In some parts of the world, those 30+ year-old Grumman LLVs just don’t do the trick. That’s where these ten bizarre modes of shipping mail (and cars, and planes, and other ships) come in handy.
Originally designed as a military equipment hauler for the Soviet Union back in the 1960s, some Vityaz DT-30 articulating-tracked vehicles have been repurposed as personnel transporters and civilian equipment haulers to reach some of the most remote locations in Russia. When shit hits the fan, this is the kind of mail hauler you’ll want to have.
In an area like Bethel, Alaska where roads don’t exist and terrain isn’t ideal for landing aircraft, a hovercraft like the Hoverwork AP1-88 comes in incredibly handy for delivering parcels. Though only in operation when the local Kuskokwim river is either completely frozen or not frozen at all, the AP1-88 has the ability to be used all year round to fulfill deliveries for the U.S. Postal Service.
Suggested By: Brian Silvestro
When deemed necessary for emergency purposes, up until 1963, mail delivery by dogsled was put into effect in severe winter climate areas throughout Alaska and Canada.
If you need to carry massive loads like aircraft components, tractor trailers, or Weinermobiles across seas and vast distances, an airplane with a giant opening mouth like the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is completely necessary. If you can’t fit what you need shipped inside a C-5, you can bet good money that your “package” won’t be flying anywhere.
By transporting Chevy Vegas vertically in railcars, GM was able to fit double the amount of cars that they normally would’ve been able to fit in a single rail car. Thanks to this different and bizarre method of auto transport, GM was not only able to be more resourcefully efficient, but they were also able to achieve cheaper MSRPs on new Vegas. Everybody wins!
After Vega went out of production, all railcars that were built for Vert-A-Pac also died with it. It appears that the Vert-A-Pac setup was too specific to the Vega and unable to be used with other cars.
In the 1890s, cities such as Philadelphia and New York began to implement pneumatic tube mail systems to make mail delivery more efficient. In New York, each tube could carry somewhere between 400 and 600 letters at speeds of around 30 MPH, through tunnels just a couple feet below ground level. When this system was being used, it was able to move around 95,000 letters daily around New York City.
Because of the extreme operating costs that the city had to shell out to maintain and operate the tube system, it was phased out over time in New York City and replaced with mail delivery by car. Similar systems have also seen use in Prague, Paris, London, and Berlin.
They might not be as glamorous as Hogwarts’ letter-carrying owls, but pigeons sure do know how to deliver a letter. Because of the natural homing instincts that pigeons are born with, these birds have been trained throughout history to carry messages places where telegraph lines and other messaging services couldn’t reach.
Though never widely implemented for any parcel-delivering services, mail delivery by rocket was tested several times. After having its nuclear warhead removed, the Regulus cruise missile pictured above was successfully tested by being launched from the deck of a Navy submarine and completing a 100 mile flight while carrying 3,000 letters.
Snail mail what now?
When you need to ship ships on ships on ships, the MV Blue Marlin is the the tool purposely built for the task. When its not carrying multiple ships at a time, the Blue Marlin is used to transport other huge items like oil rigs and sea-based radar systems.
Rocket-powered delivery to space men in the sky? Crazy talk! Reader As Du Volant can break this one down:
When you think about it, our delivery method to the ISS is pretty bizarre. Pack it in a container set on top of a stack of highly explosive chemicals, light the thing on fire, launch it off the planet, and hope it doesn’t blow up. And for the most part it works really, really well. Yay science!
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Chevrolet via Wikipedia