Beer shipping tips

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by malf922, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,386) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    UPS packed your box for you? Wow ... you may have pulled it off that time, but in reality @John_M is right. UPS prohibits the shipment of alcohol without a license, which Im assuming you don't have. So don't expect your experience to be the norm or to be duplicated. (Unless, I guess if you go back to the same place and they just ignore UPS policy.)
     
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  2. ZenAgnostic

    ZenAgnostic Champion (837) Jan 27, 2011 Texas

    Yeah I figured as much. All worked out in the end this time. I quit drinking many years ago and this is the only beer I'll be having cause it was the white whale I could never find.
     
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  3. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (789) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    You're extremely lucky. This is against their corporate policy as @John_M stated, likewise with FedEx. If you can continue to do that at the same location, then all power to you, though.

    ETA: oops, missed that there was a 2nd page to this thread and basically repeated what @FBarber said.
     
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  4. ZenAgnostic

    ZenAgnostic Champion (837) Jan 27, 2011 Texas

    Ha yeah. Well this is the last time I'll ever be drunk! Just rated the Pliny a few min ago.
     
  5. Sturgeon83

    Sturgeon83 Aspirant (280) Mar 11, 2015 Kentucky
    Trader

    They always ask me what I'm shipping, they are always more expensive, and they seem to always be slower. I've never had any issues with damage from them as a sender or a recipient (knock on wood), but FedEx seems to just be a smoother experience (knock on more wood.)
     
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  6. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (789) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    For me, they've always been more expensive compared to FedEx the few times I compared prices for the exact same box. Even with an online account and print your own labels, I don't believe you get a discount for that vs. FedEx. I only use UPS for shipments to VT or when my trade partner requested it.
     
  7. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Interesting, I've never compared the prices. I haven't had an issue with UPS, but maybe I'll give FedEx a try in my next few trades and see how things go.

    Thanks
     
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  8. needMIbeer

    needMIbeer Champion (871) Feb 5, 2014 Tennessee
    Premium Trader

    I pack 99% of my boxes the same way unless I am using a styrofoam shipper.

    All cans and bottles get zip locked prior to being wrapped in bubble wrap. I have a strong personal preference of using rubber bands to secure the bubble wrap so that it can be reused many times. Cans and bottles get placed in to box that ensures the snuggest fit. Ideally bottles will be vertical versus horizontal in order to minimize sloshing but not always possible. That box gets sealed and placed in to another box. Label gets printed out and slapped on the box. Box gets dropped off at a third party shipper who has multiple pick ups a day and could care less what’s actually in the box.
     
  9. Dactrius

    Dactrius Meyvn (1,066) Apr 23, 2012 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Beer and shipping isn't cheap. By comparison, styros are reasonably priced and basically eliminate any stress I have when shipping and take way less time to package up. If I'm shipping bombers I'm almost always going to use a styro, it's money really well spent (obviously even more so if it's a RTP who is just going to reuse it). If you're shipping cans or 12oz bottles, well, other people have got that covered pretty well.
     
  10. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,184) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    One of the good things about a regular trade partner is if you have a real good shipper, you just keep reusing it. There is six shipper that has made the trip between Florida and New Jersey at least a dozen times.
    I just had to retire it. R. I. P. Good friend
     
  11. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Have to say, after reading these threads you guys convinced me to switch to FedEx (cheaper/faster), rather than using UPS (even though I never had a problem with UPS). Not sure if it's bad luck or what, because tracking these two packages have been a nightmare, and it's been less than 24 hours.

    At UPS, you get tracking updates 1)When you print the label, 2)Package is scanned at drop off location, 3)When it's put on a truck, 4)When it arrives at the distribution center, etc, etc, etc. UPS is very detailed about where your package is throughout the process. I guess I've grown accustomed to that since that's what I used since I started trading.

    For FedEx, I feel like I'm in the dark. I printed two shipping labels yesterday afternoon. One showed up immediately on my FedEx app as Label Created (so...all cool). The second one, however said the tracking numbers wasn't valid when I entered it in (and yes I've double checked the # about a dozen times to see if I typed it in wrong). I dropped the packages off at my corner Walgreens, where they are a registered FedEx drop location with no issues.

    This morning, and into the afternoon, I see the tracking hasn't moved one bit. One still says "Label Created" and the other is still not valid. I'm thinking WTF!! I called Walgreens this afternoon and the lady said the FedEx guy came by and picked both packages up this morning. Odds are, everything is fine and the packages are on its way. But why am I having to call...shouldn't the tracking info be telling me this?

    Is this normal for FedEx tacking to be this bad? Or was I spoiled on how detailed UPS was?

    (rant over)
     
  12. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    I've never had a number not show up as label created if the number was typed in correctly - for me, or from someone sending to me. I'm leaning towards you having typed it in wrong even though you double checked.

    FedEx updates whenever it reaches a point where the package is passed off. If this is from one truck to the next (or truck to airplane), you might see an update indicating it reached a location (.e.g Kansas City), but not an update saying "Arrived, departed." Only seen this a couple times - every other time I have seen "arrived" and "departed." Frequently the update shows up anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours later depending on...Fed Ex factors (I assume something internal).

    If you drop off at a non-FedEx location (i.e. walgreens), your updates may not show up right away. Not sure why, but that seems to be a common occurrence. Sometimes not till after it was delivered. No idea why.

    You can set up your FedEx account to update (by e-mail, text) everytime the account updates if you want.

    Also, I feel like FedEx gives me MUCH more information than UPS. UPS will sometimes not update for 2-3 days on a 5 day trip while it is "still moving." FedEx almost always has a daily update because...it is actually moving everyday, and from the midwest, everything in the contiguous US should be 3 days (I think).

    Hope that helps.
     
  13. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    I actually took a picture of the shipping label, so I know exactly what the number is. I typed it in about 2 dozen times over the past 20 hours...each time is says not a valid tracking number. I can even see the correct tracking number in my Shipment History in my FedEx account. I copied and pasted that number in the Tracking finder (just so I didn't have to type it)...still nothing.

    I fell victim to not leaving well enough alone. Probably will go back to UPS after this. Maybe it's going through Walgreens rather than dealing directly with an actual FedEx location...which I don't have one near me.

    Funny thing is, even though I can't track this package, I'm sure it'll find my trading partner just fine.
     
  14. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,386) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Give it at least 24 hours. This is especially true when you drop off the package at a third party location and not an actual Fedex store. If theres nothing after a full 24 hours, then I'd worry a bit.
     
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  15. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Wow...26 hours after I dropped it off, the tracking # finally is valid.

    Back to UPS where the tracking number is accountable the minute I create a shipping label at home.
     
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  16. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    To be fair, I have honestly had many more problems with UPS tracking #s not registering until very late than I have had FedEx, and I have shipped/received probably 6x as many Fedex as UPS. You just got a bad turn, honestly.

    I recently shipped to the NE. Fedex would have been 2 days, UPS took 5 fucking days. I only went UPS because I had to. It cost me about $13 more than FedEx would have as well. It's kind of ridiculous how much more expensive they are. If you're going to go UPS, you might as well just go USPS. USPS is faster and certainly not any more costly, and if anything, they are better about tracking.
     
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  17. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,524) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Premium Trader

    I agree with @Beer_Economicus , I have never had a similar experience when using FedEx. I use a shipping center, not an actual FedEx location. I get a text with a tracking link instantly.

    I only use FedEx if it doesn't fit in USPS priority flat rate though (or if its close or small making it cheaper than USPS).

    Moved to FedEx from UPS due to issues similar to what you described above. I used UPS for probably my first 50 boxes shipped. Probably 85% USPS, 15% FedEx in the 350 plus since. One issue in those 350, FedEx called and said they couldn't deliver beer, but they let the recipient pick it up at the local facility.
     
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  18. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    @WIBeerSnob Just as another mention of the inconsistencies of UPS: I have 2 packages coming to me tomorrow. Neither one has updated consistently or appropriately or at every point they were supposed to. Still rarely have this happen with FedEx.
     
  19. brutalfarce

    brutalfarce Initiate (98) Mar 23, 2018 Connecticut
    Trader

    New shipper myself did 5 trades my first week (hit the ground running lol) packed up mine tried to roll each can in small square of bubble then put 2-4 cans depending what fit in a ziploc and repeated good packing on inside some cardboard pieces if I could to reinforce haven't had an issue yet. Did all of mine FedEx not sure of USPS some people say they do but seems sketchy most I paid on Fedex was 17 bucks or so so comparable to a large priority although not the speed.
     
  20. SagittariusA

    SagittariusA Initiate (97) Jan 23, 2017 Missouri
    Trader

    For my time and peace of mind, I buy and use nothing but styrofoam shippers while sending with FedEx. Never had a shipping issues with my beer but have received several jacked up boxes from others not packing properly and using UPS.

    Also received many where I was floored they made it intact. Trade with me, and you get pro packing—every time.
     
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  21. K_Dubb1227

    K_Dubb1227 Initiate (34) Mar 22, 2018 Ohio
    Trader

    I too am having the same issue. I created two labels on Saturday and dropped both boxes off to wal-greens about 2 hours ago on my lunch, they are still reading invalid tracking numbers and my account also has not been billed. However I do have an email stating that both packages were scanned at the dropoff location waiting to be picked up. I guess I'll just have to give it 24 hours to see if something shows up.
     
  22. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,524) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Premium Trader

    In my experience dropping off at a second party shipping agency (e.g. Walgreens for FedEx) the tracking info does not show up until the FedEx driver scans them when picked up.
     
  23. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    To add to what @jhavs said, I'm not sure about UPS, because i fucking hate them, but FedEx bills you once a month. At least, that's how it's always happened for me. I've never been charged when my package is scanned or picked up.
     
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  24. Bum4ever

    Bum4ever Devotee (423) Jan 18, 2017 California
    Trader

    I get billed for each box, usually a couple of days after they are delivered.
     
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  25. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    Is that with UPS or FedEx?
     
  26. K_Dubb1227

    K_Dubb1227 Initiate (34) Mar 22, 2018 Ohio
    Trader

    So to update on this, it is now showing up as picked up at 1:41, so all appears good! I'd say your information was correct.
     
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  27. Bum4ever

    Bum4ever Devotee (423) Jan 18, 2017 California
    Trader

    My fedex account.
     
  28. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    Wierd. I wonder why you get charged instantly while mine is once a month. It's been that way regardless of whether I have shipped 1 box or 7 boxes that month. It's not the end of the month, but it is certainly a 30day rolling cycle. It's a monthly invoice, effectively, and paid out at that time from my form of payment.
     
  29. Heisenbrew

    Heisenbrew Initiate (85) Aug 21, 2016 Missouri
    Trader

    I also get charged around a week after shipping with Fedex
     
  30. odcardinal

    odcardinal Initiate (159) Apr 12, 2015 Illinois
    Trader

    I completely agree with the styro shipper. I take it to the next level and put the shipper in another box. The double box method is my preference. And if I’m sending a irreplaceable bottle I only send that bottle in a solo shipper in another box.
     
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  31. flat_lander

    flat_lander Devotee (401) May 11, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    In probably 30 times mailing beer the only time a box of mine didn't go out the day it was supposed to was when I dropped my Fed Ex box at Walgreeens. Never again.

    Yep, me too now that I look.

    At this point I'm almost exclusively using Fed Ex unless my fellow trader requests UPS. For me, Fed Ex is almost always a few bucks cheaper, delivers a day quicker than UPS (Residential Vs Ground), and delivers on Saturday w/ seemingly no extra charge.
     
  32. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    I said this before, but I hate UPS so I mean bandwagoning. UPS is mininum 1 day quicker, no matter how close I am shipping. It is - at best for the far reach shipments, sometimes 4 days quicker. It is beyond me why UPS is so god damn slow. I can't even fathom that it is cheaper for them - but it must be, somehow.
     
  33. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    When people ask for advice on what to use for shipping, I think the best advice we can offer is:

    - Try each carrier in your neighborhood at least once (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc...)
    - Compare rates for each
    - Pay attention to how long it takes to deliver for each
    - See how well it tracks for each

    I really think it depends on where you live. I have no doubt FedEx is the way to go in most parts of the country. For some reason they just aren't consistent from one region to the next. Same can probably be said about UPS and USPS.

    When choosing FedEx, I really think it helps if you have an actual FedEx location to drop the package off at, rather than using a 3rd party like I have to do (Walgreens). It seems to me that having to drop it off at Walgreens usually adds a day or 2 onto the delivery...just because FedEx has to go out of their way to pickup the package. And for some reason it messes with the tracking, it'll be days before I get an update that the package left the Walgreens.

    Based in my neighborhood, I really think UPS is the way to go for me. Everything has gone a lot smoother. Using FedEx through Walgreens has been nothing but headaches. It sounds like people have had the same complaints about UPS, and that FedEx is the way to go based on where they live. Which is fine, your area clearly handles things a little differently.

    So if you're looking for which is the best, just try them all and find out for yourself. That's the only way to know for sure.
     
  34. Run4theRoses

    Run4theRoses Devotee (486) Jan 23, 2014 South Carolina
    Premium Trader

    Great take. For the past 2 years, I’ve used Fed Ex exclusively. From an overall perspective, I think Fed Ex is better. It’s faster, it’s cheaper, and I think they give more tracking detail. However, the employees at my local Fed Ex, are intense. They shake the box, they ask about the contents and I always leave, feeling a little uneasy.

    Now the local UPS is a cakewalk, Never a question (I always pre label), never an odd look, nothing. So just on that alone, I’d rather deal with the extra shipping day, and the extra buck or two to ship and use UPS. If my local Fed Ex changes employees, I may go back. For now, give me the less stressful experience. Each local shop is a different experience.
     
  35. WIBeerSnob

    WIBeerSnob Initiate (101) Jan 31, 2017 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Exactly! It's different for everyone.

    In fact, I'm in the middle of a situation with FedEx right now. This is now the second time in three tries I've had problems with them. I dropped the package off at a certified FedEx drop location (Walgreens) on Monday. I noticed the package hasn't moved and was tagged with an "Exception" status. Finally I called today and had them investigate. Turns out the package is still at the Walgreens (it's now Thursday), and they've been having trouble trying to get the FedEx driver to come by and pick it up. WTF!! So I had to send my trading partner a message, apologizing for the delay and it's not my fault. This FedEx/Walgreens arrangement dropped the ball again.

    So fool me once, shame on you....fool me twice shame on me. The FedEx in my area can go (you know what) themselves. I'm going back to UPS. I never should have switched in the first place.
     
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  36. Topease

    Topease Initiate (67) Nov 18, 2016 Maryland

    For everyone who uses FedEx : is there any special designation you need to use to make sure the shipment is labeled for Home delivery and not Ground?

    I setup a trade earlier this week and we both shipped yesterday using FedEx (I shipped from MD and he from MN). My package to him was labeled Home and is scheduled for delivery this Saturday however his package to me was Ground and isn't scheduled until Monday 4/30.

    Obviously just a minor annoyance but wondering if anyone makes a habit of explicitly asking the sender to ship via Home or encourages them to click the "this is a residential address" button when creating a label online.
     
  37. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Disciple (377) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    So, I use my online account most of the time. Sometimes, for various reasons (including recent issues with a printer), I sometimes have just walked in (when I have smaller packages, knowing It is only costing me about $1.50-2 more) and shipped there.

    When creating a label online, the 2 day shipment seems to include Saturdays, like always - even when it is considered "ground" and going to a home. When I ship in store, it seems like "ground" means it ships only on business days, and there does not seem to be any designation that I have been able to come up with that signifies that it will travel quicker, even when I tell them that this is "a residential address."

    I'm curious if anyone has a better answer/more experience.
     
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  38. flat_lander

    flat_lander Devotee (401) May 11, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I create all my labels at home. It saves me money, is more convenient as I'm usually running a thin margin for time on drop off days (i.e. work days), and makes for less interaction with the employee and your box.

    When I make my label I always select the, "This is a residential address" box. Then later when you compare rates and select one, there is always a Residential Delivery (or maybe Home Delivery) option. This method has regularly delivered on a Saturday for me too. Most recently to CA and RI last weekend. Ground tends to add a day and often be slightly more expensive when you compare rates. Don't know why. 2 day is always absurdly expensive for me. Often double or triple the cost of residential and takes the same time or occasionally a day more.
     
  39. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Initiate (179) Jan 18, 2016 Florida
    Trader

    To add...yes create a FedEx account and print your labels at home. This way you can just drop off your package with little interactions with workers.

    Additionally...if you have a FedEx account and the FedEx place is one of the bigger ones....they'll have a computer where you can log in and print labels. This can save you in a pinch of your printer runs out of ink or you just want to waste their paper and ink lol

    For FedEx home delivery option delivers Saturday. Commercial delivery option doesn't deliver Saturday but sometimes is cheaper.
     
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  40. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Initiate (179) Jan 18, 2016 Florida
    Trader

    I probably should quoted you in my answer above
     
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