Anyone looking to ship a container by sea must check if the container they receive is seaworthy. If the container they load on a ship is not seaworthy, your goods can be damaged en route.
No matter what products you are shipping, there are four basic ways to check that a container is seaworthy. One is to check the container when you pick it up. The other is to check the container carefully and look at the seven major parts of the container. We recommend that you always take many photos of both the empty container before you load it and the container as you are loading it.
Table of Contents
- Check Container Is Seaworthy At Pick Up
- 7 Point Of Checking Container Is Seaworthy
- Take Photos Of The Empty Container
- Take Photos Of The Container Loading
- Related Content
One of the primary reasons you want to check that your containers are seaworthy is that if the cargo container has holes, your products can get wet, and water can get into the container and cause water damage. Cargo containers not sealed against water damage can usually get water in them.
Check Container Is Seaworthy At Pick Up
If you or one of your employees is going to pick up the container from the port directly, then one of the easiest things you can do is check that the container’s port is considered seaworthy. But most people, ourselves included, will use a company to help pick up the container; you can instruct the company to check the cargo container is seaworthy.
If you can check the container’s seaworthiness at the port, it will save you a lot of problems as then you can:
- Request A New Container – If you see the container is not seaworthy, you can request to change the container and inform the shipping company that the container is not seaworthy.
- Will Save Costs – It will save you by not having to return the container to get a new one.
- Save Time – If the container is not seaworthy and must go back to the port, it will also save you time; in some instances, the shipping time may be short, so you may not make your shipment date if you must return the container for a new container.
That is why it is best always to look to check the container at the port. If you have a company picking up the container for you, you can clearly instruct them only to pick up containers that are seaworthy and give them the list below of the seven essential points that should be checked for a container.
7 Point Of Checking Container Is Seaworthy
For any container you pick up for the boatyard, there are seven major points that you should check to ensure the container is seaworthy.
One of the best ways to check this is to get into the container, close the door, and see if you see any light; if there is light shining through, the container has a hole.
Seven Areas to Check for Seaworthiness:
- Inside and Outside Doors – Check the inside and outside doors. Make sure the doors will lock correctly, and there are no significant gaps in the door where water can get into the container.
- Ceiling and Roof – Check that the ceiling and roof are defect-free.
- Left Side Wall – Check that the left side wall is free from any significant defects.
- Right Side Wall – Check the right side wall is free from any significant defects.
- Back Wall – Check that the back wall is also free from defects.
- Floor Inside – Carefully check that the floor inside the container is free from defects and can hold all the goods. If the floor is heavily rusted, this can be a problem.
- Outside and Undercarriage – Look outside the container, particularly at the undercarriage.
If you check all these areas, it will help you to ensure the container is seaworthy.
Take Photos Of The Empty Container
Take many photos of the empty container to show that the container has been checked. If you find the container is defective, then the photos will also help you to work with the shipping company to return the container.
Taking a photo is an essential step as it will help you to ensure that you have evidence to show that the container was checked and in what condition the container left your destination. Sometimes a container may leave you in good condition, but by the time it arrives, there can be issues. The photos will help with any insurance claims that need to be filed.
Take Photos Of The Container Loading
Always take photos of the container loading. This will help protect you if there is a complaint when the goods arrive at the destination.
The photos help to give a photographic record of what and how the goods were loaded onto the container. As photos today are easy and cheap to take, we recommend that you take a lot of photos and then save them for at least 18 months after the shipment so that you have a record of how the container was loaded.
During the handling and shipment of a container, sometimes goods can shift, so if there is an issue at the destination, you will have photos to show how the container was packed before shipment.
Following these basic four steps should help ensure that any containers you ship will be seaworthy and the products you ship will arrive at their destination safely.
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