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Question for members who receive packages with FedEx


ambr0zie
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Hello ladies and gentlemen,

This is addressed, like I mentioned in the title, to members - especially from Europe - North American members are welcome too of course, but I am trying to establish if the problem is with European shipments or the ones addressed to my country.

The auction houses I buy from usually ship with FedEx. I am happy with this (although I bought some coins from a house in Czechia and they used Czech Post. Also very pleased with that - arrived quickly (and cheaper).

But in the last months I have noticed a degradation in FedEx quality. Usually the houses ship the parcel on Monday AM  and I get it on Friday AM. In the last months however this doesn't happen anymore. Although the houses ship quickly (no complaints here) the shipment is delayed. For example the last one - shipped on Monday the 13th, scheduled for delivery on Thursday (they always put this but in the best case scenario the courier comes on Friday). I checked the FedEx tracking and nothing happened until Saturday. Stuck in Munchen and last night finally another update appeared, showing the package in another German hub location

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FedEx packages are delivered by TNT in my country (not sure if this is for other countries too). On their tracking there is an extra update, showing the package in transit in a French hub (this makes no sense, as it never happened until now and sending a package from Germany to France and then to Romania would mean a senseless very long detour)

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I discussed with the helpdesk but the guy who took my call was basically an idiot and just mentioned that he is not sure if the package went to France or not. And he was quite surprised about my question, something like "how should I know?" Well played.

My problem is not an extra day or two. When I need to receive a package, I take a day of work from home in advance. I cannot do this too often and it's frustrating that in the last 2 years since I have been using FedEx, they were quite reliable - I knew that the package arrives on Friday so when needed I took Friday WFH in advance. Now I took this Friday for no reason and I have no idea when should the package arrive - probably on Tuesday or Wednesday but I can't gamble.

Happens a lot in the last months - in the last 4 packages, 3 were delayed.

Again, it's not a price issue - but I am wondering how come normal post (10 EUR) works exactly as expected and FedEx (~20 EUR) is not delivering properly.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Edited by ambr0zie
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I've also noticed in the recent months FedEx has been unable to stick to its estimated delivery date. I'm in Sweden myself and the packages are usually coming from the States via int'l express and FedEx doesn't have any advisory delays for that service, last I checked.

The second to last time, it got held up for a few days in Paris before proceeding. I initially reached out to support and got someone from their American office who was useless and couldn't tell me anything. When I called support locally (in Sweden), the guy was super helpful and explained things are held-up in many places due to the acquisition and integration of TNT into FedEx. He assured me the parcel would be on its way soon and by the next day it was. He of course said COVID in general was responsible for many delays but I don't recall FedEx having this many issues even in mid-2020, though I could be misremembering too.

The most recent time it was just held up in Paris for a day so that wasn't so bad but FedEx did used to always be on-time for me. They're still much better than UPS and DHL for me since they'll actually deliver-to-door in apartments and call you beforehand if needed.

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Thank you.

I usually buy from European houses. I know that the shipments from US reach France first (Roissy - Charles de Gaulle) but not intracontinental shipments. Normal route for me was not through France (opposite direction) and what confuses me is that the FedEx guy could not even confirm if the package was sent in France or not.

I am starting to be bothered as I need to be at home when the courier comes and I would strongly prefer postal sending as I can pick the packages myself whenever I want.

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By now, Covid is just a convenient excuse. Regarding Ambrozie's question -- I think that a lot has changed in the regular Fedex transit inside (and outside) Europe since 2021 and things are not yet smooth with the new routes. Besides real live problems like the flash floods in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany last summer, I have noticed that different areas in Europe no longer have a steady route between them. That is, before 2021 there was an usual route from Western Europe (including the late BRD) to Eastern and Central Europe and a completely other route to Scandinavia and the Med. That meant that the transit was pretty much clockwork and Fedex Express was usually faster than its announced delivery date, thanks to ca. 30yrs or so of regular routing. In 2021 things changed and Fedex does not use the usual hubs in the transit between European areas. And Germany is no longer split between Central Europe and Western Europe, that means that all German-based correspondence follows a "Western Europe" route (mostly involving France -- if you have the misfortune to redirect through Charles de Gaulle Cedex add at least 2 days to your arrival date, usually 5), while the transit inside of "Central and Eastern Europe" which Romania is part of has remained very fast. I'm not sure how things work for Romania-bound Express service, but getting an Express delivery within this area to-from Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria is usually 24hrs.

Edited by seth77
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Posted (edited)

I received last month a package from a Polish auction house. They sent it on Tuesday and (double checked) it arrived to me on Thursday morning. Absolutely fantastic (they sent with FedEx International Priority - not sure why, the shipping costs were equal to International Economy, the service used for this parcel I am waiting for)

Route for the Polish package: Warsaw - Charles de Gaulle Cedex - Bucharest - my town.

Route for Economy - Munchen - ...... ....... - Marly la Ville, France (but only on the TNT tracking and the helpdesk agent was unable to confirm) - .... ..... - Dietzenbach (Germany) - .... ............... ...................

For me, this is like scratching the left ear with the right foot.

I confirm Covid is not the reason, in fact I received lots of parcels during the pandemic and the packages always arrived on Fridays.

The guy from the helpdesk said that the delays are caused by the TNT migration. Fair enough, but frankly I will request, if possible, different shipping methods, as paying more than normal postal service for worse performance is simply annoying.

Edited by ambr0zie
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You were lucky with Charles de Gaulle. I only had 2 Fedex deliveries lost ever, both at CdG Cedex. Not sure if you have seen the horribly cheap Langoliers movie with the guy from QuantumLeap (the book is quite good, written by Stephen King, the movie dear god help us) -- but that's probably a good way to understand CdG Cedex.

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Via Fed-Ex

8th June, 2022, ordered from New York.

14th June, 2022, (6 days) package in hand in Brisbane, Australia.

Very happy; better than local mail.

Edited by Topcat7
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Posted (edited)

Didn't see the movie - although I like Dean Stockwell - but looking at the plot, I see what you mean.

Some years ago I had an issue with a DHL parcel. A German friend of mine sold me a set of banknotes. He was very upset that a guy returned those banknotes (they were good and the price was more than decent) and he complained to me. So I bought the notes myself.

Being friends, he decided to send them via DHL, with no extra cost and he added some goodies in the package - an album and other banknotes.

The fun part was that DHL managed to lose the package. Instead of normal 5 days, it took a month. It appeared after 3 weeks in a DHL hub that was incorrect for the route with the text "package damaged in transit". Actually it wasn't damaged at all - fortunately - but it was probably their way to justify the delay.

When I tried to request some details from DHL, they didn't provide anything and requested the sender to raise a complaint. When he did, they asked him to provide proof of what was in the package (do people film themselves when packing what they send?! really?!)

The package suddenly appeared, but a week after delivery DHL was still contacting him requesting for proof about the content and also informing that they still cannot locate it.

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Back then I thought DHL services are bad. Starting to reconsider, especially since it was my only bad experience with DHL.

Edited by ambr0zie
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Posted (edited)

I suspect that Fedex is experiencing the same problem as other shippers: a shortage of pilots.  This shortage has affected the airlines as well.  The pandemic caused many pilots to be terminated by their employers, or furloughed or offered early retirement.  Now that the economy globally is exploding in pent up demand, the air transportation and transport industry has been caught unprepared, with passengers in long queues and packages piling up ports of entry  .  Flights are being cancelled and I imagine cargo flights have been reduced as well.  

Compounding the problem is the soaring cost of aviation fuel.  I would imagine this cost incentivizes airlines and cargo carriers to reduce flight and maximized all the seats or capacity available on the reduce number of flights.  For passengers that means uncertainty that a flight will even occur with last minute cancellations by the airlines a frequent occurrence.

I've notice some slight delays with shipments from Europe to the US by USPS, but nothing exceptionally long, so far.

Edited by robinjojo
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Posted (edited)

Shipments from US to Europe (and vice versa) are of course delivered by plane, but from what I discussed with another FedEx agent on another delayed parcel, the ones from Eurppe to Europe (at least Economy ones) are delivered by cars. Of course, fuel prices are also a possible explanation, but in my particular case I'd be content with a simple explanation - delivery might take x+5 days instead of what it was a few months ago, x days. That's fine. But in the last months the estimated delivery date is a joke.

But an incompetent fella who had no idea (and was bothered by my question about this phantom "Marly la Ville" that appears on TNT tracking but not on FedEx) and was unable to confirm what happens just makes me think this company is not professional.

I hope the package will arrive sometime next week - there is an interesting coin I intend to post. I am not superstitious and I have no problems in posting coins that are on the road, but I want to take a photo of that one myself along with its smaller sisters 😄

Edited by ambr0zie
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