By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Are you planning to ship any gifts to your family and friends this holiday season?

Well, did you ever wonder what happened to those packages? The folks at Popular Mechanics did. So they rigged a package and sent it on its way.

3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan has the details on what they found.

They shipped a package via FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service to find out how many times that box took a beating.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. But buying gifts is half the battle. Sending them out is a whole new adventure.

So what really happens when you ship a package? The tech wizards at Popular Mechanics wanted to find out.

“We figured there must be a technological way to get inside a package and find out how much abuse really occurs,” said Glenn Derene, Senior Technology editor at Popular Mechanics Magazine.

So they put a device inside a package to measure how many times it was flipped or dropped.

“When it’s jostled and really jumped around or pushed or dropped, etc, it’s going to record every single time that happens,” said Derene.

They sent the same package, 12 times from New York, to Santa Monica, over to Austin, Texas and back to New York using shipping giants FedEx, UPS and US Postal Service.

“We found that quite a bit of abuse occurs while your package is in transit,” said Derene.

FedEx dropped the package the most, around three times per trip. Followed by UPS and the US Postal Service.

The FedEx package was flipped an average of seven times. At UPS, four times and the US Postal Service came in at 12.5 flips per delivery.

“We were surprised that it occurs on almost every trip,” said Derene.

Popular Mechanics also put the words “fragile” and “this end up” on the box for some of the deliveries.

On those trips, they found, the box was treated even worse.

Popular Mechanics and the shipping giants all agree this was not a scientific experiment, with just a limited number of items sent, and, there was never any actual damage done. And it wasn’t all bad news. Each time their package arrived on time.

Watch the video…

Reported By: Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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