shipping

Logistics regressions

May 23rd, 2012  |  Tags: , , ,  |  Leave a comment

We were rear-ended at a stop light a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully, no one was hurt and our car appears to have escaped major damage, but our hitch-mounted bike rack was totaled in the impact. The other driver’s insurance company offered to reimburse us for the cost of a new rack as advertised on Amazon.com. Since Amazon’s price was nontrivially cheaper than what we’d paid for the original rack at a local bike shop last year, we ordered the replacement instead of purchasing it locally.

When the new rack arrived, it had two shipping labels on it: the first was for shipment from Amazon’s warehouse in Plainfield, IN to my house in Madison, WI. The second indicated that it had previously shipped from Saris headquarters (where it was assembled) to Amazon’s warehouse in Plainfield, IN, perhaps on-demand. Readers based in Madison probably see where this is going, since they know that Saris headquarters is less than three miles from my house; in fact, we share a ZIP code.

It’s hard to imagine a better example of the perils of hub-based routing.