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  1. We knew it was coming and now it has arrived. Some of you will recall that I posted the fact that FedEx will start charging...on January 1, 2015...ground shipping rates based on package dimensions and the weight the dimensions imply. Today, UPS announced the same policy...only theirs starts on December 29, 2014. Essentially, their ground rates will be calculated the same as air rates. You can be sure that the USPS will be raising their rates as well. Besides, package dimensions are already part of their calculations. For those of us who ship built up models, buy kits on ebay or order kits, paint, etc. from online hobby shops, this change is going to be a crawling disaster. The bigger the box and the lighter the weight, the worse it will be. You may recall that I shipped a 1/48 Horton Ho-229 to California from Texas. Due to the configuration and a very delicate radar antenna on the nose, the box it was packed in wound up being 22" x 15" x 10". Weight? About 6 1/2 lbs. FedEx used the dimension approach for Second Day Air...which implied a weight of 51 pounds...and wanted to charge me $128.00. I gambled and shipped it by UPS Ground...who did not use the dimension method...only charging for the 6 1/2 pound weight. Price? $18.00. It may be that, where feasible, local IPMS groups....or even four or five individual modelers...will have to order a substantial amount in bulk, dividing it up when it arrives. But the real problem lies in how to ship built up models. Short of paying $100 - $300 or more to ship a single model, we may have to look into the possibility of creating a modelbuilder's Pony Express. The packed model gets handed off from one modeler to the next, each modeler transporting the package a specific distance. There may be other alternatives, but if those of us who build on commission are going to continue having clients, we'll have to find some way to ship the finished model without paying the exorbitant charges resulting from the new FedEx and UPS rates. Opinions? Ideas? Solutions? Richard
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