Floods in Thailand hit hard-drive supply

Serious flooding in Thailand has severely affected the hard-drive supply chain, from component manufacturers to large firms such as Western Digital

Floods in Thailand have hit the hard-drive supply chain from component sellers to giants like Western Digital, with PC and server makers likely to be affected.

Thailand flood

Severe floods in Thailand have uprooted people from their homes and shut down factories, with a knock-on effect on the hard-disk supply chain. Photo credit: Thor Jorgen Udvang/Shutterstock.com

Thailand's disaster has shut down 14,000 factories, flooded hundreds of thousands of homes and put more than 660,000 out of work. The flooding has hit Western Digital hard, with chief executive John Coyne warning that its December quarter revenue will fall 60 percent from a year ago, as the company has a high concentration of supply chain factories in flooded areas.

Western Digital's operating chief Tim Leyden said last week during the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings call that the hard-drive industry will see tight supplies for a while. "We suspended production in all of our Thailand facilities from the beginning of last week in order to protect our personnel, and to move as much equipment as possible to locations less likely to incur water damage," Leyden said.

By contrast, Seagate's facilities were largely spared, but the company will struggle to acquire components for its drives. Seagate chief executive Steve Luczo said last week on the company's earnings conference call that "the flood disaster in Thailand is having a widespread impact on individuals and businesses of all types, including the hard-drive industry, disrupting transportation, logistics, power generation, and the availability of labour".

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Thailand floods to lead to hard drive shortages for months on ZDNet.com.

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