Shipping companies based around the world transport any number of varied items on a daily basis. Whether by vehicle, boat or by air, shipments travel from one destination to another. Historically, many companies have humorous anecdotes concerning some of the oddest shipping requests encountered. When companies like Sims Global offer a variety of shipping modes, the possibility of encountering a downright weird or smuggled shipment increases dramatically.
In 1914, parents of a kindergarten-aged youngster in the U.S. dearly wanted their child to visit a grandparent who resided across the country. As train tickets were well beyond the family budget, they opted to ship the child as a parcel-post package via the railway. At the time, the cost of passage was comparable to shipping a chicken. Soon after, shipping humans was deemed illegal. In 2000, a team of researchers sought to determine the efficiency of various shipping companies by sending an array of items to various destinations. One of the strangest items included in the experiment was a human tooth packed into a transparent plastic box. Though the tooth arrived at the final location in satisfactory condition, a note affixed to the package warned that transporting human remains was illegal, but assuming that the object held sentimental value, the company complied.
Bizarre Shipping Requests
In 2009, shipping companies encountered a few unusual requests that included the transporting of entire indoor tennis courts to Thailand in lieu of a tournament. That same year, another company was asked to send a snowball to a child living in a location where snow was scarce. One of the rarest objects ever transported from one location to another was a piece of the Titanic. The hull, which weighed close to 3,000 pounds, traveled from Milan, Italy, to Atlanta, Georgia, for a special expedition. Undoubtedly the largest object ever shipped involved a 17-ton magnet required by physicists. In order to prevent possible damage to the superconducting item, the magnet traveled in its entirety contained within a special stainless steel structure. The complete package weighed 53 tons. The shipment required a customized 64-wheel truck for the almost four mile journey.
The Smuggling Dilemma
In recent years, smuggled exotic animals have graced the news headlines. One man successfully completed his journey from Lima, Peru, to New York City, while in the company of a marmoset tucked beneath his hat. However, a fellow passenger saw the animal reveal itself and the man was promptly detained by authorities. A woman traveled from Thailand to the U.S., in 2007 with a macaque monkey hidden beneath her dress. Though she claimed the bulge indicated a pregnancy, she was arrested and convicted. In 2010, police at the international airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, decided to assess some unusual shipping containers that were labeled fresh fruit. Upon opening one of the containers, the officers found more than 3,000 turtles and two dozed bags of snakes. In 2008, a man was traveling from Canada into the U.S., when he was detained for inspection in Lewiston, New York. An illegal substance canine found 100 bottles of a clear liquid that he claimed was holy water. However, when tested by narcotics agents, the bottles actually contained ketamine and other narcotics.