I predict that a package being treated delicately throughout the entirety of it's route would be the outlier. Every package is at some point flung across a room/truck. The only question is if it is going to hit another box or a much harder surface.
this is all anecdotal, but seems to fit with the stat that roughly 10% of all packages in the United States are damaged during shipping.
: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/adriana-dunn/one-in-10-ecomme... -- couldn't find a direct link to the case study.
This isn't the only time you see this sort of selfish behavior from delivery companies. As a cyclist I commonly encounter delivery trucks parked in the bike lane. This is a common problem: http://upshatescyclists.com/
If you call UPS or Fedex you'll often hear things like "This shouldn't happen." But the drivers are basically incentivized to break the law, regardless of "company policy". They don't have much time per package, so if blocking a bike lane saves them 10 seconds, they don't care if it is really dangerous for others.
Given this knowledge, I hypothesized that an effective way to make a delivery driver avoid the bike lane would be to slow them down if they park in the bike lane. I did once try to block a UPS driver from exiting their vehicle as a test. I recall that I said something like "You're blocking me, so I'm blocking you. You can park over there if you want a legal spot."
It wasn't the worst reaction I've seen from a UPS driver, but it was among the worst. Not recommended, but if enough cyclists did this then I suspect delivery drivers would start to avoid the bike lane.
When a delivery company has a line item in its budget to cover parking tickets as a cost of doing business, it's already decided at the corporate level to disregard the law in favor of making a profit.
Some cities have dedicated package delivery spots which help, but that's far from universal and sometimes regular drivers will abuse them. Also, they may not be located near the location the package needs to be delivered.
Laws that penalize behavior that normal people frequently engage in don't get changed until the people who write the laws get bitten by them (which rarely happens for reasons outside the scope of this comment).
I drove for Uber 11 hours a day six days a week for 10 months and never got a fine.
You may as well decry the budgeting for legal as saying the company wants to break the law.
Why? If you don’t park illegally you don’t get tickets. They aren’t random or accidental.
Incorrect; if you don't park illegally, you are less likely to be ticketed each time you park.
On an individual scale, this might result in never getting a ticket, on a large delivery company’s scale, it's pretty much guaranteed not to.
Downtowns address this problem with yellow commercial loading zones but those don’t really exist in residential neighborhoods.
Walking from a free parking spot to the delivery location is not included in the price. Unless all delivery companies are forced to follow the parking laws (for real) at the same time they will just go out of business.
The problem is that the end user don't know what quality of delivery they will get, so they choose the cheapest, and there is a race to the bottom, like flight tickets.
When comparing prices the end user doesn't know that they might be beaten off the plane by security to make room for a business class late arrival end user, so the risk is not priced in correctly ...
It'll cost more than the current situation, sure, but it is an option.
1. There's no quick conversion in the middle of the street. It's a curb, which would require hopping, which is nearly impossible for an ebike and a dangerously unstable maneuver anyway.
2. There are cars blocking visibility with the sidewalk. If you hop onto it, you might strike a pedestrian you didn't see. Perhaps a short one, such as a child, who are unpredictable anyway.
3. Going to the right of the truck is a great way to get doored in the 0" of clearance between the truck and other parked cars. If it's the truck, enjoy your guaranteed head injury from the truck door 3 feet off the ground.
4. Biking on the sidewalk is illegal in many cities. So is parking in the bike lane, for that matter. Expecting one party to break the law because of a failure to enforce a separate law is unreasonable.
The "no cars in the city" philosophy is not one without challenges or setbacks - getting rid of parking in sunset would suck, but it would motivate the creation of more and better public transit, which is a better solution than cars by nearly all marks.
More likely than getting rid of the bike lane, the laws surrounding it will be amended to allow deliveries.
So they shouldn’t stop there then. Deliver the last mile on foot or using a cart. If it’s too large for that I guess you can get some kind of permit like they do for construction.
Rhetoric is fun; it's easy to prove both a proposition and its opposite.
The only reason to have a lawyer is because you broke the law, got it.
Why? Doing everything correctly and within the law costs money.
I admittedly have no idea how these situations are handled by accounting, but that seems like it would be the solution to me.
But yes, the company looks at this like so:
* Option 1. Park in front of the building (illegally) and deliver the package. 2% chance of getting a $200 parking ticket.
* Option 2. Driver finds a legal spot, average time: 15 minutes. Add 20 minutes of walking time to the delivery. Requirement: 8x more delivery vehicles required to service the city.
Option 1 is much cheaper.
If the city wanted to make delivering parcels legally and safe for bicyclists practical, it could. But that would mean drastically lower income. So it doesn't.
It's obvious, this is how businesses operate.
I'm shure they could avoid doing a lot of those things, but blaming and punishing the truck driver is not fair.
But parking in the bike lane is not necessary a large fraction of the time. I always point out a convenient alternative parking spot when talking to drivers parked in the bike lane. It's not uncommon that the alternative spot is really no worse than the bike lane for the delivery driver. The problem seems to be that many drivers don't consider more than the most obvious parking spot, and that often ends up being the bike lane.
Also, don't underestimate the number of delivery drivers who hate cyclists and intentionally block the bike lane. Having talked to dozens of delivery drivers I can say some of them seem to genuinely hate cyclists.
As I recall the driver went through the small gap I left, though not without getting fairly irritated.
Bike vs. car flamewars are surprisingly close to the nastiest things we see here. Not to mention tedious.
Live and let live.
The drivers deliver the shit you buy online.
Imagine there's no bike lane and you ride on the street, or when you wanna ride more relaxed, you ride on the sidewalk.
It's not a problem either way if everybody is somewhat relaxed. But with your mindset, everyone's against everyone.
It just riddles me.
If you were in a car, you would be the type of person that honks at cyclist because in their mindset, it's illegal.
Common misconception. Riding on the sidewalk is considerably more dangerous than riding in the street. While you are less likely to be hit from behind, you are much more likely to be hit by drivers turning.
> If you were in a car, you would be the type of person that honks at cyclist because in their mindset, it's illegal.
The difference is that blocking the bike lane is typically illegal (and dangerous to cyclists), and riding a bike on the road is typically legal (and at most irritating to drivers). The two are not equivalent.
It's illegal in 8 states; unclear in 18; even if it was illegal in all of those it would be a slim majority, not “almost every state”.
That being said, far too many assume it's illegal to ride on the road, and "share the road" signs don't seem to effectively correct that misconception. I've even heard of drivers telling cyclists to ride on the sidewalk when they're already riding in a bike lane...
That being said, and as others have stated, riding on the sidewalk is not illegal in many areas, though it's less safe in most.
Said nothing about slashing, that's permanent damage.
A close friend who owns a UPS franchise warned me of this behavior and advised against placing any indication of fragility on the box. If I recall the threshold correctly, $1,000+ declared-value packages are identified and set aside in a separate group within the store. When a driver comes by to pick up daily packages, the store clerk alerts the driver of which, if any, have been declared and these are individually handled with the sort of care that a customer would generally expect. The regular drivers that service his store appear to take the high-value thing quite seriously, but I do wonder how far down the logistic chain that level of seriousness propagates.
The takeway is that, anecdotally, the UPS $1,000 threshold appears to genuinely change behavior; anything less is pragmatically just another package subject to careless/willful transport abuse.
I don't want to pay an extra $10 for every shipment.
It's also the episode with the "boudoir" photographs of George taken by Kramer, for the benefit of the photo development clerk, who he thinks slipped in a suggestive photo of herself in the photos she gave him of his last roll of film. You may have seen the images of George posing before even if you're not a Seinfeld fan. It's a pretty memetic set of images. People have done oil paintings of them, lol. Here's a screenshot example (mildly NSFW, male in only boxer shorts): http://www.inpapasbasement.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Ge...
The courier/post office will generally validate that that sticker matches the value you told them for insurance purposes either way.
Of course you can choose to not believe me, but I was explicitly told that the "value" field is completely ignored especially on any post from China, because 99% of the time it's just nonsense and pretty much everything arrives as a "gift"(I once had a brand new Asus laptop worth about $800 that was declared with value of $15, contents: "electronic cables" and "gift" - the customs officers wanted to see receipts of all payments I made for it before releasing it).
>>The courier/post office will generally validate that that sticker matches the value you told them for insurance purposes either way.
Now this seems completely bogus. I've also sent thousands of packages and no one has ever "validated" if what I am sending is actually worth as much as I put on the declaration. As long as it wasn't illegal to send it in the post no one cared.
I can confirm that in my country (Australia) packages are rarely opened and if they are, it's seldom for duty assessment but checking for contraband of whatever nature. Even if they do flag you for a duty check they don't need to open the package - they do have x-rays, you know. Try and declare a $10,000 drone as a package of t-shirts worth $5 and the officer doesn't need to open the box to reject your "estimate". That said, most sites of any repute worth upholding will print the real value on the declaration, non-negotiable.
Customs officials in Norway will generally charge the customs fee on the declared value, but if something looks off - a huge, heavy box with a $1 declaration, for example, they can and do open it to verify the contents.
When I was a teenager (around 1990 I think) I had a very short (surprisingly well-paying for a teenager) summer job unloading trucks at a warehouse. The first truck contained Atari monitors. One guy showed how it's done: remove the bottom box, and the rest comes tumbling after. Stack them on a pallet, race them through the warehouse on a forklift, take a tight turn so they all fall off again, etc.
My main takeaway was not to buy an Atari monitor that summer.
Is it envy? “Screw this guy getting his fancy TV that I don’t have.” If not, what?
It seems needlessly cruel. I assume these are good people?
The mood issue is real as well and it's less about personal feelings in general and more driven by how you're being treated at work. Any shift in the normal routine can set the mood of the entire warehouse and in return lead people into not caring. It could be announced mandatory overtime or even something as simple as removing something from the break room. Retaliatory action isn't seen as an inconvenience against the customer, it's a middle finger to corporate. You treat us like shit and we're going to make you feel it too, proxied through customer complaints about broken or missing items. Some individuals do go off the rails and it's usually related to some sort of perceived slight against them by the company. A lot of these could have been squashed if the manager didn't throw up their arms and say there was nothing they could do about it; take it up with HR. Most of the time if someone in corporate had just listened to the issue and let the employee get it off their chest, that would have been enough to calm the anger. What many white collar employees in the front office don't realize is how seriously some small and inconsequential issues can matter to blue collar laborers. This could go on and on about blue vs. white collar relations and management practices, but the point is that it's not about the customer so much as it is about internal politics and maintaining the status quo.
"Fragile" and other special instructions printed on the box are kind of insulting if you think about it. On the one hand, I'm a "professional" doing this for a living, so it's not like I need instruction from your I've-never-loaded-a-truck ass. And on the other hand, do I look like I have time to give your precious package special attention and follow your additional instructions for how it should be handled? It will be handled like all the rest. Maybe worse now that you pissed me off.
My pet peeve was the packing. If you've done a proper job of packing, i.e. fulfilling your responsibility to secure your stuff, you quickly find you don't need to proclaim "Fragile" on the outside. But if you don't pack well, and then write "Fragile" on it, you're kind of trying to transfer your responsibilities to me, and deserve a lesson.
This was judgmental young me talking, by the way. It's been a while since I did this. But speaking of judgment I also should mention the ultimate worthlessness of most of what people went to the trouble to ship. I handled a lot of B2B stuff, such as a region's worth of cigarette advertising for all the (insert name of convenience store chain here) in that region. Invariably marked "Fragile."
Just another example of how we all need to consider the lives, emotions, situations, feelings of others before jumping to conclusions. Life is never as simple as it may seem.
As a customer, if my box arrives smashed I am angry.
If my box arrives smashed with a "Fragile" sign printed on it, I feel insulted.
I guess in the second case the complaint is going to be worse and the reputation of the shipping company damaged even more ("They can't even deliver a 'fragile' parcel properly")
I especially agree with their point around properly packaging items.
Having said that, I can see how physical exhaustion and stress would lead to careless handling of goods.
That said, it's policy not to treat packages marked 'fragile' differently. Boxes get reused a lot, and a sticker like that has very little correlation with it actually being fragile. (60lb box of bolts? Fragile! 2' by 4' mirror that shatters from a 1 ft drop? Not fragile!)
For bicycles in particular, the issue IMO is that they're typically packed terribly, while being large and awkward enough to be handled with all the other large and heavy (70-150 lbs) stuff.
Damages will occur, it's just a matter of statistical frequency at a scale of 20 million packages per day handled by 100,000+ employees. Frequently, the damage won't even be discovered until delivery, and then there's no easy way to attribute the damage properly. That means aside from particularly egregious stuff where it's obvious you screwed up (say, laying a 55" TV flat and dropping a 30 lb box on it) you have to go way up the management chain to find anyone who cares. At a lower level, easily measured metrics like process rate are far more important.
If everyone in management you ever interacted with only measured your performance by LOC written, how much time would you spend refactoring?
The guy who said he purposely damages things was burnt out from working there for 5+ years. It brought out a side in him that I didn't know existed honestly. I was pretty shocked when he told me about it. Outside of work, he was extremely chill and fun to be around.
How about these people do something with their incredibly valuable short lives other than being miserable? Unless you're in chronic pain of some kind, being alive is a gift. It's a treasure. Every moment is precious.
That said if it’s a weekly habit that’s another story.
On top of that they would hate you for demonstrating that it could be done better, like being the guy who does not drive n over posted speed limit (n varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but is a positive number almost everywhere). And bosses probably expect speed and care, in that order, but that isn't the main mechanism.
There is a monumental difference between throwing 20lb packages all day vs. picking them up and setting them down. Your body will tell you that it's just not sustainable in the long run if you want to live without persistent pain. You can very easily learn this by observing anyone who's done the job for more than a year or two - they might look like they're being lazy but they are really just trying not to hurt themselves. You might throw one or two in anger, but repeatedly throwing packages for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 48 weeks will make you regret it. There is nothing more painful and hopeless on the job than a mechanical injury you feel in every single box you move. You learn to do it without hurting yourself and this almost never involves being careless with the package. The consequences might not come from being reprimanded about broken items, but it will come in the form of injury and pain.
But it does look like at least some are worth the extra effort to damage?
- terrible pay
- long hours
- silly computerised targets
It's difficult to care about your job if your job doesn't care about you.
One of my coworkers there was this guy who liked to play ska music really loud. His buddy that he talked to used to be really violent with the boxes- chucking some of them hard on purpose, trying to get some of the product to break.
One time I was waiting for a flight and watching the activity out the window, and the guy who was transferring bags from the little truck-train onto the ramp that slides them up into the airliner was throwing each bag into the air and onto the ramp.
It was clear that it would have taken much less effort to just set each bag onto the ramp - wouldn't even have to be gentle, just don't go the extra effort of throwing them in the air.
But I guess treating them gently wouldn't have offered the same satisfaction.
I don't know what I'm talking about, so treat that with a grain of salt, but it's plausible.
I used to work for a logistics firm and when one of the warehouse staff got called out for mishandling goods that was often the response.
The biggest issue there wasn't goods in transit, it was the actual packing process. Warehouse staff would pack mobile phones in to big plastic totes which would be taken to retail stores. They were on the clock so they would throw the phones in to the totes from wherever they were standing. Stores wouldn't accept phones in damaged boxes even if the contents were Okay.
The company fitted WiFi shock sensors to all the packing totes. All this did was increase the number of "fk you and fk your job" resignations.
I suppose you could argue the 'artist' is akin to a photographer?
But what if another artist joined fedex specifically to 'create' art. Which artist would take precedence? If one broke a box to create art, and one wanted the same box breaking to create art???
If it survives Hermes it's tough enough.
As a 3rd party, you would need large N data points to have actionable information. It might be that collecting the data points costs more than what they are worth.
EDIT: Yes, it's hard to believe a seat costs the same as a Lamborghini, that's exactly why they put the picture on it. This is mainly for the first class seats, though rows apparently cost about the same too.
Also it looks like a row of non-first class seats can also cost about the same:
For some perspective a Boeing 747 costs $357,000,000 they have a seating capacity of 416.
416 x $200,000 is only $83,200,000 so...honestly...I could see it.
You can even buy your own if you want to be uncomfortable in your own home:
Actually they do. The drive to make thinner and lighter seats means lots of exotic materials can go into them. If the seats include in-flight entertainment devices, that'll increase the cost too. Plus the seats still have to be certified to the same stringent safety standards as the first-class seats.
Of course the claim was that a row of economy seats costs about what one first-class seat does. I think that's believable.
Manufacturers and retailers should push to hold UPS/FedEx/etc. responsible if damages are above a certain metric. (If they do already, it's clearly not good enough.) The 20% damage rate for this bike company is insane.
This is a clever trick, but like the king snake's mimicry of the venomous coral snake, the long term result will surely be reduced efficacy of the markings on the bonafide item.
It still worked fine.
I’ve lost the source for this, I believe it was in the book “Apple Confidential 2.0”
EVEN if no one is watching and it's just a picture of an eye.
Every other boxes are treated equally, tossed/thrown.
Repairing wouldn't necessarily be safe and would definitely invalidate the warranty, luckily the company I bought it from sent me a new frame after I gave them proof of shipping damage.
What kind of piss-poor engineering is going into high end bikes? $400 bikes don't have this problem. I've legit thrown (albeit cautiously to make sure it doesn't bounce) my bike over a 1m drop on it's side several times and it's fine other than the kickstand being a little bent.
I'd never spend $1500+ on a bike that can't handle a 2mm deviation in the rear fork. Over the lifespan of the bike it's /definitely/ gonna have some part of it deviated by 2mm through normal wear and tear, so if that's gonna break it beyond safe repair then that's a pretty useless bike. Am I the crazy one here?
But the rear triangle of a bike remains pretty weak in shipping as the rear axle is not in place.