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When United Parcel Service announced it was going to make ground service available to places like Hawaii and Southeast Alaska, some people laughed, said company spokeswoman Christine McManus in Atlanta.
But since the beginning of the year, UPS ground service has been a lower-cost option for people sending and receiving parcels, she said.
"It's kind of quirky," McManus said. "There are some places in Florida you can only get to by ferry."
Until Jan. 1, if a delivery couldn't get there by a ground route, customers had to pay for an air shipment, she said. Now, the ground shipment option for non-contiguous points in the United States will cover ground routes as far as they can before getting parcels to places by other means.
The non-ground leg of the shipment will be reflected in the cost, McManus said. But there will be a savings. She said a one-pound package that would have cost $31 to send from Atlanta to Juneau could be sent by ground service for $25.
Domestic ground service now available for destinations and origins in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico will require three to 10 days for delivery, according to UPS.
Estimates for parcel rates and time to destination are available from the UPS Web site at www.ups.com.
McManus said the ground option also will give Juneau residents another delivery choice when shopping in catalogs or on the Internet.
An extension of the overnight services UPS Next Day Air and Next Day Air A.M. to Alaska and Hawaii should benefit the seafood industry by guaranteeing the freshest delivery, a UPS statement added.
Tony Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.