It’s a Small World and Getting Smaller


Recently I ordered a new cable for my iPhone and shortly thereafter I got an e-mail from Apple telling me that it had shipped. This isn’t the original view that I saw, but here is an updated view of the tracking information that I pulled:


Look at those last 6 lines. The cable (a single, individually boxed cable) shipped from Shenzhen China on April 17th and arrived in Memphis Tennessee (on the United States’ East Cost) on April 18th after traveling through Hong Kong and Alaska. Not only is the travel time pretty amazing, but to me, what is most amazing is the fact that it makes more sense for Apple to store and ship a cable from China in an individually wrapped box than to ship them to a distribution center in the United States and then mail them out from here.

This was just one more tiny reminder of how small of a world it is that we live in. Cheers!

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Comments (5)

  1. It’s fascinating. But they have probably changed their logistics to assume that everyday a lot of people will order different things (or even the same cable) so they can send a plane or whatever from China to the US each day. The number of packages and the contents of each will change each day but since it easy to track that nowdays it won’t cost a lot.
    They might stop doing this (or just do longer delivery times) if only a few people order things each day.

  2. I find their effectiveness… Interesting.

    It took 24.5 hours for the cable to reach Virginia from China. Then, it took 74 hours to reach its destination, in Virginia. Why does it take such a short time to travel across the world, and such a long time to travel across the state? Is your state really that big?

  3. @Johan Agreed, they definitely do a cost benefit analysis, and somehow it is to their advantage to do it this way. And something else I forgot to mention, the shipping was only 4 dollars!

    @configurator Well, it wasn’t really 24 hours from China, due to timezones. Those times appear to be local times, since the package arrived in Anchorage before it left Hong Kong, which my bet would be is about a 10 hour flight. It arrived in my state on a Saturday, and then tried to be delivered on Monday. But I wasn’t there, so it was instead delivered on a Tuesday. Hence the long delivery time once it arrived in Virginia. And my state is only the 35th largest state (so pretty small relatively), but it is about 5 times the land mass of Israel. If that gives you a good idea of its size.

  4. Amazing! Reminds me of the time I ordered from Amazon, received my package the next day and then (a bit later) was notified that it had shipped.

    And, speaking of small worlds … I’ve been reading your blog for at least a year now and had no idea you were from Mechanicsville. I grew up and went to high school there many, many years ago.

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