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Pure madness

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  • Pure madness

    I ordered some closet doors from Menards and checked the order status to see where they were. On the 26th they were "Staged for Shipment in Eau Claire" which is the red dot in the upper right corner of the map below.

    The needed to get to Northfield, MN which is the other red dot so I could drive from my blue dot house to pick them up.

    This morning the status shows "In Transit to Shell Rock DC." So I asked myself where the heck is the Shell Rock distrubution center, and I found it in the middle of Iowa at the pin on the bottom of the map. I'm certain that somewhere at Menards there is a guy, probably named Harvey, who knows why this makes sense, but the logic escapes me.

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    Chr's
    __________
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

  • #2
    Must have over shot the landing.

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    • #3
      You know, with computers that control totally unstable and unflyable jets with the precision better than a millimeter, surely they could say, "Hey, we have a truck going over here 30 minutes later, lets put it on that truck and save some time and extra handling."

      But . . . I know why many, maybe most postal/package shipments travel the way they do - they travel radially from a central hub in general. It would cost a mega-huge amount to create an "all points connection to all points/ shortest distance to shortest distance" infrastructure. That said, there are cases where jumping from a near-by sub-hub to another sub-hub comes into play one time but not the next time or most of the time.

      I fully understand the above from several experiences. 1. I worked for a freight distribution trucking firm when I was in seminary back in the mid to late 70's and watched how and when normal transactions went one way, but exceptions in exceptional events caused different routes. 2. When I lived Tokyo, I learned quickly that radial travel in and out (similar to Washington DC original layout) was more convenient and time saving than jumping from point to point. 3. Osaka and Nagoya metro did the same. (Trivia- Osaka (Kansai region) metroplex, (half the size of the Tokyo metroplex) has more people than the continent of Australia).

      When in Tokyo, I we lived in Fuchu, about 20 miles from downtown Tokyo. Our best friends lived about 20 miles out from downtown also (in East Kurume), but about 8 miles from us. I promise you that I could ride the train downtown, change to the other line back out to East Kurume quicker than driving those 8 miles crossing several train crossings and 50 intersectional lights. I could travel 40 miles by train quicker than driving 8 miles by car!
      Last edited by leehljp; 12-28-2018, 10:04 AM.
      Hank Lee

      Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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      • #4
        If it's any comfort to you, that was fairly minor compared to my Humana prescription refills I ordered last summer. One rather minor sized bag, sent from the Virginia area to arrive here in NY's southern tier. A week later, I put a trace on tracking number and found my little package in Guam (yep, that little South Pacific island).

        Finally got it two weeks later and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the label.

        How does this stuff happen?

        CWS
        Think it Through Before You Do!

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        • #5
          Maybe the are using the US POSTAL SERVICE model? Our town of 100k had the usual distribution Cntr, now it is gone gone gone, to Tallahassee fla 90 miles away. Now when I pay my utility bill by mail it travels 200 plus miles rather than 5 miles. Makes perfect sense to me!

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          • #6
            We live in the Middle East now and all our USPS stuff goes through a hub in Chicago. One of my Amazon packages got mis-delivered to a neighoring country's base. That mailroom couldn't send it directly to our mailroom country to country. It had to go all the way back to Chicago and then to me.

            FedEx does a similar thing but it does make sense. My lab in MD (DC suburb) sent a package to a company in the skinny part of MD. The package was taken to the hub in town and then driven to Dulles, VA and then flown to Pittsburgh, PA. The next day it was driven from Pittsburgh to Cumberland.

            In both cases the probability that many more packages would go between the big hubs is just greater than directly from Point A to B.

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            • #7
              My rather jaded input is that this is what happens when the software programmers do not have a fundamental understanding that the shortest distance between two points is the most efficient. Humans do not decide the routing a computer does. The transportation industry is full of poor optimization. For example the company I drive for contracts with a shipper that exports a product grown in Latin America and yet it ships internationally from Central Washington. I'm going to guess it costs less the way they are doing it now due to port congestion in Cali and possibly the Gulf.
              just another brick in the wall...

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              • #8
                Maybe from manufacturer to distribution center?
                "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in."-Kenny Rogers

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black walnut View Post
                  .c . . . I'm going to guess it costs less the way they are doing it now due to port congestion in Cali and possibly the Gulf.
                  When we returned from Japan to N. MS (Memphis area), our crate was routed through San Diego Port Of Call (POC) rather than SF or LA or New Orleans. We had a logistics lady with great sense of logistics (and inside contacts plus a world wide knowledge of shipping companies) who knew USA and World wide ports of calls. At the point that we were returning, the politics or rather the POC director dictated the circumstances of inspection. Some POC directors targeted known questionable/ suspected shipments; Some POC directors directed detailed inspections of everything; Some POCs directed purely random spot inspections. Our Logistics Lady knew that SF and LA had two to four week delays in inspecting but SD was one that targeted the known questionable/suspected shipments. Japan was known to ship rigidly inspected shipments vs something from other SE Asia countries, so SD was chosen as the POC for our shipment. From there it was shipped by rail to Memphis. We crated/shipped from the house in Toyota on about Dec 10. It shipped out from Japan about Dec 18. We had the shipment at our USA home about January 20, IIRC.

                  A lot of the speed of the shipment had to do with our logistics department that pre-planned every point as much as possible and were prepared for alternate shipments if delays occurred. IF it had gone through LA, SF, there would have been at least a two to three week delay due to POC inspections. If through New Orleans (NO), the shipment would have had to go through Panama to N.O.

                  Computers are great for selecting the shortest routes but it is hard for the computers to compensate for the "human" factor. That can be compensated for by computers with the "right" or custom programming. I think that is what AI (Artificial Intelligence) is targeted to do.
                  Last edited by leehljp; 12-29-2018, 10:27 AM.
                  Hank Lee

                  Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fedex used to be famous for its hub system.
                    In many cases a secretary from a company on the 10th floor would send a item by Fedex to a person on the 12th floor of the same building
                    It would be picked up by fedex, taken to the local processing center and sent to Memphis on a jet only to be returned by jet from memphis to the original city and then to the processing center then to the office building and up to the 12th floor.
                    All overnight.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                    • #11
                      I cringe when I see something coming to me via Fedex. Who knows when it will arrive. Just took almost ten days to get a shipment of high-end air filters for the house (the big 4" thick ones). If it's coming by USPS, I can predict the arrival to a 30 minute window. UPS is not awful, but has broken something more times than I can count.

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                      • #12
                        It's interesting that we all have differing experiences. My worst experience is with USPS. They destroyed a package and lost most of the contents (it arrived at the destination taped together). It was insured, but the claim process would take me 1,000 words to describe. To summarize, the USPS couldn't have been more difficult and incompetent - beyond your imagination. I never received payment for the loss because the USPS failed in processing on so many levels and is incapable of taking responsibility for their ineptitude. I never ship anything of value by USPS - their insurance is meaningless.
                        UPS has frustrated me several times. During labor tension, I've had a package shipped between cities 15 miles apart in Illinois take several days as it was routed several thousand miles via the west coast. Another notable instance was a UPS next day air package that I was waiting for. It was reported on tracking as having been delivered, but I had spent the morning at my company's front door. About an hour after the delivery deadline, the UPS driver arrived with my package. He had clearly reported it as having been delivered to meet the deadline before he had actually delivered it. UPS customer service wasn't apologetic, and seemed disinterested in addressing this deception.
                        Unlike Carlos' experience, Fedex has served me quite well. I only had one issue over the years where a package was delivered to the wrong address. I saw that the package was shown as delivered, but I knew it hadn't. I called Fedex, they quickly figured out what had happened, told me where it had been mistakenly delivered, (11 similar packages from the same shipper to an earlier stop, rather than the proper 10 to one, and the other to me). They kept me completely informed as to what was going on and the driver returned to retrieve the package and properly deliver it. All this within a couple hours.

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                        • #13
                          I use third-party insurance on my shipments, with a guaranteed claims process. I have had to go through a couple claims with UPS, and they are also completely incompetent. In the end though I ended up with more money in my pocket due to their mishandling on one claim.

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                          • #14
                            Most likely your Northfield store is served by that DC. Eau Claire is where Menards is based, and where they do their custom order manufacturing, etc. So while it doesn't make since looking at it in isolation, it does make sense if you consider that your door was put on a truck along with lots of other stuff headed for that DC and many stores in Iowa and beyond), and then on another truck loaded with specific stuff just for your store. Running a special truck from Eau Claire to your store wouldn't make sense.

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                            • #15
                              I had a Fedex delivery scheduled for this past Saturday. On Friday it changed to Tuesday (today). Yesterday it was delivered. I now have one that was shown for Friday, after being told it would be next week. So "tracking" is just random I guess. Wonder when the "Friday" package will show up.

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