--- Russ Blakeman <rhblake(a)bigfoot.com> wrote:
So if a package is shipped from NYC to Boston it has
to go to Memphic first?
That doesn't seem to make sense at any rate. A central hub system makes
sense but not for everything unless it has to pass thru that point from
start to finish.
But you get savings at not trying to put two-way routing intellegence at
each major nexus. At Cleveland, let's say, all stuff that comes in, goes out
on the planes to Memphis early every evening, and stuff to get routed within
the Cleveland area arrives later in the evening. No sorting is required at
Cleveland to figure out if it goes to Memphis or not. If you multiply this
by hundreds of metro areas, the savings is clear. Now... it's possible to
insert a minimal level of sorting so you don't ship a package from one
Cleveland address to another via Memphis, but if it goes from one metro area
to another, routing to a hub is more efficient, even if you pass your
destination on the way to the hub. There is a plane from NYC to Memphis
and back every night; there is a plane from, Boston to Memphis and back
every night; why add a plane from NYC to Boston? You already have four
legs that have to be there anyway that will get the package there. It
only would become an issue if you could fill a plane, night after night
from one place to another that you'd even want to
think about bypassing
I think these days, the original concept has been extended to allow for
multiple hubs, permitting a much smaller route optimization than solving
for m x n, but the concept is still valid. Economically, people will pay
more for "absolutely, positively has to be there overnight". The optimization
here is for time first, cost second. If the customer could wait, they
could choose a lower-priority delivery technique. The Post Office and UPS
optimize for cost first, delivery-time second. Different models.
Given that FedEx also offers lower priority delivery, they probably aren't
filling each and every plane, each and every night with stuff. If they
were, there wouldn't be room to stuff the lower priority items in the corners.
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