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Emergency Logistics Glossary

What does CKD mean?

Definition: Completely Knocked Down (CKD)

Complete Knock-Down means that a product is delivered in parts and assembled at the destination. The term originates in the automobile industry, where various components are delivered from suppliers worldwide and assembled in the import country. CKD as a term and a practice is also used in machine construction and other industry sectors. Apart from Complete knock-down (CKD) there is also Semi Knock-Down (SKD) or Medium Knock-Down (MKD) and Partly Knock-Down (PKD).

In addition to CKD, many products (especially in the automotive industry) or almost finished vehicles are exported as Semi-Knocked-Down (SKD) or Medium-Knocked-Down (MKD) vehicles; these SKD or MKD vehicles are missing only very few parts that still need to be installed at their final destination.

Why are products shipped CKD?

Why should you send a car entirely disassembled? There is one good reason: customs. To stick to our example, it can be cheaper to export a car broken down to its parts to another country. The machines necessary for the reassembling can be sent as well. This way the sender can avoid high tariffs. But not only for getting around customs the CKD shipment makes sense. Some countries have laws that a battery or the brake fluid must be a national product. In these cases the CKD shipment and assembly in the import country also makes sense.

Transport challenge

The greatest challenge with the CKD strategy is the shipping. The parts must be packaged and sent individually. If something is damaged or the transport is delayed, the reassembling process in the importing country is disrupted. This is where the On Board Couriers by airmates can help, because a standstill means loss of money, which we help to avoid.