The merits of our globally connected world are more than obvious. Everything is available anytime and anywhere I want. While this is true for anything that can be converted into some digital information, there is still an considerable amount of real world problems when it comes to real world goods, such as shipping for instance.
My dad (whose it’s birthday today btw, so shout him a beer if you see him) was so nice to send me my sleeping bag and some hiking boots to New Zealand because I am planning to go hiking in the southern Alps around Queenstown for 2,5 weeks which is impossible without proper gear of course.
So we got the things running and the parcel was on its way to New Zealand. Send by DHL Express to make sure it will make its way down here early enough. Estimated transport time: approx. 8 days. As a comparison: Sending a random parcel for X-Mas will last for 2 months.
I was tracking my parcel everyday and in fact it arrived in NZ on Monday 11th of April. Everything seems to work as planned, thats how I like it. But from there on everything went wrong, as I figured out just a couple of minutes ago.
Today, on the 14th of April the status of my delivery hasn’t changed since Monday. “Parcel is waiting for clearance through customs”. Well, that seems kinda odd. Let’s give them a ring to find out whats going on. But who are you gonna call?
First I tried it directly at NZ Customs, but they couldn’t help me without any reference number. At least they have got the best music while holding the line. (Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer)
Still motivated I called DHL New Zealand. Makes sense doesn’t it? When you send something from Germany to New Zealand and both countries have a DHL branch, you will ask them first, right? Well, not so in NZ. DHL New Zealand is not responsible for shippings via DHL Germany. In fact it’s New Zealand Postal Service, that is. Well then let’s call these guys. Fortunately customer service hotlines won’t cost a dime apart from nerves and time.
The Postal Service lady was very friendly and was a little bit more enlightening, since she could obtain my new NZ tracking number. And she knew that my parcel was held by Bio Security NZ, the local authority for everything related to possible threats to nature and environment. That’s nothing someone has to be concerned about, since you have to deal with these guys all the time while traveling and shipping stuff. But why haven’t they processed my parcel yet?
5 phone calls and 2 hours later I figured out why. They have a frigging’ backlog in their process queue. A backlog for gods sake! Is that really my problem? In this case it is, because they can’t process it till Monday and I will fly into Queenstown this very Saturday. Fuck.
At least I have certainty about the whereabouts of my delivery. Sorry dad for all the hassle, but I guess the haste was not worth its efforts. Fortunately I have Friday already off. I know a place that has hiking boots for hire, at least I can be sure they have been worn-in.