Caledonian Courier have been entrusted to deliver letters, documents, parcels, pallets and all sorts of other consignments all over the for the past 22 years.
However, all that experience still leaves us impressed by the skill, quirkiness or sheer madness of some of these unusual parcel deliveries: From mailing toddlers to visit their grandmothers in the early 20th century (how many stamps do you think a three-year old, delivered first class, requires?) to footage of mail organisation by robots in China shared just a few days ago.
We’re always up for a challenge, though, so give us a call with all or any of your mailing needs. Except, perhaps, the toddlers —we definitely can’t take them.
1. Posting your kids was cheaper than getting them a train ticket in 1913
The Smithsonian Museum recently revealed some of their documents relating to unusual items transported in the early days of the US postal service.
The first child recorded as being sent in the mail was 8-month old James Beagle in Ohio. At 11 pounds, he was just within the weight limit to be posted to his grandmother who lived a few miles away. The cost was just 15 cents. Apparently his parents did decide to insure him for $50, though.
The Smithsonian points out that this lighthearted approach to childcare had more to do with the trustworthiness of the local mail carriers than with a devil-may-care attitude.
James Beagle might have been the first infant to travel by post, but he wasn’t the last. The practice was recorded several times in the states between 1913 and 1920 when it was outlawed.
2. Delivering the mail by air was the most dangerous job in 1920
An air-mail pilot would travel an average of 900 hours before his number was up. After flying 900 hours in the ‘20s, he was statistically due a fatal collision.
The self-described ‘suicide club’ would set off with maps tied to their legs and often be at the mercy of changing weather conditions and exposed cockpits.
Strike action eventually led to the privatisation of the service, but it continued to be a risky business for several decades.
3. The Quirks of the Mongolian Mail Service Meet New UK-based Start-Up
We courier parcels all over the world, but we’d probably need to do some special research for a fast delivery to Mongolia. The country could swallow up the landmasses of the entire European Union with room to spare, and many of the 3 million Mongolians still live nomadically as they have done throughout history.
Sending a letter isn’t as simple as popping an address and a stamp on the envelope, but there are ways around it.
>Summer 2015 saw the country’s post service adopt a system dreamed up by a British start-up called What3Words. The system works by dividing the world into 3×3 squares. This means delivery can be far more accurate than address or postcode. Using What3Words, you can request delivery to a precise corner of London’s Hyde Park, an obscure valley on the rugged west coast of Scotland or to the yurt of a nomadic Mongolian expecting mail. What3Words say:
75% of the world suffers from poor addressing or none at all… Everyone and everywhere now has an address.
4. Iceland Mail Managed To Deliver Letter with No Address (Save a Hand-Drawn Map)
One of the most remarkable delivery stories of recent times was this letter which arrived in 2016 on the basis of nothing but a hand-drawn map and the clue that one of the couple works in a local supermarket.
Perhaps everyone in Iceland has the inherent sense of adventure required to take on this delivery, but we’re still impressed!
5. Chinese Parcel Delivery Organised Using AI and Robots
— Farbod Saraf (@farbodsaraf) April 11, 2017
Planning your own unusual delivery?
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of the more unusual parcel delivery stories in the world. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you or your business are in need of a reliable courier service.