Friday, March 25, 2011


This stuff may be organic, but it’s no longer green

by Larry Geller

I’m all in favor of buying local, but some things just can’t be found here. Like all those grains we are supposed to eat. They’re at the base of the food pyramid, but they’re not grown in Hawaii. No wheat, rice, oatmeal, anything. So they all have to come here from outside.

I ordered whole wheat couscous from a vendor in Arizona. Since Huckleberry Farms closed, we haven’t found it in a local store. It was organic. They ship to Hawaii via US Postal Service, the cheapest way. So why not.

It was shipped March 10, and is still expected to be delivered March 21. Yeah, it’s already March 24, so where is it?

Here’s the tracking information as of this afternoon (read from the bottom up):

  Detailed Results:
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, March 24, 2011, 5:20 am, RICHMOND, CA 94804
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, March 17, 2011, 11:51 am, SPRINGFIELD, MA 01152
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, March 12, 2011, 5:50 am, BELL GARDENS, CA 90201
Bullet Acceptance, March 10, 2011, 11:26 am, TUCSON, AZ 85713
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, March 10, 2011

The tracking message still says that delivery is expected by March 21. But check out where this package has gone—from the vendor in Arizona, to California, then to Massachusetts (??!) then back to California.

Who knows where it will go next. A lot of expensive jet fuel has been expended to carry this package across the country and back.

Perhaps it is related to the tsunami, but Bell Gardens, CA is well inland, and the tsunami hit California two days before the package arrived.

So it may be organic, but it’s no longer “green.” Unless it gets moldy in transit.

There’s probably an explanation, but still, there’s gotta be a better way to run a postal service.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


The Richmond, CA, USPS Sort Facility is suspect. Here's what happened to me last week:

A box of cookbooks was mailed from Oakland, CA to me in Alamo, CA (about 20 miles away). It was sent through the Richmond Sort Facility where it remained for two to four days. Now, here's the kicker -- the box had been torn open (presumably for inspection), the thirteen cookbooks removed, and the box refilled (jammed) with 28 copies of a Buddhist book, 14 copies of another book, and six other books. Then it was delivered to me with proof of delivery, of course. The seller (on eBay) has never heard of any of these books, so it wasn't just a switched label. I clearly got the box (but not the contents) that she sent. The postage would not have even been sufficient for the weight of books I received.

This may eventually get resolved, but I've already spent hours trying to locate my books. Has anybody out there got stray cookbooks (The Niman Ranch Cookbook, and 12 others)?

I think someone is stealing packages at the RICHMOND, CA sort facility. I sent a package from LA on July 18th and this was the last bit of info on the USPS site: "Your item was processed through and left our RICHMOND, CA 94804 facility on July 22, 2011 at 8:46 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination. The destination was Newark CA, 40 miles away from Richmond.
By the looks of the package I suppose you could tell that it was a merchandise return, so someone just took it.

I'm out the total costs of the items and the return shipping. Someone had better look into this. Hopefully there will be enough similar experiences to have the Postal Inspector look into this location for the Felony of theft by a Postal Employee.

Another disappearance at the Richmond, CA USPS sort facility: I received a box of rare and expensive vinyl records torn open (like kristinelark), eleven records removed, and the box stuffed with paper. I contacted the Postal Inspector and received a case number. Maybe if enough people contact them, they will start an investigation. If you have had a similar experience, you can call 877-876-2455 to report it.

Follow-up on books and records repacked at Richmond, CA sort facility: I was overhasty in suspecting theft. The re-taped box looked like tampering, but it wasn't. What actually happened to me with the records (and very probably kristinelark's books) was that the box broke apart during shipping. When there is no packing list found, the people trying to repack and re-tape the broken box don't know what should go back inside. They do the best they can, but they can put the wrong things in or leave things out. The best thing for people to do to recover their lost items is to submit a "Mail Recovery Center Search Request" with a detailed description of the lost items and be patient. Any items that don't have a mailing address attached get sent to a place in Atlanta, GA. where they have people trying to find items and reconnect them with their owners.

Aha. Thanks for the update.

Sent a parcel out via USPS Priority Flat Rate Large box on Nov 28th on it's way to Maryland. Arrived at Richmond Ca. Sort facility on the 9th. Made a phone call to USPS 3 days ago and asked where my parcel is at and they said they'd get back to me. Got a phone call today and was told Richmond Ca is experiencing a "delay" of some sort and that the parcel will be delivered. Today I check the delivery confirmation number and now it says "processed through USPS Richmond Ca., sort facility on the 18th. I've got my fingers crossed! Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!

Does anyone have a phone number for the sort facility?? My kids' "santa" gift (quite expensive santa gift) was last tracked in that facility. Been there since Dec 13th...

Try (510) 232-4314. That's not the sort facility, but they say they can help. The actual sort facility seems to closely guard any phone number that the public might use to get to them.

Maybe if you agree to post bail they might let your package out.

so here is my story... i just actually tried the (510) 232-4314 number and this is what they told me. "Any package that arrived at the Richmond CA sort facility heading off to Hawaii/Alaska (basically not mainland stateside) should expect a 3 to 6 week delivery time." This doesn't matter if you chose 3 day shipping or what not. If it got sent through richmond it is old school put on a boat type shipment. USPS do not let you file a claim unless it is 45days date of proccessed with USPS. So i guess i'm waiting... it was processed through richmond ca on the 12 of Dec... somehow i get the feeling i'm not going to see it...

I've been having trouble with UPS and there new 'special' delivery (don't know actual terminology) but I guess to save $$ they pass off to USPS. I'm assuming they use parcel post which like media mail is low priority. Get's left to the side until there's room on the trucks going out or the boat. This happened with a few of my items last December. They began moving promptly AFTER Xmas.

On another note a coworker and I both tracked our packages to Maui and expected them for delivery... for whatever reason they are both now back in Honolulu. BAH!

We lost a couple of years ago computers and other electronics that were tracked to the Richmond facility... and I am now concerned that another order, that was tracked to the Richmond facility (received there on February 13) is reading no indication that it has left or arrived anywhere else after that facility... and it has not arrived here yet and it's March 1st already.

Comeon! Something very wrong is going on at that facility. Have they wired the whole place with cameras? Have they pursued identifying the theft to the fullest? This is ridiculous that a facility can have this many complaints of theft (and these complaints are featured on many sites), for years on end... and they still go on!

I sent a parcel from the UK to my daughter in Napa Valley on 30 January. This was for her birthday on 23 February. It arrived at Richmond sort facility on February 6th at 4.25 pm. It is now March 8th and she still has not received it. Having read the comments above, I am worried that her present has been stolen.

I sent a box from the east coast to california on february 18. It made it to Richmond, Ca in 4 days, never to be seen again!
Here it is March 19, still making phone calls trying to track it down. Everyone is finger pointing! All I know is the package is still missing. It was taped very well, and the address was written on with large magic marker, so I'm sure it didn't break open or the label could not have come off! I should have known better. Last christmas I mailed 2 packages out at the same time, one arrived in 5 days, the other took 3 1/2 weeks! Will never send mail with only a tracking number again, what good is a tracking number if 1/2 the facilities aren't required to scan the packages?

Processed at USPS RICHMOND CA 94804 23083250000017383117

Kind of like the Big Black Hole. .....Complain to who??? ...about what? ...The system is BROKE. ...USPS please look into it and Fix It.

I haven't received my package! So frustrating!!! 9102128882300342580688

Please see Why packages seem to “disappear” into the Richmond, California sort facility. It turns out the the explanation for all this is very simple.

I sent a package to Saipan MP on July 19th and my package arrived to Richmond CA on July 25th. It's reading Depart USPS sort facility. I called the Richmond CA office and they gave me Consumer Affairs number. I called ant they stated with going parcel post it will take 5-6 weeks (they need to wait to fill a container) before the ship will leave. I keep getting e-mails from my ebay buyer stating what is taking so long. I think this is a scam, people from Saipan MP know it takes this long and they will hound you until you give them their money back. So they receive their money and the package (that we bought). Does anyone know if ebay wants us to return their money if the package is not delivered in a certain amount of time? Also, can someone post if their package was delivered and the amount of time it took to arrive. This will help all of us.

I'm from Guam and I've ordered many things over the years from many sellers on eBay. I've had the luck of receiving just about all the items in a relatively decent time-frame. Fastest time was 5 days from FL all the way to Guam! Then the Richmond, CA Processing Center decided that I should experience life in the early 1950's. This is just so sad that I can get items from undeveloped, "third world" countries faster than I can from the United States. You've got to be kidding me, Richmond Processing Center!!!! I'm about to fail my DL law class because my textbook is stuck somewhere in the bottom of a shipping crate....

To above comment on people from Saipan "knowing" that it takes this long and are scamming people... NO, it doesn't usually take this long and NO, it's not a scam if someone complains to you that they were promised an item several weeks ago and they didn't get it. Don't even put a 7 to 10 day expected arrival date if you know that the US can't get it overseas in under a month.

I ordered a package on November 1, 2012 from NJ to Berkeley. On November 9 it arrived at the Richmond sorting facility. It is now November 30 and the package cannot be found. It was supposed to arrive within 3-5 business days. I am moving in two weeks, and have no way of receiving this very important package. I contacted USPS and they will NOT give out the Richmond number nor will they contact Richmond to specifically look for my package. This is beyond frustrating!!!!!!!!!!

I sent a package from the east coast to California. It got to the Richmond center and then was sent to Colorado!!! The USPS doesn't know why and cannot investigate it until more time has passed.

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