5,214 Miles & Seven Days

Posted by Ross Mason on Apr 28, 2022

5,214 Miles & Seven Days

From Boise Idaho to Saint-Paul-lès-Dax, France

Somewhere in the cargo hold of a UPS jet in mid-April is a small but very important package of surplus industrial equipment with a five-figure price tag. It has a long journey from its starting place in Boise, Idaho to a small village — Saint-Paul-Lès Dax — in the south of France. That's a distance of 5,214 miles or 8,391 kilometers in seven days. That's a pretty remarkable trip in these times of supply chain problems, but Obtainium Surplus is pretty experienced at this sort of thing even with all the shipping issues.

Following a Straight Line from Boise to Biarritz Airport in France

A Shipping Lesson

There's a shipping lesson in this story. The flight to France has some other steps along the way, including packaging, hand delivery, trucks, customs, taxes, duties, and tariffs. Each step can easily throw up roadblocks and delay the delivery of a product. The buyer wrote a substantial check to get a quality piece of legacy industrial equipment, and it has to get to him fast. We'll save you the suspense because our package gets where it's supposed to be safely and on time. Here's how it happened:

Seven Days from Start to Finish

April 4, 2022 — Buyer makes contact with Obtainium to purchase an LT Phased Array Ultrasonic Flaw Detector (that's a long name for a piece of equipment that is used in industry to make sure the pieces you are using are good and don't have hidden cracks or defects). The French buyer found the piece at Obtainium Surplus (

April 6, 2022 — Purchase is confirmed by the buyer. The check, as they say, is in the mail or, in this case, a wire transfer.

April 11, 2022 — Wire transfer is complete. Payment for the legacy equipment is confirmed.

April 13, 2022 — While waiting for receipt of payment to Obtainium, the buyer takes care of customs and tariff issues.

April 13, 2022 — The wheels are moving fast now. The Obtainium crew is preparing the Flaw Detector for shipment. By the end of the day it is carefully and substantially packaged in a heavy cardboard box with plenty of padding. It's almost closing time, so the crew hand delivers the package to the UPS store ( a few blocks away to make sure it gets out first thing in the morning.

April 14, 2022 — Our package heads out of Boise and arrives at the UPS facility in Louisville, KY.

April 15, 2022 — It transfers via UPS to a facility in Philadelphia at 6 AM and departs for France at 8:24 PM after the buyer pays duties, taxes, and import fees. It arrives in Paris, France at 9:30 PM.

April 20, 2022 — The package makes its way from Paris to Saint-Paul-Lès Dax at 7:15 AM and is out for delivery.

April 20, 2022 — DELIVERED at 12:05 PM.

April 21, 2022 — An email from the buyer confirms everything is fine. Thank you Obtainium.

Item was as described, and very fast delivery!

5 stars across the board for every seller rating category, and I would buy from this seller again. And per my request, the capacitors were also very well packed for safe delivery.

Bruce B.

Obtainium have been a very helpful seller to me.

In recent times I have had a few items go astray enroute to my address in Australia. This seller was most helpful & encouraging, regarding the onward tracking & eventual safe delivery of this item. This item's arrival in good condition was a joy to me as, it was a rare part that fitted my military comms. Well done seller. I would gladly recommend this seller to all potential buyers.

Jean-Pierre H.

The item was as described and in good and working condition.

Delivered as promised. I would order again if store has anything else I may need. THANK YOU!

Robert L.

Super Duper Fast Shipping.

Item As Described. Packaged Nicely, What A Seller.

Wayne L.

Product shipped quickly and arrived in good shape

J. Fong


The instrument was well packed. It is in extremely good condition. It passed all preliminary tests.

Raymond W.

Item looks better than described, looks brand new and works great.

My old buffer was 50 years old and I sent it to buffer heaven, thanks.

Mike H.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Good supply and price. Thxs

Ralph M.

As advertised. Would buy from again.

S. Scafer

Perfect transaction, pleasure to deal with.

M. Dante