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Bongo
02-22-2007, 05:30 PM
Alright, I'm not trying to rag on FedEx as a whole. But whatever branch came here is one of the worst. 2 days late, the truck finally came. The driver was rude and inconsiderate and kept mentioning that he was in a hurry and wouldn't listen to us. He kept saying something about paperwork and that the airbill and bill of lading that we had weren't good enough and he needed something else. I'm not sure what.

He then we on to explain that he had other shipments and that the ramp that would be used to load our crate at the airport was going to be closed by the time he got their and that we should probably just find alternate transportation. We told him no, we needed it out of our school and on the way to the airport and we would contact FIRST and see what they said about it.

The guy finally calmed down and we got everything on the crate that he said we did. What is weird is that we had everything all ready in a nice neat packet and all that had to be done was scan it. They guy told us that we had to have all this other stuff that we had been informed weren't necessary. All he had to do was scan the packet and we would have been good but the guy told us we had to fill out a form and write down everything.

I'm pretty much fed up with FedEx. I know they are a good company and they offer a huge amount of support to FIRST, but from what they have shown us so far I am starting to have my doubts.

JaneYoung
02-22-2007, 07:45 PM
Talon,
It sounds like a trying day. This thread could actually be attached to your other thread. I wanted to offer some food for thought to you. This may be something you can come back to later and think about rather than now when you are still dealing with the frustrations.

Dean Kamen talks a lot about partnerships. FIRST is all about partnerships and you have begun to experience just that. Fed Ex's generosity has been an incredible boon to the FIRST teams, helping us keep down our costs and management of the shipping is not easy.

In your area, it is obvious that the Fed Ex locals have not had to contend with a robot in a crate for something called FIRST that has its own deadline. This is new to them, too. The first couple of times we did this, the Fed Ex truck had to come down an unmarked lane (which is really the entry to our school parking lot) and then continue down the lane past some portables and stop at what seemed a large unfriendly building with no windows and a set-in entryway. Not necessarily easy to navigate/find nor was it welcoming. Now Fed Ex can find us, they know about us, and the system is established. Not only is Fed Ex better at finding us but we are better at communicating where we are and how they are to reach us than we were a few years ago. We have developed our partnership.

Fed Ex has a partnership with FIRST. The partnership is made up of individuals, of people who learn to work together. The first time to do something is usually one of the hardest. Working together in partnership with team members, sponsors, other teams, the list goes on...is a good way to do things in FIRST. But you have to start somewhere. And that's what you guys did. You started. Sorry it was frustrating - it had to be frustrating for the Fed Ex guy, too. It was new to him as well.

Jane

JamesByrne
02-22-2007, 07:52 PM
Did you say that the fed-ex truck did not ship your crate on time, So it did not leave until the 22nd (today)???

JaneYoung
02-22-2007, 07:56 PM
Did you say that the fed-ex truck did not ship your crate on time, So it did not leave until the 22nd (today)???

That's in the other thread. I'll come back and edit it in..hold on.

Edit: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54753&highlight=Fed+EX

GaryVoshol
02-22-2007, 11:10 PM
Bongo, did you have Fed Ex Express or Fed Ex Freight? Express is the one with free shipping, Freight is a separate division. (holding company?)

Last year we mistakenly scheduled our pickup with Freight. The driver couldn't accept our paperwork, but did all he could to get our robot out the door. He must have been on the phone with his dispatcher for at least 1/2 hour. We finally had to pay Freight on a credit card and they could take the robot for us.

This year I noticed that there was a boxed highlighted section in the ship section of the manual that Express was not the same as Freight!

Bongo
02-22-2007, 11:27 PM
Yeah, wow it was huge stress today wondering if we were even going to make it at all. Our crate didn't get shipped till today, no. We called FIRST and they said this would be alright.

Actually now that you mention it, it was FedEx Freight not Express. That might explain the problem a little bit. What is worse, is the district guy that made contact and everything was gone today and our Teacher who manages everything was in Virginia for some conference. It was just 3 students with barely a clue and the wrong department of FedEx I guess. I can only imagine how frustrated the guy must have been. Wow. Anyway thanks guys, our robot is finally gone and everything worked out. Everything is gonna be alright...

Thanks,
Talon

joshsmithers
02-22-2007, 11:28 PM
Hey, you should be a bit more forgiving. Having your robot shipped two days after due date isn't great, but it is free and better than never. Next to that, you never know what it's like to be in the other person's shoes. Maybe his last six weeks have been as hectic as yours...

FedEx must have quite the hassle with trying to get all these crates to the right places at the right time, there is no wonder they mess up sometimes. To err is human.

Mike Betts
02-23-2007, 09:09 AM
Yeah, wow it was huge stress today wondering if we were even going to make it at all. Our crate didn't get shipped till today, no. We called FIRST and they said this would be alright.

Actually now that you mention it, it was FedEx Freight not Express. That might explain the problem a little bit. What is worse, is the district guy that made contact and everything was gone today and our Teacher who manages everything was in Virginia for some conference. It was just 3 students with barely a clue and the wrong department of FedEx I guess. I can only imagine how frustrated the guy must have been. Wow. Anyway thanks guys, our robot is finally gone and everything worked out. Everything is gonna be alright...

Thanks,
Talon

Talon,

In defense of "the system", you will find a large highlighted note on using the correct FedEx freight company in section 4.9.6 of this document (http://www.usfirst.org/uploadedFiles/Community/FRC/FRC_Documents_and_Updates/2007_assets/Manual/4%20-%20Robot_Transportation_RevC.pdf).

If your team feels that this information was buried too deep or was confusing, you should have your team leader contact FIRST and suggest changes to the manual for next year so that other teams are not surprised like you were.

Regards,

Mike

Bongo
02-23-2007, 11:36 AM
I found what you were talking about. It was definitely just a mistake of our team being in a hurry and being a rookie team. This is all brand new to us and I probably over-reacted a little bit. I think things will go over much smoother next year. But everything did turn out this year and we are still going to competition.

Thanks,
Talon