Fast delivery not guaranteed when you shop online

Tracking does not actually help you to get your goods fast, but it gives you insights into supply chains.

UPS-SendungsstatusWhen I (temporarily) lost my suitcase on a SWISS flight, I immediately ordered some of the things I needed to have available quickly. I placed the order online the same afternoon (16:33). Visiting a brick and mortar store was not an option as the chain that offered the product does not operate a store on my side of the lake. I hoped that an order placed Thursday night might be processed on Friday and be delivered on Saturday. That did not happen. It took a week. In 2014. When I tracked the shipment I noticed several things. The small package was sent using UPS. They received the details about the shipment several hours BEFORE (7:58) I had placed the order (16:33). I guess they display „Germany“ as the place where the legal organisation responsible for delivery is located, and use „Time“ in a time zone independent from the location. Both their data centers are located in time zones in which the given time had already passed. Strange. Anyway, UPS did not bother to pick up the package until Tuesday evening, i.e. several days later. The next morning they unloaded the package in Ditzingen, picked it up at night to move it to Neuhaus near Lake Constance. Luckily, my neighbour was at home when they tried to deliver the package. My suitcase had been delivered by SWISS a lot faster, and I did not even pay SWISS extra to do that.

Blog-USPSAnother shipment I was waiting for had been sent from the United States. It was shipped 25th of September, left the U.S. two days later, arrived another two days later in Germany, was transported to a processing facility close to where I live, and then handed over to customs. Customs decided they did not know how to reach me (though all other mail seems to happily arrive at my inbox), and returned the package as undeliverable.

Blog-DHLThe postal service transported the package all the way back to the U.S. and the sender informed me that they had tried to deliver and asked whether I would like to pay for re-sending. When I looked up the tracking data, I noted that the USPS and DHL offered complementary information about the route the package took. While USPS only displayed „Origin Post is Preparing Shipment“, DHL had the information about package location in Germany and customs processing.

I am still trying to get the second shipment to my place as of today, and I will closely monitor the tracking data to find out if and when intervention is necessary.

P.S. For delivery of a new fridge I got a tracking number by the online shop that was unusable because the company actually moving the goods did not offer any ability to track shipments…

About Author: Hanno Langweg

Comments are closed.