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SURVEY - To look at or examine something carefully, usually done by an expert. (Dictionary)

Survey, or in other words expertise, inspection, surveillance, tracking of the process of relocation of goods, and qualitative or quantitative changes to goods — the latter being an unavoidable concomitant in the case of transfer of goods from hand to hand — is today the only possibility for owners, sellers and buyers, insurers, shippers of goods, and others involved in the process of trade, to monitor goods at each stage, be it in the production plant or warehouse, on board and loading ramp or berth in the port. Modern equipment and new technologies guarantee a virtual presence in any global point without leaving the office. Concluding the contract, the parties rely on the integrity of their business partners, operational reliability of vehicles, good weather conditions and simply good luck. But our work entails continuous overcoming of Murphy’s Law, as George E. Nichols (the person accredited with coining this expression) would put it.

There is nothing impossible to him who will try...

Fate cannot be predicted and for that simple reason contracts contain appropriate conditions concerning appointment of independent inspectors at every juncture of transfer of responsibility for the goods from consignor to shipper and carrier and consignee. All parties recognise their inspection reports, which serve as proof in case of any disputes. These days such clauses are obligatory in most contracts.

The cost of inspection services is rather small compared to the cost of goods and eventual damages caused by an accident, injury, or loss of goods. But without a legal deed drawn up in compliance with requirements by an independent inspector, it is sometimes impossible to prove facts that seem quite obvious. The impartiality of surveyor’s reports is due to the lack of material interest with respect to any party. Furthermore, potential cases of distortion of facts caused by pressure or —as we live in a real world where anything may happen— bribery may damage the image of an inspection company to such an extent that the occurrence of such an incident may well mark the last day in business for the company concerned. All a surveyor can do is to provide the customer with professional advice to avoid or minimize risks involved in goods traffic.

The rest is just procedure.

Terminology for survey services:
  • Survey
  • Cargo inspection
  • Pre-loading inspection
  • Containers inspection
  • Sealing
  • Tally
  • Quality control
  • Tests
  • Commodity examination
  • Technical examination
  • Sampling
  • Laboratory analysis
  • Average commissioner
  • Assessment of damages​
  • Survey repor
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