I bought something from an online retailer on Monday. My purchase had free shipping and it said I’d get my item by December 6. You know what, for free shipping that’s not so bad.

To my surprise, about two hours after I bought the item, I got an e-mail saying it had shipped, and I received a UPS tracking number. Upon entering the tracking number on the UPS web site, I discovered my purchase was being shipped via an overnight option. I would be scheduled to get my package my end of day Tuesday. Wow. This was free shipping by the way.

My item originated in Anaheim, California Monday afternoon. By Monday evening, I saw that it had moved to San Diego. Now, this was going in the opposite direction of where I’m located. No biggie, I guess, since shipping companies have logistics that I’m not privy to. I went to bed knowing it had departed San Diego.

In the morning, I received an e-mail fromĀ  UPS stating that my package would be delayed one business day, so I would get it Wednesday, instead of Tuesday. Again, no biggie. I checked the package status and overnight, it had flown from San Diego to Kentucky, where UPS global hub is located. It had gone thousands of miles east, totally away from where I live. Once again, I’m not privy to the UPS routing algorithms, so their computers must have told UPS that this was the most logical route for my package to take. Or, it could have been a mistake, who knows.

While I was work, my package got processed in Kentucky and then was put onto another plane. I didn’t know until late afternoon where it was going. It had gone to Seattle. According to the UPS web site, it’s still in Seattle somewhere. Unless it missed a departure scan, it hasn’t moved for almost 12 hours now. If it is going to get delivered before end of day Wednesday, it somehow needs to leave Seattle, arrived in Vancouver, get sorted, and get on delivery truck before the afternoon ends. I don’t know if that will happen. I wouldn’t be surprised it winds up back in California again.

I would love to see the routing algorithms that UPS and FedEx have.

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