How to reduce damage during shipping: Pretend you are shipping a TV instead of a bike

vanmoof box
© Vanmoof

We like the clever bikes from Vanmoof; Derek has covered them here and here. They are trying to extend their reach by selling online, but had all kinds of trouble with the shipping companies, with bikes arriving bashed and bent. They tried them all:

The big ones.
The niche ones.
The expensive ones.
The start-up-ey ones.

But they were still having trouble. But then they had an idea:

Earlier this year our co-founder Ties had a flash of genius. Our boxes are about the same size as a (really really reaaaally massive) flatscreen television. Flatscreen televisions always arrive in perfect condition. What if we just printed a flatscreen television on the side of our boxes?

And just like that, shipping damage to our bikes dropped by 70–80%.

Apparently shippers are more careful with TVs than they are with bikes. Who would have thought.

According to the New York Times, there are 35.4 million tons of cardboard boxes made every year, much of which is going into online shipping. Pretty soon they might all be covered with pictures of televisions. And then where will we be.

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