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The role of a cargo surveyor

What is the role of a cargo surveyor? Who exactly is the surveyor working for? These and many other questions often arise. The cargo surveyor is an independent party who should remain impartial when overseeing a cargo claim. The roles and responsibilities of a cargo surveyor include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Verify the condition of cargo
When a buyer purchases goods from a seller, the buyer may employ a cargo surveyor to check if the goods are the same as those mentioned in the contract in terms of size, weight, content, etc. before loading on board of vessel.

Investigate cargo loss or damage
When loss or damage occurs, the cargo surveyor has to use technical skills to establish the cause of loss or damage, assess the degree of damage and provide a full picture of the situation in a survey report which should enable the insurer to properly consider whether the loss or damage is covered by the policy.

Provide technical and professional advice
Buyers will also seek a cargo surveyor’s technical and professional advice for insuring or transporting goods, on matters such as: 

  • How to transport large-scale machinery
  • The best way to pack goods to ensure proper protection
  • How to fulfil the insurance company’s requirements in order to get insured

Estimate the cost of the cargo
When loss or damage occurs to cargo, the cargo surveyor will estimate the cost of the goods and provide a survey report to the claimant, which could be used as a reference for filing claim.

To conclude, in the unfortunate event of claims, if customers provide sufficient information to the cargo surveyor in an efficient manner upon request, this could definitely speed up the claim process.

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