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Author Topic: Shipping long kites = real expensive??  (Read 2706 times)
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Brian O
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« on: May 26, 2009, 09:27 AM »

I was just playing on the USPS shipping calculator and If I'm shipping a kite in a triangular tube (actually 2 taped together because the LEs are long, it looks like it will cost me $36.00 postal priority before I add insurance, etc.

Does that seem right?  I know the USPS changed the way they calculate shipping charges but is it really that expensive to ship kites with long LEs?
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thief
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 09:31 AM »

the balloon fee kicks in after a total measurement of (it used to be and i am not certain now) 108"....that was length + width + height.....
i remember shipping one of Ramlal's Oiseau's out to Laurent M a handful of years back and the shipping ~45$ or so from RI -Calif.....ugh......

USPS UPS FedEx all have different balloon measurement charges...def. shop around on this if you do not want ot cut the LE!!!!!!
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Gamelord
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 11:26 AM »

What happens is that you change from actual weight to dimensional weight.  Even though the kite only weighs a pound or two, because of the size of the package they change the weight and charge for the size, saying that you could ship up to 50 pounds for the same cost of your 1 pound kite because of the size of the box, therefore you will pay the 50 pound amount.  (numbers thrown in there for visual aids....the actual dimensional weight could be much different).

Reason for this is that you could ship an entire container of Styrofoam which weighs a couple hundred pounds total but still takes up the same amount of room as a small pallet of metal plates which weighs a thousand pounds.  To run the truck from point A to point B you could fit in ten times the amount of metal plates as the Styrofoam - thus making ten times the amount of income from the metal plates as the foam...this means the shipping companies make less money on larger lighter items than smaller heavier items....thus comes dimensional weight figures.  It costs the same to ship a whole truck load of foam as it does a whole truck load of metal.  The foam actually costs more per pound to ship because of its dimensional size even though it weighs less...

Hope that helps explain better.
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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 12:36 PM »

Per USPS: Priority Mail "Balloon Price"
Parcels that are addressed for delivery to zones 1-4 (including local) and weigh less than 20 pounds but measure more than 84 inches in combined length and distance around the thickest part must pay the 20-pound Priority Mail zoned price.


So, the corollary is less than 84". With the "girth" of a USPS triangle tube equal to 16.5" (just measured one) plus approx another inch for the overlapped tube, you could have a tube roughly 66.5" long and ship it for the "package" definition. I'd think that should handle most long LEs.
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Bob
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 01:24 PM »

Shipping in the US?

You are safe as long as you keep the package to 1 cubic foot or less.  A triangle tube has width and height of 7x5 do you need to keep the length to 49 inches or less.  Keep in mind that they round up.

Of course it all depends to which zone you are shipping.

If you still have a question PM me with specifics and I'll help you.  I have been mailing odd shaped packages every day for almost eight years and one thing I have learned is that it really pays to know postal shipping rates since most of the counter help at the post office don't understand them.
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Steve ... Ancient One
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Steve
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 01:28 PM »

If this is international all bets are off.  Domestic rates are confusing but international takes it to a whole new level as every country has their own particular requirements.  Again, if you'd like a second opinion on the rate you should pay contact me.
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Steve ... Ancient One
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Brian O
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 02:46 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback.

It would be shipped domestically.  I've left the package long so I could add some padding on the ends but let me see how much room I have to play with and how that changes the overall size and cost issue.
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ezme6
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 04:34 PM »

I sent out two really heavy full size power kites to Arkansas,  jammed together into 2 triangle boxes that lapped over each other 4 inchs. $12.50 USPS priority, with insurance and delivery confirmation.

Sometimes I think it is WHO is behind the counter Smiley
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Adicakes
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 05:32 PM »

Yes, for example, Australia Post won't handle any parcel with a length over about 105cm.  The rule means that kites with one-piece LEs must be instead shipped via a private courier (FedEx etc.), and the price for international postage with one of those starts at about $90.
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thief
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 06:59 PM »

as anyone who has gotten a kite or banner from me knows that i do not even wad the ends of the box....i will attach the kite to the side of the box....that way it will not move and it also weighs less (i do make sure that the adhesive is not actually touching the bag or kite though)..i just keep a TIGHT packed box...(okay quit the giggling)...........

and ezme6 is right...it always pays well to make friends with your postal guys!!!!!!!!
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Brian O
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 10:19 AM »

So the boxes I'm looking at using have a combined length of 62" long and the longest leg of the triangle is 7" and the other two sides are between 6 and 6.5" giving me a girth of 19-20".

If I use the USPS site and estimate 3-5 pounds, it says it will cost something like $35 for priority mail.  Am I doing something wrong or is there any way I can rerun those figures to come to less than $15?  I'm assuming a weight of 3-5 pounds though I haven't weighed it yet.
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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 10:41 AM »

FWIW, here's my take.

Your combined length+girth is less than 84", and your volume is .76 cu ft. so you should qualify for a "package". I ran postage for 4 pounds from me to the east coast and it calculated $12.95.

Take it down to the USPS counter...
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Bob
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 11:05 AM »

The formula for calculating the dimensional weight of non-rectangular packages is Length x Width x Height = X(0.785) = X / 194 = X lbs

So (rounding up) 62x7x7=3038(.0785)=2385/194=13 lbs.

If I were to mail that package to you Brian it would be $36.00
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Steve ... Ancient One
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Brian O
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2009, 12:30 PM »

The formula for calculating the dimensional weight of non-rectangular packages is Length x Width x Height = X(0.785) = X / 194 = X lbs

So (rounding up) 62x7x7=3038(.0785)=2385/194=13 lbs.

If I were to mail that package to you Brian it would be $36.00

Man, I miss the days when it cost around $7 to ship  Cry

I guess its been a while since I've bought a kite and this is the reason I've never sold any.
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Steve
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 01:08 PM »

UPS Ground should run you about $18.  You should be able to get that price at your local UPS Store.
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Steve ... Ancient One
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