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Re: Cross-country shipping of large network/computer gear?

  • From: Robert E. Seastrom
  • Date: Thu Aug 28 12:46:25 2003


"N. Richard Solis" <nrsolis@aol.net> writes:

> BTW, counter-to-counter service isn't always handled as luggage.  In a 
> few cases the package is hand-carried over to the cargo terminal where 
> it's put on the next flight out.  Then it's held for you at the 
> destination, NOT put out on the conveyor belt.

Rarely (but it does happen on occasion) put on the conveyor belt,
equally rarely hand-carried to the cargo building -- usually stuck in
a marked cargo container on the ramp.

The big problem that I have with counter-to-counter is that you have
to park your car and hoof it into the terminal to retrieve the package
at baggage claim.  Always inconvenient (particularly on the return
trip with a bunch of boxes) and often pricey if you park anywhere near
the terminal.  Good luck tracking down the baggage agent if a flight
hasn't just come in, and have fun waiting in line with disgruntled
travelers if one has.

Compare and contrast to parking right outside of the air freight or
FedEx station and walking 50 feet, then backing your pickup or u-haul
truck (or unimog ;-)) up to dock 7 to have them fork the pallet in.
Life can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it.

> Most air cargo firms are set up to deal with companies that ship 
> products as a part of their daily business.  They usually dont do a 
> whole lot of business with individual shippers.  YMMV.  I've used air, 
> rail, and truck.  IMHO, if you dont know a bill of lading from a hotel 
> bill then an air cargo company isn't where you should start.

For the average NANOG denizen, the most difficult part of filling out
bills of lading and commercial invoices for the first time will be the
gymnastics necessary to swallow his pride and politley ask the guy
behind the counter for help determining what goes in one or two
non-obviously-labeled spaces on the form.  :)

> WRT FedEx: just because your stuff got damaged, don't assume that they 
> break everything they touch.  There isn't a single business that I can 
> think of that would tolerate a 40% loss rate on anything.  FedEx could 
> NOT stay in business long with those kinds of numbers.  Nor could they 
> keep an insurance carrier.

Certainly _we_ (the company I was working for at that point) didn't
tolerate the 40% loss rate - we took our business elsewhere.  Those
pictures were taking to support my cast for giving them the final boot
for large objects - such measures had been discussed on previous
occasions.  We still used FedEx for stuff that could be carried under
one arm, and even on one or two occasions for stuff that was
sufficiently large as to discourage even the most intrepid soul from
trying to move it without a pallet jack.  Not, though, for the stuff
in the middle which they showed themselves to be uniquely incompetent
to handle, which explains why our mae-east router (also a 7513 at the
time) ended up with "1800nofedex" as an enable password for a while.

                                        ---Rob




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