Why You Should Do a Pre-Shipment Inspection

It’s no secret that importing goods from China can save you a significant amount of money. This extra cash can then be reinvested into your business to improve your overall revenue in the future.

But, not everyone understands the best ways to ensure that the goods that arrive are in the condition you expected. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to handle this obligation.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the benefits of a shipment inspection.

Ensure Product Specifications

pre-shipment inspectionAs you may assume, one of the most important aspects of a shipment inspection is ensuring that your imported products will meet all of the required specifications. This includes proper packaging, size, weight, and other values that could result in complications if they are discovered to be incorrect.

This information could also help you discover other problems before the goods are shipped to your country.

For example, inspecting the weight of the shipment may discover that it is far lighter than it supposed to be. Upon further investigation, your inspector could find that not all of the required goods are present within the shipping container.

Since an improper shipment will almost always be a headache for everyone involved, it’s best to prevent these issues before they can occur. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with delays, missed deadlines, etc.

Avoid Returns

Improper shipment can result in your customers and clients returning products if they don’t meet the necessary criteria.

Not only will this cost you extra time and money, but it will also detract from your brand’s overall reputation. In some cases, this can be particularly crippling.

For example, let’s assume you imported a large number of goods without a pre-shipment check and then sent those goods to customers after orders were placed. If the entire batch was full of defects, you’ll experience a high number of returns, and people would likely tell others they know about their dissatisfaction

From here, it’s not impossible to both lose existing customers and miss out on new ones due to a single incident. For smaller businesses, this can be exceptionally difficult to recover from.

Adhere to Safety Standards

Without a pre-shipment inspection, you’ll have no way of knowing in most circumstances whether or not your products adhere to the safety standards required for your industry. In this scenario, there are far greater consequences then dissatisfied customers.

If your products result in injury or death, you’ll likely find yourself facing civil lawsuits and financial penalties. Similar to product returns, a scenario like this will drastically impact your company’s reputation in a negative way.

If the accident is severe enough, you may find that your business is no longer able to sustain itself. Fortunately, a professional inspector knows exactly what to look for when it comes to proper safety standard adherence.

Avoid Importing Defective Goods

It’s not always possible to tell whether or not a good is defective after you receive it. Even if you are able to catch the issue before you send goods to customers, you’ll only set your business back if you pay for defective goods.

This is especially true for high-volume orders or orders that have a short deadline before they need to be shipped to clients. For this reason alone, a shipment inspection is worth the extra time and effort since you’ll avoid potentially catastrophic scenarios by organizing one.

What Should I Look for in a Third-Party Inspector?

You’ll need to work with a professional who specializes in this practice in order to have a conductor properly, as you can’t simply take the shipping company’s word for it. Otherwise, you’re essentially rolling the dice when it comes to whether or not your goods arrive as they’re supposed to.

Let’s explore what you should look for in a certified inspector.

Overall Flexibility

Some inspectors are more flexible than others, and you’ll need to do your own research to find one that can accommodate your needs. For instance, certain firms did a predetermined amount of notice before they can conduct an inspection.

Depending on who you work with, this window may be as much as a few weeks or as little as a few days.

Level of Communication

It can easily be frustrating to work with a shipment inspector who isn’t communicative during the process.

Although you’ll likely have a significant difference between your time zone and theirs, it’s not unrealistic to expect updates on where they are in the process. Additionally, they should be more than willing to answer any questions that you have and do their best to alleviate any concerns.

Comprehensive Service

At the most basic level, shipment inspectors will do exactly that— inspect your shipment before it’s exported off to your country. But, not all firms stop here. Others offer a more comprehensive service.

This includes things like random product sampling, production supervision, and monitoring the container loading process. If you need more than a straightforward inspection, be sure to inquire about what your prospective company is able to do for you.

Implementing a Shipment Inspection Can Seem Difficult

shipping containersBut it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about the benefits of a shipment inspection in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward making the decision that’s best for you and your business.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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