Secret shipments on old Russian military vehicles, covert operations, and secret shipping plans – sounds like a scene from a James Bond movie, right?
Actually, it is just one of the ways Apple gets their iPhones into the United States. According to an article on Bloomberg, a complex shipping process had already been put in place before they announced the new iPhone lineup earlier this week.
From the article:
The process starts in China, where pallets of iPhones are moved from factories in unmarked containers accompanied by a security detail. The containers are then loaded onto trucks and shipped via pre-bought airfreight space, including on old Russian military transports. The journey ends in stores where the world’s biggest technology company makes constant adjustments based on demand, said people who have worked on Apple’s logistics and asked not to be identified because the process is secret.
The multi-pronged operation has been built up under Cook, who oversaw Apple’s supply chain before being tapped as Steve Jobs’s successor in 2011. Getting iPhones seamlessly moved from factories to customers is critical for the Cupertino, California-based company, which derives more than half of its annual revenue from the flagship product. Apple also relies on a sales spike after a product’s release. It sold more than 5 million units in the debut weekend for the iPhone 5 last year.
“It’s like a movie premiere,” said Richard Metzler, chairman of the Transportation Marketing and Communications Association and a former executive at FedEx and other logistics companies. “It all needs to arrive at the exact same time everywhere.”