Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

When I consider bastions of altruism, Amazon doesn't immediately come to mind.

It's hard for the ever-bulging behemoth to come across as anything other than a heartless ever-bulging behemoth.

Still, one of Amazon's most basic tenets is its (alleged) commitment to the customer.

If you want it, Amazon will do it. As long as it doesn't interfere with Jeff Bezos's need to beat Elon Musk  to Mars.

The boxes keep arriving at your door and you can't help but be excited and wonder how Amazon manages to deliver things so quickly. (Turning humans into machines, some claim.)

Actually, talking of those boxes, are you sometimes surprised not just be their contents but by the slight disproportion between the box and what's inside it?

Once or twice, I've almost broken a leg rushing to examine a large Amazon box on my doorstep.

What could it be? I can't remember ordering anything quite this big. Someone must have sent me an astonishing surprise.

And then I discover that, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, Amazon has sent me a novel -- non-fiction can be so hard to read these days -- and a bottle of shower gel in a box that would fit an average-size dead human.

For a moment, I wonder whether the particular warehouse has run out of small boxes. 

It sometimes happens in clothes stores, after all. They have no small bags, so you end up carrying two pairs of socks in a bag made for a suit.

And here we are, with remarkable coincidence that Amazon has apparently been beavering away at making its boxes a little smaller.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the retailer has been aggressive in, um, persuading brands to get their packaging to more amenable sizes.

Its goal is apparently to save the world.

I fear it also wants to save on shipping costs as well as saving its customer service employees from hearing too many complaints about the large packaging that surrounds certain deliveries.

It's curious that Amazon may have been exerting pressure for environmental awareness. At its last annual meeting, the company seemed less keen to discuss the subject with its own employees.

Yet here we are with Amazon coming over all Earth-loving.

The Journal says that many brands are complying because they're desperate to get the finger-traffic that Amazon can offer.

Which is scarcely surprising.

Of course, one of the more futuristic reasons for Amazon wanting more compact packaging is to save the motors on its purported new delivery drones. 

Why cause the poor flying machine to carry extra weight when you can have it fly more efficiently?

The new-fangled packaging efficiency drive is said to come into effect on Friday.

Should we be sad at the prospect of fewer large boxes on our doorsteps? Or should we just be happy that the Earth might have gained a few seconds of existence?

I'm a little torn. 

Published on: Aug 4, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.