Monday, July 09, 2012
Why packages seem to “disappear” into the Richmond, California sort facility
by Larry Geller
It took a while, but I think I got the answer today on what happens to packages sent to Hawaii that are routed through the Richmond, CA sort facility.
I wrote about packages disappearing into the black hole of this facility in three articles:
- This stuff may be organic, but it’s no longer green (3/27/2011)
- The Richmond, CA, USPS sort facility still out of sorts (12/20/2011)
- Indefinite detention: the post office Richmond California Sort Facility (12/23/2011)
- The Richmond, CA, USPS sort facility still out of sorts (12/20/2011)
Together, they have receive more comments than anything else I’ve posted. It seems many people have been frustrated by losing packages that go through the Richmond Sort Facility.
Typically, it seems that packages are tracked going in. And they stay there ‘way past the expected delivery date. Calls to various post offices to find out what happened to the packages don’t yield any information. And time passes. Senders are frustrated because the expected delivery date has long passed.
Here’s what I found out today from a postal employee who shall remain nameless.
Yes, packages are scanned as they enter the sort facility. But they aren’t scanned when they leave. Inside the sort facility they are sorted, of course, and packages destined for Hawaii (or Guam, etc.) are loaded into containers.
Clearly, containers can’t be sent out with only a couple of packages bouncing around on the bottom. So the container stays until it gets filled. Then it is loaded on a boat.
There is no outgoing scan because the package is inside a container when it finally exits the facility. Now, in this computer age you’d think they could scan it going into the container and have the computer remember to post the scan when the container finally moves out, but no, they don’t do that. It just doesn’t get scanned.
The package is next scanned after it reaches the next sort facility (in Hawaii, etc.). I suspect that scan could occur on the same day it moves out for delivery, they are pretty efficient here.
I thanked the employee for the explanation (simple, isn’t it?) and remarked that the Richmond Sort Facility has seemed like a black hole to many people. She said “it is a black hole.”
So you see why I’m not mentioning her name.
Bottom line, it seems that “expected delivery dates” for packages headed into a container at Richmond are pure fiction. They could do better.
Thank you for the explanation. The method used is terrible, and I cannot wait until the whole of this sh*44y enterprise is shut down. I once had a very pro-USPS stance, but over the past 15 years, every ounce of favor has been eroded from my heart.
I would love to see FedEx or UPS take on the traditional mail role. I'm sure they would increase the rates for commercial mail(junk mail flyers, adverts, etc) and even increase the cost for shipping a single "postcard" or simple letter to upwards of $1. Even so, the amount of junk mail shipped would be greatly reduced, and with that, the delivery load would be cut drastically. This would allow for either company to take on the job with far less worry.
Privatize postal handling, then price crapmail out of the system. If the gov't can sin tax tobacco, why not similar for junk mail? If there is a good reason as to not promote this, I am very open to suggestions.
Thanks for the information. . . I am one of those "Hawaiianites" who use Ebay a lot and had become aware of the black hole in the Richmond USPS Sort Facility awhile ago. . . the packages that are superdelayed and apparently just sitting at Richmond for weeks, if not months, are usually books, although on one occasion is was some valuable materials. There is a book sitting there now while it's co-ordered companion made it through somehow, it probably didn't go through Richmond. Aloha. . .
There are so many other cities that ship out of California into Hawaii and they never have this problem, I think Richmond is the reason why so many sellers on ebay refuse to sell to people in Hawaii. Ugh, bastards.
Never had this issue when I have something shipped PRIORITY MAIL! If you live in HI, GU, AL, Priority mail is sent on a plane, not a boat. I have even had some priority mail packages reach me (GU) within 3 days of shipping, usually 5-7. Parcel post is surface mail, and will almost always take 6-8 weeks.
i have something coming from great britain and it's been tracked to new york, new hampshire then to richmond ca and it's been there for 5 days. not sure what the deal is but normally it comes from the new york facility straight to me.
The reason your package is stuck in the Richmond hub is because employees there are going through the contents. 11/8/2012 I received what I thought was the box of books I ordered from Hilo, Hawaii. It was filled with golf balls. The mailing label had been cut off the original box and stuck on the box of golf balls. The tracking # led to Richmond. Inside the box was wadded shrink wrap, obviously taken from a larger item from another box. Also inside, a sheet of paper from a New Jersey company taped to the shrink wrap. Also inside, a note from the golf ball vender, who said one of his customers had called earlier to report that he'd gotten a box of books, instead of the golf balls he'd ordered. The vender gave me the contact info, and we're supposed to do an exchange this week. ABSOLUTELY no help from USPS. They have more than enough complaints about this station to mount an investigation.
I'm having that same problem with that facility. I had placed an order on bestbuy and it was shipped out on October 18, 2012 and haven't received my package. Have made orders from bestbuy and others never had a problem with shipping. And never had it shipped though Richmond, CA. Called bestbuy and said that they apologize for the wait and said that the hurricane had lots to do with the shipping. IDK..something sounds fishy. I'm already thinking of canceling my order.
I am waiting on a large, oversized package shipped from another part of CA to Hawaii via Parcel Post (slow boat). It too, went through Richmond, CA and has been stuck there since Oct 31. The order is business/shipping supplies for my business and this happens to be my busiest season, so I am very concerned. I have had the same vendor shipped to me many times from CA for the last couple of years, and Parcel post has always been about 1-1/2 to 3 weeks from the sender's address to my place here. They always went through Richmond and/or Bell Gardens facilities. On a few occasions, the large package arrived in 3-4 days, much to my surprise... my guess is it must have been loaded onto a plane, perhaps by mistake and so it arrived so quickly, OR there was room in the outgoing aircraft, so they just had my package sent by airmail. Whatever the reason, I had always been happy with the USPS, especially since I run a online retail & shipping business and have to use the USPS to ship my orders everyday, for the past 11 years... until now. One of my latest orders has been stuck at Richmond for over 2 weeks and when I called the USPS yesterday, my own PO just told me there was nothing much they could do. The supervisor also said the same thing that Larry mentioned above. The employees there either have to wait for enough packages to fill up the container or they need to wait until the next ship-out date to send out all the packages bound for Hawaii. I really need the business supplies and just placed ANOTHER order with my vendor last week. Right now, the second order is ALSO sitting at the Richmond sort facility and there is no scan of it leaving. There are probably two large packages of mine sitting in that container right now, waiting for the boat to set sail! I am frustrated and may call the Richmond PO soon.
If the explanation is correct--that is, parcel post gets loaded onto a container without a scan and just sits there until the container is full and gets loaded on a ship--then no one can locate a package or do anything about it. Consider the container to be a temporary black hole. No one knows where something might be inside.
At least, they could scan it so shippers know the situation.
I received something quickly once or twice as well. But it seems that if a package is sent via parcel post to Hawaii, Guam, etc., it's a significant risk that it could be delayed considerably.
There seems to be another issue with the "estimated delivery date." I have a package that's at an Illinois sort facility way past its estimated delivery date. I just checked and it's now at Honolulu Airport, but it sure stayed in Illinois a long time. I don't know how it was sent, but I can guess. The expected delivery date was November 7 and perhaps I'll get it today or tomorrow. So that "expected" date may not be worth much, in practice.
An update for those interested. I posted yesterday about a large oversized package coming from CA. I finally received my package yesterday. It took 3 weeks and 1 day to receive. Though there's no scan of the package leaving Richmond, it did leave that sort facility and the package arriving in good shape. So the package seemed to have sat in Richmond for 2 weeks when in actuality, it was there for only about a week and then set sail for Hawaii afterwards which took another week or so.
Thank you for posting a followup.
Incidentally, I have a first-class package that's gone from the east coast to Illinois and back to the east coast. Nothing to do with the Richmond Sort Facility. When it finally gets delivered I may post the saga here because I think it may shed light on problems more extensive within the USPS than just this one facility.
I too am waiting for three items from three different vendors purchased through Ebay. The items arrived at the Richmond, CA facility between 5 and 10 days ago. I thought hurricane Sandy slowed down the mail but this sort facility REALLY slowed down the mail.
Yes, if you choose to have the postal service ship your mail to you by boat it may take a long time because it won't ship until the container is full. I thought most Hawaii residents knew this fact of life. I recall being told this over the counter by a Post Office clerk long ago.
THanks for posting this, at least now I have an idea what happened to 3 packages I ordered through Best Buy the week of Black Friday. They were shipped the same week, estimated delivery date was the 1st of December, so it's almost three weeks ago since that day. Just great, hopefully it comes before xmas or some people are going to get delayed presents :/
I wish I had known this before hand! I ordered from ebay 'Santa' presents for my daughter...now I'm trying to think up a way to explain why Santa may be late. Talked to USPS a week and a half ago and that person said that 2-8 day parcel post even though I said I was in Hawaii...spoke with someone different on Saturday and they said it's highly unlikely I'd be seeing them before Xmas. This is not fun at all!! =(
Let's just hope that all us in Hawaii that mistakingly used parcel post for Xmas shipping have helped each other out by getting that boat loaded up today and shipped out... maybe we can get our Xmas gifts delivered by Xmas Eve!!!
I am losing hope. Mailed 2 packages on Nov 26 parcel post (obviously will NEVER do again) that were swiped Nov 30 to Richmond (and I am in So, California!) and nothing has arrived to Maui yet. I have called the 800 USPS # and they say they will 'check into it' and see 'if they can get them moving' !! when i mentioned boats she said they don't go by boat. wow, the system is very broken. have had good results always with priority, including packages sent last week that have arrived. she said someone would call me withen 24 hours with info.....i will update
Uh, oh, now I'm more than a bit worried (and I'm not in Hawaii). Although my Christmas package to my son in Texas (from Nevada)is just a couple days late, I have concerns. I mailed it Parcel Post (all I could afford) in Sparks, Nevada, on the 13th. Estimated delivery on the 19th. Tracking information says it left the Richmond, California, sorting facility on the 18th. So far, nothing, and there's only one mail day left (Dec. 24) before Christmas. Where on Earth does a package go after it leaves Richmond? What facility has it gone to? It's too big to be lost and hopefully not stolen by a postal employee! I failed to insure it, but at least I paid for signature confirmation. That's good, right??? Hopefully, that would mean it can't be delivered to his front porch without him there to sign for it...right? So maybe there is still hope that he'll eventually receive it.
package sent parcel post from NY to hawaii on Dec. 5th....went through richmond and still has not been scanned into Hawaii and received :-/
package sent parcel post from NY to Hawaii on Dec 12th, Arrived at Richmond on Dec 17th and it has not been seen in Hawaii since... So frustrating.
also have a package being shipped to maui from richmond, ca sort facility and its very irratating that It takes usps so long to ship out everyones items. When I checked the tracking info it said depart usps sort facility december 30, 2012. Its been about 8 days and havent seen any updates. I figure that maybe either the boat is on its way here, or the boat is still being loaded up with packages. I thought the holidays would bring around alot of packages to be shipped here to hawaii, but i thought wrong. Hope usps can step up there game and expedite there shipping.
Package sent from Japan to Los Angeles CA.
Stuck in SF Customs for 4 days.
Now stuck at Richmond, CA indefinitely.
And the solution to the problem? Raise Income TAx and Raise Sales TAx so these goons can get more pensions and benefits.
I hope they send their next shipment out soon, I ordered a school book on Dec 26th to my home in Hawaii. It's been in Richmond since the 30th. It's Jan 10 now. I don't know if I should cancel my order, if that's even possible.
Ordered package from eBay which was shipped Dec 28. It's January 15 today and still no package, but it did go through Richmond, California post office according to the tracking. After reading all the posts here, I'm starting to get a little angry. I didn't realize the sorting facility was in such a bad area. So I'm sure there's lots of packages getting stolen. Man, this bites. From now on, whenever possible, I'm only going to order via UPS/Fedex.
I ordered textbooks on December 22, 2012. It is now January 17, 2013, and I am still textbook-less. I've been managing my textbook situation with taking pictures of the pages on my phone, but I seriously need my books to grow legs and walk of out the Richmond facility.
I sent a Christmas package out on Dec 5 to Hawaii and it still hasn't gotten there! Last known stop was Richmond, Ca. I have UPS and USPS checking statis from South Bend, IN and Kapaa, HI but still no results oither than it has left Richmond. They deefinitely need to close that facility. I also feel soooooo sorry for the military families who have to use this facility to ship items to loved ones serving oversees. This is disgraceful.
My 3 packages arrived at Richmond, CA on January 10. It is now February 13. I believe someone has stolen my boxes. What recourse do I have?
Debbie Carlson, Okinawa, Japan
I would like to update and add a small correction to the story.
I think they do scan when packages leave the richmond facility.
I used https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction.action
the tracking tool and was happy to learn my package only sat 1 day in richmond
sorting and was scanned out. what i didn't know was that it was to go by boat
from there. i wish they would have upgraded the shipping to priority because I called the local post office and they said it took 6 weeks from after leaving Richmond! when I thought it would be a few days and I would have it. total let down for me.
@Anonymous from April 2: Can you tell me where you package was going that they said another 6 weeks and if it was ever received? 2 of my packages left 3/18 and made it to destination 4/1. The third package left 3/19 and is still not there. I am pulling my hair out over this fiasco. There has been no tracking since then, so I have a feeling it is on a very slow boat or missed a full container and was therefore pull in another container that had to wait a loooooong time to ship out. Will never ship anything to Japan again that large and will pay for priority next time. I just wish someone out of the dozen or so people who I have spoken to and emailed with would have explained how Richmond works. I am very thankful for this blog for explaining it to me. It actually makes me feel better to know the process.
A package was mailed from San Marcos, Texas, on 4/5/13 and was supposed to be delivered to San Francisco yesterday. I have been anxiously awaiting this as it was to be a surprise to my son. Now I read all this jargon about the crappy delivery from Richmond, California. My package said it had been sorted through the Richmond, California, sorting facility and it all stops there. This is ridiculous!! I paid $30.21 just to have this happen? The automated system is enough to make you VOMIT. Whatever happened to REAL PEOPLE helping you. Dammit.
Anon from April 12- you are lucky- I have been waiting since 3/9. My carton left Richmond 3/19 and is now in the black hole known as 'on its way to Japan' - USPS won't help, Military Post won't help. I am giving up hope that this carton will ever arrive. So, now I will owe my sister 180 dollars worth of cookies and shipping. Never again.
I really wish we could get updates on all the above shipments...especially the ones going to Hawaii and Japan. I hope prior posters revisit with updates on your shipments from Richmond Sort Facility.
Another Oahu resident waiting for an eBay item that is lost in the Richmond black hole. I purchased it on 3/28 and the estimated delivery date was 4/1-4/9. Is there any way to make sure packages destined for Hawaii do not get sorted through Richmond??
Attaching tracking data for an Ebay package to Hawaii:
Arrival at Post Office
2013-04-17, 05:23:00, HONOLULU, HI 96817
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
2013-04-07, 19:47:00, RICHMOND, CA 94804
10 days from Richmond-Honolulu for this one.
I have been told that I need to wait until 5/3 to determine package (the one that left Richmond on 3/19) is 'lost' on its way to Japan. They are telling me 5 weeks is the standard. Crazy.
FYI- took a month, but I finally have movement on my carton again:
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
April 22, 2013, 2:38 pm
FPO, AP 96347
USPS Tracking / Delivery Confirmation
Last track before this was 3/19 - so it really can take a month to go overseas.
I have the same thing but with the West Sacramento sorting facility. Tracking shows that a package coming to me processed and left that facility on three different days at different times. It's been five days now since the last update and nothing. I'm in Southern California, it shouldn't take this long. Nobody at USPS is helpful. They lie and are rude. I hate USPS.
11 days from arrival in Richmond to Honolulu delivery (eBay purchase)
Out for Delivery
May-14-13, 08:06 AM, HONOLULU, HI 96817
Arrival at Post Office
May-14-13, 06:07 AM, HONOLULU, HI 96817
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
May-03-13, 06:27 AM, RICHMOND, CA 94804
Waiting on a package to come through Richmond as well, I'm in Guam. It was mailed April 26th from Texas, and the last update was April 30th, Richmond, CA. Contacted USPS, and they said 6-8 weeks. I'm seeing things that shipped after my package arriving already in places like Hawaii. My guess is it just takes longer to fill up a container for Guam? The box is full of bottles, and this baby is due July 5th. Hopefully they get here before then!
It sounds like it's going to be close. Hope the bottles arrive in time, and congratulations on July baby!
Anyone think I should be worried? Package departed 05/08 from Richmond, Ca going to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii....
I am also having a problem. I shipoed a large package parcel post April 30th and it is stuck in Richmond. Calling ups for help is like trying to win the lottery.
"Anyone think I should be worried? Package departed 05/08 from Richmond, Ca going to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii...."
Probably no reason to be alarmed. I've had packages, recently, delivered 2-3 weeks after the estimated delivery date. That doesn't make it right, but your mail is probably on its way.
10 days from arrival in Richmond to Honolulu delivery (eBay purchase sent media mail)
2013-06-04, 10:56:00, HONOLULU, HI 96817
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
2013-05-25, 16:13:00, RICHMOND, CA 94804
Your blog stands alone in identifying postal challenges affecting many of us here in the Pacific. You have allowed us to vent our frustrations and try to make some sense of it all. Many Mahalos!!!
I sent a package to my friend in Argentina MAY 16, 2013 and she still waiting for. Priority mail say 7 to 10 days, The package left Los Angeles post office on the 17, but we don't have any notice of the arrived.
This is different. Your package may be in Argentina, in customs, for example. Since it is overseas, the USPS doesn't scan its arrival, of course. I don't know what they do down there...
ordered an item from woodwinds & brasswinds on-line site that was shipped on 5/25. projected delivery date was 6/3 on the ups link that was on my shipping confirmation email. when that date passed, my son decided to enter the package id number on the usps tracking site. the site showed a projected date of 6/13. hopefully, we get our package this week.
I am still waiting on a package to get to my APO box in Korea. It "left" Richmond on June 5, 2013. I talked to USPS customer service, got an e-mail back saying they couldn't help me. How ironic. I am glad I found this site, I am wondering are packages sent by boat to APO in Korea from this facility. That's crazy we ordered some shoes that were processed at another facility in California, and they got here in a week with no problems.
Big Island shopper here with a 3 lb package in the dark hole. Its been there since June 18th, and the estimated delivery date was to be July 1. Seeing this site was a slight boost to my spirits as it can somewhat tell others what the containers look like. Then again maybe I am over thinking this...
Thanks for posting this blog.
Ebay package from IL departed 27 Jun. Expected delivery to Oahu on 10 July. Routed thru Bell Gardens, CA on 1 July arriving 3 July in Richmond, CA. Reports Depart USPS Sort Facility July 4, 2013 Expected Delivery By: July 10, 2013/
It is now July 12. Contacted USPS Customer Service and asked if the package was being shipped by container ship as that might be the reason for the delay. Rep was not sure if USPS shipped mail by boat. Huh???
I have a reference number to follow up. Supposedly this will go to a research team. However, from the experiences listed here, I expect I will get the package eventually. I am glad it isn't parishable. USPS can do a better job of trying to explain this upfront and changing their tracking to reflect this shipping.
Ref post on July 12, 2013:
My local post office in Ewa Beach called within 12 hrs of my my customer call to USPS 800 number. They stated the shipper used "Parcel Select" as the method of shipment which typically takes 3 weeks. I should expect the package that was posted as departing Richmond, CA on 4 July by next week (week of 15 July) after being shipped from Illinois on 27 Jun.
Here is Stamps.com explanation on Parcel Select
"What is Parcel Select?
Parcel Select is designed for large and medium sized shippers looking for an economical ground delivery service. The mail class offers the lowest cost option from the USPS for ground delivery. Price is determined by distance, weight and dimensions of the mail piece."
As you might guess, Best pricing equates to slowest delivery. Reminds me of the old SAM delivery for military mail. We could always expect our care packages to be stale cookie crumbs by the time we got them overseas weeks or months later.
Thank you for that explanation.
If future enquirers ask USPS about their packages, please post here if the shipment was also "Parcel Select."
We are all learning.
Ref 12 July 2013 Ewa Beach - Parcel Select:
Package arrived today 13 July with USPS PARCEL SELECT label. USPS tracking was not typical for this area. Typically packages route thru Honolulu sorting facility first before going to Ewa Beach. This tracking showed arrival,sorting and departure all on 13 July direct from Ewa Beach with no tracking thru Honolulu. Makes me wonder if the package wasn't just sitting in Honolulu PO or at the local Ewa PO for a few days. The package is quite a bit beat up, but the contents were used heavy metal auto parts so no damage to them. I'm just glad to finally have the items.
Glad I found this. I purchased a camera through eBay that was shipped on 7/5 and the expected delivery window was July 7-11. I figured he sent USPS Priority. Date passed, no package and I was a little worried. Double checked on USPS.com and see a expected delivery date of 7/18! Departed Scan at Richmond on July 8. I am really disappointed that he went the cheap way which he probably could've spent no more than a few dollars more and send it Priority mail. I've had vintage cameras sent USPS Priority Mail (paying similar amount on shipping) and on my doorstep in 4 days. This thread has given me a bit of hope on receiving my item by the projected date.
Well I guess it's good to know that it isn't just me. Made a purchase on Ebay, package shipped July 8, estimated delivery on July 12. But it went through Richmond CA and subsequently disappeared. And the thing is I don't even live in Hawaii or elsewhere in the Pacific like a lot of people here. Richmond is just a 20 minute drive away! Tracking says "Departed USPS Sort Facility" in Richmond on July 10. That's over a week ago! Someone could have CRAWLED here and back to deliver that package by now!
That is curious indeed. Since you live near there, maybe one day you cold knock on their door and get the inside scoop on all this.
But let me put out a theory, even though it is unlikely, based on personal experience.
A package was sent to me (in Hawaii) from the Mainland. It ended up wandering around, including (if I remember correctly) being sent to points East instead of West after Richmond.
It took forever to arrive. When it did, I noted that the zip code was incorrect. It had 06817 instead of 96817, which was the apparent cause of the erroneous re-routing (still, you'd think they could do better, but I guess they first go by the zip code indicated). Since the "zero" zip codes are on the East Coast, that's where the package first headed. It didn't even start for Hawaii until someone, somewhere, affixed a sticker with the correct zip code.
If you find that something similar has happened to your package, please post another comment here.
And thanks for writing about your eBay package.
Ok so I live in Honolulu, HI and my package showed departed Rchmond, CA on July 9. Expected date of delivery was July 19. On that day my package still had not been delivered so I e-mailed usps and got a call from my local post office that day. They advised me that my package was not going to arrive anytime soon and would take another 2-3 wks and next time I place an order to choose expedited shipping as there is no ground shipping to HI. Ground shipping means it will be shipped by boat, not air. As far as I know it usually takes a week to 2 wks for anything to ship to HI coming from CA. Knowing that I hoped my package would at least come in within the next week and it did. I just received it today July 22. So for those wondering it should be around two weeks for mail to get here to HI from the date departed from Richmond depending on what day the boat left. This is the first time I've ever waitedthis long for a package, but I'm just happy it wasn't lost along the way. Hope this helps.
I live in Guam and I just made a purchase on eBay on July 9th.
The item was shipped out of Chatsworth CA, eventually making it' way to Richmond CA on July 11th.
The USPS tracking confirmed that i left on the 12th and that the expected date delivery would be on the 22nd. Well, its the 25th right now so I'm assuming that the expected date is off and that my package will actually be here in Guam by next week.
I've experienced having packages come in as much as a month, so I'm not surprise that my stuff didn't came in on the 22nd....
Yes, I think the sheer volume of comments here confirm what I think you're suggesting, which is that the projected delivery date on these packages is pure fiction.
I'm a little frustrated, and i'm glad to know i'm not the only one going through this. I'm from Central Europe, shipping a package to my boyfriend in Hawaii. One package that i sent a month ago from Central Europe (first class, airmail, uninsured) took only 11 days to deliver. My tracking info was: arrived to NY sorting facility, and then 5 days later it was deliver to him in Kauai, HI. No stops on my tracking in between.
Second package was a little heavier, but insured, and also sent as first class package. It has been 4 days since the status: "Depart USPS Sort Facility in Richmond, CA" hasn't changed. Never before have i seen this, and i don't understand while the fist package was delivered by air, while this one is most likely to be shipped by cargo boat.
Good thing i paid extra for insurance, but how long should i wait until i contact officials at post office? I don't live in States, so i don't want to be doing any back and forth phone calls with them.
It's my boyfriend's birthday in 9 days so i sincerely hope it arrives on time :/
The only thing I can think of is to ask your boyfriend to check with his local post office, giving him the tracking information. Of course, then the birthday present wouldn't be a surprise.
The chances are that it will arrive at his door today, just because you posted this comment. At least that's what happens to me. It's as though inanimate objects are psychic and torment me.
Thank god i found this article! I was getting frustrated as to why my package was taking so long to reach me here in Honolulu. I ordered my shoes on the 5th of august and it arrived in Richmond and was processed at the sort facility on 8/14. Its expected to arrive on Monday 8/26 but i hope it gets here before that because that's when school starts for me. Im just relieved at the fact that im not the only one having this problem but still angry and frustrated at how long its taking and how much of a hassle this facility has been to customers.
This is an update on the message that i posted on August 8, 2013 concerning the lost tracking of a package sent for my boyfriend.
Package arrived to his local post office after his birthday, on August 19th, 2013. Therefore package mailed from Central Europe to Kauai, HI took almost 3 weeks to be delivered. It was about 7 lbs and i paid over 50 USD for the postage, being insured and first class airmail.
My boyfriend wasn't able to pick up the package as he was traveling, therefore his roommate did so 10 days later. No signature required. Boyfriend arrived September 8th. Package seemed ok, considering the distance and time it had traveled. He starts opening the contents, and finds missing: 3 chocolate bars, cologne (only a box is there), packet of smokes (i know i shouldnt have sent that in a first place, my fault), chewing gums and candy as well as first aid kit i made and put together myself.
Considering there was a silver coin, silver plated belt buckle, another perfume and other 'cool' stuff, i'm wondering why these particular items were missing.
All of these were small 15+ birthday gifts, therefore each and every item was wrapped separately, numbered and placed in package. He wouldn't even be suspicious, since package might get opened along the way, crossing the customs for general review. But why would someone take cologne and leave a box from it behind. And chewing gums, seriously?
Even though my package was insured, i'm afraid this comment is all i can do about it. He hasnt taken a picture of package before opening nor had he taken a picture of the content inside. So there is no chance for me to file a claim successfully.
I'm just warning you people out there, if your package seems to be tempered with, document it along the way and complain if you need to.
I have no proof of whether it was opened at customs and items got stolen from it at that time, or during the 10 day period while sitting in PO BOX of his local post office or his until-now-trustworthy roommate 'took a peak' before he had a chance.
Thank you for your detailed report, and I'll have to say it is a bit shocking to hear that a package can be tampered with in this day and age.
I wonder about customs. Many years ago I hand carried a package from Japan to the US as part of a business trip. The package was one of the first "laptop" computers, that is, a computer that folded against a keyboard. It was a present from a Japanese company executive to an American company executive. Customs said I needed some kind of paperwork because it was a commercial gift (they were correct), and that I'd have to leave it with them and come back with the paperwork. We did the paperwork and sent someone over with it, but suddenly, customs could not locate the package.
It turned out that there was no recourse. They were not responsible for items confiscated and kept by them.
So some customs official got himself a fantastic Japanese laptop, the first in his neighborhood to have one!
I don't know if it's still true that Customs has no responsibility. If so, that could explain where the missing parts of your shipment went. Just sayin'.
I am another Hawaiian-ite who has had to deal with this. My last shipment had a projected arrival date of Sept. 6. After many emails with a great ebay seller, and waiting a long time, the package finally arrived a full 22 days after the expected arrival date. I made the assumption it was being shipped by boat which really doesn't make sense. I have things shipped to me often from Portland and Seattle which make it to me in 4-5 business days.
At any rate, thanks for this post and confirmation of my suspected thoughts on the shipping method. I'm now waiting for another package, expected delivery date of yesterday, which has fallen into this black hole.
Heartbroken, when I helped my Dad move a few weeks ago I boxed up a few items of my Mom's that really had sentimental value to me and reminded me of my mom( she passed away Feb.25, 2013). My Dad mailed the box to me from Asheville, NC 2 weeks ago today. He sent it first class with insurance. Online is shows it made it to Richmond,CA and says it was supposed to be delivered on 10/10/13. No one at my post office or the Asheville post office knows anything and now that I have read all your comments I am so sad since I will probably never see my Mom's things again. And no amount of insurance money could replace these momentos. I will never use USPS again because obviously they have known about this problem for a long time and have done nothing about it. Why they haven't had undercover investigations blows my mind. I know people are upset about not receiving items they bought for presents, etc. but imagine for a minute if you lost memories of a loved one that passed. These items might as well been lost in a fire or flood. I know my memories of my mom are in my heart and mind but now they can't be handed down to my daughters or even their kids when they have them. I am done with USPS! They have absolutely no accountability and act like they don't even care.
I posted original certificates of my education qualification in certified first class mail to International educational research service for forien credential evaluation(IERF) on the 5th of November 2013. The mail was suppose to diliver with in 5 day. it went to the mail sorting facility in Los Angeles 90025 on the 6th of November. There affter there is no dilivery information being scanned. Each time I call USPS has tracked my phone number and giving me the same old information again and Again. With the greatest difficulties if get one of the operators find my mail. Sad to say they are rude and careless. They don't give a damn a about what we worry about. Two operators just hung up the phone. The sadest part in USPS is the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing so these people have no clue what happens to a mail when it reaches the sorting facility. One operator told me to wait till it reaches the destination. I asked her how many months and how many years should I wait? I was so upset. I am unable to get a job with my original qualifications and for them just a nother mail that went missing. I do believe that the sorting facility is a "black hole" . I posted this from Torrence and the package is going to Culvercity. It is just next door and it doesn't need hundred days to diliver. I am so disapointed about USPS. I opened a case with them and they told me some body will call me with in 24 hours. Sad to say no one called me. After 3 day I made calls to all the possible places and still there is no respond. That is how they care about their cutomers also you can imagine how irresponsible they are. If this happened with UPS they will tell exactly where is the package and the time it will be dilivered. Money can't replace my credentials. That is 12 years of my hard work. I can't even get a job with out them. I am so stressed out with this and feeling really sad. If any body know any way I can find them let me know. These credentials are from different countries of the world. I WILL TELL ANY BODY "DON'T TRUST USPS FOR THE THINGS WITH A VALUE". Cerified mail and tracking are all BULLSHIT.
id like to think they are working to fix the problem and show some integrity...... but the package im waiting for reached richmond two weeks ago and departed a couple days later but have yet to reach or at least be processed at the next location....i will see if i can get any help at the post office tomorrow.
@Sean DaIceMan -- As you probably guessed, from the comments posted here, your package is probably en route on a boat someplace.
If you get a response from the PO, please post it here. Thanks
Two of my packages has been Stuck at Richmond PO since Nov. 12, 2013!! Sadly, they are all for xmas gifts!! Im located in GU and idk how long it will take to get here :( but it sure is taking forever. Its already Dec. 3 here. I just dont understand why it has to be shipped by boat instead of plane. This is the first this ever happened to me!
I have a package that was processed in Richmond, California on December 1st. It was supposed to be here on the 3rd and now I'm starting to get worried. I hope my package doesn't get stuck there forever. After seeing many horror stories about the terrible shipping from there, I just hope that it gets here (HI) in time for Christmas. Also, it's a gift for my boyfriend which makes it even worst. I've never had this kind of experience with shipping and I'm just hoping that it was slightly delayed.
O.K. so add me to the list of people sending packages to Hawaii that have gotten lost in the black hole that is the Richmond sort facility. I mailed a package from Oregon that was scanned at my local post office on November 27, scanned the next day in Federal Way, Washington, and then scanned on November 30 in Richmond. That was the last scan and it is now December 13.
Interestingly, the USPS website says “Processed through USPS Sort Facility” but then if I click on the information icon it adds “Your item was processed through and left our RICHMOND, CA 94804 facility on November 30, 2013 at 9:20 am.” By “left the facility” what I imagine this means is that it was scanned as it was placed into a shipping container where it lingered (or continues to linger) waiting for the container to be filled and shipped to Hawaii. At least that is what I am hoping since it is better than having the package stolen which would appear to be not uncommon in Richmond.
I guess on the optimistic side, since this is the Christmas season perhaps containers headed to Hawaii fill up more quickly than other times of the year and therefore get to Hawaii sooner. The package is a gift for a relative whom I am visiting between Christmas and New Year’s. I am hoping the package arrives in time for me to watch him open it.
Ugh! This is all so frustrating! I have a package that is listed as DEPARTED from the Richmond facility on 12/9, with an estimated delivery of 12/10. I'm in San Francisco -- it's a 30 minute drive. Where did it go? Actually...I don't want to know. I've contacted the Etsy sellers, and they are looking into it from their end. I've contacted USPS, and I can't submit a lost package report until it's "officially late" on the 17th. I thought I had paid for priority shipping, but apparently not. When I talked to the USPS rep, I asked a lot of questions about how to submit the report and the odds of the package showing up, and then mentioned that I was having issues with the Richmond facility... *crickets chirping* Sigh -- of course these are Christmas gifts, and it's not the end of the world if they're late, but...where the hell are they?
Your situation looks quite different from the others -- your package should not be loaded onto a boat.
My guess is that there is indeed a glitch someplace, but that if your package is properly packed (that is, not falling apart or damaged), and if it's properly addressed, you'll probably get it pretty soon. Maybe even tomorrow. That's the way the universe works. As soon as you post on this blog, the package shows up. See what happens.
Larry, from your lips to the shipping gods ears. I've a package that hasn't updated since leaving the Richmond Ca sorting facility on Dec 11th for a San Francisco address. I pray it shows up soon.
Date & Time Status of Item Location December 9, 2013
Depart USPS Sort Facility
RICHMOND, CA 94804 December 7, 2013 , 9:32 am
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
RICHMOND, CA 94804
December 4, 2013
Depart USPS Sort Facility
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32099
December 3, 2013 , 6:38 am
Processed at USPS Origin Sort Facility
JACKSONVILLE, FL 32099
December 3, 2013 , 5:23 am
Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility
POMPANO BEACH, FL 33069
December 1, 2013
Electronic Shipping Info Received
Another lost package Florida Dec 3rd 2013 Now Dec 24th 2013 and its in Black Hole no information, already put in claim for USPS how long before I refund Ebayer theyre money??
10 days from arrival in Richmond to Honolulu delivery (Amazon.com purchase)
December 26, 2013 , 8:08 am Out for Delivery HONOLULU, HI 96817
December 16, 2013 , 12:41 pm Processed through USPS Sort Facility RICHMOND, CA 94804
Thank you for posting the delivery result. Ten days in Christmas season sounds not bad -- in fact, I wonder if the containers fill up more quickly...
Just how long does one have to wait. It is a small wonder why this service is called SNAIL MAIL. I ordered my items back on Dec 17th, it was supposedly sent out on the day after. Traveled across the country during the terrible during the winter on December 21 and landed in the Richmond facility on 12-27-13. Now more than 10 days later, it STILL has not arrived . No one has explained to me if it is lost or still needing delivery.
My package to Honolulu left Colorado on 12/23, routed to Richmond CA via Memphis TN on 12/30. It's 1/10 today and no package. USPS Consumer Affairs Office person told me this: Usually a small package shouldn't go to Richmond (as with my previous shipments), but because of the holiday backlog it could've been misrouted. And sometimes people at Richmond sees such packages they will put them on air shipment because...most package that are routed to Richmond are larger items or items meant to be sent via "boat", which takes 3-4 weeks to Honolulu.
Apparently my package was incorrectly routed, and possibly mis-sorted among larger items. And there's no way they can trace where it is now as no packages are scanned until they get to the next processing point. They couldn't tell if it actually got on the boat, which boat, and when the boat arrives...but were sure that not on the air because it's been so many days already.
So much for 3 days delivery...the rep was nice and helpful though. Filing MRC just in case and see if vendor can reship it, with the original shipment to be refused later. If it is an option, stick to UPS/FedEx for better accountability and traceability.
Not sure where you are located, but the chances are you will receive your package, it's not lost. The issue here is more "when" than anything else.
I am not alone...I shipped a box Dec 23 2013 from MI to HI, Post office indicated a delivery of January 8, 2014. You guessed it, stuck in Richmond. Had no idea would have shipped Priority, but more than twice the price and supposedly only 2 days quicker with Christmas and New Years! Buyer in HI is not a happy camper!
Another lost packagage from Tokyo, Japan to Las Vegas, NV via the Richmond Sorting Facility. It used to take only 7-10 days for a package to be delivered from Tokyo to Las Vegas. But it has been 6 weeks now. It was held at San Francisco for 3 weeks and "Your item was processed through and left our RICHMOND, CA 94804 facility on December 27, 2013 at 7:04 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination. No further information is available for this item." It is January 13, 2014 and no update since. My package is considered as Express Priority in the U.S. I called the local post office, the local consumer affairs, and 1-800 number at USPS. The employees at the first two were super rude and no help!! I will probably ask the shipper to use FedEx or another company to send me any package.
I live in USPS zip code 96942 (635 miles south of Guam) I ordered my son a ukulele from Musician's Friend. I tracked the package to the Richmond facility, then waited. A couple of months later, we finally got a box from Musician's friend, obviously opened and re-taped together. Inside were a pair of used hedge trimmers, a girl's belt, a large bath towel with embroirded initials, and in the very bottom, stuck to the flap, a packing slip from Musician's friend saying enclosed was my ukulele.
There are a few reports posted on this blog similar to yours. It's really hard to imagine what happened to the package. For example, was the original package adequately packed for the long journey? Many vendors pack like Amazon.com does, but that kind of thin cardboard with little protection inside or out may not make it through the system. For parcel post, a package has to be very well armored.
Who knows how or why the miscellaneous stuff was chosen to send to you. That sounds like mismanagement someplace. But still, if the original package were adequate, it likely would not have broken open and presented the opportunity for a postal worker to stuff it with whatever else was on the floor nearby.
Crap! I just had my package scanned at Richmond, CA. It was sent from Los Angeles area bound for Oahu, HI with an expected delivery date of 1/24/14 -- yesterday. I thought it was strange doing to HI via Northern CA so I did an internet search which brought me here. Now I am officially worried. No more USPS for me! ugh.
Yep, I'm in the same boat. Don't ship via USPS, use UPS, FEDEX, etc. The tracking info said it left Richmond CA more than a week ago which was more than a week after it was supposed to be delivered. So now it's three weeks late, and people are waiting on what's in the package. I should have insured it for more.
I ordered a laptop from boston and it was shipped on jan.21 at aliston,MA and on the same day was processed in Nashua,NH. Then it stopped there. Could it have gone to richmond sort facility?
Who knows where it is. Usually, there would be a scan when it arrives at Richmond (or elsewhere). You might contact your local post office about what you can do to get more information. Also, verify, if you can, that the zip code on your package was correct. I found that when a zip code was wrong (mine had 068xx instead of 968xx) it got stuck someplace on the East Coast, probably in a pile while they figured out what to do with it. I did receive the package, but it took some time. See what you can find out.
I have a package bound for Korea. It shipped from the company, (I ordered online) on 7 February via UPS or FedEx... got to the Richmond facility on the 13th of February, left on the 15th to San Francisco facility. It left the san Francisco facility on 16 February... today is 23 February and my package has still not made it to Korea... I'm beyond frustrated...packages I've sent to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan have made it there in as little as 9 days... this was supposed to be a Valentine's gift for my child's father... ;(
My wife sent me a Christmas package from Orlando that has also had the misfortune of the Richmond facility. It was originally scheduled for arrival on 12/30. It is now 2 months late. In that time, it has traveled back and forth across the country 5 times between the Richmond and Jacksonville sort facilities. Of course repeated calls/visits with the Post Office get the 'nothing we can do' response. The last one actually asked me to please not go to the TV/News with my story. She had me write a letter to the two sort facility managers describing my package (how do you uniquely describe a medium sized package you have never seen?) so that they could possibly look for it and intercept it. I went ahead and did that knowing it wouldn't help (and since she mailed it to them, they probably never got it anyway).
The package didn't contain anything worth a lot of $$, however, it did contain a framed picture of my children that I have always kept with me at work. Beyond frustrated at this point. I would like to think if there was something important, or dangerous in this day and age, in a package that they would have some way of finding it.
do all standard post go through Richmond, CA for Hawaii destination? I have 2 packages coming and its been 3 weeks and still nothing. its coming from Washington state.
My understanding is that parcel post would go through the Richmond Sort Facility and then into a container and onto a boat. I don't know if other mail necessarily goes through there, I would think some might, most would not. But your local post office can give you an idea, most likely, about when to expect the packages and where they have gone.
So thats why my package is not here. OMG I ordered something of 2/12/14 expected delivery date 3-4-14 and its still in CA. They better get the $h!t together cause someone going to have to pay for my things i need being late
Mine is a domestic delivery from Phoenix to Point Arena, CA. Mailed on 3-8-2014, Processed through Sort Facility (Richmond, of course) on 3/9/2014 at 8:38 pm. This proves the package could get to Richmond in 29 hours from the time I was at the Phoenix counter. The distance of 122 miles from Richmond to Point Arena would not seem to warrant a "container" so comments from others on overseas problems are not an answer. Expected delivery is said to be 3/11/2014. I laugh/cry every time I read this..
I guess I am a short-timer on this list of issues with Richmond. I am currently awaiting the infamous call back but ... "It's Friday with the weekend coming. Expect a call Tuesday or Wednesday" is the response I got when filing a claim.
WELL ALOHA I HAVE BEEN WAITING SINCE FEB 28TH FOR A PACKAGE FROM CALIFORNIA TO MAUI AND ITS STILL STUCK THERE IN RICHMOND CALIFORNIA THE EXPECTED DELIVERY WAS 03/13/2014 I WENT TO THE POST OFFICE AND ALL THE WOMAN SAID WAS OH YOU GONNA HAVE TO WAIT 4 TO 6 WEEKS OR LONGER, I AM VERY UPSET BUT I GIVE THANKS BECAUSE ITS NOT A PERSON OR LIFE SAVING INSTRUMENT THAT I AM WAITING FOR JUST GETS ME SO UPSET FOR SO MANY MISTAKES THAT WE PAY FOR THESE DAYS!
Hi everyone, thank you so much for those useful information posted above. I seem to be in the same situation as many people here and I am having a quick question. I shipped a package to Rota, Mariana Island back in 2/18 and the package was supposed to be delivered on 3/14 but never arrived. The most up to date info I get from the tracking number was "departed Richmond, CA on 2/25" (my guess is by boat since it was parcel), so estimately how long does it usually take for the package to be delivered now that it is on a boat? Thanks for your help :(
Yours is the first comment on a package sent to Mariana Island, so there's nothing to go by. I wonder also if the boat goes directly there or makes some stops along the way...?
If you can get feedback from the recipient, please come back and post, to assist others in the future. For example, the date it was delivered, and if they can get any info on their end (perhaps from the delivering carrier or post office) of the path it took to Rota.
Just adding a bit of information to this pot of swill called Richmond. Just because you are told it's been shipped UPS or FedEx, does not mean they'll ship it all the way to HI. The sellers (no necessarily Amazon) select an option that allows UPS or FedEx to dump the packages at the coast ... you guessed it, at Richmond. I had a small package sent from California and it took over three weeks to get it here on Oahu. Tracking stopped at Richmond of course. Here it is 2014 and by looking at the latest posts, I can see that nothing has changed. USPS wonder why they have a bad reputation, just look at Richmond.
I kind of heard that it gets held up in Richmond, CA until the container gets filled and it takes 30 -45 days to reach Hawaii. On the other side, if we ship USPS Parcel Post from Hawaii to the US Mainland, I noticed things get delivered within 2 weeks at the most.
Very frustrated and upset, but VERY thankful for this excellent blog!!! I discovered it while googling for "richmond CA USPS delay".. go figure.
I'm upset because I ordered a small item (a nintendo 3DS game card, weighs a couple ounces at most) on eBay, and the seller confirmed it would be sent USPS First Class (NOT parcel select or media mail, both of which have taken up to SEVEN weeks to arrive at my pearl city home) which was important to me, as this is for a specific time and place, and the item will have no meaning or value if it arrives late. Unfortunately no seller was selling it at a decent price and shipping via priority mail, or I'd have gone that way.
Anyway, the purchase was made on 5/24/2014 (a saturday, so I only count tuesday since monday was memorial day). Tracking shows it was scanned into the actual physical mail stream tuesday morning the 27th (i say physical stream because often times USPS tracking has a "electronic shipping info received" line, which just indicates the date/time the seller purchased postage online). it was scanned as "processed through usps sorting facility" at Richmond CA on June 2. it had been routed from savannah GA to Jacksonville FL, then Memphis TN, and then to CA.
delivery estimate was originally June 2nd, which makes sense, as real FIRST CLASS MAIL takes about a week to arrive from that area.. well, it only arrived in Richmond CA on that date, and now it's June 6th, and no package, so it did NOT go by air.
this leads me to believe that the seller did not, in fact, use usps first class mail. One thing that annoys me is ignorance about mailing to hawaii (on the part of sellers) and i've taken it upon myself to politely educate many sellers with No AK/HI policies. If this package arrives and indeed has FIRST CLASS postage, then i need to rethink my reeducation campaign, because obviously USPS Richmond has some issues, and is likely part of the reason sellers don't want to ship to HI. If it's got media mail postage on it (which i suspect), then this seller represents the other class of sellers that annoy me, and that is sellers who aren't honest about shipping methods (the first group were those who arbitrarily block AK/HI shipping). In all likelihood, the seller was told, erroneously, that media mail takes 8 days max (by a clerk who has no idea that it goes by ship to hawaii), and thought i would never know the difference.
anyway, sorry for the rant, but i'm really frustrated by this stuff.
By the way, i don't know if this next fact was covered here in the comments, as i read every comment up to around sept/oct 2013 (maybe skipped some) but jumped right to the end after that to post this comment, so here it is.. bear with me if you've read it somewehre on this page already: USPS First Class is limited to items 13oz and lighter, and is supposed to go by AIR to hawaii.
Anything over that weight is either Parcel Select, Media Mail, or Priority 2 or 3 day (formerly express and priority mail).
Thank you for your excellent discussion. I hope the gods of postal mail are paying attention and that you'll receive your package tomorrow.
Yes, I've received eBay purchases via media mail. It took, if I remember correctly, over a month to arrive. In my case, it wasn't important, I didn't need the item right away. The seller packed it well, and it arrived ok and was a great saving over purchasing the same thing locally at Hawaii's outrageous prices.
Please come back and comment again when your package arrives, about how it was sent, and if it was properly addressed.
I ordered a Desktop and Monitor from bestbuy on may 22. It is now June 8 and im leaving for vacation on the 12th so im hoping it will arrive before then...
Friend of mine sent me a laptop but, unfortunately for me, decided to go with Parcel Select instead of Priority. It was shipped out from ID on May 30, and has been listed as "Processed and left Richmond, CA" on June 2. Called USPS to see what the holdup was and got nothing. It is June 12 (11 for the US.)
BTW, I'm on Guam. I've already given up hope on getting this laptop in one piece.
I sent a package to Bangkok and it has disappeared once it has been processed at Richmond, I was hoping it would get to Bangkok in two weeks but it has been more than two weeks, I read where some ones packages took a month so I guess there is hope for my package. This is about as bad as sending something to Nigeria. I guess I will have to mail things to Bangkok early to hope it will arrive on time.
Hi, I bought a package from Columbus Ohio and was shipped standard mail via Ebay to Hawaii. It says processed thru Richmond California sort facility yesterday on July 15th 2014 at 2:14 pm. It is now 5:05 pm July 16th and the package hasn't tracked since the 15th. Reading about these problems I'm starting to get worried. When will I get my package?? Helpp!!;
I live in Honolulu HI. I sent an unopened package back to an eBay seller on April 21, 2014. The last tracking date is May 17, 2014 at Richmond Ca Sort Facility. Today’s date is July 21, 2014. THREE MONTHS IN TRANSIT AND USPS CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR MY $265.00 LOST PACKAGE!!!
I'll add my seemingly common Ebay experience with Postal Select to Hawaii through Richmond....
Learned something new and will NEVER make the same mistake.
Accepted in Tucson AZ 85748 on 7/2/14
Processed through Richmond on 7/8/14
Today is 7/21/14. So, it's been 19 days and no package!
I guess it's still "early". I'll never use that seller again. $15.00 fee for what looks like a $7.00 USPS charge.
Priority Post is the way to go to Hawaii.
Hi im from honolulu hawaii and i ordered a item from missouri on july 11, sorted and left richmond sorting facility on july 16. Estimated delivery said to be july 28-august 4. And to be honest i dont think it even left richmond yet. No updates of where the package is. Why would anyone ship via boat from mainland to hawaii. Ill update as soon as i get one....
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