Container Loading and Unloading Inspections and Procedures

Container loading and unloading supervision is a key part of supply chain logistics and ensures your goods are signed, sealed, and delivered to their destination on time and in good condition.

Container loading involves much more than you may think. Some of the basic specific requirements include identifying the key person who is the shipper and holding them responsible for the loading procedure. It’s essential the appropriate container is selected for each job.

The next step is to check the container when it arrives, to ensure it is clean, there are no damages or vulnerable points, and to locate any points where there might be a leak. Both the inside and outside of the container should be checked and if it isn’t safe, you should order a new one to ensure your what’s being shipped arrives in good condition.

What is container loading inspection?

As an importer, your goods need to arrive in perfect condition. However, many things can go wrong in the loading process or during shipment. Therefore, a container loading inspection is an essential process to ensure the containers arrive safely. A container loading inspection typically takes place at the shipper’s factory or warehouse and is carried out to make sure the goods are handled correctly and safely when being loaded into the shipping containers, thereby ensuring safe transportation and delivery to the final destination.

How is container loading calculated?

Containers can offer a shipping method for small businesses that can reduce the chances of theft and help keep the shipping load together as a single unit, minimizing the likelihood of cargo parts going missing when shipped in large boxes. Business owners using container transportation should estimate the cargo size, select the correct container for the load and determine how to pack it to ensure it meets the shipper’s requirements, while still making the most use of the container space.

Firstly, the number of boxes should be counted and then each box should be measured by length, width, height and weight and all the measurements should be noted. All large upright packing bags should also be measured by length, width, height, and weight. Any metal or plastic barrels should be measured by diameter, height, weight, and quantity and any loaded bags should stand freely on the floor.

All load items for the same customer should be grouped together and all pallets should be measured. Any items that are identified as substances controlled under Hazmat regulations need to be grouped together. The pallet space should be measured by length, width and height. The shipper should be contacted and given all of the measurements.

What percentage of containers are inspected?

It can vary in different places, depending on the volume of traffic. In large global ports that move many containers the percentage can be below 1%. However, most of the time, the vast majority of regularly shipped cargoes and containers are industrial goods coming from one trusted shipper to another trusted importer. Therefore, these will have already been pre-cleared by trusted parties at their source. The number of customs officers and the number of machines needed at all terminals operating 24 hours a day would be enormous, which is why boxes tend to be mostly spot-checked.

Loading supervision

Wherever loading takes place, inspectors will monitor the entire process. This includes a condition evaluation of the shipping container as well as verification of product information, shipment quantities, packaging suitability, and overall supervision of the loading process.

Once the container is loaded, a branded seal is applied to the container to reduce the potential risk of product substitution occurring after loading.

Container loading

Any container loading and unloading supervision starts with a container inspection. If the container is in good condition and the goods are 100% packed and confirmed, then the loading and unloading inspection process continues. The inspector verifies that the correct goods were packed and that all the client’s specifications were met. Once the loading and unloading of the container commences, the inspector verifies that the correct unit amount is being loaded.

Procedure

  • Record the weather conditions, arrival time of container, container number and truck number
  • Check the inner and outer condition of each container to assess damage, wellness, perforation, smell and marks etc.
  • Check the quantity of goods loaded and record the condition of outer packaging (master cartons/pallets)
  • Randomly select and open sample cartons to verify compliance with customer’s specifications
  • Supervise the loading process to minimize breakage and maximize space utilization
  • Seal the container with the custom’s seal and HQTS seal
  • Record the seal numbers and departure time of containers

Container Unloading

By sealing the container with a tamper evident seal, the client can rest assured there’ll be no outside meddling with their products after the loading supervision has completed. The whole container opening process will be witnessed when the goods arrive at the destination.

Loading and unloading inspection reports include the quantity of goods, condition of the container, process, and procedure used for container uploading. Furthermore, photos will be used to document all steps of the loading and unloading supervision process.

Before beginning the container unloading procedure, the inspector needs to check the container structural stability and that no sign of damage has occurred by testing the locking mechanisms and inspecting the shipping container exterior. Once the container inspection has been completed, the inspector will issue the container loading and unloading inspection report.

What Does Container Unload Mean?

With container loading, you need to ensure that when the containers arrive at their destination they will be unloaded and handled in the correct manner. Throughout the unloading process an inspector will check all the goods and ensure they are handled with care. The quality and condition of your goods and packaging are checked as well as the documentation.

How long do you get to unload a container?

It varies depending on the size of the container and any container loading and unloading supervision starts with a container inspection. If the container is in good condition and the goods are 100% packed and confirmed, then the loading and unloading inspection process continues. The inspector verifies that the correct goods were packed and that all the client’s specifications were met. While the loading and unloading of the container commences, the inspector verifies that the correct unit amount is being loaded and unloaded.

Container unloading

Just like the container loading stage, when your goods arrive to their destination there is a typical procedure that will be followed to endure they have arrived safely and in good condition. The following process runs through those typical steps.

Procedure

  • Record the arrival time of container at the destination
  • Witness the container opening process
  • Check the validity of the unloading documents
  • Check the amount, packing and marking of the goods
  • Supervise unloading to see if the goods are damaged during these processes
  • Check the cleanliness of the unloading and shipment area

Why container loading and unloading inspections are important

Container inspections are vital because the handling of shipping containers can result in problems that could impact the quality of your goods during transportation. Also, some suppliers enforce particular methods on their employees that can result in poorly packed containers and therefore, increasing costs or compensating for damaged goods. The inspection process can help to mitigate these issues which will save you time, annoyance, money and loss of customers.

About HQTS

HQTS can help ensure your goods are transported safely. Founded in 1995, HQTS has provided industry leading quality assurance services across the globe. Headquartered in Asia and with multiple service locations around the world, HQTS provides supply chain quality solutions to a wide range of global companies, over a range of industries both commercial and consumer. HQTS has the right systems, processes and procedures to help you meet your requirements and deliver quality products in a timely manner.

Sources:

  • morethanshipping.com/it-all-starts-with-container-loading/
  • blog.greencarrier.com/container-loading-inspection-what-it-is-and-how-it-is-beneficial/
  • smallbusiness.chron.com/calculate-container-load-40152.html#:~:text=Identify%20the%20cubic%20feet%20of,length%20x%20width%20x%20height).&text=Multiply%20the%20total%20number%20of,cubic%20feet%20for%20the%20boxes
  • quora.com/What-percentage-of-shipping-containers-are-inspected-by-customs