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Brent Boyd
Brent Boyd is the Manager for the Love Box Factory Outlet on East Central in Wichita. The Love Box Factory Outlets have been in the box, pack, and ship business for over ten years and currently operate six retail stores in Kansas and Oklahoma. The Outlet Stores are owned and supplied by Love Box Company (www.lovebox.com), a locally owned manufacturer of corrugated boxes and packaging systems in Wichita for over 70 years. You may contact Brent at the Love Box Factory Outlet at 6100 E. Central in Wichita. The phone number is (316) 689-8484 and the store's email address is FOEast@lovebox.com
Packing, Shipping & Mailing
2002-06-01 14:28:00
Starting a new business?
Answer:  With the amount of competition between the major carriers (UPS, FedEx, Airborne Express, and USPS) delivering door-to-door, there is little distinction between them as to who has the fewest number of damage claims.  Looking for some statistics, I consulted with the Association of Mail and Parcel Centers headquarters.  This association responded that the major carriers have not provided them with these statistics, although they were requested.  As a safety precaution, all fragile items should be packed with at least two inches of packaging materials surrounding the item. Bubble wrap, foam-in-place, or packing peanuts are the best packing materials.  This is required to receive payment on a claim from UPS, FedEx and Airborne Express.  The US Postal Service recommends this as well.  Depending on the weight of your item, the packing peanuts may not be considered as adequate packaging.When you file a claim for a damaged shipment, I can say with certainty that each of the major carriers will attempt to protect their own bottom line by closely scrutinizing how well (or how poorly) the items were packaged. Depending on the amount of declared value (insurance purchased), UPS, FedEx, and Airborne Express will pick up the damaged item and packaging within 5-10 days to determine if the damage was caused by them or inadequate packaging.  If the package was sent via the US Postal Service (USPS), you would be required to take the entire contents of the damaged package to your local Post Office for inspection.  USPS claims for $50 and below are determined locally and claims over $50 are sent to St. Louis for processing.  A decision is made anywhere between 2 weeks to 60 days.  The USPS told me they don't have specific packaging standards.  The inspector makes a subjective determination.  The same two inches mentioned above would be "recommended".If you file a claim for any amount, all of the carriers require a "proof of value" on the damaged item.  For declared values at $100 and below, UPS and FedEx ($200 for Airborne) usually do not require an inspection of the packaging.  In this case, the sender or recipient initiates the claim and provides the proof of value and repair estimate, if applicable.  Then the carrier sends a check within two to four weeks reimbursing the claim initiator of the shipping charges and pays the lower of the repair cost, declared value, or replacement value.  For declared values over the amounts stated above, the process could take a lot longer.  This is where the more intense scrutiny comes in to play.  Keep this in mind- if you are a very small customer for the carrier you choose the damage will usually be determined to have been caused by "inadequate packing".  You are at the mercy of the carrier.  However, if you ship through your local neighborhood postal center, who is likely to ship anywhere from ten to fifty or even more packages per day, you stand a much better chance to overturn a denied claim.  The carrier won't want to jeopardize their business as readily as for a much smaller customer.  You can pay your pack and ship store to package your fragile items professionally or ask them to inspect your own packaging and advising whether or not it would meet the standards set by all of the carriers.Bulk insurance is not available from any of the small parcel carriers mentioned so far.  All parcels are to be insured separately.  Over the Road (OTR) carriers provide insurance by the freight classification and weight.  This would be your carrier of choice only if you had many items going to the same destination.
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