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Author Topic: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?  (Read 2845 times)

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snappylt

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I'm confused after being told that a scan of a package in shipment does not really mean the package is really there where it is reported scanned.

Has this happened to anyone else?

I've been following the progress of my package across North America as it left the merchant, arrived at a distribution center one state away from the merchant and then, more than 1,000 miles away, as it arrived in a distribution center near my home state.

But then the next day, my package was scanned again BACK at the distribution center near the merchant.

I called the merchant's customer service line, was put on hold while the merchant contacted the shipper.

The shipper told the merchant that my package never really left their distribution center near the merchant. The scan of my package arriving at their center 1,000 miles closer to me was not a real scan, it was a "projected scan" of where they projected my package should be. My package never really arrived where they scanned it because the truck it was in hadn't really left their original center.

Huh?

I assumed that a scan of a package meant the the package was physically present where the shipper's scanner said it was. That's not true?

Has this happened to anyone else?


Venus193

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 04:01:12 PM »
The postal service often makes mistakes or deliberately lies about such things.  Often they will report a package delivered when it isn't yet or report it long after the delivery.  I have come to think that this is to relieve them of liability if anything is wrong.





Bales

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 04:56:46 PM »
Was this USPS, though?  My husband is a carrier and yes, they are constantly reminded to scan only when delivered, not when they begin their route, etc.  They have GPS now to see where an item was scanned and that has helped when someone claims to not receive a package to be able to show the location of the scan.  But being bounced between two distribution centers is a new one to me.  I've more often heard of tracking not being updated versus being updated with a "projection."

oogyda

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 05:29:46 PM »
Was this USPS, though?  My husband is a carrier and yes, they are constantly reminded to scan only when delivered, not when they begin their route, etc.  They have GPS now to see where an item was scanned and that has helped when someone claims to not receive a package to be able to show the location of the scan.  But being bounced between two distribution centers is a new one to me.  I've more often heard of tracking not being updated versus being updated with a "projection."

The last 2 shipments I've had delivered by USPS have shown as "delivered" a full day before they actually arrived.
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 07:22:14 PM »
If it's USPS, then it could be anywhere along the chain. 

If it's Fedex or UPS, they typically have specific language they use to denote when the shipping information is generated and when they actually receive the packages.  I don't use DHL, so not familiar with their process. 

GreenHall

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 08:19:32 AM »
Do Not work for a shipping company, just my own hypothesis - I think sometimes they scan items to a list (manifest) and then update all items on the list the same.  Which doesn't work if one box gets shoved in a corner NOT on the truck...

My favorite USPS story is where tracking said 'notice left in box'.  No notice in box.  The next day I went to the post office ot see if I could get it without the piece of paper I didn't get, and when I opened tracking to get the package number - it was delivered.  I assume they needed an excuse at the end of the route to have not delivered it....

Anniissa

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 08:52:31 AM »
I had a package on way from a very large online retailer - after a considerable wait, I checked to see why I hadn't received it. It tracked from warehouse to a distribution centre then it was back at the warehouse the next day, then back at the distribution centre the day after, and repeat... When I phoned to find out what exactly was going on, I was told it was out of stock and in fact I was never going to get this package as it didn't exist. Would have been helpful if they'd bothered to tell me that!

artk2002

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 12:44:33 PM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.
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NFPwife

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 02:04:00 PM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.

That's a really good explanation.

Right now, I'm waiting on a package that is marked "out for delivery" since August 28th. I filled out a lost mail form about it.

oogyda

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 04:24:17 PM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.

That's a really good explanation.

Right now, I'm waiting on a package that is marked "out for delivery" since August 28th. I filled out a lost mail form about it.

I would think that would be the sender's duty.  Even though you  may have paid a price for shipping, the sender is the one who made the contract with the shipping company. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.

Bert

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 04:52:00 PM »
Do Not work for a shipping company, just my own hypothesis - I think sometimes they scan items to a list (manifest) and then update all items on the list the same.  Which doesn't work if one box gets shoved in a corner NOT on the truck...

My favorite USPS story is where tracking said 'notice left in box'.  No notice in box.  The next day I went to the post office ot see if I could get it without the piece of paper I didn't get, and when I opened tracking to get the package number - it was delivered.  I assume they needed an excuse at the end of the route to have not delivered it....

Looks like you had a good hypothesis  :D

For my own sanity, I try not to do the "where is my package now" thing.  I've long suspected that none of that stuff is really factual, and you end up getting that angry feeling due to having a problem that seems big to you but tiny to the people in charge of millions of packages.  I always just add two days to the expected delivery date, and make a note to check if something hasn't shown up by then. 

NFPwife

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 05:02:51 PM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.

That's a really good explanation.

Right now, I'm waiting on a package that is marked "out for delivery" since August 28th. I filled out a lost mail form about it.

I would think that would be the sender's duty.  Even though you  may have paid a price for shipping, the sender is the one who made the contract with the shipping company.

That's what I thought, too, but the postmaster asked me to do it. I've requested a refund from Paypal -- no word and a chargeback from the credit card (this is exactly why I use it on PayPal) - nothing from them either.

WolfWay

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 12:21:41 AM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.
I work for a logistics company that handles high-value secure freight. Our dispatch/receiving/sorting clerks MUST scan every item in a shipment. Every single item. And if they miss one, red alerts are raised on our system for a missing item. We never infer or project where a parcel is, it is tracked at the finest possible level because we have strict SLAs for our clients about knowing exactly where something is at any point in time. The idea of projecting the parcel's location or inferring it gives me hives just thinking about it.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 07:07:53 AM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.

That's a really good explanation.

Right now, I'm waiting on a package that is marked "out for delivery" since August 28th. I filled out a lost mail form about it.

I had that happen to me; package showed up three months later! Full of stale Christmas cookies :(

Writer of Wrongs

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Re: Truth in shipping - if a package is reported scanned, is it really there?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 09:25:05 AM »
Welcome to the joys of supply chain tracking (my professional expertise right now.) One reason that this can happen is that they scan the truck in, but not the individual packages. They assume that the records are correct at the origin saying that that package was put on that truck. The failure is often there -- somebody scans a bunch of packages then they get forgotten on the loading dock or it turns out there isn't enough room on the truck. "Inference" (assuming you got the package when all that was scanned was the truck) is a big issue. It can get really hairy when there are multiple levels of containment: The truck contains pallets, the pallets contain shippers, the shippers contain cases, and the cases contain items.

Art, thank you for explaining this. It makes perfect sense (the explanation, not necessarily the procedure).

Years ago, I ordered some kind of gizmo for DH, for either our anniversary or his birthday. Got the confirmation that it had shipped - and then it just sat there. I waited, and watched, and it was not moving from whatever location, and the date I needed it was approaching. I finally called the company, and the guy said it was still in a loading bay somewhere. They couldn't find it.

I said, in a very level, polite, but firm tone, "I don't want to be that customer, but this is what needs to happen: I need you to cancel that order (since they couldn't find the object) and send me a new one. Today is Thursday. It needs to be here by Monday. And I am not paying extra shipping costs for you to make that happen."

The item arrived the next day, and according to the package label, it was the second order, not the lost original. I have no idea how they got it to me that quickly (warehouse was something like 1,200 miles away), but it arrived in time for the special day, which was all that mattered to me. It arrived before I even received a shipping notice that time!
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