The order was placed on Monday evening just before midnight from a computer in a small town in northern Michigan. Just the fact you can purchase something that is located in a small town in southern Germany is something that was beyond the imagination just 20 years ago. Place an order, send a payment and instantly receive a confirmation. Fantastic!
It was already Tuesday morning in Wolfratshausen, a small town about 40 kilometers south of Munchen. The company processed the order in the morning and emailed an invoice together with a tracking number at 12:49 local time. The package was picked up in the afternoon and shows a local scan in Wolfratshausen at 18:41. At 19:30, the package was on its way to Kirchheim near Munchen. This is probably the Munchen city hub for UPS where it arrived 46 minutes later at 20:16.
21:20 departure time from Kirchheim and on its way to Munich airport where it arrived 6 minutes later. The package was loaded in the aircraft at around 23:00 with destination Koln. Just over an hour flight time and the next scan in Koln is just after midnight. That’s a good start!
The package had some quiet time for a few hours but was scheduled for an early morning flight and estimated time for departure at about 6:00. The transatlantic flight to Philadelphia was about 8 hours and the package was scanned at 8:47 Eastern Standard Time which is +6 hours from time in Germany. Good morning Philly!
When the package was travelling across the Atlantic Ocean, information about the value and contents were already transmitted to custom officials. As this was under USD 200 value, there was no delay and no duty had to be charged. This is probably mostly an automated process as this package is not the only one that was on a journey between Europe and the USA.
After 1 and a 1/2 hours, the package was already on another flight and headed to the UPS main USA hub in Louisville, Kentucky. Just how this hub operates is beyond the imagination of the average consumer.
The package arrived around noon on Wednesday, processed for import, loaded into a freigth truck and on its way north 4 hours later at 15:58.
There was a 40 minute stop in Kokomo, Indiana and the journey north continued towards Grand Rapids, Michigan. The UPS hub is just south in Wyoming, Michigan where it arrived at midnight.
There wasn’t much time for rest because the early-morning truck to Petoskey left 3 hours later at 3:00. It’s about 3 hours driving time and the package was received, sorted for the daily local routes and on the local delivery truck within 2 hours. This was at around 8:00 local time. The last leg of the trip probably had a few stops in the Petoskey and scheduled for the regular delivery time a few hours later.
The local UPS delivery guy delivered the package at 10:41 and it was n my desk just a few minutes after that. Time between the first scan at 12:41 (local EST time) on Tuesday and delivery on Thursday at 10:42 is under two days in 46 hours.
It’s amazing this package went through so many hands, many different UPS locations, airplanes, freight trucks and local delivery vans in only 46 hours. And at the same time, this package was scanned, data uploaded, cleared through customs and all shared for the sender and receiver to track. That by itself is a pretty amazing.
Total cost of this amazing journey? Only EUR 32 / USD 36 for a journey across Germany, the Atlantic ocean an the Midwestern USA.