Logistic/shipping companies as external providers


Maybe someone can help: is it common to evaluate logistic/shipping companies as External providers used for delivery of the product from the stock according to AS9120? I mean, in the same way as aviation components, parts, and materials suppliers? Maybe someone can share any evaluation checklist example?
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Randall Beck

Involved In Discussions
I did get into a "discussion" with a registrar once over a supplier they thought should be monitored and they were not. Because of the commonality within the industry I did not have them on my AVL, so my response may be a bit jaded.

With shipping and freight companies if you used "Ralphs hot shot delivery service" that can deliver your 1 ton of parts anywhere in the lower 48 states for $6.99 I would say you certainly better have a thorough approval process on record to justify their credentials but for UPS, Fed Ex or huge common carriers, state who will be used clearly for shipping their order on your website or time of order and specify they will be used unless otherwise requested by the purchaser on their PO to you.

In reality what control do we really have over Fed Ex or UPS type companies? Who are you really gonna send a corrective action to so they can do a thorough RCCA to determine and change their process? The stark reality is they have a broken process for claims due to their company size and industry power. In my purchasing RISK assessment I state that their infrastructure is acceptable to use as acceptance criteria. Handle your situation procedurally but don't state you are gonna send UPS or Fed Ex a supplier evaluation or SCAR to evaluate their process should things go bad- that will leave you hanging for sure. Get creative and don't state your gonna do things you have no control over.

In our specific company however, daily we receive customer product via many different carriers so we utilize and return their product after we heat treat it using the same carrier or method they used to get us the parts. This is all stated in our procedures so as long as you clearly state your decision methods for RISK assessment and vendor selection, whatever they are, follow them and you should be ok. Its up to you to determine the methods needed to select suppliers. We have 2 delivery trucks we use to deliver customer products back to them after servicing them. Do I have the Shell gas station where they get gas to ensure we get good quality gasoline so our trucks don't break down - no.


Randall Beck, thanks for your thoughts. I fully agree that if the company considered and documented the approach, then it should be followed and it is a decision of the company.

Big Jim

You are probably doing way more than is required. Have another look at 8.4.1.

"The organization shall determine the controls to be applied to externally provided processes, products, and services when:
1) products and services from external providers are intended for incorporation into the organizations own products and services;
2) products and services are provided directly to the customer(s) by external providers on behalf of the organization;
3) a process, or part of a process, is provided by an external provider as a result of a decision by the organization."

So you don't need to control suppliers unless what you are buying goes into your own product, the supplier drop ships for you, or you have decided to outsource something.

Of course, you can do more than the standard requires if you want to.
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