A student project sponsored by The
Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of
The theme this time is “Hard-To-Reach Places”. On 01 April we sent packages to:
Read about the idea behind the race and past races here.
Over several weeks preceding the start, we phoned each carrier several times and asked them whether they foresaw any difficulties in shipping to our destinations. We frequently got different answers, depending on with whom we spoke.
We ignored the warnings and shipped all packages because in the past the phone representatives have been a rich source of misinformation. We phoned each company in the morning and asked them to pick up our packages after 2PM. DHL picked up at 1430, FedEx at 1440, and UPS at 1640. We had to take our packages to the USPS.
Some details, such as cost, will not be known for sure until we receive invoices. We will post them as soon as possible.
|FedEx||$152.52||08 April||862815443318||FIRST! From FedEx hub: Honolulu; Alexandria, AU, where it disappeared from the tracking system|
|UPS||Still unknown||08 April||H5209262196||From UPS hub: Honolulu; Sydney, where it disappeared from the tracking system.|
|DHL||$141.53||09 April||8066254033||From DHL hub: Singapore; Darwin by 07 April. “Delivery arranged; no details expected”|
|USPS||$29.50||10 April||No tracking||Only slightly later than premium services|
|UPS||Still unknown||04 April 1102||H5209262187||FIRST!|
|FedEx||$235.06||04 April 1212||862815443329||A close 2nd|
|DHL||$233.32||07 April 1720||8066254044||From DHL hub: New York; Leipzig; Amsterdam; Almaty. Package arrived in Almaty on 04 April 0640 but was delayed for 12 hours and apparently sat over the weekend.|
|USPS||Appx $40||11 Dec||No tracking||FIRST!. See note below|
|UPS||Package returned 03 April||H5209262150||No service, contrary to what we had been told by phone|
|DHL||Package returned 03 April||8066308261||No service, contrary to what we had been told by phone|
|FedEx||Package returned||862815443340||No service, contrary to what we had been told by phone|
|USPS||$30.00||Sometime before 24 April||No tracking||FIRST!|
|UPS||Package returned 03 April||H5209262178||“Embargoed country”|
|DHL||$233.14||Package returned 07 April||8066254055||“Unacceptable commodity: Only documents”; “No WPX allowed.” (WPX??)|
|FedEx||Package returned||862815443330||“Embargoed country”|
|Gaza City, Palestinian Territories|
|UPS||Package returned 03 April||H5209262169||“Do not deliver to Gaza Strip; only docs per world com”|
|FedEx||Contacted customer on 13 April||862815443351||In Israel by 07 April. On 13 April we received a letter from FedEx asking us to phone, when they explained that Israeli customs would not allow the package to be delivered. They asked whether we wanted the package returned.|
|DHL||$199.52||Package returned 15 April||8066308246||In Israel 03 April; returned with no explanation|
After local pickup, each package was driven to a local freight terminal, sorted, and then flown to one of the major sortation facilities the carriers operate in the mid-western US: UPS uses Louisville, KY; FedEx uses Indianapolis, IN or Memphis, TN; DHL uses Wilmington, OH (northeast of Cincinnati).
We will post maps of the full routes once the packages have been delivered.
(16 December 2008) Long after we thought the race over, we were surprised and delighted to receive this email from Ms. L. Brown of Pitcairn Island:
“Dear Sir or Madam: We received a parcel on the 11th December, this parcel contained Baby Ruth bars which were handed out to the community. [...] the parcel arrived in good condition, all our mail arrives on the supply ship then after the sorting process is finished everyone collects their mail which is normally at the end of the day so you still have a long wait until you can find out what has been delivered. [...] our next supply ship is not until March 09. Thank you to everyone involved, Merry Christmas to one and all hope 09 is a good year for all.”
On the basis of this, and its successful delivery to Khartoum, and its amazingly low prices, we have to tip our hats to the postal service.
We welcome suggestions for subsequent competitions, where we will be sending a set of GT baseball caps, t-shirts, etc. somewhere in the world. Send us an address, preferably with accompanying telephone number and email address, and we will race the hats by vying package couriers to your parents, nephews, nieces, etc. All that we need is sufficient address and a promise to document the delivery.
Check out the companion event, The Great Container Race, in which we send 40-foot shipping containers full of medical supplies by alternate routes and carriers to a hospital in Ghana.
Thanks to Michelle Owen and to the students of ISyE 4803 International Supply Chains for help in preparing and sending the packages; and thanks to the recipients for documenting their arrival!