What is a container damage survey and how important is it for your business? The short answer – it’s very important. Read on to get an in-depth understanding of why a container damage survey is crucial.

Imagine you leased a box from a supplier who didn’t do a thorough inspection of the container before handing it over to you. What you got is a box that is not in good condition to carry your cargo. You’re frustrated. And to add to your anger. You just got the news that another container of yours that was in transit with your cargo has been damaged!

This is where a container damage survey can help you out. A container survey conducted by a professional container surveyor is important for anyone in the shipping container business. This includes container owners, lessors, lessees, buyers, sellers, shippers, and even freight forwarders.

You can use a container survey report to safeguard yourself from damage claims and seek repair measures. As for the company you leased from, this survey would have determined whether the containers met the criteria you requested. You should always get what you pay for. So, you should definitely request for a container survey to be done when leasing or buying a box.

Luckily, on xChange we not only deal with getting you boxes but with a little fee, you can get a thorough survey too. We have a network of qualified and licensed container surveyors who will contact your depot and start arranging the container inspection.

Nice, right? Keep reading to find out how to get that report started.

Container damage survey: Container damage and conditions

Before we get to it, let’s talk about damages. During your container’s journey from start to finish, it’s exposed to different kinds of environments and thus becomes prone to damage. From a small dent to your containers getting lost at sea, damages can be big or small costing you quite a sum of money.

What’s crucial for you to remember here is that your container’s integrity affects the state of your goods. Container damage most often results in cargo damage.

container damages

Reasons for containers getting damaged

Some of the top reasons for your container to get damaged are:

1. Natural disasters
2. Bad weather
3. Machine malfunctions
4. Bad stowing (overloading the container, uneven distribution of the weight, tying up the cargo in a loose manner).
5. Mishandling during loading and unloading
6. Contamination of containers by pests or sometimes odor.
7. Human error

Speaking of human error, often if you pick the wrong container type for your cargo, it can cause damage to both the cargo and the container. Another thing that can also result in damage is how you stuff your cargo. To avoid these basic slipups read our blog to better understand which type of container will best suit your cargo.

After you’ve secured the suitable container, it needs to be surveyed for already existing damages, odors, holes, ventilation, cleanliness, temperature control, and proper flooring. This is why inspections and surveys are so important. Because any of these can highly impact the health of your cargo in the transit phase.

Types of container damage and how to avoid it

So, what are the types of container damages your box can endure? Let’s take a look:

1. Broken doors and locks – This can result from poor handling of your container, irresponsible loading, traffic accidents, or thefts.
2. Total loss of a container when it’s on board the ship- This typically happens when the ship is rolling from poor weather or sinking. Improperly stacked containers with incorrectly claimed weights, and improper cargo stowing can also lead to damages.
3. Dented and scratched container- This occurs as a result of poor forklift handling, scraping your container with other containers, and traffic accidents. Your container can also be dropped as a result of a malfunctioning forklift, an overloaded container, or sloppy handling.
5. Heat damage- Your box can be harmed by a fire on board, in this case.
6. Container hole – This can occur by chaotic forklift handling, or being hit by a vehicle or another container.
7. Road and rail accidents – Adverse weather, poor stowage, bad road conditions, and driver weariness can all result in damage to your containers. Train derailing can also occur as a result of drivers being fatigued, faulty railroad tracks, adverse weather, and speeding. All of which can damage your containers.

container damage

What to do when a container gets damaged?

If your container has been damaged these are the steps you should follow:

1. After the container is delivered back to the depot, hire a surveyor to examine it and determine any damages.
2. Take pictures of the damage and generate an invoice. If the quoted Damage Protection Plan amount is less than the agreed-upon value, the supplier is responsible for the damage.
3. After the invoice and the fees are tallied in accordance with the survey’s findings, the party responsible needs to pay the price.

Take note that the user of the container is obligated to make up for the container in the event of its total loss, and this obligation cannot be challenged.

Do you see how a container damage survey comes in handy here? Let’s dig a little deeper in the next section to understand how you can use the survey to your advantage better.

Container damage survey: Why do you need a marine cargo survey done

If you follow the procedure outlined above, you and your container supplier will have a comprehensive report on the various damages a particular container has. The container damage survey will further give you an idea of how extensive and expensive the repairs can be. This will aid in the swift determination of damage claims. And you will get an idea of how much you should pay.

It is recommended to perform frequent container damage surveys to keep yourself informed about the maintenance and repairs. This will ensure that your container is in good condition. Which will ultimately reduce the damage claims.

Additionally, as was indicated at the start of the blog, you should have the containers inspected before renting or purchasing them from the suppliers. That way you’ll have a clear idea of the container’s condition prior to putting them to use. These on-hire surveys will help you safeguard your money and you’ll only pay what is required of you.

But hold on, what’s an on-hire survey? Below you’ll find the types of container damage surveys that you make use of for your needs.

container survey

Types of container surveys

On-hire survey

This is a typical survey for lease moves that are one-way. It’s done to ensure that the containers meet the terms that the lessor and lessee had established. This is what the leasing company we mentioned at the beginning of the blog should’ve done before leasing out a container to you. This survey report will include a thorough listing of any prior damage or other container flaws. It will protect you from paying for any damage that occurred before the container was delivered to you.

However, determining if your container is suitable to transport the specific cargo is the most important reason to do on-hire surveys. For instance, a food-grade container can only be used to transport food goods. The same goes for carrying only chemicals in chemical-grade containers.

Off-hire survey

After you return the container, the lessor does an off-hire survey. This is done to make sure that any damage that occurred during the journey is within the parameters of the rental agreement. An accounting of all modifications and repairs will be included in the container surveyor’s report of the findings. The surveyor will then suggest affordable repair options after that. The container survey report can also be used to confirm whether the cost of repairs is reasonable given the local market.

CSC inspection

Every container used for shipping cargo internationally needs to have a current CSC plate. If the CSC plate is no longer valid or has expired, you’ll require a CSC inspection for containers. It’s without a doubt the most significant kind of survey. Your boxes can only enter a terminal and be put onto vessels if they have a valid CSC plate.

Condition survey

The typical method for determining whether the container’s condition meets a certain standard is to conduct a condition survey. The container surveyor will note any flaws or damages to the container as well as its overall condition. If the box cannot be used, they will suggest a practical next move. The container might need to be fixed, returned back to the lessor, or even scrapped.

Survey of new containers

This survey, as its name suggests, is focused on brand-new containers. These surveys are conducted at the facility that makes containers. This type of survey makes sure that these freshly constructed boxes adhere to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) criteria.

Find your container damage survey on Container xChange

If you require any of these container damage surveys mentioned above to be done, look no further than Container xChange. Once you become a member of our platform, you can buy or lease a box at competitive prices with zero hidden fees. You can get your containers from vetted members who are certified and negotiate prices because we offer full market transparency to find deals that suit you.

You can then book any of the survey types by simply clicking on the ‘Request Survey’ button and connecting with surveyors in 4000+ locations. Your containers will be inspected by our vast network of knowledgeable surveyors for a reasonable fee.

If you’re in need of any of the container damage surveys mentioned above and would like to book one at the earliest. Click on the banner below to let our team of experts answer your queries and help you book that much-needed survey!

Container damage survey: Who is a container surveyor?

You now have an idea that a container damage survey is carried out by a container surveyor. So, let’s get a better understanding of who they are and what they exactly do.

A person who inspects, surveys, and studies container equipment is known as a container surveyor. They will examine the structural soundness and integrity of your container. This is to ensure that they are qualified to store or transport your cargo over rough waters.

A container surveyor is typically required before or after you rent or buy a container. Expanding on the situation at the beginning of the blog again, let’s create another scenario to help you understand better.

In order to bring edible liquids from Indonesia to the Netherlands, you’re renting a container from a leasing company. Of course, you want your shipment to pass Netherlands customs’ liquid inspections. Therefore, you make sure the container is appropriate for carrying liquid items. Before you sign the contract with the lessor, you need to ensure the on-hire survey inspection is carried out by them.

For this survey, a surveyor is hired to look over the equipment, and send a report. A container survey report will be produced by the surveyor following an equipment inspection. This paper attests to the box’s suitability for the lease situation to carry edible liquids into the Netherlands. You can then sign the deal and lease the box.

container surveyor

Container damage surveys and container insurance

Another way to ensure your money is guarded when it comes to container damage and repairs is by insuring your containers. Since you know damages are difficult to predict and can take a costly turn, you can take precautionary measures beforehand by obtaining container insurance.

Container insurance is the greatest option to lower high damage costs. You won’t be responsible for covering these losses and repairs out of your own wallet if you’ve reserved the appropriate container insurance. These costs will be covered by your insurance. Insuring your container is one of the smartest monetary choices you’ll make in the shipping sector, given how frequently containers are damaged.

So, does this pique your interest in learning which insurance policies best suit your needs? Let’s take a look.

Types of insurance plans on Container xChange

Our customers can protect their containers on Container xChange with a damage protection plan (DPP) and container insurance policies. We make it possible for our members to submit damage claims, and we handle these until they’re settled.

Damage Protection Plan

You can cover maintenance and repair costs for containers with the aid of a damage protection plan (DPP). Only repairs up to a particular cost are covered by the provider, who also pays for DPP. When you don’t want to inspect containers for damage after every rental, it can be helpful.

Total Loss Insurance

Your containers will be covered by total loss insurance, usually referred to as basic insurance. The policy covers general average, unexplained disappearance, and constructive total loss. Your containers are covered by insurance for 60 days after the pick-up date. If the container isn’t delivered back within the insurance period, it will automatically renew.

Container Damage Insurance

Numerous things can go wrong with containers. But with container damage insurance, commonly known as premium insurance, you can protect your boxes from total loss and various other types of container damages. You’re protected by this policy against damages for up to 60 days after the pick-up date for one-way moves. If the container isn’t delivered back within the insurance period, it will automatically renew.

Safeguard your entire fleet using the Insurance Manager

You can even insure containers that aren’t on Container xChange using our Insurance Manager feature. Additionally, our team will support you fully throughout the damage claim procedure.

All of our members’ demands are taken into account while designing our insurance programs. You can rely on Container xChange to receive good pricing whether you merely want damage protection or coverage for all containers.

Find the best cargo container inspection, maritime survey, and container insurance on Container xChange

So, whether you want to buy or lease containers, we’ve got 10,000+ containers for you to choose from in 2,500 locations worldwide. You can choose your box at competitive prices with zero hidden fees. And thanks to our full market transparency you compare prices and negotiate the best deals directly with 1000+ vetted suppliers.

After you’ve found your box, you can book different types of container damage surveys and expert surveyors in 4000+ locations to inspect your boxes to keep your cargo safe. And by chance, if any damage occurs these surveys and surveyors will ensure you don’t end up being cheated into paying for repairs that aren’t your liability.

As for precautionary protection against damages, you can opt for our various damage control and insurance plans to save you money on costly damage repairs.

Everything is under one platform with the added bonus of an easy payment handling system (the xChange wallet), and an advanced feature to help simplify your container operations and monitoring – Container Control. Here you can keep an eye on your container movement in near real-time with ETA, POD, and misuse warnings.

Become a member today by clicking on the banner below to let our expert team show you how you can book container insurance and a container damage survey in just a few clicks.

Container damage survey: Common FAQS

What is a container survey report?

This is a report that confirms if your container is suitable for the purpose for which it is hired or leased.

What is a damage survey?

A damage survey is carried out to inspect and understand the severity of the damage to the container.

What are the most common types of container damage?

Heat damage, broken doors, and locks, dents, scratches, and holes in the containers.

Who is a container surveyor?

A person who inspects, surveys, and studies container equipment is known as a container surveyor.

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