Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shipping Woes.

We got those.

Shipping hours (for businesses) are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The Cave hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 2 - 7 p.m.  You can see the potential problem here.

Except UPS, Fed Ex, GSO and DHL all ship to your business during posted business hours. That's great!  So if the shipping label states the hours, and the hours are in everyone computers, which they are, then The Cave and Shipping are a happy, song-filled team.

Not so much, actually.

Though The Cave has accepted direct shipments for a few years now, and more customers are taking advantage of this, it remains fraught with pitfalls and dangers.  And shipping season is just getting started.

So here's The Low-Down.

DHL.  Hardley ever see them, so far, so good.

UPS.   My UPS guy and I had it all worked out and then he got transferred a few weeks ago. And then it all went to hell.  I got some new kid who seemed nice enough, then one day I walked outside and there was a stack of four boxes just sitting there.  I was like, WHA?   Yesterday, Tuesday, I happened to be outside The Cave when The Cave is closed and who shows up but UPS.  That's when I met Cesar.  I asked Cesar why he was delivering to The Cave when it was closed, and when it says it on the label, and when it says it in his computer.  It was a promising chat, and we saw Cesar again today, during business hours.  Things are looking hopeful.  If he keeps the route.  He has to bid on it and wait to find out, so we'll see. 

GSO.  Yesterday, Tuesday, when The Cave is closed, about an hour before the UPS guy showed up, GSO showed up.  Now, this was my regular GSO guy, and the label was clearly marked to deliver Wednesday.  This was a less promising chat, part language barrier and mostly just because.  GSO is consistently the most difficult to deal with.  They often leave door tags on Tuesdays because wineries ship on Mondays, they claim, and they can't hold a package.  The wineries say its not them, it's GSO.  It will never be different. 

Fed-Ex.  Same Fed-Ex guy since day one, he just dropped off a package.  I adore him.  There is one guy who gets a lot of deliveries.  He brings them in and reads he guy's name and laughs.  "S_______ gets a lot of wine!"  Yes, he does.  Thank you for getting it here duly.

On Brand Boulevard between Wilson and California is the previous Kinko's, now Fed-Ex Office center.  They are open 24-7-365.  They are AC'd.   If you ship your wine there (you know, via FedEx), they will sign for it, and you can pick it up from them, any time.  Call them for details. 

Addendum, 11/14/14.  Today, a different FedEx guy came in with a few boxes, and I asked him where my usual guy was . (On vacation.)  I then thanked him for coming in during business hours.  He said, "Why wouldn't I, it's on the label."  'Nuff said.

Lastly, here's an interesting development.

East of here on Broadway, same side of the street and before Chevy Chase, there is a Mailboxes Etc.  Mailboxes Etc. is a franchise of UPS. In their window is a banner claiming they ship wine.  The gentleman's name is Joe, and he ships wine nationally and internationally.  He offers insurance.  A customer is moving to Florida and was asking me about shipping wine, a mostly expensive endeavor.  I suggested this guy, and he took a few cases to him.  I'll update this one as it plays out.