Amazon: Ship(ment) of Fools?

I realize Amazon is, like its namesake, a high-volume operation. And I realize this can lead to some seemingly bizarre behavior in the quest to streamline operations. Even so, the amount of sheer waste of materials I've seen in some recent shipments boggles the mind.

Today my wife received a medium-sized box that included forty linear feet of inflated plastic packaging material to fill the mostly empty box and prevent the (unbreakable items) from moving around during shipment.

Yesterday, I received a box that was roughly 12" X 4" X 9.5" or about 456 cubic inches. Inside was one hard-plastic, unbreakable object that was 0.75" X 1.75" X 1" or about 1.3 cubic inches. By volume about 0.3% that of the box. This could easily have been sent in a padded envelope, but instead a sizeable cardboard box and additional plastic packaging material were all wasted to ship this item.

Yes, everything is recyclable, but that does not make this practice acceptable. Especially when one considers the volume of Amazon's operations worldwide.

Comments:

There are rational explanations for these things, but I should probably not go into too much detail here. I've done my FC [warehouse] training (obligatory for senior staff at Amazon), and I can imagine exactly how and why they occurred.

Maybe over a beer some time.

Posted by Geoff Arnold on December 18, 2008 at 07:21 PM EST #

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