Apple Has Increased Use of Cargo Ships and Private Jets to Minimize Shipping Delays Amid Pandemic

The Information's Wayne Ma today shared an overview of the "unorthodox and costly steps" that Apple has taken to avoid product shipping delays amid the pandemic, including the increased use of container ships, private jet charters, and more.

Apple iphone12 iphone12pro ipadair availability louisville kentucky 01 10222020 big
The report claims that Apple began shipping some AirPods by sea for the first time last year:

For example, last year Apple began shipping some AirPods by sea for the first time. In the third quarter of last year, the company greatly increased ocean freight for older model iPhones, whose delivery is less time sensitive, to free up air cargo space for the new iPhone 12, according to an analysis of vessel manifest data and the person with direct knowledge of Apple's logistics operations.

Apple has occasionally faced some issues with shipping products by sea rather than air. In late November, for example, the report claims that a large container ship headed from China to California tipped over, spilling around 1,800 of its containers into the ocean, and at least one of those containers was holding Beats headphones.

Apple also chartered more than 200 private jets to ship devices in 2020, a single-year record for the company, according to the report:

Apple frequently turned to pricier private jet charters to ship its products out of Asia because its delivery partners had run out of capacity in the cargo holds of passenger planes. Last year, Apple chartered more than 200 planes for these shipments, setting a single-year record for the company, according to the person with direct knowledge of its logistics operations. To put that in perspective, ahead of the launch of the iPhone 7 in 2016, Apple chartered just three planes for the devices after it used up passenger plane capacity, a different person involved in its shipments said.

To further speed up deliveries, the report claims that Apple has accelerated a plan to use its retail stores across the United States and Canada as "small distribution centers," allowing Apple's courier partners like FedEx and UPS to collect products from an Apple retail store and deliver them to customers within close proximity of the store. The plan was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in October.

All in all, most Apple products took only a few days longer than average to be delivered in 2020, according to a source cited in the report.

Top Rated Comments

Seanm87 Avatar
8 months ago
Seapods



I’ll see myself out.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ducknalddon Avatar
8 months ago

Private jets? What a waste of money and toll on environment. Those planes are fairly small and can't hold that much so totally unnecessary.
They could be 747's. The private bit just means they aren't in the hold of a commercial passenger plane. I doubt they are using a fleet of Learjets.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topgunn Avatar
8 months ago

Private jets? What a waste of money and toll on environment. Those planes are fairly small and can't hold that much so totally unnecessary.
Just because a jet is private does not mean that it is small. You can charter Boeing 737's, for example.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobob Avatar
8 months ago

Private jets? What a waste of money and toll on environment. Those planes are fairly small and can't hold that much so totally unnecessary.
Small? FedEx has a fleet of huge private jets for cargo and here's AirBus's Beluga private cargo jet.




(Edit: Oops - - I see I was beaten to the puch twice already.)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving Avatar
8 months ago
Tim Cook knows what he’s doing. A true logistic master guy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ds6778 Avatar
8 months ago
TIMAPPLE - "I am the captain now."
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

airpods heath features

AirPods Could Get Health Tracking Features to Beat Competitors

Monday May 17, 2021 3:04 am PDT by
Apple may add health tracking features to AirPods in an effort to combat rival wireless earbuds from companies like Samsung, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that Apple's sales of AirPods are expected to decline substantially this year, which will likely prompt the company to explore adding new, innovative features to ...
apple watch 6s 202009

Apple's Wearables Shipments Increasing, but Losing Market Share to Smaller Competitors

Thursday May 27, 2021 7:41 am PDT by
Apple's shipments of wearables continued to grow year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but the company lost overall market share to smaller rivals, according to newly-published IDC data. Companies shipped a total of 104.6 million units in the first quarter of this year, marking a 34.4 percent increase from the 77.8 million units shipped at the same time last year. This is also the first ...
m1 imac in use

Some M1 iMac Orders Begin Shifting to 'Shipped' Status With May 21 Delivery

Wednesday May 12, 2021 6:01 am PDT by
While the new 24-inch iMac with the M1 chip is still over a week away from launching, a few lucky customers are beginning to see their orders marked as "shipped" on Apple's online store, with a May 21 delivery date. MacRumors readers Jean-François and Emmanuel, both from Canada, let us know that their orders moved to "shipped" status starting today. For customers who still see their iMac ...
environmental progress report 2021

Apple Shares 2021 Environmental Progress Report

Friday April 16, 2021 6:58 am PDT by
Apple has today published its 2021 Environmental Progress Report, setting out the company's ongoing efforts to reduce its impact on the environment and combat climate change. Apple's goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 is central to the report. For example, Apple highlights its increasing use of recycled materials in its products and packaging, emphasis on...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models May Not Ship to Customers Until Late 2021

Friday June 4, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
The long-rumored and highly anticipated redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon will enter its phase of mass production in the first quarter of next year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report. According to the report, the smaller 14-inch MacBook Pro will enter "volume production" in the fourth quarter of this year, while the larger 16-inch model is...
applewatchseroundup

Apple Continued to Dominate Wearables Market Across 2020

Monday March 15, 2021 1:29 pm PDT by
Apple continued to have a dominant hold on the wearables market in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to new shipment estimates shared today by IDC. Apple shipped 55.6 million wearable devices during the quarter for 36.2 percent market share. That's the same market share Apple held in the fourth quarter of 2019, but overall device shipments were up from 43.7 million in Q4 2019. Apple's...
iPad Pro Feature

Early M1 iPad Pro Orders Now Preparing to Ship

Tuesday May 11, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
Apple will soon ship out 11 and 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro models, according to multiple Twitter users and MacRumors readers who have seen their orders shift to "Preparing to Ship" status. So far, we haven't seen any shipment notifications, but that's the next step and is likely to happen in the near future. Apple has not provided an exact delivery date to those who ordered a new M1 iPad Pro, but ...
macbook air m1 unboxing feature

Apple's Notebook Shipments Grew an Estimated 94% in Q1 2021

Thursday May 13, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Apple shipped an estimated 5.7 million notebook computers in the first calendar quarter of 2021, according to new notebook PC shipping estimates shared today by Strategy Analytics. Mac notebooks include the MacBook Pro models and the MacBook Air models, excluding the Mac mini, Mac Pro, and iMac. Apple was the number four worldwide notebook vendor, trailing behind Dell, HP, and Lenovo,...
m1 ipad pro magic keyboards

Leaker Claims 11-inch iPad Pro to Ship on May 22, 12.9-inch on May 21

Monday April 26, 2021 5:23 am PDT by
Last week Apple announced brand new updates to its 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the faster M1 processor and a brand new mini-LED 12.9-inch display. Both models will become available for pre-order starting on April 30, and Apple says they'll be shipping in the second half of May. Now, according to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, the 11-inch iPad Pro, which features a faster M1 processor and...
m1 ipad pro magic keyboards

Some M1 iPad Pro Orders Start Switching to 'Shipped' Status With May 21 Delivery

Thursday May 13, 2021 2:23 am PDT by
Ahead of their expected launch on May 21, some brand new M1 iPad Pro orders have begun switching to a "Shipped" status. Multiple readers of MacRumors have shared with us their updated order for their brand new iPads which now shows a "Shipped" status, rather than "Preparing to ship." Interestingly, despite the new iPad Pros now shipping for a few customers, reviews and hands-on of the newest ...