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Almost Delivery Service

Get it most of the way there, faster.
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

With modern ground shipment package tracking, I often find myself frustrated that a package ends up near my home well before it makes it to my house. First it makes it to a sorting facility, then (often a day or two later) it makes it to my house (where I'm not, since I work). Then when I get home, I find not my package but a signature slip. I then sign and have to wait another day for my actual package.

I propose an almost-there delivery service. This service brings your package to your city, but that's it. You drive/walk/ride to the central facility and pick up your package. For me, this brings my package to me at least one but as many as four days faster than usual.

The delivery center will be staffed early and late, allowing for people with normal work hours to pick up packages. You will be notified by e-mail when your package arrives. The cost savings to the company should be significant, because they won't have to invest in trucks and a delivery staff. This will result in a cheaper shipping option for people like me (and I suspect there are many).

<US-centric option>This may work very well as a post office shipment option. Post offices are everywhere, and it would be quite easy for most people to get to their post office.</usco>

Worldgineer, Feb 23 2004

(?) UPS Store (was: Mailboxes, etc.) http://www.theupsst...ucts/proandser.html
Very convenient, if you live near one. 24-hour access to your mailbox. [ConsultingDetective, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

UPS Deliver to Supermarkets http://www.halfbake...20to_20supermarkets
One of those ideas that just might change the world a little bit. [Worldgineer, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) Delivery law? http://www.globalid...dea.php?ideaId=4022
A slightly more heavy-handed approach.... [GIB, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

mailbox-XL Turns out [jutta] thought of the larger mailbox years ago. [Worldgineer, Feb 12 2005]

current page http://www.theupsst...om/Pages/index.aspx
theupsstore.com [popbottle, Jul 08 2014]

Collect Plus http://www.collectplus.co.uk/
UK service to collect parcels at a local shop. [rodti, Jul 08 2014]


       (clicks refresh on the FedEx tracking page)
Worldgineer, Feb 23 2004

       I just received a package today that was sitting for three days in a facility four miles from home. [+]
1st2know, Feb 23 2004

       Guys... This is seriously baked, and I've been doing this for years.   

       I've done it with the US Post Office, FED-X, and UPS.   

       Traveling a lot between Florida and Seattle, I have on several occasions had something shipped to the FED-X office at Boeing Field, not any particular address. I just go and pick it up myself the next day.   

       With the US Post Office, the address is just to the recipient at "General Delivery" and the correct ZIP Code. (warning: This one works great in really small towns, but can be a real pain in metropolitan areas.)   

       I've not done it with UPS for years, so I'd check in advance to find out how to address it to one of their shipping facilities. Wait. Now that I think of it, I have done it recently... the package was on the way, and I called them and had them attach a note to it. "Hold for pickup".   

       Failing all of that, a private mailbox service will always be there to accept the package, and then they will (for a fee) forward it wherever you like. I do that a lot too.   

       I'm going to skip the fishbone just to be nice. :)
zigness, Feb 23 2004

       Yes, I seem to recall doing this with UPS.
krelnik, Feb 23 2004

       Last year, I had a package sitting in quaratine (2 streets away) for 3 weeks, which then moved to the delivery sorting centre (4 streets away) for 4 days before being shipped to a supplier (30kms away) so that they could bring it to us.
+ for the means by which we could have just picked up the bloody part ourselves.
reap, Feb 23 2004

       I did this recently, if slightly inadvertently, when moving across the country. However, a business dedicated *solely* to depot to depot delivery might be able to cut costs by only having, say, large trucks and no drivers for smaller (inter-suburb) deliveries; not needing to organise the extra logistics, etc.   

       So it might be baked in the sense that people do it, but not entirely.   

       //Post offices are everywhere, and it would be quite easy for most people to get to their post office.//   

       <Aus. Centric Comment>Haha. Maybe if you're able to leave work between 9:30am and 4:30pm. I had a package delivered to me between cities in a matter of days, but they claimed that it could take three weeks to send it to a neighbouring suburb (with a PO open on Saturdays).</Aus. Centric Comment>
Detly, Feb 23 2004

       (returned home, no tag, checked FedEx and it's still where it was at 6am this morning - and yes, this is with "2 day" service (sigh))   

       [Det] Yeah, I didn't realize it but we'd have a similar problem with the post office in the states. Generally similar to 9-5 hours.   

       [zigy] What are the hours of say the post office or the FedEx office at Boeing Field? Odds are they are both closed by the time I get home at 7. I know UPS closes early - I once got off work early to go down to their office after 3 missed attempts just to find out that they had sent it back out in a delivery truck.
Worldgineer, Feb 23 2004

       It is a bit of a rant, but one that I hope leads to a useful idea. Here UPS and FedEx won't deliver to PO Boxes. Anyway, one of the main points was the reduced costs. I assume the Austrailian postal system hasn't cut it's delivery trucks.
Worldgineer, Feb 24 2004

       //Express Post deliveries get to me, next day, anywhere in the country//   

       Every time they've delivered something, it's during work hours. Hence, noone's home, so they take it back to the PO - where it sits until it can be transferred or picked up.   

       Last package I got took two days to cross the country, and it was two weeks before I actually got it. The point here is, why pay for delivery that doesn't happen?
Detly, Feb 24 2004

       (it's now moved from one Seattle "location" to another - not even on the delivery truck yet)   

(it's on the truck! and today's the day I have a house cleaner in - with luck she'll sign for it)

(it made it! Page said they didn't need a signature - I hope it's still on my porch when I get home)

       Results of this trial: Delivered 3 days after it arrived in Seattle (on a 2-day shipping, but 2 days were weekend days and so didn't count). I would have been able to pick it up on Sunday instead of Tuesday (it arrived Saturday, but probably too late), and would have paid less.
Worldgineer, Feb 24 2004

       How's about a REALLY big letterbox?
wagster, Jun 05 2004

       On some other idea somewhere I mentioned that in my house back in California I had a junker car that I wouldn't drive very often. I had a standing agreement with the UPS people to put packages in the car and lock it. That's kind of like a very big letterbox.   

       (sigh) Now I live in the city and don't even have a driveway.
Worldgineer, Jun 06 2004

       how big Wagster? person sized?
engineer1, Jun 07 2004

       [engineer1] You're having people delivered?
WYBloke, Jun 07 2004

       no just a big letter box would be a great way for burglars to get in.   

       alternatively how would they deliver those mail order brides...
engineer1, Jun 07 2004

       if everybody went to collect their packages then wouldn't you be waiting at the depot for days and not actually get your package any quicker
squoink, Jun 07 2004

       [squoink], what you're referring to is bad customer service. If you have to wait in line, they should have more employees. It's still cheaper than hiring hundreds of drivers.   

       If done well, I can imagine this being a drive-through service. Drive up, type in your confirmation code, drive to the window, they hand you your package and you sign for it.
Worldgineer, Jul 02 2004

       Where I live this is the exact method - they send a notice and wait for you to pick your package.
This works well, except for the working hours (when you can’t come), the bad service and the odds that your package will get mysteriously lost.
On special occasions (chosen at random, I believe) the package is actually delivered to your door. If you’re not there, the postman sometimes gets so frustrated it forces the package into your mailbox. At times like these I wish I had a human-sized mailbox...
Dissatisfied with this method, I’d normally give it a fish, but somehow I tend to believe this is not exactly what [World] meant. [+]
shibolim, Jul 03 2004

       I recently ordered some pretty obscure but small engine parts for my boat (2ndary fuel filter bleed screws and washers.) This sort of thing should cost at most a few $USD, but total price for 2 sets was around $24.   

       OK, then I'm asked if I'd like to pay for express shipping, 2-3 days, or "regular," maybe 5-10 business days (2 weeks.)   

       I'm wise to that, don't need the parts until my mechanic gets here next month anyway, so I opt for the "regular" method. I get a call the next day saying my parts are "there" - (i.e. the local distrubutor,) and would I like them shipped to my house ($15)?   

       Turns out they have a regular truck which delivers in the big City, for free! I had them delivered to my place of work, for free, and on my desk for $15 less in 2 days, rather than $15 more to home in 2-3 weeks!
csea, Feb 13 2005

       Baked in the UK (Collect Plus).
rodti, Jul 08 2014


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