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Gene Mitchell
12-15-2009, 02:07 PM
I am having a set of pipes sent to me via Parcel Force Global Priority. I was told this Thursady to expect them gaurenteed if not earlier. I am getting a little nervous because I started reading horror stories. I don't have the patience to wait for things in the mail. Has anyone had experience with this service? I am in U.S and the pipes are coming from Scotland.

Bill Carr
12-15-2009, 02:49 PM
I am having a set of pipes sent to me via Parcel Force Global Priority. I was told this Thursady to expect them gaurenteed if not earlier. I am getting a little nervous because.........

I get stuff from Scotland with ParcelForce. Mostly bagpipes from MacMurchie. Never had any trouble with them and it always gets delivered to my door. The tracking is pretty accurate too. I can usually see when its cleared Customs and is on it's way for delivery. You can track the parcel on the ParcelForce web site if you have the tracking number... Ask the folks who posted it.

I would expect some delay because of the Christmas rush.. Relax...take a deep breath...:thumb:


Bill

Gene Mitchell
12-15-2009, 02:52 PM
Haha well Ironically it is a set of MacMurchies. I just started reading different things and people having problems so i got nervous. I will have to try to get a tracking number that will surely help. I am guessing it is carried through usps once in the states.

MarkEvv
12-15-2009, 10:31 PM
I've shipped boxes of books from England to the US using Parcel Force a couple of times (when I teach a semester abroad) and (touch wood) I've never lost a box and with Priority they arrived right on time.

PDpiper
12-16-2009, 05:06 AM
It may be transfered to UPS, check with the sender. The biggest delay will be Customs. I have found the Eastcoast entry to take less time than the Leftcoast. Anywhere from 1 to 5 days in Customs.

Bobby

the old marshal
12-16-2009, 05:17 AM
Just .........rely on Her Majesties Royal Mail........!....:doh:

Bill Carr
12-16-2009, 05:19 AM
Get the tracking number from Blue and then try it on the USPS.com website as well as parcelforce.com. If it does not show on USPS then it's been handled by another company.. UPS or something. Parce Force only has it while it's in the UK.


Bill

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 05:33 AM
Thanks guys Ill try to get a hold of Blue and ask him. He told me Guaranteed this Thursday but I am curious to see who carries it in the U.S. Mainly because i work evenings and would like to have someone home to take them. Thanks again for the help I am really excited which makes me want to call out of work and wait for them!:grin:

Troy Jesse
12-16-2009, 10:19 AM
Should be Parcel Farce....

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 10:37 AM
yea I put the tracking number it but it has to record of it. Figures.. Its never easy

Box Elder Piper
12-16-2009, 11:05 AM
Let us know how you like them...when they arrive, that is.

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 11:08 AM
haha thanks I definitely will I will take some pics too

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 12:25 PM
I believe this is set 4 and yes you are right. It is rather frustrating sometimes but you can learn a lot about the tonal qualities of different instruments. I am kind of hoping this set will be one of my last.. Again I can appreciate different tone qualities other than Henderson type bore like Gibson and Soutar so its soo hard to pick one type and only own one type.

Bill Carr
12-16-2009, 02:35 PM
So, how many sets will this make for you? ...........The ironic thing is when you come full circle and end up with something you had previously given up on like myself.

Full circle? More like the merry go round for me....:woot: I get dizzy just thinking about how many sets I've had. For me it's been a big part of the whole bagpipe adventure.

Bill

David Marshall
12-16-2009, 03:21 PM
"Again I can appreciate different tone qualities other than Henderson type bore like Gibson and Soutar so its soo hard to pick one type and only own one type. "

Maybe I am having difficulty reading this. Are you saying Gibson is or isn't a Henderson sound?

The Gibson was based on Captain John's MacDougall.

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 03:36 PM
Sorry I meant it isn't and I can appreciate and enjoy those tones as well. Along with the Glen tye sound which If I am not mistaken Soutar models after?

Shawn McDaniel
12-16-2009, 03:52 PM
Both of my Doug MacPherson pipes were shipped using Parcel Force. Mine did not arrive exactly on time and they arrived by means of the US Postal Service. So, once they clear customs, I would imagine the USPS in responsible for delivery when shipped with this company. Mine arrived safely so just hang tight and they should be to you soon. The holiday season I am sure is alot to blame.

Gene Mitchell
12-16-2009, 04:10 PM
Thanks Shawn yea I was wondering who takes them after they hit the states. The gaurenteed date is tomorrow but Ill know the time of year has something to do with it if it doesnt show up. Its good to hear you had a good experience with your pipes.

Bill Carr
12-16-2009, 11:46 PM
Customs do not adhere to delivery time promises made by the carrier. They take just as much time as the like. I have had parcels that were posted UK on Tuesday and arrived Norwegian Customs on Thursday. They have sat there for a week before being cleared and then taken another 5 days to reach me. :mad:

Bill

simon macgregor
12-17-2009, 12:07 AM
in the past i had deliverys with parcel force and it was a nightmare company to deal with.
ive ordered items and 12 weeks later im still having to ring them to sort it out.
within the last 2 years the service has changed,they deliver when they say they will deliver.....must have been a big shake up in the company but im always still dubiuos if i buy somthing from ebay and they say its coming via parcel force.

Gene Mitchell
12-17-2009, 06:32 AM
Just as a update I got the tracking number worked out it says it left the U.K the 15th. I could barely sleep thinking about getting them today. My Fiance thinks I am pathetic:shrug:

Mike Lynch
12-17-2009, 08:48 AM
It doesn't sound like your fiancee is a piper! :willy:

Mike

JRM
12-17-2009, 09:16 AM
Customs do not adhere to delivery time promises made by the carrier. They take just as much time as the like.....:mad:

Bill

You said a mouthfull !!:mad:

Gene Mitchell
12-17-2009, 12:05 PM
Haha no she is not but she is supportive within reason I could say.

As far as customs goes I believe thats where they are now unfortunately I have never dealt with our customs before. Bill I believe you are right

Kjetil R
12-17-2009, 12:20 PM
Got a bit worried now since I'm waiting for a package sent with Parcelforce , but fortunately everything looks good. Even passed through customs without problems. Looks like I was lucky this time then.

Date Signed by / Location Tracking event
16.12.2009 15:11 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE On route to delivery depot
16.12.2009 13:08 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE Awaiting Customs Clearance
16.12.2009 13:08 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE Arrived in destination country
15.12.2009 07:04 LONDON AMU Arrived at outward airport
15.12.2009 02:40 DESPATCH AREA AT COV Left origin country
14.12.2009 23:40 AUTOSCAN AREA AT COV Arrived at outward Office of Exchange
14.12.2009 19:13 Oxford Depot On route to hub
14.12.2009 16:47 Oxford Depot Arrived at delivery depot
14.12.2009 16:47 Oxford Depot Collected from customer

Iain Sherwood
12-17-2009, 12:21 PM
Usually customs clears pipe shipments quickly because they're duty-free, but this time of year you should expect delays. Serious delays through the Post Offal.

UPS may be pricey, but they get it there on time.

Gene Mitchell
12-17-2009, 12:41 PM
Got a bit worried now since I'm waiting for a package sent with Parcelforce , but fortunately everything looks good. Even passed through customs without problems. Looks like I was lucky this time then.

Date Signed by / Location Tracking event
16.12.2009 15:11 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE On route to delivery depot
16.12.2009 13:08 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE Awaiting Customs Clearance
16.12.2009 13:08 OSLO PARCEL CENTRE Arrived in destination country
15.12.2009 07:04 LONDON AMU Arrived at outward airport
15.12.2009 02:40 DESPATCH AREA AT COV Left origin country
14.12.2009 23:40 AUTOSCAN AREA AT COV Arrived at outward Office of Exchange
14.12.2009 19:13 Oxford Depot On route to hub
14.12.2009 16:47 Oxford Depot Arrived at delivery depot
14.12.2009 16:47 Oxford Depot Collected from customer


That a nice detailed list I dont think usps is as detailed or updated.

I often wonder where these places are since Im in northeast P.A it can't be too far away from wherever the customs location is.

Margaret
12-17-2009, 12:56 PM
you can look here...

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/pa/

Gene Mitchell
12-17-2009, 02:53 PM
you can look here...

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/pa/

Thanks for that thats good info

Here is what I have. I wouldn't be surprised if I dont get any more updates. Sometimes tracking doesnt pick up at all for usps

Class: Express Mail International®
Status: Foreign International Dispatch

Your item left COVENTRY PARCELFORCE, GREAT BRITAIN on December 15, 2009. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later

Detailed Results:
http://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/spacer.gifhttp://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/spacer.gifhttp://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/bullet_circle.gifForeign International Dispatch, December 15, 2009, 2:48 am, COVENTRY PARCELFORCE, GREAT BRITAINhttp://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/bullet_circle.gifForeign Arrival at Outward Office, December 15, 2009, 1:11 am, COVENTRY PARCELFORCE, GREAT BRITAINhttp://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/bullet_circle.gifOrigin Post is Preparing Shipmenthttp://trkcnfrm1.smi.usps.com/PTSInternetWeb/images/bullet_circle.gifForeign Acceptance, December 11, 2009, 2:56 pm, GREAT BRITAIN

Iain Sherwood
12-17-2009, 06:41 PM
From experience you won't be able to get any more information until it shows up on your doorstep. Parcel Farce tracking ends when it leaves the UK coming to the US.

With any luck you'll get it by Christmas.

Gene Mitchell
12-17-2009, 06:51 PM
Yea and usps doesnt really track packages. I have used them tons of times delivery confirmation is just that tells you post office is expecting package for delivery and then its on your doorstep. Although I would really like to think I am getting it beofre Christmas.

Mike F
12-17-2009, 08:51 PM
Hi folks,
Mike F here. I have viewed the post set down on this topic and I see that there seems to be som misconceptions about international mail coming into the US where delays are caused by or happen in the inspection and examination at the Customs Office.
I have sent a few PM's out to help clear up any misconceptions and decided to post a general statement.
The item being sent into the US from Europe will likely be sent for Custom Exanination at the first port of entry. If by air it will likely land at JFK Airport and be brought to the US Postal Air Mail Facility at JFK Air Port by contract carrier. Sopunds simple right?
Well here is the entire story. The air craft from Europe lands at JFKIA. The airlines unloads the air craft and the mail is set aside until a contract carrier picks it up and continues on collecting additional mail from additional flights. When directed to by the carriers management and dispatcher it is sent to the USPostal Air mail Facility at JFK Airport ( the other side of the airport). The mail is checked in at the Air Mail Facility. this facility handles international arrival mail as well as domestic mail (USA ). Depending on the bulk of the mail flow the incoming mail might be placed in a holding area until it can be seporated domestic from international. if domestic it will be placed in the flow of the mail and sent on it's way. If it is international it will be sent to the Custom Mail Facility for examination and processing ( this mail brance is in the same building as the Post Office). US Customs CAN NOT take control of the mail for processing or examination until it is presented to Customs by the Post Office.
Once the mail is presented to Customs the process of inspection and examination is accomplished. This is done by machine and by hand. If the parcel is processed as normal mail it comes in and is given back to the Post Office in a matter of minutes ( you can figure out wht high Tech methods are used). if it has to be looked out it can take an hour up to a shift and then sent back to the Post Office. It should not take more that a shift to process examine and inspect before it is sent out. Customs will not hold on your mail as we would like nothing better to do but examine and move it out as we do not have the space to hold it. If further examination by another Fed Agency needs to be accomplished that might take the process a little longer. Usually duty free items are processed rather quickli like Ian stated in his post.
Ok the Custom processing , examination or inspection is accomplished . No duty needs to be collected so the item ( pipes) are given back to the Post Office to place back in the flow of the mail to be delivered. Just how long this takes is based on the back up of the flow of the mail is encountered at the mail facility. Once it is placed back into the flow of the mail it is trucked to a distrubution mail facility to be sent on to another mail center and finally to your home or business.
So you see Customs plays only a small part and only controls the mailed item for a short time. The majority of time the Post Office controls or has in it's posession your items.
I will not say there is never a delay in Customs , it's processing and examination but I will say it is not often.
How do I know all of this well, I am a retired Branch Chief of Canine Enforcement in Customs as well as a former Supervisory Custom Inspector at JFK Intl Airport and other Ports of Entry within the US.
If you folks only knew wht Customs has to do each and every day to get thinds inspected, examined and such you might be surprised. we not only do mail passengers vessels aircraft cargo we also enforce the laws, rules and regs of over 40 additional Federal Agencies. we are doing the best that we can at this point in time.
I hope this helps tell the story and if you have a problem with Customs please report it to a supervisor as thay are charged with contacting Headquarters in DC with all problems before the shifts end for investigation.
Hope this helps clear up some gray areas.

Have a nice holiday season.

Mike

Don Robertson
12-17-2009, 11:01 PM
So, to pick up on the rest of the story. Once the package leaves Customs and is entered into the USPS mail stream, it goes to sorting based on the postage the sender used. There is an agreement in the international community on how each country will handle mail from another. Basically, you can figure your package will become classed by how the originating country rated it in their postage system. So if your pipes were sent with a comparable rate as first class mail, then that's the way we rate it. There can also be times when it goes to parcel post, but those are all out of my job description and I couldn't tell you how the rates break down. When the package is released into the USPS system, even with the holiday season, 4 to 7 seven days based on the parcels rating, or how far you live from the NY area. If it gets an insurance sticker or is rated "registered", then it can take a bit longer. Registered mail is protected and each piece has to be physically verified. Insured mail gets less handling, therefore less chance of breakage, but takes longer because of the containers path they are shipped by. Good luck, I hope they arrive soon. My pipes came UPS, the box had one entire end crushed like an accordion, good old UPS.
:whistle:

Gene Mitchell
12-18-2009, 06:28 AM
Hey Done and Mike,
Thanks a lot for the info that does clear a lot up about the process and is very interesting as well. Fortunately for me I live right on the border of NY and the pipes were orginally sent Global priority and it looks like USPS rated them as Express mail from the tracking. Don I am sorry to hear about your U.P.S experience. I worked there for a couple of years which is why I get nervous about mail services I dont know. I have seen bad things happen to good packages:doh:

Don Robertson
12-18-2009, 07:46 PM
Hey Done and Mike,
Thanks a lot for the info that does clear a lot up about the process and is very interesting as well. Fortunately for me I live right on the border of NY and the pipes were orginally sent Global priority and it looks like USPS rated them as Express mail from the tracking. Don I am sorry to hear about your U.P.S experience. I worked there for a couple of years which is why I get nervous about mail services I dont know. I have seen bad things happen to good packages:doh:


:thumb:

It happens to all the serves, no one is trouble free.

Alex Anderson
12-21-2009, 10:43 AM
I have been following this thread with a lot of interest since I have had pipes on the way from Scotland via Parcel Force. They shipped from there on the 14th.

They arrived noon today even though there was a number wrong in my address. That is one week from Scotland to my door in Indiana. Not a mark on the shipping carton. Many thanks to Fin!

I guess I can't complain about that! :woot::banana::68dance::banana:

Gene Mitchell
12-21-2009, 08:31 PM
Hey,
Well I dont have any complaints myself as they came today! In perfect shape and I cant praise Blue enough for the workmanship and the tone is unlike anything I have ever heard I love it! Here is a quick pic as promised

http://tinypic.com/r/24bn22s/6


sorry the pic does no justice to the pipes but I am not much of a photographer. I couldnt be happier with these pipes:thumb:

Mike Lynch
12-21-2009, 08:48 PM
Congratulations! Those do look very, very nice. Time to change your screen name to mcmurchiepiper. :grin:

Mike

JRM
12-22-2009, 05:27 AM
Customs is one fly in the ointment for all packages and shipping methods. It often seems that there is no rhyme or reason for the amount of time it takes some packages vs others to clear customs. I've seen some packages clear in a day or two, while others take weeks. All mailed on the same day and to neighbouring, or the same, states.:shrug:
Neither the shipper nor the sender have any controls over that process.

Ar Soner
12-31-2009, 08:39 AM
My last experience with Parcel Force is a set of Sinclairs which never showed up.

No one was ever able to track the parcel nor in UK neither in France...

Lost, maybe not for everybody.

Bill Urquhart
03-04-2010, 12:32 PM
I'm in the middle of this now... two packages sent out from the same place to me, labelled the same, same stuff (kilts) in each box. One got here about two weeks ago. The other... still listed as "Your item is being processed by United States Customs." Very frustrating, US Customs got it on February 17th, and still has it. This is from the tracking number, both Parcelforce and USPS.gov say the same thing :mad:

Iain Sherwood
03-04-2010, 06:43 PM
sounds like you got tagged. Get ready to pay duty....when it arrives.

Airborne92
03-05-2010, 06:18 AM
sounds like you got tagged. Get ready to pay duty....when it arrives.


Yep; probably around 75 bucks (that's what I got tagged for). After that I had the vendor use Royal Mail. It only took eight days door to door.

SCK

Bill Urquhart
03-05-2010, 11:27 AM
Got a letter from Customs today... they classed the kilts as a commercial textile shipment (i.e. intended for resale), and want me to submit Formal Entry paperwork, or they'll send it back to Scotland. I just faxed the officer a letter explaining that it's a non-commercial order under $2,000 purchased as retail for personal use, and thus shouldn't need Formal Entry. Keeping fingers crossed!

Airborne92
03-08-2010, 12:09 PM
[QUOTE=Bill Urquhart;1092367]Got a letter from Customs today... they classed the kilts as a commercial textile shipment (i.e. intended for resale), and want me to submit Formal Entry paperwork, or they'll send it back to Scotland. [QUOTE]


Ah....our tax money at work. :willy:

SCK

Bill Urquhart
03-12-2010, 10:52 PM
Eureka!! I got the completed kilt order today (15 kilts total, 10 in the most recent package), no duties, no fees, no Formal Entry paperwork filed.

Just in case anyone ends up in my same situation, here is the letter that I faxed to the customs officer that was listed at the contact for the Formal Entry process:

Dear Officer XXXXXX,
The parcel I am expecting referenced on the attached Notice of Arrival should contain several bagpipe kilts. These were purchased as retail products, and are not intended for commercial use or resale; they will be used exclusively as bagpiping accessories for the not-for-profit bagpipe band that purchased them from the retail sender/seller (I placed the order as the Pipe Major of the pipe band). They should be duty-free under Section 9205.90.20.00 Bagpipes, Parts, and Accessories of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. As you can see from the sheet that you attached to the Notice, the total value is also less than $2,000. As such, being non-commercial and less than $2,000 in value, a Formal Entry should not be required.
If there is anything else required for this duty-free, non-commercial parcel to ship to my house, please let me know. I can be reached at the address below, via e-mail at XXXXX (preferred contact method), or by phone at XXXXXXX.
Regards,

William Urquhart

JRM
03-15-2010, 06:34 AM
That might work right up until someone realizes that a kilt is not part of a bagpipe.:whistle:

Bill Urquhart
03-15-2010, 08:54 AM
It's all about accessorizing :thumb: