CROSS-COUNTRY
Part I: Packing the shipment

                Successful sales of bonsai are based upon reputation, credibility, experience, skills, and integrity of both the buyer and the seller. Fuku-Bonsai pioneered True Indoor Bonsai in 1962 and became a certified export nursery in 1973 shipping to all parts of the United States. We've built our business largely by word-of mouth and have supplied our early major accounts since the 1970's.

McCarthys at FB.jpg (29640 bytes)         On August 7, 2001,  we were visited by long-time customer Brian McCarthy and his family from Saugus, Massachusetts.  Brian has been successful in growing True Indoor Bonsai and it was great to learn of his successes and to share with him the details of our daily activities.  I was especially excited about introducing him to the Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package, so bonsai could become a family activity,  and the Conversion Kits,  so he can move to enhanced development of his older plants. 

            Brian is the president of Kelly's World Famous Roast Beef & Seafood in Saugus, Massachusetts.   We discussed the newest Custom Collection tray, turntable, and display base that was still at prototype stage when he visited.  As a successful long-time customer,   I told him he could have first choice of the Custom Collection items that would be going up on the website.   I'm still a greenhorn with email and learning how to use computers for business but was able to introduce Brian to PayPal online payments.  He hadn't seen our website prior to his visit and later wrote that he enjoyed it and got hooked!   

CC241DwfScheff.jpg (20243 bytes)       Brian selected the premium offered item,  a tree that had originally been propagated from a cutting rooted about 1976.

      CUSTOM COLLECTION #CC-241 Schefflera arboricola commonly known as Dwarf Schefflera in the new Fuku-Bonsai 27"x22" oval fiberglass off-white tray with black wood fiberglass tray-stand and turntable. Approximately 28" high x 32" wide.   This tree is the oldest and most developed with a dense network of branches, and the free-falling aerial roots of an exotic tropical banyan trees!    

PACKING THE McCARTHY'S ORDER

McCarthyPack 1.jpg (24485 bytes)         There were five in the packing crew on Monday and while Yolly and Dennis started on the   orders from retailers and mailorders,  Myrt, Willie, and Edison began the McCarthy pack shown in the front of the table.
McCarthyPack 2.jpg (18615 bytes)         Myrt's the whiz at packing the smaller items that are well cushioned and individually insulated.  It was beginning to be chilly and we "winter packed" the shipment that gets 99+% safely to any part of the US when temperatures are above freezing.  Edison is wrapping and cushioning the display tray while Willie makes up the shipping cartons.
McCarthyPack3.jpg (21707 bytes)       A wood shipping rack was constructed to fit snuggly into the shipping carton.  Crumpled newspaper is placed over a sheet of plastic and the Custom Collection in the 27" x 22" oval tray is placed on top. More crumpled newspaper holds down the media and the plastic sheet was wrapped and taped down so all media is firmly held together.
McCarthyPack4.jpg (19319 bytes)         Edison is using tough 3/4" monofilament tape to strap the cushioned plant to the shipping rack.  In trials, after the rack was gun-stapled to the shipping carton,  the plant stayed securely on the rack even when we dropped the carton or rolled the closed carton around.
McCartyPack5.jpg (17244 bytes)         Once the plant is secured to the rack, the top is firmly wrapped with long newsprint.  This protects the foliage which should not directly come into contact with the plastic.  The second black plastic layer begins to traps more insulating air which is the best protection against cold. 
McCartyPack6.jpg (18903 bytes)         The crown of the tree is sealed so air is trapped inside the plastic.  Edison and Willie are now using an additional foam sheet to trap additional layers of air.  When complete,  all is taped to form a compact insulated unit.
McCarthyPack7.jpg (20446 bytes)         The November 4, 2001 packing crew:  (from left): Edison Yadao, Dennis Maeda, Yolanda (Yolly) Macadangdang, David and Myrtle Fukumoto, and William Keiki.  All Fuku-Bonsai nursery and operations staffers are cross trained and a large packing crew can quickly put together large last minute rush orders when necessary.
McCarthyPack8.jpg (15116 bytes)         The large Custom Collection is lowered into the shipping carton.  By gun-stapling through the carton into the shipping rack, the plant will stay secured even if the box is laid on its side or dropped. 
McCarthyPack9.jpg (15724 bytes)         A second heavy duty 275# test carton is telescoped over the first to provide extra strength.   All edges are sealed with tape to trap the air inside the carton and not allow cold to easily enter.  Plants will arrive safely even if it is subjected to freezing weather for several hours. Actual packing of the McCarthy shipment took a little over 30 minutes (not including pre-shipment treatment and preparation time).  
McCarthyPack10.jpg (14055 bytes)         The two McCarthy cartons.  The carton on the left measured 28"x23"x33" high,  weighed 72 pounds,  and contained the large Custom Collection.  The right carton measured 28"x23"x31" high, weighed 128 pounds,  and contained 10 plants and non-plant items.  Because of the lower freight rate for heavier parcels, we utilize as few cartons as possible. FedEx standard parcels can go up to 150 pounds.
McCarthyPack11a.jpg (18876 bytes)         By the 11AM pick-up time, the staff had already logged all cartons into the FedEx computer so each parcel can be tracked. FedEx has scheduled pick-ups on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with most Continental US shipments going out Mondays and Tuesdays.   Here FedEx driver Mike Jackson confidently tells me that they'll get the parcels safely to Massachusetts. 

        The two cartons were sent out on Monday,  November 4, 2001.  By economy air service from Hawaii, parcels are expected to be delivered by Wednesday to the West Coast and by Thursday to the East Coast or the shipping is free.  Brian reported the shipments arrived at his home in Massachusetts at 1PM on November 6,  one day ahead of promised delivery time! To see how the parcels arrived,  go to:  McCarthy Shipment - Part II

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