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Where’s the Logic in Logistics?

June 3, 2015

Last week, my husband ordered brakes for his truck (he does his own repairs). Since the specific brand he wanted isn’t available in Canada, he ordered them from a company in New York state. Their warehouse is located on Long Island, an 8½ hour drive (approximately) from where we live (in southern Ontario).

The total weight of the parts he ordered was a little over 55 pounds; the delivery charge was $70.  Considering the rather short distance involved, I would have expected the package to be sent directly from New York to Ontario (with perhaps a short detour through a FedEx hub on the eastern seaboard), and that it would take maybe a day or two to arrive (allowing for customs clearance and a transfer from one type of truck to another for local delivery). Instead, here’s where it went:

  • The order was picked up by FedEx in Bethpage, New York on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 26th. From there it travelled three- quarters of the way across the U.S.A. (approximately 2,500 miles westward) to Phoenix, Arizona (where it apparently sat for two days because of an issue of some sort with the customs paperwork).
  • Once cleared, the box headed back east 535 miles to Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and then another 680 miles to Mt. Vernon, Missouri (arriving just after 8:00 pm on Friday, May 29th, when it was awarded a much-needed rest over the weekend).
  • On Monday, June 1st, the package continued its eastward cross-country journey, landing in Perrysburg, Ohio (a distance of 700 miles from Mt. Vernon) at 7:20 in the evening; it was there that the paperwork necessary for the border crossing into Ontario was completed.
  • On June 2nd, hubby’s brakes travelled across the border into Canada and along the highway that runs adjacent to the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario (practically past our front door) nearly 300 miles (still going east) to the FedEx depot in Mississauga (near Toronto).
  • That evening, the box was put on another truck and sent westward once again 35 miles to Stoney Creek (passing back through our fair city), to the area distribution centre.
  • Finally, this morning (Wednesday, June 3rd), the box was dropped off at my front door at 9:30 a.m. (the shortest part of the journey was this last 10 mile trip).

So, all in all, instead of a quick hop, skip and jump across the border from New York to southern Ontario (a driving distance of approximately 480 miles), a box of brake rotors and pads travelled nearly ten times that distance (a total of 4760 ‘road miles’) and was ‘in transit’ for over a week. Can anyone explain the logic or efficiency in that to me? Surely my bewilderment over this unnecessarily long journey isn’t just because I’m on … the other side of 55.

Brake rotors

These brake rotors have already travelled nearly 5,000 miles – and they haven’t even been installed yet!


  1. Margie permalink
    June 5, 2015 11:09 pm

    That was quite the adventure!
    I ordered an iPad that got to us in western Canada from China in just 6 days (with no shipping charges – same cost as in the store). On the other hand, a paint sample from our construction project took several weeks (and $20 postage) to get to us from Arizona. Go figure…

    • June 6, 2015 9:05 am

      It’s probably all planned out by computers that don’t know anything about geography! 🙂

  2. Kathy Thurman permalink
    June 4, 2015 8:40 am

    Wow! I would expect that from the government, but not a company. Crazy

  3. June 4, 2015 7:49 am

    No rhyme or reason to it, I know! Same kind of thing has happened to us on more than one occasion. A friend sent me a package from where she lives in Virginia to my home here in Pennsylvania. That package traveled “all over the creation” before it came to my door.

    It had even been in my state twice yet traveled yet again to other states not even close to ours. Why it wasn’t delivered when it was in our state is beyond me.

    Believe me, the outside of that package told the tale – very bedraggled and beaten up. Fortunately, my friend had wrapped my gift well inside the box and it wasn’t damaged. I still scratch my head in wonder over that one. Efficiency seems to have gone the wayside (no pun intended).

  4. June 4, 2015 7:31 am

    Wow, that is mind blowing! There must be a reason for it, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out!

  5. June 3, 2015 9:17 pm

    Boggles the mind, but then again, this won’t be the first time. I’ve noticed several discrepancies over the years that I can’t put to words. Aah. C.r.a.z.y in my book. ❤

    • June 4, 2015 9:21 am

      Even the FedEx map shows that region should have a 2 days delivery – I suppose it had something to do with trying to get the package past customs to ‘way up here’ in Canada.

      • June 4, 2015 3:10 pm

        I ordered some skin cream from the States. I waited and waited and called about it. It had gone out but was stuck in a post office and no-body could find it. The skin cream sellers finally sent out another package and it arrived just fine. Weird how some of these things happen.

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