And they are off…!
We sent two packages sent from The Logistics Institute, Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA (USA) to The Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific in Singapore. To make this more interesting we staged a race: One package, weighing 3.25 lbs, would be sent via FedEx; the other, weighing 4.5 lbs, would be shipped via UPS.
We phoned both FedEx and UPS at approximately 11AM on January 15. Each would be making their daily, regularly-scheduled visit to Georgia Tech. FedEx picked up their package at 1PM and UPS picked up theirs at 4:05PM. (Later pick-up can be seen as a service to dawdling customers; but it could endanger delivery times.)
Figure 1: The UPS path from Atlanta to Singapore.
Each package went through a sortation facility in the midwestern US. Both packages stopped in Achorage, Alaska because all air freighters must stop for fuel between Asia and North America. (It is possible to load enough fuel to fly direct but only by traveling without cargo!) The FedEx package was scanned there but the UPS package was apparently not.
Both packages went through sortation facilities in Japan. The UPS package then went through a UPS hub in Taipei, Taiwan; however, this stop was not shown on the UPS package-tracking web site. Mark Sobolewski, VP of International Industrial Engineering at UPS, explained that not every scan is publicly visible because much of it is too detailed to be useful to most customers. Presumably this is true of FedEx as well, but we do not know the interim stops of the FedEx package.) Both packages then went to Singapore.
We also learned from Mark Sobolewski that the UPS package was transported via Boeing 747 from Anchorage to Osaka, then on a Boeing 767 to Taipei, and finally on a Boeing 757 to Singapore.
Singapore customs is very efficient and the packages were logged through within minutes of arrival.
|Jan 18, 2003||11:30||The Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific, Singapore||Delivery|
|01:12||Singapore, SG||Through customs, ready for delivery|
|01:09||Changi Airport, Singapore||Import scan|
|Jan 17, 2003||21:21||Changi Airport, Singapore||Arrival scan|
|11:52||Osaka, Japan||Departure scan|
|Jan 16, 2003||12:23||UPS Sortation Center, Louisville, KY, USA||Arrival scan|
|Jan 15, 2003||23:07||UPS air terminal, Hapeville, GA, USA||Departure scan|
|21:46||UPS air terminal, Hapeville, GA, USA||Arrival scan|
|21:33||UPS truck terminal, Atlanta, GA, USA||Departure scan|
|20:42||UPS truck terminal, Atlanta, GA, USA||Origin scan|
|16:10||Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA||Pickup scan|
|Jan 18, 2003||11:39||The Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific, Singapore||Delivery|
|09:43||On FedEx delivery vehicle|
|08:56||At FedEx terminal, Singapore||Arrival scan|
|06:00||Changi Airport, Singapore||Cleared customs|
|06:00||Changi Airport, Singapore||Arrival scan|
|Jan 17, 2003||13:50||Narita Airport, Tokyo||Departure scan|
|Jan 16, 2003||10:33||Anchorage, AK, USA||Departure scan|
|08:52||Anchorage, AK, USA||Arrival scan|
|05:46||Indianapolis, IN, USA||Departure scan|
|00:25||Sort facility, Indianapolis, IN, USA||Arrival scan|
|Jan 15, 2003||19:19||Atlanta, GA||Departure scan, FedEx facility|
|13:10||Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA||Pickup scan|
Both packages were delivered Saturday, 18 January (Singapore time, which was then 13 hours ahead of Atlanta time). The office to which they were delivered is open but not very busy on Saturday and so the front door was locked. There was a knock on the door at about 11:30AM (Singapore time) and both the FedEx and the UPS delivery men were standing at the door. The UPS fellow held the door open for FedEx, so, strictly speaking, FedEx arrived first; but UPS apparently got the signature first. Also, UPS gets extra credit for courtesy and so we may call it a tie.