Protecting Your Cargo in Transit, Part Three: Receiving Your Shipment

All the research, creation, production, and sales efforts for your product is for nothing unless your product makes it onto shelves. Getting your product on a store’s shelf can be a long process of working with manufacturers, getting all the parts together, and shipping the final product to your storage space or warehouse. International trade finance companies like Tradewind know that this is a stressful time for a business and can often mean a delay in cash flow as well.

Getting your product into your client’s hands safely, securely, and intact is essential to the continued function of your business. From inspecting and securing your cargo, selecting the best kind of storage for it, making sure it’s loaded properly to unloading it at its final destination, receiving your shipment is just the end of a long process with a lot of hard work behind it.

Receiving Your Shipment

At the end of the day, an essential part of your job is getting your items safely to a storage space or warehouse, where they can join your other inventory and await shipment to retail locations. When it comes time to receive your shipment, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, when you receive your items, it’s important to keep track of the items you are getting as well as the condition they are in when they arrive.

The better documentation you have on your items, their shipping status, and the timeline for shipping and receiving, the better prepared you will be should something go wrong. Additionally, the right documentation can help you resolve problems faster and with the fewest headaches.

Here are a few things to do when receiving your shipment:

  • Inspect interior and exterior boxes and containers for holes, cracks, dents, water spots, or other damage. Exterior damage could be an indication that the contents of the box or container are damaged as well. Take photos of damage as your shipment is unloaded.
  • In addition to inspecting for damage, be sure to open boxes as you unload your shipment to check the contents. If there has been damage to the contents, be ready to document this damage as well.
  • Document the boxes and items that come with your shipment to make processing your items easier later.

If you do find damage to your shipment, here are a few things you can do:

  1. When you find damage, stop unloading cargo. Take pictures of the damage while your items are still in the container.
  2. Preserve the evidence by setting aside the damaged items in a safe place. Get photos of the container, its labels, identifying description, and any other information that could help with an investigation. Take pictures of the box, where it was located during shipping, and use a mark where you see damage.
  3. If it is water damaged, take photos and document the extent of the water damage outside and inside the box. If you have access to the shipping container, look around to see where water could have come from outside the box. You might find it helpful to photograph door seals and locking devices and collect samples of water if needed. A claims professional could use this during the claims process to help document the damage done to your product.
  4. Separate damaged goods from the rest of your shipment but keep everything in the same storage space. By separating this shipment from the rest of your items in the warehouse, you will make it easier for a claim professional or loss adjuster to come in and see exactly what they are supposed to be working on.
  5. On the delivery sheets or shipping documents, take notes about the items you are receiving as well as any damage. This keeps all your notes in one place and can help with an insurance claim if needed.

As a business, you want to make sure that you have adequate documentation when it comes to receiving your shipment. You need to ensure that the right items have made it to your warehouse on time and that they have made it there intact. There are many ways you can protect your cargo, even up to the point where you are receiving your shipment. For instance, factoring, or the sale of your accounts receivable in exchange for an advance on payment, and financial protection from a company such as Tradewind can keep your business going should the unthinkable occur.

Supply Chain Financing for Businesses

Tradewind Finance is an international trade finance company that specializes in export factoring and supply chain financing. They work with clients in the food, textile, and electronics industries, among other sectors. They can help companies around the globe with logistics, cash flow solutions, shipping internationally, and much more, all to help promote export and trade throughout the world.