more.. one was a package DRd at the front door where I was also delivering a package, the other was a drop off at a UPS store I was picking up marked RTS. So I am thinking that maybe SurePost was previously limited to the lower 48 but now they have added The Last Frontier. (Aloha, Hawaii drivers! Seen any SurePost there?)

    Anyway.. I thought the whole concept with SurePost was to get the package via UPS to the center which would deliver to the customers local PO i.e. "for Last Mile Delivery"... that way it would maybe get delivered the next day after we drop it at the PO. My sons package was dropped at a PO in Washington state! That's about 2,200 "last miles"! My other two SurePost encounters were also transferred to POs in Washington state.

    My sons package went from the East Coast to Washington state in five days when the tracking shows "transferred to PO" then no further tracking was available for two weeks until it showed up in Anchorage with a status of "arrived at local PO". It was delivered to our mailbox the next day.

    I'm not sure why they would give this to a post office in Washington state since all of USPSs volume comes to Alaska on our planes or FedExs planes anyway. But moreover if it takes them two weeks extra to get the package delivered it is putting our name on a very slow product and one that dives off the tracking radar.
     
  2. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    This is where SurePost makes sense.
    I have always contended that for rural and extended areas, this program makes sense.
    Where we lost our way was expanding it into densely populated urban areas.
     
  3. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member


    Is it where we expanded or where the shippers expanded?

    The basis of a shipper selecting Surepost is the pricing driven by the elimination of the UPS imposed residential surcharge.

    The selection of a Surepost package to be delivered by the UPS driver, if the Surepost package can be piggybacked on a package(s) that has paid the residential surcharge, is a great example of applied technology.
     
  4. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Obviously, we (UPS) make the decision whether the package is taken to the Post Office for final delivery.
    It is ludicrous to take a package to the Post Office, giving them a piece of the fee, when we are driving right by it's final destination.
    If we were to embrace these packages in densely populated urban settings, even at a reduced margin, we could be building our infrastructure to dominate the home shopping phenomenon that is presently playing out.
    The residence that is getting one or two packages a week, will soon be receiving two or three daily.
    I have been making this assertion on this board since the inception of SurePost and now, little by little, we are taking back some of these packages.
    Hopefully we haven't given away too much in the interim.
     
  5. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    I thought you were aware that UPS had implemented technology to keep that from happening.
     
  6. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    The technology reduces the number of packages, yes, but does not "keep [it] from happening." I have a regularly scheduled delivery from SurePost (Medco, delivered biweekly), plus whatever else I order off the Internet that's shipped through that method. I can count the number of times on one hand that my UPS driver has delivered these packages -- despite the fact that my neighbor (whose porch is literally a short walk from mine) runs an at-home business and receives UPS shipments daily. Nor does UPS have technology, or intends to have technology, that forecasts a SurePost package to my house on Monday, and UPS package to my house on Tuesday, and decides to hold the SurePost package for delivery by the UPS driver (with the UPS package) on Tuesday, thus giving me the same service I would've received with SurePost... without the USPS fees attached.
     
  7. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Since 80% of packages are delivered with 2 days, there is no technology other than seances to do what you suggest.
     
  8. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Some of the time.
    I happen to deliver to the USPS on my route, within the city limits of a major metropolitan area, and shake my head at the volume of packages I leave there and the final destination of the packages.
    The "technology" needs additional tweaking.
     
  9. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    SurePost, Basic as it was called at its inception, was a good idea at the beginning to service packages in extended areas.
    Problem now, in true UPS fashion, is that it was over-implemented to include all zip codes.
    I am still not convinced that it wasn't an effort to stall expansion of our infrastructure and employee ranks till the next contract is ratified.
    Would that make sense if the company was successful in convincing the Union to sell out the unborn in the form of a split scale for new drivers as has been repeatedly suggested on this forum?
     
  10. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

  11. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Rural remote was also a good idea when first introduced.
     
  12. TooTechie

    TooTechie Geek in Brown

    I'm a new driver and Surepost is a little weird to me. I understand the program for rural areas to save us money, but the odd part is that I'll have like 20-25 packages/bags I leave each day at the post office but then there are usually a couple other packages that show up in EDD but are addressed to the address of the post office where the actual customer's address is only found on the PAL/PAS label or whatever. I assume it's because those were slated to go surepost but then the system saw I was going to be driving in the area and changed it? I deliver in an average Connecticut town, nothing super rural.
     
  13. AKCoverMan

    AKCoverMan Active Member

    As I understand it, you are correct. When PAS (the system that creates the PAL label and decides where the package is going) scans a SurePost package it is supposed to look at the foretasted stops for the day and if a "pure UPS" package is already going to the same address the SurePost package is redirected to UPS to piggyback on a stop we are already making.

    I don't see that in action becuase aparrantly the "local Post Office" for Anchorage is in Washington State. Good to see this system is working somewhere and putting some packages back in our hands.