Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Last 34 Miles

Much like the telecom industry, many eCommerce travails concern the last mile (or last 34 miles in my case) - the act of getting data (or packages) the last few feet to the residential location.

I ordered an item from Amazon last week, on the 19th December to be precise. It was packaged and handed to UPS within about an hour of my order being placed. I'm a Prime member so shipping is 2 days - in fact Amazon confirmed that delivery would occur on December 21. Click on the graphic above to see a snapshot of the UPS tracking page. Bottom line here is that my package made it from Louisville, KY to Oakland CA by midnight December 20. And there it has sat. I live about 34 miles from Oakland. I could have walked to Oakland and back in the last three days. It's now late night December 24 and UPS still has my package (and still claim on their website that they will deliver it by December 21 (perhaps they have a time machine with which I have not been previously familar)). And I'm not just picking on UPS here - I also have another package, ordered the same day, that is being delivered by DHL (Prime, 2 day delivery for which the only information DHL will disclose is that it was picked up on December 19 and is "in transit" - to where I have no idea. But it sure as heck is not to my house....).

Bring on commercial grade, inexpensive 3d-printers I say. In fact, create 3d-printers and have them as their first job print other 3d printers. I can see it coming. Soon as the markets open after Christmas I'm shorting UPS, DHL, Eagle, FedEx and the rest of the bunch.