Dec 5, 2014

Holiday Shipping: Hazardous to Your Gifts?

damaged package
If you’re gifting and shipping collectibles for the holidays, I hope you are either very lucky or very well insured.
I recently shipped a First World War artillery-shell lamp and packed it to the point where I thought it was bullet-proof: a layer of paper wrap, tape-reinforced at the lamp’s base and socket, bubble-wrapped, and then double boxed and sealed with strapping tape. My box was clearly marked “fragile” in several places. Nevertheless, the package arrived damaged. The box was torn and crushed, and the lamp was bent.
An artillery shell? Bent? They were made to be fired from a cannon; how could it get bent?
Surely, I thought, this was a fluke. Until last week, that is, when I read a featured article in the current edition of Readers Digest titled “Confessions of a UPS Handler.”
The former UPS handler says that during the holidays “parcel delivery service” is a synonym with “herds of uncomfortable, sleep-deprived people shoving too many boxes into too-little trucks.” Author Sara Ohlms goes on to explain that prior to loading, packages ride on conveyor belts and sometimes log-jams occur where one belt meets another. “When that happens,” says author, “it’s like tripping at the head of a stampede. There’s nothing we can do…but say a prayer.” Read More>>>

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