Absolutely ridiculous packaging from Arrow


I order parts from various places, though mostly Digikey.  Sometimes parts are only available from certain distributors, or in some cases they can be noticeably cheaper even after counting in shipping to get parts from multiple distributors.  In this case one particular part I need qty.16 of was $7.48 from Arrow and $11.13 from Digikey, while another I needed qty.2 of was $7.17 vs $10.20.  The parts are 100-TQFP and 16-SOIC-W, so.. not very big.

Imagine my surprise when UPS shows up with a 7″ x 8″ x 27″ box:

Inside this monstrous box there are 3 (!) large static bags, 7″ x28″ and 11″ x 18″.  One of them is covered in bubble-wrap, and all 3 of them are packed inside a large volume of loose paper.  Unpacking all 3 of these bags yields a full tray with 2 parts in it (the TQFP), a tube with 14 of the SOICs, and a second tube with 2 more of the SOICs (besides the large dessicant bag and moisture card in each):

Now, under absolutely no circumstances is this even remotely acceptable.  The SOIC parts should have been consolidated into a single tube, or at least they might have shortened the tube rather than cut additional plastic strips to fill the immense amount of empty space in them.  Even with 2 tubes they should have been packed in a single (smaller) bag.  The tray designed to hold 67 parts should have been chopped down significantly and packed in a smaller bag.  The entirety of this should have been in a radically smaller box, with less waste material.

In theory I saved $64.46 on the components by ordering them from Arrow rather than Digikey.  However, the shipping cost from Arrow was $14.99, reducing the cost savings to $49.47.  Saving $50 is a pretty good deal, but if the savings were any smaller, I would refuse to order anything from Arrow until they fix these absurd shipping practices.  The larger cost is in garbage, recycling, shipping volume and the resulting additional fuel cost for more trucks on the road with the additional traffic and noise.  You might say that this one package is a drop in the bucket, but unless I’m presented with evidence that Arrow only ships things like this to me (repeatedly, I might add), the impact is far larger than it might seem on the surface.

Responsible packing and shipping has been the watchword for years now, and Arrow needs to get a clue.


One comment

  1. Hehe, I’ve had similar, though with Element14 not Arrow, my ordered ended up arriving from; USA, Australia, UK, and Singapore. Worst was a (single) 20MHz crystal arriving by itself in a huge bag filled with bubble wrap. Crazy. I’ve always had stuff packed sensibly by Digikey. Just don’t get how Element14 can make a profit? Crazy.

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