Learn about the cargo-checking process

  • 20/06/2024
  • 10 minutes

Cargo checking is a key activity to ensure the safety and integrity of the goods transported. However, many companies in the maritime segment still face challenges when it comes to conducting this verification, which can result in losses and problems with end customers.

If you are part of this group and want to know how to make your company’s cargo checking safer and more efficient, the time is now. Keep reading and check out the post we prepared with the main information.

What is cargo checking?

Cargo checking is one of the most important processes in maritime logistics. It consists of verifying if the goods being transported match the information contained in the documents, such as invoices or bills of lading.

The main purpose of cargo checking is to ensure that the goods are in perfect transport conditions, without risk of loss, damage or any other problems. The idea is to ensure the total integrity of the products, whether in containers or in other types of storage, such as in ship’s holds.

Furthermore, cargo checking allows for better control over the volumes being transported, avoiding dispatch errors, and optimizing the logistic process, especially when dealing with high-value or potentially hazardous volumes.

How is this procedure performed?

The checking of goods can be done manually or automated:

  • in the manual method, the lecturers perform all steps physically, using spreadsheets and documents;
  • in the automated method, the conference is carried out by means of electronic equipment, such as scanners and barcode readers.

Regardless of the method used, cargo checking is an activity that should be performed by trained and skilled professionals who have technical knowledge and the ability to identify potential problems and solve them efficiently and quickly.

In addition, it must be carried out at all stages of the logistics process, from origin to destination. This makes it possible to ensure that the goods are always intact and in accordance with the documentation — especially in import and export processes

What are the essential steps of cargo checking?

To carry out the cargo conference, it is necessary to follow some important steps:

  • verification of tax documents: the invoice or other transport document must correspond to the goods transported. Therefore, the information must be correct and without divergences between the description of the cargo and the reality;
  • counting of goods: it is essential to check all units that have been loaded and if there are no leftovers or shortages;
  • Checking packaging and containers: After counting, it’s time to inspect the packaging of the goods, as well as the condition of the containers, where any signs of damage, tampering, or other irregularities are checked;
  • cargo identification: the goods must be properly labeled and the information legible;
  • conference record: all stages of the cargo conference are recorded to ensure the traceability of the goods and avoid possible future problems.

What is the role of technology in cargo checking?

Technology plays a fundamental role in the cargo checking process, contributing to making port and maritime logistics more efficient, secure, and accurate, regardless of the mode of transportation used.

Currently, there are several technological solutions available in the market that can be leveraged to optimize this task. The main examples are:

  • barcode and QR code readers — these devices allow quick and accurate reading of the information contained in tax documents and merchandise identification labels;
  • inventory and storage management software — these programs allow automated control of goods in and out of ports, ensuring an accurate and real-time view of the products transported;
  • geolocation systems — track cargo in real time, enabling the rapid identification of any deviations or delays.

Furthermore, technology can be adopted to integrate the different systems and modes involved in the logistics process, ensuring greater visibility and unified management of information.

In this context, according to Shippeo data, it is estimated that:

  • by 2023, 50% of leading global companies will have invested in solutions for real-time visibility;
  • by 2025, 25% of supply chain decisions will be made in smart edge ecosystems, which also involves cargo checking procedures;
  • by 2026, 75% of large companies will have adopted some type of intralogistic intelligent robot in their operations.

What are the advantages of an efficient merchandise conference?

Developing an efficient cargo conference can benefit companies involved in maritime logistics in different aspects.

Cost reduction

Cargo checking helps to prevent dispatch errors, losses, damages, and other issues that can generate additional costs to the operation. With well-executed cargo checking, it’s possible to reduce costs associated with replenishing goods and with legal processes resulting from issues with transported items.

Increased efficiency

By implementing an efficient checking model, it’s possible to identify potential setbacks and correct them before they become a major obstacle to the logistics process. With this, it is feasible to increase operational efficiency, optimizing delivery time and avoiding delays.

Increased end customer satisfaction

Cargo checking helps ensure that goods reach their destination in perfect condition, increasing the satisfaction of end customers and reinforcing their loyalty. This satisfaction promotes a good reputation, generating new business and increasing revenue.

Compliance with legal obligations

Cargo checking is a mandatory activity by law, which must be carried out to comply with tax and fiscal requirements. By conducting a proper cargo check, the company avoids problems with supervisory bodies, which can lead to fines and other sanctions.

Technology acts as a great ally in cargo checking processes, allowing for the automation of steps and increasing the efficiency of the entire maritime operation. Therefore, investing in the qualification of this process is decisive for the success of the business.

Did you enjoy this content? Also, check out what we’ve discussed here on the blog about transporting high-value cargo.