2009-10-30-Germany, Pallets, and Screw-Jobs
July 17, 2011
To make this short and simple….I had a phone call about an incoming shipment (DHL) for my office at Ramstein.
They would make the delivery (as they did), but we had serious issues with the pallets used for a rack-shipment. These are six-ft tall racks….weighing 130 lbs each…physically attached to the pallet.
Apparently, the Germans have this “approved-wood” regulation and they’ve suddenly started enforcing the inspection of all pallets from the US, used for import of products.
The heavily enforced Dresden site for DHL is apparently where this shipment came in, and both rack-pallets are very illegal. They don’t have the proper “stamps” and they must be disposed of in some special fashion.
I conveyed to the DHL rep that ALL pallets that we have are tossed into Becker’s recycling container at base recycling. This was questioned by the DHL guy. It probably won’t be acceptable.
So I called base transportation. They are already being hit with ‘illegal pallets’. The process is…(1) paperwork will come from customs about our problem and actions required, (2) contact the German guy at base transportation, to get the name of an official destruction official and company, (3) negotiate with the destruction company for unknown price for disposal of the items, and (4) get the necessary stamp on this paperwork to send back to the Germans to clear this episode.
Now, the cherry on this cake….both racks need to move to Mildenhall, UK for a project. Neither can proceed with these specially made pallets. Both racks must be removed from the pallets…..and new containers of some type at transportation must be built to accommodate the racks (of course….made of approved, stamped, environmentally-friendly and natural German wood).
ALL costs are laid back at our feet. I’m guessing a minimum of $1k will be spent on destroying the two illegal pallets and building two new containers for these racks.
The neat thing is that we at the base can anticipate this to be a repeatable action….with revolving cost.
I sat there….mostly laughing. I sent this out to the seven guys who manage these projects on base. They simply shake their heads and laugh. Germans are making money left and right.
There will be pallets of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, toilet paper and even breath mints…to arrive on base…and each will face this inspection process.
You can imagine the thousands of dollars spent each week for some special German destruction process and the paperwork shufflers involved.
It’s a massive empire that they’ve created…making money left and right. Inspections, special destruction, recreation of new approved pallets, and paperwork shufflers.
Ever wondered how might Germany lost two World Wars? They used German-style management…to carry it to a loss in the end.
To tie this to another German law episode…several years ago, there was this German guy who saw an ad in the paper for a whole trailer of brand new roof shingles. It was a great deal, with a simple call to a cellphone number.
So the German calls this guy and they meet at some big parking lot of a grocery store. The German is all happy….half-price roof tiles. The sales guy said that he had too many for a house project from three years prior and just wanted to get rid of these tiles. So they pass cash between….off-load the tiles from one trailer to the other….and the buyer went home all happy.
Days passed and he invited the roofer he knew to come over and start a new house roof project. The roofer arrived and then said…”hey, this is an asbestos tile” and he couldn’t handle these, period.
Apparently, sometime six to eight years prior, Germany passed a law forbidding the use of heavy asbestos tiles. No roofer will dare use the stuff. So this idiot sales guy sold around $7k worth of tiles for half price and they are totally unusable.
The buyer is now worried. He tried another roofer, but no luck.
So then the buyer tried to call the number…but no one answered…it was a cellphone that was simply thrown away after the transaction.
So then the buyer realized things were screwed and he’d best get rid of the tiles. He took them to the local dump and they pronounced these as hazardous and they wanted a minimum of $3k to properly dispose of the toxic tiles…with paperwork and special destruction techniques. The buyer walked away because he didn’t want to pay to disposal fee and mess with the extra paperwork.
So days and days passed, and finally…the guy went out to the trailer…removed three tiles and drove to work the next day. He more or less found an open space along the road, and tossed out the three tiles.
The next day….he found another route….and tossed out three more tiles.
He eventually tossed all the tiles out over several months.
There are probably hundreds of guys like this….who bought via some guy at a parking lot and just figured out the stupidity of paying off the special destruction costs.