Wednesday, September 19, 2012


One of the television shows that Judy and I enjoy watching is SHIPPING WARS on A&E. If you've never seen it, it's a fairly simple premise.

Half a dozen independent shippers, with varying degrees of experience, equipment and, apparently, brains, bid on items to be shipped from one place to another in the United States. These are not normal items. Last night, a small ferris wheel for a kiddie carnival and an elaborate "Cinderella" coach were the items that had to be shipped. The shippers bid on the job and low bid wins. Then the winning shipper has to make the run in the specified time period and try to turn a profit on the job.

The shippers always, always, always, make mistakes. They underestimate the size of the load and their rigs' ability to carry it. They have mechanical trouble with their trucks, vans and rigs. There's bad weather. There's difficulty loading and unloading. Sometimes the objects are damaged in transit. Many times they're delivered late. There's always drama.

Of course, there as to be, otherwise, who would watch this show? The shippers are colorful characters and they all comment from the sidelines on the ineptitude of the shipper with the winning bid as he or she struggles to complete the job successfully. It's a fun show and it's a great advertisement for the host company, U Ship, which is headquartered in Austin.

The trouble is, with so much incompetence on display, with so many things going wrong in every episode, after awhile you start to get the feeling that it's faked to some extent. The producers may be working behind the scenes to deliberately manipulate things to provide the maximum drama in each episode. Oh, I believe the shippers, their customers and their loads are for real. I just think that the shipping gremlins regularly throw sand into the gears just to make things interesting for the folks at home. 

Check out SHIPPING WARS if you've never seen it. I think you'll enjoy it.

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