October 16, 2015

Lifeline series

First time this school year when I came to school, I of course immediately looked at the door at the entrance: yes, Boon Edam sticker in the corner. It's funny how you immediately start to pay attention at every entrance if there is a Boon Edam logo on it. Whether it's the supermarket, subway, or restaurant, they can be found everywhere. It also reminded me of a news article a while ago when an AH location had put hamsters in the showcase column of the revolving door. Being a vegetarian (actually mainly eating/living vegan) I was glad that was soon put a stop to.

This week I visited the Nijverheidsstraat again, the location where the lifeline (entry gates) series are assembled. I took my list of questions with me as well as a colleague from my department. I've mainly got some details on the main parts of the products and had a show around to their assembling process, meanwhile discussing possibilities for splitting the product into modules. Thereafter I continued research on the optimal way of shipping the products. Still a lot more to discover and dive into but hope my internship supervisor of the company will be a bit satisfied with the work so far. Tomorrow we'll meet to discuss the progress again.

Today I asked one of my colleagues how his audit went the other day. Not too well from what I've heard. He told me about a shipment to India that included 5 glass door panels and a glass rooftop. Upon arrival, 4 of 5 panels were damaged as well as the glass rooftop. India therefore asked for a second shipment as replacement with the rooftop in a separate package. When it arrived in India for the second time, again all of the glass was broken and the rooftop was missing. Turned out that part was still standing somewhere at Expedition in Edam.

Seems like a logical step to buy the glass locally in the future to decrease the risk on damage. However one occurring problem would then be with the quality assurance and perceiving. Shouldn't be too hard to solve that though, could also be a thing for me to look into.

Another thing I did today was registering myself for the end-of-yearsparty in December. It will be a masquerade party. Although I'm not that much of a party person, I guess it will be fun.

October 9, 2015


Already more than a month ago since I started at Boon Edam. While in the beginning time seemed to pass way too slow, it seems I’ve finally found a better rhythm.  My internship is mainly related to international trade; transport documents/routes and HS codes. 

Today I spent the afternoon looking at an excel-file listing the company’s products. It contains the item numbers, product names with a short description, the HS codes and prices. In this long list of more than 10,500 product parts I was looking for any possible wrong classifications. Sounds like a bit of a dull task perhaps but at least there was a bit of humour in it as well.

To explain a little, goods can be classified according to the Harmonized System in codes that are equal in over 200 countries and as such can serve as a universal language. The code is used in international trade for determining the import duties, in trade statistics, and for monitoring controlled goods for example.

I had heard about it once before in Trade Logistics and Documentation class before, the import duties for a ‘prosthetic leg’ would for example be 30%, but for a ‘prosthetic leg of *material* with *special function*’ it may be 0%. Therefore it is very important to use the right codes as it is about large amounts of money and fines for wrong use of the codes can be imposed up to 3 years after date.

So when checking the list there were all kinds of product parts such as frames/plates of specific materials, bolts, engines, or lights. However it quickly showed that the list wasn’t too accurate: many products of stainless steel were for example classified in a category that was about aluminum products, and the other way around. Other more strange classifications were of work clothing that was categorized to be ‘hand-knitted’, product parts in the category of a.o. ‘baby diapers’ and tape as ‘art object, antiquity'. Overall thus fair to say there were quite some things wrong with the list. 

Last Tuesday I went to one of the other locations of the company (there are about 5, close to the main building) to see the manufacturing of speedgates. My task will be to find out how they can be split up in modules to look for the best way of shipping them (with the corresponding HS codes, duties etc). Next Tuesday I’ll go again to take some more notes.