Moreover, for me to send any parcel (even very small ones, like 2 oz.) outside the US costs a small fortune these days, again because I'm subsidizing the Chinese shippers.
International shipping was expensive before China flooded the market b2c.
If you sent a pkg to China, the US would only have to drop it off in China, the last mile delivery cost is mostly up to China. The actual air freight cost to USPS is about $5/kg.
I think what’s really happening is that USPS (and Canada Post!) are using international shipping as a profit centre because there’s little competition and they need to subsidize legislated activities (6x/week door-to-door service for 53c or whatever it is).
Canada is truly awful in this respect. In Canada, it might cost around $50 to send a small package to another country (excluding the US, which is a little cheaper). In the US, the same package might cost a little over $10.
I'm in the US and I occasionally have to ship small light packages to Canada and was always frustrated when it cost me $10, 3x as much to ship a few hundred miles to Canada compared to 2,000 miles within this country. Then I learned that shipping that same package within Canada would cost almost $20.
Eg: chitchats express.
Sometimes Canadians do this for shipments to Canada because it can be a lot cheaper.
My guess is that the company just hires dual citizens to avoid visa issues.
US lets you do personal imports up to US$800 per import without taxes/duties, so they limit it to that.
This isn't related, the company can hire anyone they want to man the trucks. Do it often, and you register with FAST.
> US lets you do personal imports up to US$800 per import without taxes/duties, so they limit it to that.
That only applies to personal good, not things you're bringing for commercial purposes, and there's a minimum away-from-the-country time.
I doubt US is letting them bring truckloads in if what I said about tariffs/taxes/duties is untrue.
No minimum away-from-country time. That's for Canadians, not USians.
In theory USPS takes longer, but for me personally it's about the same time and a lot less of me getting upset at people. If USPS says Friday, I'm getting it on Friday. If UPS says Friday I'm getting it on Monday evening.
I miss when Amazon used to let you chose the shipper. That's been forever ago.
On the receiving end, I like USPS because I can have my mail held when I'm on a trip -- the process is totally painless.
Now, who knows if my shipping is being subsidized. Probably, when one considers subsidies to transportation infrastructure. But I suspect that if we lose USPS, whatever money the government saves will be more than made up by having to bail out one or more of the private shipping services every few years, like other "too big to fail" industries.
In essence those packets are cheap because some smart person is buying up the empty space in containers that are already going and filling them - I assume that Air-Mail FROM the US could be equally cheap if someone was entrepreneurial enough to do the same there
Planet money did a pod cast on it. Some guy selling some product could buy a Chinese knockoff of his product (including shipping) for cheaper than it costs him to ship his product from his local post office to his house in the same town. (excluding the cost of the product) Think about that. The product plus shipping across the world is cheaper than shipping across town.
Here is the problem. I make a widget. It costs me $10 US to manufacture. I go to the post office, and ship it to an address directly across the street. They charge $7.
I go on AliExpress. I buy a similar widget, and ship it to the same address. The total cost, the item plus shipping, is $6.
Let's break that down. Their cost of manufacturing is lower. Let's say it's free. Ok fine. Trans Pacific shipping is cheap. Let's say it's free. Ok fine. They still have to ship it via the post office from the port in Long Beach to the post office in New Jersey; again, let's say that's free. The post office then has to deliver out across the street.
The post office charges me $7 to walk it it across the street. Why should the Chinese shipper only pay $6 for the same service?
The low-rate consolidators are kinda shameful by only bringing goods to the closest port to the origin, not the destination.
E.g. in Canada, they only bring it to the Vancouver port, while wealthier countries will pre-sort and air it to the closest intl mail port (Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver).
(in the near future if US mail prices go up I may be forced to charge US customers more, I may also have to raise prices to US customers if I find that Trump's sanctions start to apply to small packages and I'm stuck paying from my end)
International freight costs could explain why international shipping is more expensive than domestic shipping, but even if international freight prices are 0, they can't explain why domestic shipping is more expensive than international shipping.
This means cargo carriers have to send back empty containers to China.
As a result, it's cheaper to book a container, from, say, Antwerp to Shanghai than the reverse. The difference can be quite substantial, potentially hundreds of USD per container.
For the other parts of the trip I don't have any hard info but I would think rail and truck is cheaper in China per km when converted to USD.
Where can I verify this? Thats looking at only the direct transport? Or also indirect transport?
Consider a hypothetical container from the US/EU going to Africa (bringing products, second hand goods, "recyclables", ...), then the container could pick up raw minerals and resources going to China, now theres an empty container in China and it has to go back to US/EU?
So the shipping company will have a bunch of empty containers at the port of landing (destination), and needs to send them back to the port of departure to be filled again.
If trade between the two ports is balanced, then the containers will always be full regardless of the port of departure.
But since trade is not balanced, they wind up having to send empty containers on the "return" voyage. Which is pure loss for the shipping company, so they are willing to heavily discount routes that have empty containers transiting.
Which are these routes does change of course, but they are often those originating in the EU / US and arriving in Asia.
Container manufacturing is very automated, so it can be very cheap to do so.
China exports plenty to Africa, no need for such circuitous shipping patterns.
USPS fares better under ePacket packages than the UPU tarifed packages.
3 weeks container shipping on a super container ship vs. even cheapest truck shipping ?
The short-haul truckers at the Port in LA are all independent owner-operators, which sounds like a cool libertarian/capitalist ideal until you figure out that new trucks are super expensive so the operators are almost exclusively buying used trucks, often quite old (and grandfathered into emissions rules). And as we all know from personal experience, there's a lot of soot that comes from a heavy diesel when it accelerates from a dead stop.
And there are no large necks to wring so now you're in the awkward situation of having to go after little guys.
2. container ship is 10g/tonne-km of CO2, ground truck 60g/tonne-km of CO2
3. Shanghai to LA - 10000km, Shanghai to New York - 17000km
So, it is simple math that container delivery from Shanghai plus 100-200km or even more of truck delivery from the port beats any cross-US truck delivery (for the US West it beats even half-cross-US truck delivery). Of course when it comes to the math vs. ideological politics - last season of Veep was brilliant about it :)
Container shipping is ridiculously cheap. See e.g. https://www.joc.com/maritime-news/capacity-cuts-keeping-asia.... Seems around 640 USD from Shanghai to North Europe as per above article/source. This for a 20 foot container. A lot of containers are 40 foot. US has loads of 45 foot containers.
If you'd go very far inland you wouldn't use a truck though; either a barge (inland vessel) or a train.
Presumably they make a profit on the journey to N. Europe, and take a loss on the return.
When it arrived, it had some damage to the acrylic and I wanted to return it. Amazon Support said they would reimburse me up to $20 for shipping it back, but when I took it to UPS they wanted $370 just to ship it back.
I have no idea how shipping costs are determined. I'm sure the seller didn't pay $370 to send it to me.
You are better off finding a local framing shop to custom make something for you. They don't charge too much unless you opt for fancy frame material and matting.
Yes, local framing shops can make things in any size you want, it's what they do. And usually fairly reasonable, certainly less than the cost of international shipping.
I did a larger one (maybe 30" x 20") at Michael's with a nicer frame a few years ago and it ended up being almost $300.
I'd talk to some of the mail order frame places. I've used Frame Destination, and while they don't list metric sizes they'll let you spec custom imperial sizes with no premium at 1/16" precision (e.g. 23 5/16" x 33 1/16" is a bit closer). If you call they may be able to properly do metric sizes.
While I was living abroad my mom would send me care packages and I had no idea what it was costing her to ship it. I would send her aboriginal carvings or SE Asian cooking utensils all the time and it didn't cost nearly as much.
$370 did sound particularly egregious, but I just checked UPS' online quote site and got a quote of $311-394 for a 5 pound, A1 sized package from California to Paris.
In my experience in Asia, Fedex, UPS, DHL etc. provide substantial discounts to customers with accounts, but one-off quotes to the US/Europe are typically very expensive.
HK Post wants about H$350 to get a 3kg parcel from HK to France. That works out to about $45.
$370 did sound particularly egregious, but I just checked UPS' online quote site and got a quote of $311-394 for a 5 pound, A1 sized package from California to Paris.
I'm not quite sure what A1 sized is (ISO A1 paper? Amazon A1?) but at 5 lbs USPS quotes between $60 and $130 to go from San Francisco to Paris. For international shipping from the US, the private companies will almost always be significantly more expensive and potentially leave you on the hook for expensive customs brokerage fees.
OTOH if you want to ship it express (Global Express Guaranteed — GXG in USPS speak) that comes out to around $265 (less if you pay online) and not all post offices will take GXG packages. $60 to $265 is the difference between a 1-3 business day expected delivery time and 6-10 business days.
When I started looking at different shipping options, UPS wanted about $107 to ship it back and FedEx was a similar price. I think I ended up using DHL which was the cheapest I could find at about $80, which still felt crazy to me.
A polish shop near me can send things to most of W. Europe for far less than the post office can.
The Ukrainian credit union near me can send cash to anyone in Ukraine pretty cheaply.
I mailed some 8x10s overseas in a rigid envelope and my friend swore up and down it would be too expensive ($30+). I think in the end it cost under $10 per envelope. Meanwhile international postcards from Germany were like 2€.
What are you talking about? I was just in Germany last year, and sent a bunch of international postcards for €0.90 each. That's the standard postcard rate for sending a postcard anywhere in the world. (It's €0.45 within Germany.)
if this is fallout from the trade issues it honestly is the only good outcome of them
https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library... says they were profitable in 2015. See page 8 and footnote 17.
As far as I can tell, there's been no other public info released since then.
Weirder when you think about it from a fuel efficiency perspective; it probably takes a few drops of diesel to move a t-shirt 5000 miles.
Edit: NOTE- if you still buy stuff on ebay, be sure to check the feedback page on bulk "US based" sellers. Currently some of them actually ship from china even though their location is set to the US/canada.
Yep, try looking up the fuel efficiency number for shipping freight by boat, train, or airplane. It's really amazing just how efficient boats are. There's a good reason our distant ancestors had worldwide trade routes centuries or even millennia ago using boats.
This is how most fresh produce gets shipped.
With paid for expedited customs clearance it may actually end up faster than ePacket.
Edit: no affiliation, I just use them for my business and they’ve been great.
"According to the U.S. Postal Service, it costs around $20 to mail a small parcel weighing 4.4 pounds from one U.S. state to another, yet mailing the same package from China only costs about $5."
"The Universal Postal Union, a United Nations agency that sets postal rates among its 192-member countries, dictates USPS's artificially low rates. It bizarrely groups China – the world’s second-largest economy – with developing nations like Gabon and Fiji into its third tier of shipping rates, which are just a fraction of what the developed world must pay."
"USPS loses about $300 million per year on Chinese imports - losing about $1 per small package it delivers."
The article says that Trump is moving to pull out of or renegotiate the UPU agreement, which at worst is a Presidential choice, and it's not even clear to me why USPS can't do it unilaterally.
The rules might not be fair. Our recourse is to try to change the rules, and failing that, threaten to withdraw from the agreement. That's what we're doing.
Are we going to pretend the UN and UPU have zero power to dictate global shipping rates? Because that's exactly what they do.
A strong AND fair UN is a good deterrent for world wars.
Of course, it's better to renegotiate any precieved unfairness than to just blow all violence avoidance safeguards like a world congress.
China got away with their economic trickery because of US corporate greed and short sightedness combined with the US public insatiable consumerism.
But we humans have a short memory and we like being empowered by bully leaders.
Let's just hope we'll survive this age without too much bloodshed.
Domestic mail is like sending separate items, which get bundled together, then un-bundled again to deliver them to their final destination. All these steps happen at domestic wages, and at best with medium volumes. If there are not enough items to fill a container, it's still getting sent some other (more expensive) way.
Items from China get bundled by lower wage workers, the bundles are sent by lowest priority freight (usually a 7-45 day delay), bundles are only sent when fully filled in order to minimize costs per item, and sorted to minimize un-bundling costs.
This won't change no matter what, it's just economy of scale.
There are other factors like the reduced shipping costs for China set by the UN, or the fact that some will ship items at a loss just to convert Yuan to USD through Hong Kong, but ultimately the production vs. consumption imbalance is what decides most of this.
But intl shipping is based strictly on weight, so senders have every incentive to cut weight wherever possible.
Guys in the video seem to be showing the pile into sorting machines.
I guess they don’t realize how old my letter carrier is. Or some dolt figured they could save $0.00000001 on ink costs per package this way.
I know it's a long distance, but it's substantially longer than orders I've made from other parts of the world. So I avoid purchasing from there.
The domestic vs. offshore production calculus is actually closer than a lot of people realize, in many instances. Often it's a choice between a highly-automated and capital-intensive production process in the US, vs. a manual process at a contractor in China. The combination of higher shipping and very low cost of capital in the US is a pretty good one.
Whenever someone tells you that it's impossible for the US to rebuild its manufacturing base, go take a look at factories in China: they're not that old (esp. the light industrial stuff). What was built in China in 20 years could be built in the US in the same amount of time or less, if the economic case was there. There's nothing magic about China, it's just a place where labor happened to be cheap at one point in time.
The US doesn't manufacture those items because it has no capability to do so.
There are no factories, no supply chain, no expertise and no known how.
There are some things that are cheaper to manufacture in US, (surprise!) if you manufacture for the local market, than in China, but them being simply cheaper still doesn't mean you can actually manufacture them.
I myself tried to setup an electric scooter factory, first in Canada, and than in Washington state. We were simply unable to find even moderately competent manufacturing engineers, nor the line workforce.
Of course, every consumable and every part had to be imported.
And both of the above meant that we decided to close the business in under 6 months.
Basically, the US simply does not have the infrastructure to manufacture complex items in mass quantities. We haven't invested in that infrastructure, whereas China has, so they have the ability to do this stuff, and we don't. So trying to build an iPhone in America is like trying to build an iPhone in Zimbabwe or Sudan or Armenia: the infrastructure simply doesn't exist and it isn't feasible to take on a project like that there.
America stopped being an industrial powerhouse decades ago, by choice, and you can't just bring that back overnight, especially when some other countries never gave that up and will easily out-compete you.
Nearly all the supply chains are in Asia. It would cost companies billions to relocate and they would just relocate to other areas where the labor is cheaper and they can get away with working their employees 12 hour shifts. Things like electronics for example would be extremely difficult to switch to a country like the US because there isn't a trained workforce here to deal with manufacturing small components. Plus, they'd be asking to be paid 20 dollars an hour with benefits vs China's probably 12 dollars and no benefits.
Also, leaving the UPU is as drastic as the tariff war because all it will do is cause countries to jack up the rates of incoming mail to compensate. Every time the US leaves without negotiation, there's no reason why countries won't retaliate.
I wouldn't expect shipping charges in the US to magically be lower after this change.
Fortune wrote about it back in 2015 and you can read the 2018 financial results.
Some tax money goes to the USPS.
Everything else is a free-for-all.
I’m sure Amazon’s direct delivery system also stuck a knife in USPS.
The second just reflects Congress's attempts to deliberately hobble the USPS in 2006 by requiring them to suddenly pre-fund their pension obligations.
> The law requires the Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer subsidies, to prefund its retirees' health benefits up to the year 2056. This is a $5 billion per year cost; it is a requirement that no other entity, private or public, has to make.
Maybe it's a flawed methodology (arguable), but being fiscally responsible about pensions is something that should be encouraged. In California pension liabilities are out of control and at impractical levels, causing all sorts of havoc and manipulation (corruption). https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2018/12/07/governor-jerry-...
Having more money in the bank than you take out for a car loan is fiscally responsible. Not exactly. More than. That's WITHOUT your holdings (bank account balance) being subject to market forces, which is a compelling reason.
That's not how the Federal government works. It's a LARGE organization that sometimes have people with philosophies align. There is no chance that the military would prefund pensions. I think that, toward the initiative to make the USPS free of subsidy now and in the future, it made perfect sense. The USPS workers used to talk about everything moving electronic, but that's not happening in our lifetime. 50 years is just "the near future", respectively.
Why didn't the same Congressional Republicans who pushed through the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 push for similar changes to how other federal agencies fund their pensions?
Why won't the military pre-fund pensions? Why shouldn't they do the same "fiscally responsible" thing for veterans benefits?
I don't know. Probably something to do with the majority of the US population liking the USPS but not everyone wanting more military spending.
> Why shouldn't they do the same "fiscally responsible" thing for veterans benefits?
Probably because congress would never approve another 20%+ on top of the current military spending and still get all their pork in. These topics are an amalgam of political decisions as well as leadership decisions.
I vote for more accountability, reliability and term limits in government. That's rarely a topic from either major party.
The US is the world's #2 exporter. $1.57 trillion versus $2.15 trillion for China. China's figure peaked a few years ago, the US is likely to narrow that gap, especially with US energy exports continuing to ramp up. US exports of goods are near an all-time high after adjusting for inflation.
"With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services."
USPS will deliver, door to door, a letter from Nowhere, MT to Remote, GA for $0.55, even though they take a loss on it. Try to get Fedex to match that.
I’ve heard this many times. I also know quite a few places that USPS does not service.
But it is. A simple googling gives many hits confirming this simple fact. This one seemed most informative:
> The USPS actually has two legally enforced monopolies, as per Title 39 of the US Code. One is over the delivery of anything defined as a “letter,” which is within certain size and weight limits. The second is over the use of your mailbox.
> FedEx isn't trying to capture the $0.55 letter delivery market.
Because that would be illegal. Otherwise they would.
If they had pricing power they'd raise prices regardless of fixed losses elsewhere.
Even if there was a mechanism the numbers don't work - there's orders of magnitude more packages sent within the US than into the US from UPU.
I am not, as a rule, particularly fond of rural or suburban living due to free-rider problems, but as long as we choose to subsidize those lifestyles, a prompt and rigorous postal service is necessary. And as long as we have poor (and old) people kept out of the technological race, it is incumbent upon us to not stick a thumb in their eye.
Why is our society responsible for subsidizing rural dwellers' lifestyles anyway? Note that I'm not talking about people living in small towns. These people choose to live this way because our society subsidizes their lifestyle, and don't actually need to live there. People who do (e.g., farmers) don't need any subsidy as they make enough money to afford living where they do. I grew up in the rural South; these people aren't actually contributing to the economy in any way, they just like living in the middle of nowhere, and are enabled by cheap gas prices and the subsidized provision of many services.
The root cause is that quite a few years ago the consortium of national postal providers which setup agreements on who pays for which parts of international shipping decided that China was classed as a developing country and given subsidized rates by other countries. This wasn't a big deal when the agreement was made because it was before the days of pervasive online commerce, and there just wasn't that much sent from China to other countries via the postal service.
I encourage everyone interested in this to checkout this podcast episode from NPR's Planet Money:
> The reason for this price gap, Jayme claims, is a secretive group of postal policymakers that meets every four years to fix international shipping rates. A kind of postal illuminati.
> Today's episode: A conspiracy theory that's actually real. How the decisions made behind closed doors make it cheap to buy things from across the world, but are also distorting the global economy.
Exactly the intended consequence. Why should US taxpayers subsidize shipping costs for products to come from China? It made no sense at all in today's economy unless the only thing you care about is paying less for your goods regardless of the consequences, which I don't think is a majority position of adults today.
Others send over a container with each ordered good and slap a local post’s label on it.
Possibly that local post’s label is attached in China and the container just gets dropped off at a USPS DC by the private freight forwarder.
It’s already fairly common.
Overall, a few more US jobs, and maybe more USPS revenue for what are now domestic shipments.
Edit: OR these buyers Shift to Amazon, which can deliver for less than USPS can via private courier, and pool every more items per delivery.
It also gives them a local business address so they can advertise local shipping but a lot of the time you have to wait for the next cargo shipment to come in so something that should take a few days now takes a week or two. This can be helped with reviews but we all know how those get gamed now with sellers flooding reviews or shutting down and starting as a new account.
These are both differences that arise from a business not having a real local presence, but just the bare minimum presence 'for show'. Luckily, most of them are fairly inept and make themselves obvious on eBay by pasting Australian flags and Koalas all over their store pages :)
What myself and I think most find problematic is that the USPS is actually subsidizing Chinese packages inbound to the US, to the point where its somehow cheaper to send from China than domestically.
That may have made sense at some point when China was still in its embryonic phase of development, but they are well past the point where this is necessary or desirable.
With globalization increasing as it has in the past few decades a lot of the old shipping and carriage agreements become counter productive.
I'm sure most would expect "Globalization" as an idea that was generally in the air would have influenced those who took the actions here as well as the people allowed those actions to happen (which had to include quite a number of US officials).
The thing is that definitely involved a huge amount of money flowing in various directions and so I tend to believe a portion of people making this and allowing this to happen were considering the interests involved also. Especially, some people (small US operations) were screaming about this from the start, why it was hard for them to be heard is worth considering.
And before that? Well, it wasn't a big problem in 2006.
The USPS will certainly make more revenue, and in turn they should be able to pass that on by reducing shipping costs for people shipping from within the US.
For companies drop-shipping from China, regardless of whether the person running the business is in the US or in China, the impact is the same. But for US based businesses that inventory items and ship out of the US, this change would be a big advantage.
Maybe. The main benefactor may be Amazon people switch to them. They have the lowest domestic shipping costs (presumably, since they’ve implemented their own in-house couriers).
The actual cost of USPS of delivering a package is kinda complicated. If USPS is going by your house every day, how much do their costs go down if they have 1 less package to drop off?
Dividing total costs by packages delivered doesn’t tell that story.
If prices are raised as significantly as suggested, you think they'll only maybe make more revenue? If the sales completely stopped, or there was a mass exodus (eventually) to Amazon there may not be an increase, but this seems fairly unlikely in the short term.
> If USPS is going by your house every day, how much do their costs go down if they have 1 less package to drop off? Dividing total costs by packages delivered doesn’t tell that story.
Of course, but we're discussing revenue.
I'm all for having a level playing field; the UPU rates were anything but.
They will pay higher USPS rates, but that’s about it.
The problem is when there's a continuous structural trade imbalance, and more packages flow one direction than in the other. Then you have a de facto subsidy scheme, and it makes sense to terminate or renegotiate the agreement and switch to something more along the lines of sender-pays.
"Zero tax dollars used. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations."
Source is https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library..., and emphasis is mine:
> The implementation of new products that support customers and improve its bottom line is of paramount concern for the Postal Service. In fact, profitable new volume benefits all mailers and consumers in the long run by helping the Postal Service fulfill its fundamental obligation of affordable universal service. Volume is significant because the Postal Service is a network industry and the vast majority of the costs for its delivery network are fixed. Greater volume spread across this network would lower the average unit cost of every mail piece delivered. A service such as simplified address mail, which has the potential to significantly increase delivered volume could dramatically help the Postal Service and all users of the network.
In other words, they are going to visit everybody's mailbox 6 days a week no matter what. Stuffing more mail into it while they're already there costs them very little.
It may not be the stated position of adults today, but it's their revealed preference.
Various products will have different tipping points where it just doesn't make sense to ship and/or they aren't getting enough sales to justify it.
Personally, I like it and it seems like everyone wins.. except people who undercut the real product with cheap, inferior knockoffs.
Please cite some examples of geniune products. China is known for making existing products cheaper. The techology area is mostly copy-paste.
In any case this kind of subsidy is not necessarily bad for developing countries, and it was probably instrumental in China's phenomenal economic growth, but it is now in the conquering superpower category, it's time it loses this advantage.
Basically, the UPU assumes that a country will send about the same amount of international mail that it receives. There may be an imbalance between any two countries, but in aggregate, it assumes that these imbalances will net out. Furthermore, the UPU sets rates based on the sending country's costs. Since China was classified as a developing country, it was very cheap for Chinese to send mail into the international mail stream. This was justified because China's last mile delivery for mail received from other countries is also very cheap.
However, with the huge US-China trade imbalance, these assumptions no longer hold. U.S. shippers were at a major disadvantage because of this.
However here in Norway VAT is being introduced on all packages now, which is going to cut Aliexpress down quite a bit. Previously it was duty free below €35 combined value & postage.
CR2032 batteries are a common item with an order of magnitude markup (20c each vs multiple dollars here).
If you order electronic components from China, you're never quite sure what you get. You might get the stuff that failed QA testing at the factory, or second-hand stuff that's soldered off some old PCB. Or sometimes you get something else entirely... I ordered some LM35 temperature sensors in the TO-92 package, and got some cheap transistors instead. Case was TO-92, markings where as expected for LM35, but a quick test betrayed what was really inside.
In this case I expected them to be fake, based on the price, I just wanted to see what I got. But even if the part is appropriately priced you can't be sure.
China sells a lot of older stock via AliX, so newer chips are hard to find and might be near the same price, but older clonable classics like a 2n7k are dirt cheap and just as good.
The UPU agreement on terminal dues sets a sliding scale based on the sending country's level of economic development - less developed economies pay less, while more developed economies pay more. The logic behind this is fairly obvious, in helping less-developed economies to fully participate in the international mail system.
The problem for the USPS is that they are obliged to handle large volumes of mail originating in China, but the terminal dues for lightweight items are substantially below their cost of delivery. The handling of these items is effectively cross-subsidised by USPS customers.
The US is demanding that terminal dues should be set at a flat rate based on domestic postal costs, with the possibility of direct subsidies for less developed postal systems. This would partly (though not completely) reduce the competitive advantage for Chinese e-commerce sellers.
The Universal Postal Union rules for how international mail is paid for were established at a time when most mail was letters, and most letters would need a reply by letter.
So on average, every international letter delivered in Country X behalf of the Country Y postal service would be balanced by one letter delivered in Country Y on behalf of the Country X postal service.
No exchange of money between countries needed, and if a country had daily/weekly mail delivery or dense/sparse population or expensive/cheap postal employees or rich/poor citizens or tax/subsidy on post or efficient/inefficient processing that was no other country's business, so long as the number of letters balanced.
In the modern age, the number of letters doesn't balance, because no-one places their AliExpress order by mail.
For years the United States has protested the cheap UPU rates that China gets. But the UPU still classifies it as a "developing" nation.
China is the world's second-largest economy. It doesn't need or deserve the artificially cheap rates anymore. China shouldn't pay less to send packages overseas than countries in Africa.
By leaving the UPU, the United States can set correct prices.
It's one of those situations where China claims to be a developing nation when it suits its needs, and then claims to be a developed nation when it suits its needs.
If you're going to play in the big leagues, you have to play by big league rules.
China is a undeveloped nation. There are still parts of China where people live on under $40 a day.
Developed nations have a moral obligation to help undeveloped nations
Also, is there any reasonable metric by which China is not a developing economy?
Here's one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nomi...
Here's another: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)
That's not what I'd call "reasonable." You have to normalize by population.
You can’t even compare cities to cities, since even an entity like Beijing is structured and defined so differently from how we define a city like NYC or Chicago.
This is why I stressed the ethnocentrism of it all. It’s a country that has developed tremendously but not at all in the same way that we have traditionally defined development in the western sense, and a lot of that comes from its size, its historic dynastic cultures and their political structures, and its population (count and local densities).
I haven't ever heard of the Chinese government claiming China to be a developed country - that was one of the original contentions above. I also think that by any reasonable metric, China is a developing country. There are pockets that are much more developed than others, but the country as a whole is still very far behind developed countries.
The UPU has been around for decades, but it's only been since 2010 that the USPS has formalized the process with the "ePacket" shipping.
If the USPS loses money, which it has been every year recently, who pays the difference?
In terms of environmental damage, not at all. Container ships burn some of the nastiest, most sulphrous and damaging forms of crude oil in existence, with little to no emissions controls.
I think rail transport is best, but I could be wrong.
This report, for instance (I have not read it completely) says "Rail is generally the cleanest mode of transport for most pollutants" and "Maritime shipping is one of the cleanest mode of freight transport, except for PM and specific sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions". While there is lots of emphasis currently on CO2 emissions, other pollutants are also worth considering.
In fact, if global shipping were a country, it would be the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Only the United States, China, Russia, India and Japan emit more carbon dioxide than the world’s shipping fleet. Nevertheless, carbon dioxide emissions from ocean-going vessels are currently unregulated.
According to wikipedia, ships account for 2.2% of co2 emissions. However, the transportation sector as a whole accounts for 29% of co2 emissions. Considering how much ships move, that's pretty good.
It might be easier for the shipping industry to reduce it's emissions, or it might be easier for India. The benefit(s) of India polluting is spread across 1.3 billion people. The beneficiaries of polluting by the shipping industry is presumably the whole world, though the benefits are unevenly spread. It might be easier or more impactful for one to reduce while the other doesn't, but again, we can't know without more data.
A better comparison would be between shipping and air freight. Or make the case that we don't need to ship if we can produce locally instead. Maybe it could be supplemented by saying that if the cost of the externality (pollution) was borne by the producer of the products, then it would incentivize local production.
My impression was that this was the argument being made. Shipping emissions could be cut dramatically if more things were made close to their end destination.
Athens Greece has a pall of smog over it mostly coming from the ships in the harbor as they sit there spewing columns of thick black smoke into the sky. I don't doubt some of the pollution is from vehicles, but it's pretty noticeable how the particulate smog starts in the harbor and moves inland.
Still, shorter is better.
Road freight is 1.3 to 2.4 and air freight is 6.9 to 10.5 waaaay worse than any of these.
I am trying really hard to not post a bunch of expletives here, too many people on HN downvote facts, even with sources (my fault for thinking everyone has a brain and can use Google or something). Wtf happened to this site...