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Budget Shipping: Greyhound Package Express is cheap for big stuff
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Budget Shipping: Greyhound Package Express is cheap for big stuff - October 22, 2013, 08:51 AM

I recently shipped the engine, frame, and swing arm of my old KTM 620 RXC to an advrider member in Kansas. I split the shipment into two packages. The engine was 82 lbs with longest dimension 22 inches. The frame with swing arm tucked inside of it was a total of 45 lbs with longest dimension 34 inches.

I got online shipping quotes from USPS, UPS, FedEx Ground, and Greyhound. Forget USPS and UPS for heavy and/or large packages--they will fleece you. The online quotes showed similar costs (~$155) between FedEx and Greyhound. However, those prices were no good at the actual Parcel Plus/FedEx store in my area. The cost they quoted me was over $200 so I decided to try Greyhound.

The main consideration with Greyhound is that the shipper must deliver the packages to a Greyhound station, and the receiver must pick them up at a Greyhound station. However, for really heavy and/or large items, the savings far outweigh the additional cost and inconvenience of traveling to and from stations.

The actual final cost was $172 and change to ship the packages described above. It was not smooth though. The guy in Baltimore couldn't coax their shipping software to charge my credit card for the shipment so I had to send the stuff COD and refund the buyer the shipping cost he paid me by paypal. Second, they got the engine there in less than two days but bungled the frame/swing arm package. Greyhound does not have a very well-defined protocol for resolving lost items. On the other hand, the guy got the missing frame/swing arm package two days later so they did manage to resolve the issue. One annoying thing though is this. They wanted him to pay shipping on both packages, even though one was missing. He did not do that and left the engine at the station with the thought that this gave them incentive to find the missing package. Greyhound threatened to charge him a storage fee if the engine sat for more than three days. Obviously, this unfairly puts the burden of mishandling onto the receiver. Yeah no--Greyhound needs to change this policy.

All in all, I guess I would chance it again with Greyhound because they were a good 30% cheaper than FedEx Ground and A LOT cheaper than the others mentioned. The key to shipping with them or anyone else is to minimize dimension lengths and weights. There is some art to deciding when to split one large, heavy package up into two or more smaller, lighter packages, and the online quote tools are somewhat useful for making this decision.

I'm Orangeshirtdude, and this has been my experience with shipping large, heavy items by Greyhound Package Express. Thank you and have a nice day.


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October 22, 2013, 08:55 AM

I bought a new painted hood for my Jeep from a body shop off eBay. They shipped it Greyhound. It was relatively quick and very easy and I'm sure far cheaper than conventional shipping.
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October 22, 2013, 08:58 AM

I shipped most of a full bodywork set for a 97 concours out to las vegas using greyhound. It was the cheapest option I found and worked out really good.
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October 22, 2013, 09:03 AM

Good to know. Never would have thought. I haven't even seen one of their buses in years.


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October 22, 2013, 09:18 AM

The really nice thing you get for the lower cost is rapid arrival. Since their buses are going all over all the time, you can usually get delivery within the second day, maybe the third day if you are sending coast to coast.


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