What is container inspection, and why is this a necessary process conducted at container depots?
The owners of shipping containers could either be a shipping line like Hapag Lloyd, or a container leasing company. These container owners usually make agreements with one or more container depots in different countries and/cities, for the storage of their empty containers.
In addition to storing empty containers, container depots offer additional services such as inspection, modification, cleaning and repair of containers.
Importers can thus surrender their empty containers here, while exporters can collect empty containers for export.
As containers spend almost their entire life out of the hands of their owners, they are usually on hire to some other party.
As such, after a leasing arrangement has been entered into, there will usually be a need for a survey when the containers are “on hire”, or when they come “off hire”. In other words, container depots act on behalf of the container owners to check the containers that are returned or prior to leasing out.
In addition, shipping containers are also susceptible to handling damage. Depots thus also play a part to ensure that the container is structurally sound for export.
Generally, container inspections at depots are split into 2 main types:
On-hire survey refers to the inspection of a container made at the time a container owner takes delivery of the container under a lease agreement.
In other words, the container is being checked prior to collection for export.
During on-hire surveys, depots:
Off-hire survey refers to the inspection of an empty container when it is returned to the depot for storage.
During off-hire surveys, depots:
The 7-point container inspection checklist serves as a guideline for checking the condition of shipping containers:
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