October 6, 2010

Damage to parts in transit

Recently, I was on a call with a prominent technology OEM client that Converge works with to test, product identify, classify and refurbish external hard drives. After the hard drives are tested and classified, the next step in the reverse supply chain service was to return the materials to the supply chain — either by Converge managing the process on behalf of the OEM, or by returning the materials to the OEM directly. The OEM’s representative raised a legitimate concern about an issue with a previous vendor that had sent back damaged materials.

This is a common problem when shipping components around the world. Hard drives in particular are very mechanical. They have spinning plates and other interworking parts that are susceptible to damage. Packaging and shipping logistics can have a direct impact on their quality, and the more times a hard drive is handled in transit, the greater the probability that damage can occur due to wear and tear.

Climate control is also a contributing factor to damage. The recommended temperature to store hard drives is from 86°F to 122°F (30°C to 50°C). If the drive is exposed to temperatures above 55°C (131°F), the drive might become compromised. International Customs Inspection is another damage factor. Product integrity is dependent on the import country, duration of the inspection, temperature of a holding area, as well as the quality of the country’s transportation system. Last summer’s traffic jam near Beijing, China, that stretched for more than 62 miles (100 km) and lasted over a week comes to mind as a transportation issue. The average temperature in Beijing was 90°F (30°C). The temperature inside a shipment truck would have surely exceeded the recommended hard drive storage temperature.

Many OEMs ship equipment to APAC locations for testing, only to have the materials return to Europe or North America. The back-and-forth international travel is more expensive and increases the amount of “touches” to the equipment. When materials leave distribution centers ready to be returned to the supply chain but are damaged in transit, it is costly to not only the OEM, but also to the third-party tester as well.

Utilizing a reverse logistics manager that has locations convenient to your facility can lessen the number of parts damaged in transit. Converge has locations in the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Have you had shipping issues with your equipment?

Share this blog post:

No comments:

Post a Comment