A Measure of Globalization

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed a steel 15cm ruler. This sort of ruler doesn’t have a margin at one end, and so is good for measuring distances away from walls and other obstructions. I found one on Amazon for 88p including delivery and, thinking that was excellent value, clicked “Buy now with 1-Click” and thought no more of it.

Today, after a slightly longer delay than I expected, it arrived. From Shenzhen.

I knew container transport by sea is cheap, but I am amazed that 88p can cover the cost of the ruler, the postage in China, the air freight, a payment to the delivery firm in the UK, and some profit. And, notwithstanding my copy of “Poorly Made in China” which arrived the same day and which I have not yet read, the quality seems fine…

4 thoughts on “A Measure of Globalization

  1. Isn’t that Fortune article only about terminal dues, i.e. the price for transporting the package in the destination country? Getting it from China to the UK is not covered AFAICT.

  2. I thought the same thing when I got an Arduino mini clone shipped from China, with a miniUSB cable AND all the pins soldered on. All in cost about £4. I’d struggle to find the cable for that price on the high street.
    Granted the time delay can be a pain (I fried a £1.60 accelerometer wiring it up wrong and had to wait several weeks for a new one)

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