Many a time an exporter and shipping line have got into a tussle over the condition of a container which the exporter picks up for packing.. People have been varied in their opinions on who is liable..
In my opinion, the responsibility should be shared between the container depot representing the shipping line and the transporter representing the exporter..
The container depot has a responsibility to release clean, sound, dry and cargo worthy containers to the transporter and the transporter has the responsibility to check if such a container will suit the exporters needs..
The exporter or packing warehouse from their side have to maintain a checklist from their side.. This should ideally cover and check :
- the empty container received is clean, dry and free from any unusual smells, stains on the floorboard
- no roof holes
- the doors shut tight and without gaps
- the lock rods close and lock properly
- the slots for the seals are present and usable
- floorboard is not cracked or broken
These quick checks if done, will prevent any major claims at a later stage.. Of course the condition of the container is directly related to the type of cargo that the exporter intends to ship..
For example for containers carrying food products, normally the exporter or his agent will “specify” a food grade container which if requested will be prepared by the shipping line usually at an extra cost on a/c of the exporter..
Do you follow any other check points for your packing..??