could UPS implement a ship to center for cheap service?

presumably delivering mail the last mile to homes and businesses costs money. So could they offer a service of having the recipient who either has more time than money or else gets lots of packages that he could pick up simultaneously go pick his packages up at their center?

Let’s say if American law requires recipient’s address to be printed on the package, could this service require the sender to write the address but nevertheless indefinitely delay home delivery so that the recipient could go pick it up?

Yeah why not they already offer that option. I have them hold packages for me all the time so i can get them after work and not have to wait an extra day. You can just call them with the tracking number and tell them to hold it at one of their distribution centers

I’d use that service just so packages don’t get left on my steps were they would be likely to be stolen or thrown in the creek by neighborhood kids.

Warehousing costs money. I’m sure they’ve already performed all the calculations necessary to implement something like this, and decided it’s not worth doing other than small time for a few people who know to ask for this.

They already do this. Ever heard of UPS Stores? They can receive USPS mail and parcels as well as packages via UPS or Fedex.

I know, you can have a mailbox at a UPS store. Although I recall reading about prohibitions of shipping to mailbox. At least, some companies will not ship there.

In any event, so does UPS offer you a discount for picking up package at the store rather than having it delivered to your home? If they did, effectively passing on to you the savings on last mile delivery, this would have reduced the net price of purchases by mail because basically UPS would have refunded the recipient part of the money he paid for shipping and handling.

Something to keep in mind is that shipping is often a profit center. An e-commerce site that is charging you for shipping and not giving away free freight generally wants to keep all of that money, some is profit.

If everyone was giving away free freight due to competition, then they might encourage this sort of thing to reduce costs, but as long as shipping makes them money, there wouldn’t be much motivation to alter things.

No, you can ship by any service (USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc.) to a UPS Store. (The prohibition you’re thinking of is against shipping packages via Fedex or UPS to official USPS post office boxes.) And I don’t know if UPS offers a discount but I doubt it. What they’re selling is that you know that your packages will be received (no more “Sorry we missed you” notes) and kept secure until you can pick them up (and I think the stores are open late).

In most cases, the delivery trucks are already in the neighborhood and aren’t full, so unless the company goes 100% to this model there’s really not much savings to be had.

while it’s true that many merchants incorporate part of the price into S&H in order to deceive buyers in hopes that they will not stop later on during checkout, from economic analysis standpoint this is irrelevant. There is still a certain portion of the total price that the merchant pays to the mail delivery company or to USPS, which is the true “shipping cost”. If mail delivery becomes cheaper (through pickup at the store or a genie doing deliveries for free or by whatever other means) the merchant could, hypothetically, pass the savings to the customer through lower price.

Sure , hypothetically they could pass the savings on to those customers who choose such an option. They could also hypothetically determine how much it will actually cost to ship my package, and base the shipping charge on that cost rather than the dollar amount of my order , but most places don’t.

It’s not quite the same thing, but UPS and FedEx will sometimes save money by paying USPS to deliver to houses that are out of their way or if the other shipping service is overloaded at that time.

I would love that option, but I’ve never seen it. From what I’ve seen, I can do that only AFTER the truck came to my house, failed to get my signature, and left me a note on my door.

Are you saying that once I have the tracking number – such as if the package just entered their system a few minutes/hours ago – I can go to their website and say, “No! Don’t ship it all the way to my house! Ship it to UPS Store #1234 and hold it for my pickup!” And then I’d continue to watch the tracking info, and whenever it finally says “Arrived at UPS Store #1234 awaiting pickup” I’d just drive over.

That would be great!!!

I don’t think there would really be any cost savings for UPS to pass on.

They would still need to have trucks in the neighborhoods.
They would have to have larger warehousing facilities.
They would have to store the stuff that people don’t pick up.
They would need an inventory/package tracking system, so they could find your package in the warehouse.
They would need to hire more desk staff, to work with people coming in to pick up their packages.

So while they may offer a service like this for other reasons (security maybe), I don’t see them offering a cost savings.

That’s definitely an option for FedEx, either when you create the shipping label or once the package is en route. UPS has “hold for pickup” service, but it’s not clear from their website whether you can request this once the package is on the way, or if it’s only available when you prepare the label.

I had a recent experience with this when I was on vacation and got an email stating that a book I had pre-ordered several months earlier was on its way to my home. The email included the tracking number, so I immediately called UPS to arrange for it to be held. Sounds simple, right?

They told me that there is no way to hold a package until after a delivery attempt has been made (and just to be clear, this was several days in advance of delivery, so it’s not as though it was already on the truck heading to my house). Since my UPS driver completes all attempts by just tossing packages on my porch, the box was delivered in my absence. Fortunately I was able to contact a neighbor to pick it up and hold it for me, but UPS was of absolutely no help in this situation.

Not sure what you mean by “stop later on” the consumer has no knowledge or control of the actual shipping cost beyond choosing from the available delivery methods.

For example:
Rate UPS/FedEx charges a consumer to ship a specific package: $5
Rate UPS/FedEx charges a high-volume shipper for same package: $3
Rate the shipper charges consumer: $5

Profit on shipping: $2

It’s relevant because you seemed to be talking about e-commerce situations, and the actual shipping cost is fairly hidden from consumers due to the seller’s desire to make money from shipping. I’m just commenting on their motivation to push this type of thing or to pass on the savings to consumers.

If it has a tracking number you can call them when it gets to the facility but before its “out for delivery” and they can hold it for you