Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Spoiled, Privileged Person First World Problem

It's funny how we so quickly become dependent on little conveniences that we were perfectly fine living without for most of our lives. Take, for example, package tracking. I hate when I order something and there's no or only minimal tracking info, such as only the date shipped and an estimated delivery date. But sometimes knowing can be as bad or worse than not knowing.

I ordered a t-shirt from an Etsy shop. (It's going to be a gift.) It shipped from Seattle via DHL. From there it went to Raleigh, NC. My package spent several days in Raleigh then finally shipped to Grand Prairie, TX, where it apparently spent several more days. I say "apparently" because on the day it finally arrived here Tracking showed that it was still in Grand Prairie.

I have the t-shirt and I didn't especially need it in a hurry but I would just like to know why. I'm pretty good at map reading but you really don't have to be to know that North Carolina is way far the other side of Oklahoma from Seattle, WA. And then there was the extra stopover in Texas. I admit that I really don't know a lot about how shipping works but that route seems terribly inefficient and wasteful.

And while we're on the topic of shipping, how long do you think it should take for a package to get here from the other side of the planet? I have only ordered internationally a couple of times but from my limited experience and reading the experiences of others three to four weeks seems to be typical. I just don't know. If you, personally, traveled around the world by plane how long would that take? According to this page it's possible to do in three to four days. That's a complete circumnavigation. Since we're talking about packages though, I'm talking about, at most, halfway around the world. And I know there's a lot of handling of packages that adds time but still, it seems to me that it should be possible to get a package from Europe to the middle of the U.S. in about two weeks.

But what do I know? As I said, I'm not a shipping expert, just a spoiled, impatient consumer. You know, if someone could finally invent the transporter we could get packages in just an hour or two. Sometimes Star Trek makes the real world look so lame.

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