Marine & Cargo Surveyors
Effect of illegal immigration
on the transportation of goods

A sad case that happens more often than thought is the contamination and/or rejection of goods due to the entry of illegal immigrants into the cargo space during its transportation. Every year ADVANCE SURVEY GROUP has to deal with such cases, where the influx of immigrants occurs both inside trucks and containers. There are cases where immigrants manage to get into reefer units transporting fruits and vegetables, so stowaways have to endure temperatures between 2 and 6 °C for more than 24 hours.

The entry of immigrants often occurs in African countries or in those countries with poor salaries and lack of job opportunities, in an attempt to improve their living standards. The consequences of the entry of stowaways in cargo spaces include breakage/deformations and contamination of the goods, particularly in the case of food products, due to dirt and excrements generated by those individuals. Both fruit and vegetable items that come into contact with stowaways may be partially or completely rejected on account of the high risk of contamination and the fact that these products are for human consumption.

On several occasions, immigrants are detected by Customs authorities or by consignees staff, who then hand them over to the police authorities. In other occasions, immigrants manage to escape out of the trunk once they arrive in the desired country, thus reaching their goal. Last year, we had a particular case in which illegal immigrants achieved their objective by getting into a truck that was carrying elegant suits. At the end of the journey, some of the suits had disappeared while, among them, old dirty clothes were found. So, presumably, those illegal immigrants had entered the country “smartly” dressed.

Although the presumption of innocence of any person should be always kept in mind, the entry of immigrants may be facilitated by the truck drivers themselves, who –whether by threats or bribes– are pressured by organized mafias that traffic in illegal immigrants.

Loading and lashing operations
in Gijón (Spain)

From April 17 to 21, ADVANCE SURVEY GROUP attended loading operations on board M/V H.R. Favourisation, consisting of 67 items, structures and containers belonging to a cement factory in Port Kembla (Australia).

These operations were carried out at the Espigón Sur pier of the Gijón port. They started on April 17 at 9:00 h (local time) and finished on April 20 at 23:30 h. After all lashing operations were finished, the vessel sailed on April 21 at 4:00 h bound to Australia.

The items and bundles inspected consisted of steel structure parts for building a cement plant, as well as hoppers, silos and small items stuffed in dry-box containers. It is worth noting that a total of 7 silos, whose height was up to 15 metres and weighted up to 64 Ton, were loaded on the ship deck.

ADVANCE SURVEY GROUP checked all loading and lashing operations, especially those related to the seven big silos. M/V H.R. Favourisation is a special cargo ship with a total lenght of 138.11 metres, built in 2007 and fitted with 2 NMF, DKII type, 120.0 Ton SWL cranes.

The importance of pre-cooling
in refrigerated transportation

In the last weeks Advance Survey Group has participated in several cases involving the presence of disorders in perishable products carried in containers and/or refrigerated vehicles under controlled temperature. In some of those cases we noted that the source of the damage was the lack of pre-cooling for the goods or the means of transport, be it a container or a refrigerated vehicle.

Therefore, we’d like to note that for the correct transport of goods under controlled temperature regime it is essential that both the vehicle and the goods are properly prepared for such transportation.

In the case of transportation in container or refrigerated vehicle, besides checking for any improper odor or aroma before charging, the owner should provide the cargo space with equal temperature as the one required during transportation. On the other side, the shipper of the goods –who knows the characteristics and evolution of the cargo– must prepare them for transportation. In addition to providing adequate protection, the cargo should be pre-cooled at the required temperatura for transportation. All parties involved in the transport should be aware that containers and/or refrigerated vehicles are designed to maintain the temperature during transportation, and not for cooling or freezing merchandise.

In short, a proper pre-cooling of the goods and means of transportation always prevents the onset of disorders on quality and shelf-life of products being transported under controlled temperature regime.

Bananas affected by temperature and maturation disorders due to lack of pre-cooling prior to goods loading.

Advance Survey Group

We are a leading company specializing in technical inspections and surveys, formed by independent surveyors at the service of the insurance market and the industry. Our team gathers professionals with extensive experience on the international transport inspection field in air, land and sea, who analyze the nature, cause and extension of the damages, and carry out technical advice tasks focused on risk prevention.

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