That's Logistics

UPS came up with this catchy holiday jingle.

When its planes in the sky for a chain of supply that’s logistics.
When the parts for the line come precisely on time that’s logistics.
A continuous link that is always in sync that’s logistics.
There will be no more stress ‘cause you’ve called UPS, that’s logistics.

It’s a pretty high impact ad.  We hear the word logistics more often these days than we used to, especially here in Distributionville, Memphis, Tennessee.   Bottom line: Logistics is Getting Stuff There - from origin to destination.  So here is my holiday logistics story.

Time Line

December 3 - I sent some .jpg files to Snapfish for normal 4x6 prints, requesting standard shipping.  I like Snapfish; they are efficient, quick, inexpensive and produce good quality prints.  In this case, though,  it took them 10 days in the lab.

December 13 - Snapfish turned my completed order over to Streamlite (a logistics company).  Streamlite tracks the packages they handle.  The best I can tell.  They find the best shipping solutions for companies like Snapfish (That’s Logistics!).  According to Streamlite’s tracking, my package arrived in Memphis 2 days later.

December 15 - Scan reads Location: “Jet Cove Annex 381”   “Activity: Accepted by USPS”.  Obviously the package had made it to Memphis.  There are 2 notes under the scan info: “Expect delivery in 2-4 business days.” and No further events will be provided for this package.”   Might as well have said, “not our problem anymore.”

December 19 - Began to look real hard for the package.   Asked a USPS employee, who didn’t seem familiar with the Streamlite process.  Another USPS employee referred me to  After a number of emails to Snapfish, they refunded my order.

December 20 - Called Streamlite to inquire what could have happened to my package since it had arrived in Memphis 5 days before.  A very polite customer service rep empathized nicely and told me they had no control after turning a package over to USPS.  She also told me they had been advised by USPS, that packages Streamlite rendered to USPS might not be delivered for 10 days.

December 22 - I related all this to Snapfish via email, and they advised to give it 2 more days, and if it didn’t arrive, they would re-ship the order priority.

December 23 - Package Arrives

[note: during this same time period, I ordered a camera part from Shanghai, China.  It was shipped China Post-USPS, and arrived in 12 days from order date.]

A three-way fail

So if I were the type who gets angry at such things, who would I blame for this 20 day turnaround?   Snapfish took 10 days just to process my order.  Streamlite seems to have done their job efficiently, but readily denies responsibility beyond the time they had the package in their possession.  They did put the bulk postage on the package turning it over to the post office as “Standard Mail”.   The USPS’s estimated time of delivery (from the site) is 2-9 days, however it includes the disclaimer “The USPS does NOT guarantee delivery of Standard Mail”.  So USPS met their rather loose commitment, getting the package to me 8 days after they accepted it.  So everyone’s cool, right?

Well, that’s logistics!

An Update to the Birchbox Community

We promise to ship all boxes by the 10th of the month. This month, the vast majority of December boxes were shipped on time. However, we fell short on our shipping deadline for a small portion of our members. We take full responsibility for the delay, but we’d like to let you know what went wrong and how we are handling the errors.

Read More

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