Arrow - a critique of packaging techniques

26 February 2019

I'd not purchased anything from Arrow electronics before, what with them being in the USA and me thinking that shipping costs would be expensive. Recently I found out that their 'free shipping' is world wide! Time to give it a try.

Based on what other people have said, I was expecting an excess of packaging. Many boxes. Enough padding to fill a small car. Boxes within boxes. Etc. They certainly lived up to their reputation.

What shocked me most was that the free shipping was 'Priority', which meant that I ordered parts on Friday, and the first bits arrived on Monday, followed by some more on Tuesday morning, and the final box on Tuesday afternoon. That's quicker from the USA than I would expect to get a package from Sydney, which is about 3 hours drive up the road.

This many parts:

Came in 4 boxes, with 10 metres of packing paper scrunched up, a bunch of plastic, 18 pages of invoices, 7 stickers for packing, 7 anti-static bags, 4 smaller boxes, 2 x 20cm anti-static chip holders, and some bubble wrap.

My favourite bit was these mosfets, which each came in packing large enough to hold 20 or so of them. That was then in a static bag of A4 size, each.

How they make money from this I do not know. I feel bad for creating this amount of waste, but with free shipping and cheap parts, and ultra fast service, I will probably use them again (and feel like a planet destroying arsehole at the same time).