As companies source finished goods from around the world to meet their inventory demands for various products, considerable care and planning takes place to ensure that goods can arrive on-time and in-full (“OTIF”). In addition, not only do goods need to arrive on-time and in-full, but they should also be expected to arrive without any defects or issues.
One significant challenge that companies can face in supplying high-quality goods to customers, is the impact of moisture on goods. Goods coming from overseas locations to major markets such as the U.S., must be produced properly, packaged effectively, and then shipped long distances to reach their market destinations.
In the past few years, companies have increasingly experienced issues with moisture impacting their goods resulting in needs to remediate for impacts such as mold, mildew, odor, and repackaging of goods.
What are some of the factors that have been contributing to increased moisture damage issues on goods?
Some factors include, but are not limited to:
- Heavy monsoon seasons in overseas production locations presenting challenging manufacturing and product storage environments.
- Regular hurricanes impacting key ports.
- Cargo is spending much longer times at sea than expected.
- Overseas factory and port closures due to Covid.
- Rushed production, poor packaging, poor handling, and product storage issues in high-humidity, high-heat climates.
- Port congestion.
- Container rain.
How can supply chains minimize moisture impacts on their goods?
Many of the best factories take proactive steps to mitigate the potential of products being impacted by moisture. Areas within the production facility and through to the ports where goods will be shipped will be regularly examined and managed to protect products from moisture impacts. Such areas and functions include, but are not limited to:
- Climate controls and ventilation within production and storage areas.
- Implementation and management of product packaging and storage standards.
- Warehouse and production area housekeeping, maintenance, and operating standards.
- Shipping/handling procedures and management standards.
- Use of 3rd party inspections services to oversee certain functions for quality assurance purposes.
Can goods impacted by moisture damage be restored to first quality?
Regardless of the cause of the moisture impacts or who is responsible, the good news is that it is possible for goods to be restored to first quality. When an unfortunate problem has occurred and a shipment has been impacted by some type of moisture damage, there are supply chain resource partners such as Quality Corrections & Inspections in the U.S. that have the experience and expertise to successfully fix issues and restore goods to the first-quality standard that the supplier and buyer of goods originally expected.
Experienced supply chain resource partners that are available in key markets often have good capabilities in performing mold, odor, and mildew remediation services for products that include footwear, apparel, accessories, and a variety of other general consumer merchandise. Several steps are taken in determining the most effective approach for remediating goods, beginning with an evaluation of the extent of damage through a review and processing of affected samples. Upon determining the optimal remediation technique, a cleaning, sanitization treatment, finishing, and repacking process is completed, and restored goods are returned to the customer.
Moisture impacting shipments of valuable goods to major markets is just one of the many risks that companies may need to be prepared for. However, supply chain service providers such as Quality Corrections & Inspections can be valuable partners for product rework and remediation needs that arise due to moisture impacts.
Executive Vice President and “Creative Problem Solver” for Quality Corrections & Inspections