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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Just another Fedex delivery....

Mon, 04 Apr 2011

The Journal of Maps had a shipment of atlases delivered to Canada recently (our 2010 Best Map winner). Fedex came in cheapest so we shipped 3 boxes with them... I was impressed with the speed of collection and within 24 hours they were awaiting clearance in Toronto. Great stuff. I needed to do some extra clearance paperwork, but all on target. The next time I checked they were then in Stansted, then proceeded to Memphis because (I assume) making their way by road back to Toronto. You can see the state they arrived in with some considerable water damage. I think the term "logistics" might be laughable in this instance, as would be "due care". Clearly our boxes were the ones that didn't matter.

Then came the fun of claiming.... we had gone through a broker who denied any responsibility because they had been signed for, even with photographic evidence. They had actually gone through another broker, so I approached Fedex direct. They were actually genuinely helpful. We needed to transfer the claim to ourselves (which carries it's own risks) and at this point its worth saying that if its valuable, get it insured!! Fedex work on the principle of the proportion damaged out of the total shipment and have a maximum payout of ~23 Euro per kg. Given paper is quite heavy we pretty much got a pro rata payout for our costs plus the cost of shipping back (still waiting for that because... yes, its gone to the broker's broker!).

Plenty of morals to take away here... package well... insure... keep the paperwork etc etc. These things happen, quite how such a bad delivery could take place baffles the mind.

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