[78-L] high cost of shipping to USA from rest of world

Benno Häupl goldenbough at arcor.de
Mon Apr 16 13:53:54 PDT 2012

Hi, Paul, Omar and all! 

First of all, one or two 78s can be mailed from the USA internationally for 
about $16.oo as Priority Mail. I get many such packages. No need to feed 
USPS with money when the package USES THE SAME ROUTING, AND THE 
MAIL POUCHES OR BINS AS FIRST CLASS!  The distinction First Class vs. 
Priority only exists as a tariff, but the routing and handling are the same - 
outside of the USA.  

Paul, you say, "there is no US outbound "Parcel Post" - either First Class 
International (under 4 pounds, uninsuarable) or Priority" (over 4 pounds)".

This is exactly where the confusion is, created by USPS.   From Afghanistan to 
Zimbabwe, the global postal system consists of three different logistics networks: 

1) - There is the global courier service EMS, which only the USA call "Global Express 
Guaranteed" or "Express Mail International".  

Anything else goes through either of these networks: 
2) - Parcel Post, that is all the heavy shipments up to 40 lbs (from USA) or 44 lbs 
3) - Letter Post, i.e. anything up to 4lbs (US) or 4.4 lbs internationally 

Bear in mind that all things up to 4lbs (or 4.4lbs) are carried in the very same 
mail boxes or pouches - with the exception of "Parcels" under 4 lbs - which go 
with the rest of the parcels, using the different Parcels network. 

These three networks meet at the beginning and at the end:  they are together at the 
Post Office desk, and certainly at the first sorting center. But then they may use 
different trucks to the airport, different airplanes (cargo or passenger jets), then on arrival 
different trucks and sorting centers at destination again up to delivery. 

The only exception to the above system is what is globally known as "Printed Matter" 
(which again only USPS calls Media Mail). The only difference is that it has the least 
priority, but it uses the same "Letter logistic routes" and bins as the 1oz to 4lbs "letters".  

I know this is hard to understand for Americans, because USPS did everything 
to create confusion by introducing a new terminology. 

In short, for US Americans: anything "Express Mail" is an international courier service. 
All "Priority" and "First Class" is internationally a "Letter" - and they are carried 
(outside of the USA) in the same bins, pouches or airline containers! 
In other words, if you send a fragile 78 as "Priority" or "First Class", it ends up 
with all those 1oz letters (invoices, whatever) in the same mail bins. These pouches 
or bins are only allowed to weigh 20kg (44lbs) maximum, because women must be 
able to drag or lift them. 

Your fragile 78 is much safer as "Priority Mail" in a bin with all the letters than 
as a "Parcel", which USPS calls  "Priority Mail Boxes" - whether "Flat Rate" or not. 
These, being "Parcels", they travel in trucks, and later in those large airline containers 
that you see at the airport. They are allowed to be stacked up to 3 meters high (about 10'). 
Chances are that your box is at the bottom with 400lbs of other stuff on top of it. 

I used to be in charge for international incoming and outbount mail with a US airline at 
Frankfurt airport, Germany. Therefore my recommendation is to ship through the 
"Letter logistics channel" if at all possible, weightwise. That's "First Class" or "Priority".  

I am sure that Omar has researched the best viable way to use Correos and their tariffs. 
Tip of the hat! 


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