So you are planning a shipment soon? If yes, the first thing you need is to find a good shipping container, one that can ensure the proper protection of your cargo for reasonable costs. To this end, let us take a closer look at your options and a few very important aspects you should bear in mind when searching to hire the right shipping container.
To inspect before packing"¦
As expected, the selection criteria are many with shipping containers. However, a closer look before packing your cargo is bound to get a few options out of the way. You can start by checking the container safety approval plate and the validity of the re-examination date. Next, check the container of your choice for any damaged side rails, corner fittings, doors or hinges or any damage to the exterior walls. If considering an open top container, you want to check the roofbows too. If it is a hard top one you are interested in, make sure the roof is in good condition and can be locked properly. Last but not least, check the container for any labels or markings that might be left from previous shipments and remove them to avoid confusion.
To inspect on the inside"¦
Once you have ruled out any problems on the exterior of a container, you can move on to checking if everything is alright on the inside. For instance, you need the container you will be shipping your cargo in to be watertight. A safe way to check whether it meets this criterion is to enter it and check whether light can penetrate it once you have closed the doors. If it can, you need to look for another container to hire. Also, check for the container to be clean, as well as dry for any signs of condensation, frost or moisture in general can put your cargo at great risk. You also want to make sure there are no traces of insects, rodents or pests for they not only constitute a factor of contamination, but will also impair the shipping process by requiring the intervention of an exterminator. Finally, check for any odours and make sure they have been eliminated.
To inspect after loading"¦
Okay. So you have loaded the cargo in the container. Next, you need to make sure that the cargo has been secured into position so as to avoid any damage in the event of extraordinary shipping conditions. Pay additional attention to the items placed near the doors. Also, you want the shipping process to go as smoothly as possible, so making a list of the items in the container is highly recommended, if not necessary. This way, they will be easier to check at customs. The container itself should also be secured using padlocks or strong cables. Once that has been taken care of, provide the approval seal from the storage company, its number, as well as proof of compliance with the ISO regulations. If the container is heat modulated, you need to check and regulate the temperature on a constant basis to secure its contents. And once again, you need to deal with the labels and the placards. Your container must be labelled. However, you do not want to overdo it for excessive labelling is an open invitation for thieves. Also, check for any placards you might apply to not hide any other relevant references.
To inspect before unloading"¦
The next inspection of the shipping container you have hired and its contents will be carried out professionally upon its reaching the destination, before being unloaded. The first to be inspected will be the locks and the seals, more specifically the cables, the bolts and the brackets. You are also looking for the seal to not be tugged or twisted. Remember that one of the keys to successful shipping activities lies in the accuracy of the paperwork. In this context, you should check the seal number again to make sure you have filled it in correctly throughout the documentation accompanying your cargo. Once you have done that, you can remove it and store it somewhere safe. You also want to check the shipping container for any indicators of theft, such as paint chips or welding, for instance. Note the position of the markings too for they may act as indicators of bulk shipping. Next, you can remove the cables and open the container to check its contents according to the aforementioned list accompanying the cargo. However, remember to do it carefully to prevent any injuries due to items tumbling over. Remember the risk of odours forming too, so make sure you air it out before stepping inside.
To inspect after unloading"¦
Last but not least, there are a number of additional verifications that need to be made before a shipping container can be cleared for hiring by another customer. First of all, you need to clean the container properly and clear out any traces of packing materials, dunnage and the like. Once you have done that, you need to check for any signs of damage that might have occurred during shipping such as holes, rips or tears in the walls or roof of the container to start with. Also, make sure you remove all traces of moisture, leaks, wet stains and the like to prevent corrosion. Last but not least, choose to be precautious and remove all the placards and markings you applied after loading the container.
In the end, you should note that there is a variety of shipping containers you can choose from when planning a shipment, depending on the type of cargo and your shipping needs in general. You may need to rent a heat modulated container, a standard container for general purposes or a high cube one. However, whichever kind of container you may choose, you need to make sure it is high quality one in order for your cargo, whatever it may consist of, to reach its destination in good condition.