Cargo surveys can be carried out at most stages of the transport cycle apart from the actual time the cargo is onboard a vessel at sea.
Having said that cargo may be surveyed onboard a vessel in port prior to discharge should there be any suspicion of damage due to adverse weather condition during the voyage or any other reportable event such as fire or hazardous cargo contamination whilst onboard.
In addition cargo surveys may be conducted on arriving vessels at the request of the shipper or cargo owner wanting to verify the condition of the cargo prior to handling for example insurance purposes – that is to ensure the cargo is in the same condition as it was at the time of loading.
Land Based Surveys
Land based survey are conducted prior to shipping in order to document the condition of the cargo, container or flat rack, confirm dimensions particularly in relation to over dimensional cargo i.e. over height & over width measurements.
These measurements may be provided to the stevedore, shipping companies – (central planners) & transport operators in order for them to take preparatory measures for delivery & receiving, handle and stowing the cargo onboard.
Surveys also provides confirmation of the securing and over all presentation of the cargo complying with Marine Orders 42 & IMO (International Maritime Organisation) & SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) standards.
As of July 1 2016 certified VGM is required before containers can be shipped – weigh bridge certificate.
Cargo survey are normally requested by the following parties:
Receiver – (person or entity that owns the cargo or receives the cargo on behalf of purchaser).