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Amazon: going out of its way to waste gas..


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Showing 1-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2012 8:48:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 8:50:28 PM PST
musicmonster says:
Why is it ordering a product from the west coast always is fulfilled from an east coast facility when there is a perfectly good number of distribution centers within a 1000 mile radius?? Unless, that is you order with 2 day shipping, then magically that same product materializes from a local hub, gasp! Think of the wasted hours, thousands of gallons of gas and wear and tear on our transportation infrastructure from shipping from different time zones!

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 9:29:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 10:03:43 PM PST
First of all... you make it sound like your ONE item is taking a private jet, with no other items on board, to your town before it's delivered to your door (by a UPS truck with no other deliveries, JUST YOURS). -- On the contrary. The trucks and planes that are moving along those routes are already moving and carrying cargo anyway. They aren't wasting any additional gas on your single item. The only additional gas being wasted is the UPS guy diverting from his normal route to go up your street to drop your parcel off at your house... and that's YOUR fault for placing the order, not Amazon's. Otherwise, the vehicles are travelling across the continent whether your measly little item is on board or not.

Secondly, it's about balance of inventory. If they figure you can wait a week for your item, they'll take it from a center that has surplus (shipping via those same trucks and planes that are ALREADY moving anyway) and get it to you in the time allotted. If, however, you order 2-day delivery, then obviously they'll move it from the nearest center to get it to you on-time and balance their inventory behind the scenes if necessary.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 9:38:04 PM PST
You're also assuming that all products are held at every distribution. I'm sure there are many instances where they are shipping your item from the closest distribution center with that item. Amazon isn't stupid, they're not going to do the least efficient option. They are in this to make a buck, and they're not going to waste that buck on unnecessary gas.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:45:00 PM PST
Lene Jensen says:
And even if they were, they had to come from SOMEWHERE before they were shipped to all distribution centre. So theoretically, shipping items to centres where they will be sitting and never sold (as an example), just to save energy on the last stretch is a waste. Then it could be cheaper to send across country. I see no logic in OP's post.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:46:37 PM PST
@Tequila: I inferred that if he orders the same item on the same day, with a different shipping method, it ships from a different center. But I agree, not all items are stored in all centers. I've had items ship 2-day from Nevada to Maine, while in the same order other items ship from Massachusetts. And I would assume that if they were already in MA, that's where the complete order would ship from.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 9:56:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 9:57:43 PM PST
Air distribution systems operate on a hub and spoke topography. It really doesn't matter which spoke something is on -- the one next to you, or the one opposite of you -- it's all the same.

Inefficient? Hardly. It's very efficient. Far more efficient than the disorganized scramble that people who can't conceptualize the hub and spoke method believe exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:33:27 PM PST
musicmonster says:
Exactly. These are items fulfilled by amazon, when you order an item via two day, it comes from nevada. the very same item ordered on my wifes account without 2 day and its delivered from PA. This has been a real common occurrence and is not limited to just a few instances, i figured she was just complaining about how long it took until i ordered a couple things on her tablet and bam...3 days to pack and 5 working days to deliver for the same damn things.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:46:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 12:47:19 AM PST
Letha says:
Since you can order things with 2-day shipping, and when you order them on your wife's tablet they take longer, I will guess that you and your wife use different Amazon accounts. Why would you do that? Even if you do, you can still set her account up to piggyback off your Prime account so that she can get 2-day shipping on her own equipment.

Yes, it is just as effective for Amazon to put a package on a plane that is already leaving Pennsylvania as it is to put it on a plane that is leaving Nevada--the planes are already going, and one more item is not going to use up a significant amount of gas (the planes probably are not packed tight). They just happen to have four different warehouses in Pennsylvania (Kentucky is the only other state to have four warehouses).

Look, it's a simple concept. Let's say that I have a big warehouse business--I keep a good selection of the items customers want near the front of the building, but I keep the bulk of the supplies in the back of the building, and I have a conveyor belt that continuously runs from the back of the building to the front.

When I get a walk-in customer, my clerks pull the item from the small stockpile at the front of the building because it is quicker. When I get a call-in order that is going to be packed by the clerks in the front of the building, I have my people pull it from the bigger stockpile in the back and set it on the conveyor belt.

Because, you know, if they pull it from the front, someone is just going to have to send a replacement from the back anyway. May as well NOT mess with the restocking of the front area. It saves us paperwork and time if the clerks don't have to make a note that they are pulling something from front stock, ask for a replacement from back stock, register it when it comes in from back stock, and put it on the shelf.

You can fix this easily by just setting up your wife's tablet to work with Prime or by letting her piggyback on your account using her email. I don't really see an issue here.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 1:18:27 AM PST
This is why you don't run a multi-billion dollar corporation and people who know what they're doing, do.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 4:08:13 AM PST
Woofie53 says:
<<<Exactly. These are items fulfilled by amazon, when you order an item via two day, it comes from nevada.>>>

That's not necessarily true. I have Prime. I live on the West Coast and my things have come from KY, PA and NY that have still gotten here in 2 days. They've come from AZ, NV and CA as well, but they are closer. What I have noticed is that since I joined Prime, many of my things are coming by OnTrac, UPS and even FedEx. Some of the things that came from closer distribution centers have come in the mail.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 7:14:22 AM PST
Lene Jensen says:
I live on the east coast, and most of my stuff comes from Kentucky.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 7:27:20 AM PST
Abe Glaser says:
You are obviously a student of economics even if you never took a class on it. Bravo for your insight on the way economics works!

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 10:42:33 AM PST
R. Green says:
I worked for a company that had distribution centers across the country. We did not stock all our products at every center as some of the products were regional. Being from the intermountain west I'd never heard of Stromboli until I worked for this company. They made Stromboli at a plant in the upper Midwest, and warehoused and sold it there and back East.

Every once in a while we'd have a customer on the West coast order a case or two of Stromboli. Unless they wanted to pay for expedited shipping, it would get put on a west bound truck, bringing other product made in the Midwest to a distribution center in the west. It would then ship to the customer from that center.

To the customer tracking their order, it appeared that we did not fill their order for 4 or 5 days and then shipped from their local distribution center, when in fact, their order was moving internally (to us) from the Midwest to west for those 4 or 5 days and then was shipped to them.

So Amazon ships two day from Nevada for prime, but doesn't fill an order (of the same product) for 4 or 5 days and ships it from a PA warehouse if not prime, tells me they are doing the same thing. Just because you don't see you status change for 4 or 5 days does not mean your ordered product isn't moving.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 11:04:33 AM PST
>>>>
So Amazon ships two day from Nevada for prime, but doesn't fill an order (of the same product) for 4 or 5 days and ships it from a PA warehouse if not prime, tells me they are doing the same thing. Just because you don't see you status change for 4 or 5 days does not mean your ordered product isn't moving.
<<<<

Exactly!

When you get to the point that the speed of the final delivery is not important (as in Super Saver Shipping versus Prime), the goal is to insert the single package into the parcel delivery stream as close to the final destination as possible.

It is far, far cheaper to take that product in Nevada, put it on a pallet or in a cargo container, and ship it as a tiny part of a bigger freight shipment from Nevada to Pennsylvania, and then drop it in the single-package oriented parcel delivery stream closer to its destination.

The first location on the single-package tracking information is NOT an indicator of what warehouse it was stocked at. It is only an indication of where they inserted it into the parcel delivery stream part of the logistics.

Yes, that takes time, but it saves money. And guess what? The time it takes isn't any longer than the time it would have taken to ship that single parcel by ground straight from Nevada! It just saves money.

That's not always an option when you're talking about 1 and 2 day delivery. But, amazingly, it sometimes is. But instead of using truck or rail transports for the freight, there is air freight. Some of my stuff comes from Kentucky, but is air freighted to Seattle, where they can ship it ground to me, and I'll get it the next day. Putting it in that air freight shipment from Covington to Federal Way, and using UPS-Ground from Federal Way to Portland can still be less expensive than using 2nd-Day Air from Covington to Portland.

Where your parcel tracking number first shows activity isn't necessarily the warehouse where something was stored.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Nov 16, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 17, 2012

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