I promise that this won’t become a blog about parcels, but here’s one more post. Ba dum tish!
I’m typing this entry using its subject. Last week I wanted a new keyboard as the one I was using kept missing large chunks of what I was typing and for some reason I’ve never been able to type properly with it anyway so I went to my local Currys (the UK equivalent of Best Buy) to buy a good, low-cost Logitech wired keyboard…
I had looked on the websites of a couple of local retailers, they were the cheapest, they appeared to have it in stock so I visited on my way home from work. I couldn’t see any of the basic Logitech keyboards only the more expensive ones so I had to ask someone. It turned out that it wasn’t “reserve and collect” that was available but “pay and collect” which means ordering it for delivery to my local store. So I went home, got out the credit card and ordered it. The confirmation email said it would be three to five working days, definitely available by 29th January. My fingers would soon no longer be numbed by a lousy keyboard, it was worth the wait.
Three days passed, on the fourth day I checked my emails – no notification that it was ready to collect. Fifth day, five PM, still nothing so I went to the store again on the way home – it was actually there but they’d had computer problems, I was told, so I hadn’t been sent an email. So all was okay, I had my keyboard.
This wouldn’t seem preposterous if it wasn’t for where I live. You see on the outskirts of this town is one of the largest distribution warehouses in the country, in Europe in fact. It was built a few years back in two parts and belongs to DSG – the parent company of the Currys store I ordered the keyboard from. Knowing that it would have come from that warehouse and being naturally inquisitive (read cynical) I looked up the package’s tracking number on the courier’s website and found the full details of its travels.
It left Newark, went to the courier’s hub in Birmingham before coming back to Newark. Using normal roads between the warehouse and the store (it’s effectively a straight line, along the ancient Fosse Way) it’s 1.5 miles, taking about five minutes. The parcel travelled around 163 miles over about 3 hours total on the road.
In the old days they’d order one in from the warehouse, it would be allocated to the store, as it’s just literally minutes down the road a local van could have brought it down but it seems that in these days of complicated “logistics” that’s perhaps just too easy.