What was the value of a lorry-load of hard disks?

What was the value of a lorry load of hard disks?


A lorry load of hard disks was stolen in 1998 whilst on route to Dublin. The manufacturer was claiming almost $1.5 million from the carrier. It was alleged that the actual value of the drives was around $850,000

My involvement:

I was asked to assist in 2003. It was my job to try to ascertain the value of the drives at the time when they had been stolen five years earlier.

As you may imagine, this was not easy. Back in 2003, the Internet was not as well used as it is today and this was even more so in 1998. I did find several price lists on-line but very few of them gave a precise date. Some had a date on the page but it was in a format that may have been American (is 12/10/98 the 10th December or 12th October?).

I contacted several of the distributors that I had dealt with during the time I sold hardware but none had accurate records going back five years! Bear in mind that hard drives had a spot price that could vary by tens of dollars in a few days depending on market forces and back in 1998 drives were typically at least £150 to buy (and that would only get you around 3Gb).

Eventually, with much perseverance, I managed to piece together a picture of the trade price of the disks and a settlement was reached without the need to go to court. I believe the agreed price represented a huge saving to the carrier.

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