Fun with Shipping and Handling!

This past Christmas, I ordered a pogo stick from Amazon for my nephew. It arrived in a box suitable for a 60-inch flatscreen TV, as shown in this TERRIBLE photo:


No big deal. I thought it was kind of funny. I actually cut down the box and made three more boxes for gift wrapping because I’M CHEAP.

It turns out that oddball shipping like this is pretty common, as evidenced by pics like these:

Bubble wrap shipped in bubble wrap
Bubble wrap shipped in bubble wrap
A gift card shipped in a box you could fit a bowling ball into.
A gift card shipped in a box you could fit a bowling ball into.
And… whatever this is.
And… whatever this is.

According to the confessions of a shipping guy as told by The Consumerist, “…there is actually a perfectly legitimate reason why that SD card got put into a box that could accommodate a pair of winter boots.”

Basically, it comes down to money, regulations, and productivity measurements. For instance, you’d think they could send the gift card in a mailer envelope. But bubble envelopes are expensive, and they go straight into the landfill if you don’t separate the bubbles from the paper, which we all have time to do, right? Didn’t think so. And landfill equals regulatory hassle!

As for the BIG boxes, they do their best to keep as few sizes of box in stock, to save on inventory costs. Or, they may have the right size of box but, during peak times, they just run out of them. At any rate, making all these boxing decisions when they are trying to ship 35,000 items a day really slows them down, and they get dinged by the head office for poor output.

In other words, RELAX ABOUT THE SHIPPING. There, I feel better. Check out the original piece for many more examples and the reasons behind the madness. And have a great weekend!

PS… Can you believe this is our 200th blog post? It doesn’t feel a day over 195!

7 thoughts on “Fun with Shipping and Handling!”

  1. our UPS guy says they charge by package size as well as weight . so the bigger the box the more they charge for delivery .

  2. I never did understand the logic behind shipping boxes and the sizes used. To me, by the time they pay for the boxes and then the fillers they spend just as much money as when they just buy different sized boxes. However, I could be wrong about that. I never worked anyplace where I was involved in shipping out packages.

  3. I hate waste. Re-use the box and bubble wrap and it will not be a waste. I re-use all boxes and bubble wrap and bubble envelopes, nothing goes to waste. Janice

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