Quality inspection is a set of procedures that involve checking the various characteristics of a product and testing it to ensure it meets predefined standards. The sad reality that fruit exporters deal with almost all the time is frequent complaints from customers that fruits shipped have arrived with quality issues. Oftentimes, fruit exporters lack the evidence to show the customer that the fruits were indeed shipped in sound order. Here, we will talk about the 5 tips for fruit cargo quality inspections that will help provide evidence for the shipper.
The repercussions of this cannot be overemphasis. The lack of pre-shipment evidence of your fruits results in the inability to recover damages from the shipping line. Reimbursement of the customer’s money, and/or the failure to recover any unpaid commercial invoice balance from your client. This implies a loss of profits and returns on investment.
For small-scale fruit growers and exporters, this situation may mean that you may have to shut down your operations. Since all your operating capital is tied to the containers of damaged fruits in transit.
Bearing all this in mind. Why do fruit exporters continue to absorb these losses? There is a behavioural problem that needs to be addressed.
To protect your interest and that of your client, start preparing for eventualities even before they occur. Consider the following 5 tips for fruit cargo quality inspections;
- Sensitise your quality control team on the importance of collecting and documenting evidence. This involves all processes that affect your fruit quality before export.
- Adopt and empower your quality control team with, reliable, cost-effective, and efficient digital evidence. Collection tools to cut down the cost of appointing a physical surveyor
- Meticulously collect and record evidence of harvest dates, packaging, cold storage temperatures, etc
- Why have you not been inviting the carrier for a joint survey of the fruits you want to ship? Start doing it henceforth. Don’t only invite the carrier for a joint survey when damage occurs.
- Be transparent. After collecting fruit quality evidence, share it with the buyer before shipment. This will remove any doubt in his mind as to the quality of your produce.
As Fabrizio Locabacci (CCA Board Director; Head of pharma Business development. BCUBE Air cargo S.P.A.) rightly puts it, ‘’You cannot talk about quality if you cannot prove quality’’. For you to be able to prove quality, you must have the evidence ready before complaints about the quality of your fruits spring up.
How do you conduct quality inspections of your fruits? And is the data you collect serving you any purpose? Let us know in the comments.