FedEx blues

Posted in M@H by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 15th, 2008

We all remember elementary school’s math lessons.. The train left Point A at 1 pm traveling 60 mph. How long would take the train to arrive to point B…

I recently ordered some hardware for my media center rack from a store called Etech4sale. The store has a warehouse in San Jose (point A) which is about a 40 minute drive from my home (point B). The objective: How long will it take FedEx to deliver the package from point A to point B? If your answer is “about 40 minutes” — you are wrong. The correct answer is 3 days.

It is hard for me to understand the logics behind GPS software that FedEx uses. Especially knowing that other delivery services are going a great distance trying to optimize their routes. Take for instance the “big brown”. Not that long ago UPS decided to limit left-hand turns that their tracks make – to minimize idling time on intersections waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. This little trick in their “package flow” software saved them “28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons“.

Apparently this is not a problem for FedEx. Here’s how they solved my hardware delivery problem (click image to enlarge). Could someone explain this solution to me, please?

FedEx route FedEx route tracking

Another mystery for me is why my package was sent by FedEx when I clearly selected “UPS Ground” during check-out.

eTech4sale shipping mistery

More on UPS routes optimization: The green way to keep on trucking at Financial Times
Maps courtesy of Google.

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