Every product on every retailer’s shelves in this country had its start somewhere else. The supply chain ensures that products and goods make their journey from their manufacturer to the receiver, to the shipper, to the warehouse, to retailers, and consumers. Supply chain logistics along that journey include several key players. Among them are the lumpers who perform the important task of trailer or container unloading, taking stock of a container or trailer’s contents, then ensuring they are warehoused or stored as required.
After the contents of a trailer or container are loaded, generally a tamper-proof seal is affixed so that any tampering enroute will be self-evident upon arrival. Once at the loading dock or warehouse, opening the container will be witnessed and if required by the shipper, the unloading process will be documented and a report generated. This documentation may include photographing the container’s condition upon arrival, and noting the quantity and condition of the goods inside. Then supervised trailer or container unloading begins to ensure that the goods are handled correctly, with care, and that the quality and condition of the goods have not been negatively impacted. This process includes:
- Recording the trailer or container arrival time to ensure it is on schedule.
- Witnessing the opening of the container.
- Inspecting unloading documentation for accuracy.
- Confirming the amount, packing, packaging, condition, and marking of the products/goods.
- Supervising/overseeing the unloading process to maintain standards and schedule.
So to answer the question posed in the title of this piece, unloading a container is one of the most important links in the overall supply chain. It is not a task to be taken lightly, nor does it simply require a strong pair of arms. Correctly performed, container unloading can expedite the supply chain process thereby ensuring that goods, especially perishables, arrive on time and in top condition. This process saves shippers, receivers, and logistics managers time, inconvenience, money, and potential loss of customers.
To learn more about container unloading or request a quote, contact Express Freight Handlers.