Reefer container Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI)

What is reefer container Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI)..?? Article based on below questions from a reader..

PTI is an inspection conducted on an empty reefer container BEFORE RELEASE, to ensure the correct functioning of the cooling unit, temperature control and recording devices.. PTI also includes checking the container for structural damage, and ensuring that the inside of the container is clean and ready in all respect to receive cargo..

image of fishQ : Reefer unit PTI ( Pre-Trip inspection) expires after 30 days, is this correct ?

A : The validity of a pre-trip service could be anything from 30 to 180 days from the date entered on the pre-trip decal depending on the shipping line.. Different shipping companies may have differing validity periods.. Therefore it is always prudent to check with the shipping line and look for the PTI sticker.. 

Q : If PTI expired then can unit be released without RE-PTI to Shipper ?

A : In the interest of avoiding a claim, no shipping line will release a reefer container without a valid PTI.. So if the validity of the PTI has expired, then container will be released only after a second PTI is done..

Q : Is PRE-COOL an alternate for PTI ?

A : Pre-Cool is NOT an alternative to PTI.. Pre-cooling relates to the cargo and not to the container where as PTI is related to the container.. Pre-Cool is a process whereby the products, are pre-cooled (wherever required) to the required set (carriage) temperature before being packed into the container.. This will happen at the cold-storage facility.. The longer the cargo is pre-cooled the better it is in regards to shelf life of the cargo.. 

Q : If we do not arrange re-PTI then any claim will be on our account?

A : A PTI is a very important function for a reefer container.. As mentioned above, in the interest of avoiding a claim, no shipping line will release a reefer container without a valid PTI..

If a PTI is not done by the line and there is a claim, the line may be liable, unless they have a written note from the shipper or forwarder or contractual party NOT to do the PTI.. There would be some indemnities involved in this case, but I have not come across any client that would ask the line NOT to do a PTI..

A more detailed article on Refrigerated Cargoes in Containers and its requirements will be posted soon.. If you have not yet done, I encourage you to subscribe to this blog to receive the latest articles and updates..

Have you had any experiences to share relating to PTI..??

 

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

12 comments on “Reefer container Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI)

  1. Muhammad Imran Khan says:

    Who will be responsible if an Agent paid PTI charges for empty reefer container and after PTI Process empty container found effected due to some technical faults? Who will bear PTI charges in this case? (Shipper / Agent / Shipping Line or Port Authorities)?

  2. Andreia Queiroz says:

    Hello, I am working at International Law Office in Brazil, and we are facing some issues about PTI. If someone could help us, we appreciate! ** What is the origin of PTI? ** How did it start to be done? ** Is there any law about PTI?

    1. Hello Andreia, PTI is not linked to any law.. PTI (Pre-Trip Inspection) is an operational requirement which is done in the best interest of the shipper and that of the shipping line to ensure that the reefer used is in good working condition and capable of carrying the cargo from A to B..

  3. OWC says:

    Reefer Flood Preventer (Brand Name: RapiDrain)

    RapiDrain is new kind of Reefer Flood Preventer (RFP) that is inspired by everyday experience. It is used to prevent flooding of reefer containers which may lead to damage of reefer cargo by inhibiting clogging to the drain holes.

    Reefer Flood Preventer

    In order to prevent the build up of excess water, it is crucial to ensure that the reefer container drain holes is not clogged. This can be achieved by installing RapiDrain over the reefer container drain holes to prevent clogging and allow excess water to be drained off rapidly, thus preventing damage to the cargo and the container.

  4. meryam says:

    Hi,

    I have a question please about pre-inspection.
    I’m working on a file and I found that the Seal N° of the shipper that we have on the BL are different of those of the inspector on his inspection certificate. How could you explain this;
    anyone could help me please on this?!

    1. Hi Meryam, was the inspection done at the time of packing and was the inspector there when the container was sealed..?? If the inspector was there at the time of packing and sealing of container, that would be the actual seal, unless the shipper put another seal and gave you that number for the bill of lading.. Pls check this article http://shippingandfreightresource.com/the-importance-of-a-container-seal/ where I have mentioned on which door the seal must be put.. Pls check that as well..

  5. Rob says:

    Hi Hariesh

    Thought i would also mention too that. On the thermal side of things delamination on the side wall
    panels/roof/floor [especially if its holding moisture within the insulation and sweating] can also affect
    temperature readings, in that the machinery is continually working harder to maintain set point temp
    due to the thermal loss of insulation..

    This is normally a problem with older units. Other things to look out for would be poor improper repairs
    where incorrect foam may have been used on a panel repair or poor type welding [excessive porosity]

    Something else which you may not think about is taints. In theory the box is washed then passed by
    PPECB .Doors are than closed and container placed back into the stack waiting cargo booking. This
    is where a problem may re-occur as taints believe it or not can come back. Ive had instances were
    ive had to strip machinery looms, door gaskets, and sealant to remove taints.

    Rob

    1. Thanks for your comments Rob, its helpful.. 🙂

  6. Hi
    During Pre-Trip Inspection, agent of pre-trip must check whether drain plugs are present or not, and if the drain holes are free for the drainage of eventual water.

  7. Jim Cobb says:

    A reefer container is not designed/engineered to chill down or freeze a product, but rather to maintain it at its desired set temperature.

    Therefore, having the product already chilled down to the correct temperature before it is loaded into the reefer container is a must to ensure its quality.

    Also, it has been my experience that problems with cargo maintaining its set temperture is often due to improperly loading the cargo above the container’s load line, and/or by loading loose product, such as whole frozen fish on the T-floor of the container, with the product falling in between the longitudinal rails of the T-floor, and/or by loading the product all the way to, and against the doors of the container.

    Any of these stowages will block and prevent free-flow air recirculation, within the container, resulting in ice build up and warming of the product.

    1. Rudraksh says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing or experience. It is really very helpful.

    2. Thanks for the contribution Jim.. Appreciate it..

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