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USPS Priority Mail International (USA - Australia)

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Dear Head-Fi'ers,

 

I recently ordered something from the USA to be shipped to Australia, the shipping was via USPS Priority Mail International (sadly, Fedex cost almost 70% more during checkout).

 

As I track my parcel, I've been wondering: how many times must my parcel go through these "sort facilities" before it will actually depart the USA proper?

Or if you've ever used USPS to ship out from the USA (or if you're generally familiar with USPS), how do they usually fare?

What was the longest (and shortest) and median time it takes for them to deliver? e.g. how long to reach your country, and how long more to reach your address? (since the handling responsibility is often transferred to the local postman once it reaches your country)

 

As at this moment, it has already been "processed" and "departed" at 1 "Origin Sort Facility" in Great Falls, MT 59404 and after that "processed through" and "departed" another "Sort Facility" at San Francisco, CA 94188. After departing the facility at San Francisco, it is now being "processed through" another "Sort Facility" in Los Angeles, CA 90009. Essentially, almost 4 working days spent sorting; bearing in mind 6-10 business days is their target for delivery (just putting it out there).

 

I've used DHL in the past; before the parcel got processed and shipped out from the USA at the international hub in Cincinnati it only required processing once at the receiving city, Portland. While it is probably unreasonable to expect USPS to perform up to par with DHL (or Fedex etc.), it'd be good to know what Head-Fi'ers think of their international performance.

 

[TL;DR: How long does USPS take to ship out of the USA in general? What has your experience been like with their international services?]

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 44

It should take around two weeks. I've shipped to Australia a lot and the time frame is fairly accurate. Once in a while you get lucky and comes a bit before 2 weeks. However the tracking could use some work. It is pretty bad until it gets to Australia. I would try putting the tracking into the post office website for Australia and see if that fares any better. 

post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

It should take around two weeks. I've shipped to Australia a lot and the time frame is fairly accurate. Once in a while you get lucky and comes a bit before 2 weeks. However the tracking could use some work. It is pretty bad until it gets to Australia. I would try putting the tracking into the post office website for Australia and see if that fares any better. 

Hey rawrster,

 

thanks for the reply.

 

That's good to know. The optimist in me hopes I get lucky and it comes on or before 29/3 (Friday) tongue.gif.

 

As to USPS tracking, I suspect it's not very up-to-date; nor does it provide as detailed a break-down of the delivery process (e.g. I think it lumps the 'arrival' and 'processed' stages in one time-stamp). Strangely, it also does not report the time when the parcel departs a sorting facility.

 

edit: is the Los Angeles facility same as ISC Los Angeles (google finds indicate int'l shipments head out from the latter)?

edit 2: apparently not - the parcel arrived at ISC LA afterwards.


Edited by EasySounds - 3/23/13 at 11:41pm
post #4 of 44

The whole thing is a lottery.

 

I've had 3 parcels sent on the same day from the same place in the US to Sydney Aus.

 

They showed up a week apart.

 

Took 4 days for the first one.

2 Days later the second showed up.

7 days later the third one showed up.

 

Stuff from Mouser can take 2 days from the US on priority parcel urgent.

post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasySounds View Post

Hey rawrster,

 

thanks for the reply.

 

That's good to know. The optimist in me hopes I get lucky and it comes on or before 29/3 (Friday) tongue.gif.

 

As to USPS tracking, I suspect it's not very up-to-date; nor does it provide as detailed a break-down of the delivery process (e.g. I think it lumps the 'arrival' and 'processed' stages in one time-stamp). Strangely, it also does not report the time when the parcel departs a sorting facility.


That's correct the parcel updates when it gets scanned and not when it leaves the facility. Hence the 4 days delay you saw.

I find it interesting that your parcel was diverted to LA because all of my stuff goes to San Francisco and out the same way

post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post

The whole thing is a lottery.

 

I've had 3 parcels sent on the same day from the same place in the US to Sydney Aus.

 

They showed up a week apart.

 

Took 4 days for the first one.

2 Days later the second showed up.

7 days later the third one showed up.

 

Stuff from Mouser can take 2 days from the US on priority parcel urgent.

 

International shipments will always be a crap shoot, as you are at the mercy of the receiving end's customs.  I've had shipments from Europe arrive in less than a week to the US via normal post.  And I've had one get stuck in customs for over a month.  

post #7 of 44
I always ship ups priority to overseas and havent had any problems yet. The tracking can be behind once it leaves the states. Usually it takes about 5 days with usps priority to europe.
post #8 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies,

Quote:
Originally Posted by wink View Post

The whole thing is a lottery.

 

I've had 3 parcels sent on the same day from the same place in the US to Sydney Aus.

 

They showed up a week apart.

 

Took 4 days for the first one.

2 Days later the second showed up.

7 days later the third one showed up.

 

Stuff from Mouser can take 2 days from the US on priority parcel urgent.

That's certainly interesting; were these parcels from the same shipper/store? But hey, you got one in 4 days (that's lightning fast as far as USPS is concerned right?) and the slowest was 4+7 = 11 days (even at 4+2+7=13 days that's less than 2 weeks). I'm assuming these are delivery times right to your address/nearest post office. I'm not sure what this Mouser is you speak of; but does it also use USPS Priority Intl? 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post


That's correct the parcel updates when it gets scanned and not when it leaves the facility. Hence the 4 days delay you saw.

I find it interesting that your parcel was diverted to LA because all of my stuff goes to San Francisco and out the same way

Does this mean the scanning times are rather arbitrary in the sense that their only requirement may be to have 1 scan per facility?

As to your second point, that's sort of why I started this post: I could understand why my parcel would not be shipped out from Montana to Aus; but if it's not going to be shipped out from San Francisco, sending it there just seems inefficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daigo View Post

 

International shipments will always be a crap shoot, as you are at the mercy of the receiving end's customs.  I've had shipments from Europe arrive in less than a week to the US via normal post.  And I've had one get stuck in customs for over a month.  

Yeah you may be right. I never know what goes on in customs (or for that matter, if they are even IN customs as opposed to being just stuck in some twilight zone; since why would customs bother holding stuff for you?)

 

btw, how fast you guys reckon Aus customs clears USPS parcels? (Mines a headphone)


Edited by EasySounds - 3/22/13 at 9:02pm
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

I always ship ups priority to overseas and havent had any problems yet. The tracking can be behind once it leaves the states. Usually it takes about 5 days with usps priority to europe.

Hey KingStyles,

 

thanks for the reply.

 

when you say 5 days, are you referring to the time it takes to reach Europe or the time it takes to get delivered to the consignee? If it's the former, that's still a reasonable time for sure; if it's the latter, then I feel it's incredibly fast.

 

 

 

Also, everyone seems to agree USPS tracking kind of breaks off or lags behind immensely once the parcel leaves the US. So .... how long has it taken, in your experiences, for tracking to be available on the local post office's website once the parcel leaves the US?

 

Thanks.


Edited by EasySounds - 3/22/13 at 9:13pm
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasySounds View Post

Thanks for the replies,

That's certainly interesting; were these parcels from the same shipper/store? But hey, you got one in 4 days (that's lightning fast as far as USPS is concerned right?) and the slowest was 4+7 = 11 days (even at 4+2+7=13 days that's less than 2 weeks). I'm assuming these are delivery times right to your address/nearest post office. I'm not sure what this Mouser is you speak of; but does it also use USPS Priority Intl? 

Does this mean the scanning times are rather arbitrary in the sense that their only requirement may be to have 1 scan per facility?

As to your second point, that's sort of why I started this post: I could understand why my parcel would not be shipped out from Montana to Aus; but if it's not going to be shipped out from San Francisco, sending it there just seems inefficient.

Yeah you may be right. I never know what goes on in customs (or for that matter, if they are even IN customs as opposed to being just stuck in some twilight zone; since why would customs bother holding stuff for you?)

 

btw, how fast you guys reckon Aus customs clears USPS parcels? (Mines a headphone)

 

Scanning most often happens when it enters the facility (the assumption is that parcel don't get lost inside the facility). Whether they scan it again before leaving is up to the company but none that I've encountered so far.

As for your point of San Francisco, it all depends if the parcel is sent by air or sea. going through San Francisco means going by ship. My ear impression (tiny damn thing) took over 1 month go to from Sydney to San Francisco. Afterwards it took less than 2 days to get to 1964 EARS address.

I never had any problems at all with australian customs clearing any headphones/electronics from the US

post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post

 

Scanning most often happens when it enters the facility (the assumption is that parcel don't get lost inside the facility). Whether they scan it again before leaving is up to the company but none that I've encountered so far.

As for your point of San Francisco, it all depends if the parcel is sent by air or sea. going through San Francisco means going by ship. My ear impression (tiny damn thing) took over 1 month go to from Sydney to San Francisco. Afterwards it took less than 2 days to get to 1964 EARS address.

I never had any problems at all with australian customs clearing any headphones/electronics from the US

Hey kookoo,

 

thanks for the reply.

 

That's rather illuminating, I never thought int'l mail still went by sea (especially if you've paid for priority). I'd be worried if my priority int'l parcel was shipped by sea.

 

But the question remains: are outbound parcels (USA towards Aus) shipped out only from 1 point (in California) or multiple points (e.g. some may get shipped out from LA, some San Francisco)? Would be interesting if we could uncover - through examples - what USPS operating procedure is like.

post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasySounds View Post

Hey kookoo,

 

thanks for the reply.

 

That's rather illuminating, I never thought int'l mail still went by sea (especially if you've paid for priority). I'd be worried if my priority int'l parcel was shipped by sea.

 

But the question remains: are outbound parcels (USA towards Aus) shipped out only from 1 point (in California) or multiple points (e.g. some may get shipped out from LA, some San Francisco)? Would be interesting if we could uncover - through examples - what USPS operating procedure is like.


Sorry I only know of the 1 port, San Francisco

For parcels especially heavy ones, no air mail sticker on it, almost guaranteed it's sea mail

You might get lucky if there's space and it's light that it gets onto a plane (but that's got to do with Aus to US, not sure about the other way round)

post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post


Sorry I only know of the 1 port, San Francisco

For parcels especially heavy ones, no air mail sticker on it, almost guaranteed it's sea mail

You might get lucky if there's space and it's light that it gets onto a plane (but that's got to do with Aus to US, not sure about the other way round)

 

Ahh ok. No worries mate.

 

Having paid quite a substantial amount for shipping fees I somehow feel I am entitled to air-freight tongue.gif; plus since it's USA -> Aus it's probably different.

 

but anyway, it was good info, cheers.


Edited by EasySounds - 3/22/13 at 10:14pm
post #14 of 44
Thread Starter 

When does a parcel become track-able on auspost after it leave the US? (assuming being processed through ISC LA means it has left)

 

Thanks.

post #15 of 44

With USPS priority mail (despite the 'fancy' name, it's terrible), you usually won't see anything until the damn thing arrives at your door, but make sure you're checking the Auspost site's tracking, as that updates first once it's in the country.

 

Only USPS Express mail has decent tracking, the priority mail tracking is kind of just like delivery confirmation, it's no good for ascertaining when the delivery will arrive.

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