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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Japan Post Vs The US Mail

A friend of mine recently sent a package from the U.S. to Japan.

It took two weeks - 14 days.

Now, that might not seem too bad, but once received a packaged from Toronto to the do-innaka (boonies) area of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken in a mere three days.

Okay… that was in the days back when no one had e-mail, and aside from the effective and quick and expensive courier option, people everywhere utilized snail mail… even then a nickname for the postal service.

Let's take a look at the following mail activity of said package from my friend, beginning at Worcester, MA, USA.

1) Acceptance WORCESTER, MA 01602 September 15, 2014 12:28 pm

2) Departed Post Office WORCESTER, MA September 15, 2014 5:10 pm

So far, so good. The local Worcester post office seems to be on the ball.

3) Arrived at Sort Facility ISC NEW YORK NY (USPS) September 22, 2014 2:48 pm

Uh, like WTF?! Did it really take seven days - one week - or in this case 167-1/2 hours to go from Worcester to NY City? Just how far is that?

Apparently that is 176.9 miles via I-95 South. That's 284.693 kilometers.

On the Interstate freeway, it should take an estimated 3 hours and 25 minutes.

That means this package traveled at approximately 1.056 miles per hour or 1.699 kilometers per hour… which must be some sort of record for the US Postal Service… I mean… a monkey on crutches could hobble faster than that.

Though, for the record, that is still faster than a snail (0.02908 miles per hour or 0.013 meters per second), at its fastest. This does not include Turbo, the world's fastest snail, according to a movie which purports to allow a snail to race against cars - despite all the regulations in the auto racing industry.

What next USPS?

4) Processed Through Sort Facility ISC NEW YORK NY (USPS) September 23, 2014 2:50 pm

5) Processed Through Sort Facility JAPAN September 25, 2014 9:39 pm

Well… we no have proof that it is faster to ship something from New York to Japan - some 54-1/2 hours, than it takes to go from Worcester, MA to New York, NY - 167-1/2 hours.

Now… let's check out and see how efficient or inefficient the mail service is in Japan.

The box, by the way, is a huge one at 45-pounds or 20.412-kilograms.

6) Customs Clearance JAPAN September 26, 2014 9:15 am

7) Customs clearance processing complete JAPAN September 26, 2014 9:41 am

8) Arrival at Post Office JAPAN September 27, 2014 9:14 am

Now… I want you all to recall that it arrived in Japan - at the local post office of its destination - on September 27 @ 9:14 AM - a Saturday.

9) Addressee not available - Will attempt delivery on next working day JAPAN September 27, 2014 2:34 pm

Okay… so the Japan postal service attempted to deliver the package on Saturday… and at 2:34 pm, even, correctly supposing that there would be someone there to accept the package… but, and here's the strange thing… there was NO ONE THERE at the place - a junior high school - on a Saturday.

Ha! I'm just kidding. While Japanese schools do a half-day Saturday, by this time everyone is gone… but I like that the Japan post office figured it would give it a try anyway.

10) Delivered JAPAN September 29, 2014 10:41 am

Yeah, it took four days from the time it arrived in Japan to reach its end destination, but consider that thanks to the delays in getting from Massachusetts to New York, it was really only a two-day job in Japan to deliver the package.

The box contained a lot of English books to help replenish the lost library's of Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi-ken, a city that was a big victim of the tsunami that devastated the area on March 11, 2011. The books are a gift from my pal Vinnie whose heart is apparently bigger than his bank account, because he can not be considered a rich man financially - just in the things that count.

Kanpai to Vinnie.

Kanpai to the Japan Postal Service

Cheers to the Worcester department of the US Postal Service

Boo to the USPS for whatever the hell it was doing with the box between September 15 to September 22.

It makes me wonder if someone had taken it home and gone through it to see if there was anything in there worth stealing… because if not, WTD (What the deuce?) US Postal Service?

Does the US Postal Service care about such lapses in service? It is possible Vinnie and I would share the Label Number if you asked nicely… you know, so you can see where the problem might lie.

Andrew Joseph

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