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Why Is Our Postal Service So Crap?

15 October 2023

We are in the middle of restoring a 30 odd year old American fire truck, and converting it into a food truck to add to our fleet.

Now, many of the parts we need for it are only available in the USA. Surprisingly much of the contstruction is no different now than it was 30 years ago, so most bits are readily available. I sourced some bits and bobs we needed and ordered them online. As is standard now they came with a tracking number.

USA to Local Delivery Depot 3625 Miles

There was a number of jumps to different depot’s in the States, before the parcel was finally loaded onto an airliner and flown to the UK, where it ended up at Rotherham our local delivery depot. This encompassed a trip of around 3625 miles, and took a grand total of 5 days. That averaged out to a speed of 30 mph. Obviously it spent some time sat in depots before being transhipped etc, but overall the average was 30 miles an hour.

Local Delivery Depot To Us 15 Miles

Where it goes tits up, is the final 15 miles from the local delivery depot to our depot. This is the grand total of 15 miles, and took the UK postal service 12 days to cover. The interesting fact here is that works out to around 1/20th of a mile per hour average speed. Or roughly 600 times slower than the US postal service.

In fact the really interesting fact is that a tortoise is capable of travelling at just over half a mile per hour. So had they strapped the parcel to the back of a tortoise, it could have been delivered in a little over a day and a quarter.

An isolated incident you might say. Sadly no, because so far we have repeated the whole scenario with similar times on another parcel from the States. Then we ordered some lights from Australia. A distance of over 9000 miles. The Aussies managed to get it to us in seven days. With the final leg from the post office taking 11 days!

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