Monday, December 20, 2010

Shake, Rattle and Roll: Handling Packages With Care

Popular Mechanics recently conducted a test not of speed, but of handling in their article, "Which Shipping Company is Kindest to Your Packages?"

The magazine installed monitors inside packages and shipped them through UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service. The monitors recorded acceleration, orientation and temperatures while the parcels made their way across the country.

According to the magazine, the Postal Service has the most tender-loving care, with the least measured amount of drops from any height. However, among the three shippers, USPS turned over packages the most.

The devices also recorded temperature and all three carriers had a relatively stable swing in temperature, with FedEx's average change of 26 degrees versus USPS 32 degree swing.

When an item was marked "Fragile" or "This Side Up," the packages actually were handled more roughly.

What's your opinion? Although we are the best, can we do better?


Anonymous said...

I always found it interesting, the number of parcels marked fragile but not insured by the shipper. It was like a "request" to handle their parcel carefully. They don't pay anything extra for the extra soft handling, but they would be upset if we broke their fragile parcel. I don't think the shipper should be allowed to mark a parcel fragile without paying insurance.

grannybunny said...

I think alot of parcels receive damage near the end of the delivery cycle, when they arrive at the delivery unit and an employee "throws" them into containers to sort them by carrier route. Depending on the number of routes at the particular station, I've seen parcels thrown 20 feet or more, sustaining possible damage after having traveled safely across the entire country, or even around the world. I think we need to discipline ourselves to exercise care to protect mailed items very step of the way.

Anonymous said...

it's just not possible to handle each and every parcel with such care. There is a mail transport equipment called a "comp" that can hold up to 2 tons of mail. If your parcel is under all that weight, it will more then likely get damaged. As I say....the most important thing to know about the USPS is....packaging, packaging, packaging!!

Anonymous said...

When I ask "fragile, liquid, perishable or possibly hazardous?" and my customer says "fragile", I immediately ask if they need to insure against loss or damage. When they say no and then ask me to mark it fragile I tell them, "I don't mark parcels fragile if you're not insuring it." At that point I usually hear, "it's not worth much" or "well we better add insurance then."

EliMoon said...

I treat other people's packages the way I would want my packages treated. With utmost care. It makes me very sad when I get a package in that has a smushed corner or dent in it somewhere. Even if it doesn't say Fragile on the package whether written by hand or stamped on I handle each package as if it is made of glass, because I would hope that someone else would care about my packages as much as I do.

Unknown said...

Most people don't understand how packages are processed. I've worked in the plant on the sorting belts, encircled by dozens of hanging sacks and APCs. There is no way that the clerks can walk each parcel to the appropriate container and place it carefully inside. Even when parcels are processed on the SPBS machine where they go directly into the containers, once inside, other items will be dropped on top of them. Proper packaging is the only way to insure that it will get there intact.