A story of globalisation that would make Marco Polo gasp – Bill Jamieson

A plane arriving at London Southend Airport is met by a water-arch salute (Picture: Simon Ford/Shutterstock)
A plane arriving at London Southend Airport is met by a water-arch salute (Picture: Simon Ford/Shutterstock)
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After a local shop was out of moisturiser, an order from Amazon saw the specific cream sent from Italy to Scotland, via Southend, Milton Keynes, Bristol and Redruth in Cornwall, writes Bill Jamieson

Ever clicked on those pesky emails inviting you to track your online order? Prepare for a surprise when you do.

The ever-enterprising Mrs J was stumped when, after Christmas festivities in Cornwall, she couldn’t find her favourite Nivea moisturiser cream product at Boots the Chemist – so she went online.

There was the product on the Amazon website – and click she duly did.

There then appeared in her email box a travelogue setting out a startling insight into the world of economic globalisation – one that would have caused Marco Polo to gasp in wonder.

It set out an astonishing journey for what was once an everyday cosmetic product in the UK.

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The email recounted that the order was placed overnight on Saturday, January 4 and at 10.02am on Sunday the package “departed an Amazon facility” at, of all places, Lonate, Pozzolo, Italy, close to the border with Switzerland.

This, according to Wikipedia, is “a town and commune located in the province of Varese in the Lombardy region... served by Ferno-Lonate Pozzolo railway station”.

At 1.46pm the same day, it “departed an Amazon facility” at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, arriving at 5.07pm at a similar facility in Milton Keynes.

It left there at 8.39pm heading for Bristol, where at 2.01am it left to be forwarded to Redruth, Cornwall, arriving here at 6.40am before being put out for delivery.

The final stage of the journey – some 15 miles – was the shortest, but one awaited with bated breath. Would it arrive to the sound of a frenetic Verdi overture on the back of a motorbike like a pizza quattro formaggi from Domino’s pizza?

It arrived in darkness, shortly after 7pm.

There is, it seems, nothing that can now be sourced on the world-wide-web and delivered from the most unexpected corners of the Earth.

And at the current rate of retail attrition in the high streets, Lonate, Pozzolo might come to seem no more than popping out to the corner shop.

Avanti, Amazon!