Beyond price reduction, what other benefits should buyers be aware of when purchasing forklift batteries?

August 4th, 2011

Today’s post is by Ryan Melowic, Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing. Ryan asks “Beyond price reduction, what else should buyers be aware of when purchasing forklift batteries”?

Not more than five years ago, warehouse managers were glad to have their scrap forklift batteries removed for free or a core charge refund.

Today warehouse managers have options due to regulatory changes and an increase in worldwide demand for lead.  This gives warehouse manager’s a couple of options for disposal.

One option is to sell it back to the manufacturer.  The customer sends scrap batteries back to the distributor for credits toward the purchase of new batteries.  This is recommended for a customer who will have loads under 44,000 lbs.   Unfortunately, the customer doesn’t get an additional revenue stream or directly profit from increasing lead charges.

A second option would be to sell it through a broker.  Brokers have bulk agreements with smelters and can pay a top price.  They will pay you based on a present Spot Market Pricing of Steel Cased Lead / Acid Battery Scrap and the Quantity of batteries that you want to get rid of.   Additionally, brokers educate the customer on packaging guidelines dictated by DOT.   This makes the implementation of a recycling program much easier. However, the option is only available for loads above a truckload (44,000 lbs.).  

Brokers are really only interested in Flooded Cell Batteries (these are the type of Batteries that have the removable tops where you add water).  They will however take Maintenance Free Batteries and even give you something for them. 

The markets are strong and should be for some time. So no matter which option you choose, now is a great time to start making money on those old batteries.  In fact, run a reverse auction for this and you will be sure that you get the best price for your scrap.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing this category or any others, please contact a Customer Service Representative for more information.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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