Author Topic: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays  (Read 634 times)

RevivalR00ts

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
    • US, CA, Corona, 9b
    • View Profile
Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« on: June 29, 2022, 10:42:10 AM »
Just wanted to show you the latest example of the problems we experience when ordering/shipping plants.

There are an infinite number of methods to package and ship plants. But it all boils down to being able to make it through all the abuse and delays that is bound to happen from time to time.

This package just came back to me after sending it out 20 days ago with USPS. As you can see it looks like the package was ran over multiple times and there has been some pretty extensive heat waves across the country.

The critical things you need to consider for successful shipping is:
-securing plant from movement, no matter the orientation of box
-soil completely contained even if upside down the entire trip
-maintain moisture in root ball





« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 07:26:09 PM by RevivalR00ts »

hashad

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
    • Dallas, Texas. Zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2022, 10:54:10 AM »
That is pretty impressive after 20 days of USPS mishandling! I've had some crisps after few days here with the recent heatwave! No fault from the shipper though!

nattyfroootz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 477
    • Santa Cruz California
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2022, 04:29:55 PM »
great packaging! Surprised it survived all that abuse, haha. 

I buy my boxes from ULine because they are much more rigid and less susceptible to the USPS abuse.  Definitely end up paying more in shipping, but it seems to be worth it for the added strength and protection
Grow cooler fruits

www.wildlandsplants.com

Kevin Jones

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
    • Alabama - USA
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2022, 05:11:23 PM »
Is it my imagination or are those Priority Shipping Boxes thinner than ever?
Also I agree... I too recently bought some boxes from Uline... much heavier duty. Nice.

Kevin


victory66

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
    • USA, Florida, Ft. Lauderdale,11
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2022, 05:18:30 PM »
I have had several shipments very late (lost leaves), and 2 that arrived mangled to the point that in one case just one remaining shoot of the grafted Garnet Cherry remains intact. Also I have been told by another seller that 3 of last 17 shipments to customers were mangled.

W.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
    • United States, Alabama, 7b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2022, 05:40:28 PM »
Photos like those are why I take the time and make the effort to very securely pack all the plants I sell. Even so, no matter how well packed it is, I always wonder each time I ship a plant whether it will make it to its destination intact and unabused. Such is my faith in the postal service, sad to say.

Jaboticaba45

  • Check out TN Tropical Fruits!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Tropical Fruit Tree Connoisseur
    • Chattanooga TN 7b
    • View Profile
    • Find me on FB
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2022, 05:58:09 PM »
For me, light is best. If it’s something small or that can be small, it will stay small. Before I ship, I’ll even give it a few throws…I’ve shipped out hundreds of plants and not one has been damaged or lost by usps…but if you ship heavier things that need pots or fruits, good luck to you. It’s hard to pack heavier things as they throw the boxes. Something light=less impact. For heavier things I’ll use stakes to brace the pot on the box so it doesn’t move around no matter if they throw it. For fruit, it’s just hope and pray.

Speaking of hope, usps clutched up and delivered lychee to me in only 2 days. But they suck also as I’ve been waiting on a box of mangoes for over a week and a half.

Also having received plants from many people, I can say a few things.
Please don’t wrap the whole box in tape…it just makes the box a greenhouse. And it’s wasting tape.
The main goal of shipping plants is to secure the plant to the box so it doesn’t move around. That’s it. Pretty simple. Just many ways of doing so and some techniques work better.

Polypterus

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
    • Smyrna Georgia, 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2022, 06:18:53 PM »
For anything larger than seeds or seedlings, I tend to go with UPS for this reason. They're generally cheaper for larger packages, and usually always handle them better.

I once had a family member send me a valuable coin in an envelope as a gift, and when I received the envelope, it was slit open and the coin was missing. I've seen the same thing happen with prescription medication, they'll slit open the package and peek inside to see if it's something they want.

Epicatt2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 542
  • Fruit forest in progress . . .
    • Tampa, FL / Zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2022, 07:03:52 PM »
I always encourage the plant vendors I buy live plants from to send these live items via FedEx or UPS.

USPS will not guarantee that plants sent via them will arrive safely and, in my experience, this has proved true about 30% of the time.  Even USPS's 2nd day priority often has arrived to me after more than five days.  Or the parcels frequently arrive feeling very warm to the touch!  And this problem of warm parcels can be significant, especially due to the very high temperatures we experience here in Florida during the summertime months, what with a parcel often sitting in a USPS mailtruck for upwards of six to eight hours before being delivered to me!

I try to convey this USPS situation to plant vendors and ask that they ship to me using UPS- or FedEx 2nd Day.  With the two of these latter the 2nd day option has always gotten plants to me safely and quickly and seldom do I accept a parcel from either of them which feels warm. 

A few vendors seem to be reluctant to use anything other than USPS saying that it costs too much to ship via UPS or FedEx.  And that's even though I am willling to pay extra for more prompt delivery so that I can count on receiving plants –especially very rare ones– in healthy, undamaged condition.  Even so, some sellers seem loathe to take advantage of these two safe & more prompt shipping methods.

OK – End of rant!  Thanx for reading all the way though this.

Best Regards,

Paul M.
Tampa, FL

slopat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 146
    • USA, California, central coast, 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2022, 07:12:26 PM »
UPS is great most of the time, just be aware that during the Christmas holidays it may be different.  Loaders are super rushed filling the trailers at night and if a small package slips closer to the bottom,  a larger and/or heavier package may end up on top.  Not a pretty sight at all when the trailer is unloaded.

All of them have issues occasionally,  USPS sent a package in a detour to Boise last year,  before going up 101 for a "short" ~180 mile trip and arriving a week later. A bicyclists would have been faster. Regarding damage, UPS decided to see how flexible a package was a few months ago... good thing it was a grape vine, but the bamboo support stick broke! Ever try breaking a 1/4 inch bamboo?




Concur that good packing helps a ton.

For anything larger than seeds or seedlings, I tend to go with UPS for this reason. They're generally cheaper for larger packages, and usually always handle them better.
...


Jaboticaba45

  • Check out TN Tropical Fruits!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1234
  • Tropical Fruit Tree Connoisseur
    • Chattanooga TN 7b
    • View Profile
    • Find me on FB
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2022, 07:22:02 PM »
And whatever you do and whoever you ship with, do not order or ship packages during the holidays…anywhere from December 10 to January something, the package will not arrive on time!

nattyfroootz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 477
    • Santa Cruz California
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2022, 07:34:37 PM »
I always encourage the plant vendors I buy live plants from to send these live items via FedEx or UPS.

USPS will not guarantee that plants sent via them will arrive safely and, in my experience, this has proved true about 30% of the time.  Even USPS's 2nd day priority often has arrived to me after more than five days.  Or the parcels frequently arrive feeling very warm to the touch!  And this problem of warm parcels can be significant, especially due to the very high temperatures we experience here in Florida during the summertime months, what with a parcel often sitting in a USPS mailtruck for upwards of six to eight hours before being delivered to me!

I try to convey this USPS situation to plant vendors and ask that they ship to me using UPS- or FedEx 2nd Day.  With the two of these latter the 2nd day option has always gotten plants to me safely and quickly and seldom do I accept a parcel from either of them which feels warm. 

A few vendors seem to be reluctant to use anything other than USPS saying that it costs too much to ship via UPS or FedEx.  And that's even though I am willling to pay extra for more prompt delivery so that I can count on receiving plants –especially very rare ones– in healthy, undamaged condition.  Even so, some sellers seem loathe to take advantage of these two safe & more prompt shipping methods.

OK – End of rant!  Thanx for reading all the way though this.

Best Regards,

Paul M.
Tampa, FL

UPS is often cheaper for me actually. I just know that sometimes people's addresses require delivery by certain services. I would probably prefer to use UPS and have a bit, but don't have enough experience to say I understand exactly what goes on over there.
Grow cooler fruits

www.wildlandsplants.com

fruitnut1944

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
    • Alpine Texas
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2022, 07:37:01 PM »
Both USPS and UPS get plants safely to their destination over 99% of the time if properly packaged. That's based on shipping about 4,000 live plants in the last 8 years. I'd never use the flimsy USPS boxes. As mentioned Uline boxes are much better. I wish the box makers won't crush the boxes down making the sidewalls thinner than they should be before sending them to Uline. But that's another story.

If you believe all the talk on the web you'd think 30% losses or more were the norm. That's simply not the case if properly packaged. Either that or I'm the luckiest shipper ever.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2022, 07:38:56 PM by fruitnut1944 »

hashad

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
    • Dallas, Texas. Zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2022, 08:29:48 PM »
Highly recommend checking out www.pirateship.com or www.goshippo.com for deeply discounted UPS/FEDEX rates.  Been getting very reasonable UPS rates with better durations and handling of USPS!

palologrower

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1348
    • Honolulu, HI, US, Zone 12B
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2022, 08:58:17 PM »
I sent a box to someone and it had the right address but put in wrong house…. Too bad owner of said house grabbed the box and threw it on the road where all the cars ran it over for a day.  Buyer found the box obliterated….

So Jeremy, in the end nothing is guaranteed!  Doh!

RevivalR00ts

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
    • US, CA, Corona, 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2022, 09:00:49 PM »
I sent a box to someone and it had the right address but put in wrong house…. Too bad owner of said house grabbed the box and threw it on the road where all the cars ran it over for a day.  Buyer found the box obliterated….

So Jeremy, in the end nothing is guaranteed!  Doh!

Oh shit! What a douche bag of a neighbor.

I don’t remember saying ‘guaranteed’!! Lol

sc4001992

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2025
    • USA, CA, Fullerton
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2022, 11:37:17 PM »
USPS- Priority Mail package I received was damaged, box broken in half when it was delivered at my door step.





John B

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 256
    • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2022, 02:57:20 AM »
This is how to properly package! Arrived in good shape through the heat.



As for USPS and other things these days...Reminds me of Louis CK skit "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy" skit:

https://youtu.be/nUBtKNzoKZ4


Giant Gecko

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
    • USA,NC,Welcome,7
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2022, 11:46:07 AM »
I can tell you with certainty the longer the  package comes with increased  risk of damage from getting caught on a pinch point on the conveyor belt to be sorted at distribution center. Labeling the box fragile or anything else doesn’t help. I know because I used to unload trailers part time  for UPS back in the day.

driftwood

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
  • my name is driftwood, nice to meet you
    • Arizona 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2022, 03:48:38 PM »
Highly recommend checking out www.pirateship.com or www.goshippo.com for deeply discounted UPS/FEDEX rates.  Been getting very reasonable UPS rates with better durations and handling of USPS!


Agreed, you can get brown cardboard boxes for $.50 - $1.00 in nearly identical sizes to the priority box. You can ship a method called priority cubic (NOT AVAILABLE AT USPS.com or USPS locations) and often times using this method, a brown box that is the same size as medium or large flat rate is much less to ship.

A medium box (identical to medium flat rate) cost me around $10.00 and a large box is $15.00 at go shippo to ship.

even after the dollar or so for the box and tape, I save nearly 30% than using the USPS branded flat rates. Basically USPS is charging you at least $5.00 a box. They might seem free when you take stacks from the post office but you pay on the back end
« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 03:50:21 PM by driftwood »

Rispa

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
    • Houston, TX
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2022, 09:50:25 PM »
Photos like those are why I take the time and make the effort to very securely pack all the plants I sell. Even so, no matter how well packed it is, I always wonder each time I ship a plant whether it will make it to its destination intact and unabused. Such is my faith in the postal service, sad to say.

Ah that explains a lot. I was just looking thriving your post history to comment on your sales post because with your packaging the only way plants from you don't arrive is if they are outright stolen.

W.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 488
    • United States, Alabama, 7b
    • View Profile
Re: Proper plant packaging to endure the abuse and delays
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2022, 10:13:58 PM »
Photos like those are why I take the time and make the effort to very securely pack all the plants I sell. Even so, no matter how well packed it is, I always wonder each time I ship a plant whether it will make it to its destination intact and unabused. Such is my faith in the postal service, sad to say.

Ah that explains a lot. I was just looking thriving your post history to comment on your sales post because with your packaging the only way plants from you don't arrive is if they are outright stolen.

Thank you for the positive feedback. I am glad your plants arrived undamaged.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk