Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about sampling, testing and certification.
What’s the typical inspection process for a container shipment?
Our standard full-time cargo inspection service covers weight and quality supervision during container packing. We draw samples and dispatch a shipment composite to our laboratory for immediate analysis.
We understand that the level of representation you require and your inspection budget can vary. So we can tailor our service to suit your requirements.
For example, our inspector can attend randomly at various times during packing. We’re also available to provide sample pickups if sample dispatch is urgent or complications arise.
As an alternative to inspection, we also receive samples directly into the laboratory from packers and manufacturers. We test the product to confirm quality, and confirm the weight via the packing documents.
We provide quality and weight certification for both of the above scenarios.
What types of documents do you issue for the services you offer?
We provide three types of cargo certification documents:
- Analysis reports
- Quality and weight certificates
- Survey or inspection reports.
All of our documents are delivered electronically, and issued on our letterhead so that they can be identified as genuine CIS documents.
What’s the turnaround time on quality and weight certificates?
We aim to expedite document drafts for bulk and containerised cargo as soon as possible.
We draft documents whilst laboratory testing is being carried out to save time, meaning that drafts are complete by the time the shipping sample arrives. We work hard to minimise turnaround time on laboratory analysis, striving for same day turnaround time for quality parameters.
What information do you need to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible?
If you inform us of each shipment order prior to packing, we can prepare the documentation and test requirements efficiently. This ensures you have a trouble-free start to each shipment.
Advising us of your analysis requirements up front (particularly if those tests take more than 48 hours) ensures we can minimise analysis turnaround times.
It’s also a good idea to keep us up to date with any vessel, ETA and reference number changes.
What methods do you use with analysis?
As an NATA accredited analysis provider Commodity Inspection Services offers quality testing that helps your organisation make informed decisions saving time and resources.
What if I require independent sampling?
In addition to a growing inspection and superintendent staff base, CIS has an extensive network of inspectors covering all of the regular grain packers around Australia.
Upon receiving shipment instructions, we inform our inspector in the relevant location, who will then liaise with the packer and make arrangements to be present during the loading of the containers. Our representative will draw samples, prepare a composite, and promptly send it to our laboratory for analysis in accordance with your instructions.
How do I package and send samples?
The best general practices when packing and sending samples are:
- Always use quality packaging
- Make sure everything is thoroughly sealed
- Ensure grain and meal sample bags have all air removed prior to sealing
- Bubble wrap can provide a good layer of protection
- Ensure that all types of samples have paperwork included
- When sending samples with Australia Post, please use our PO Box to avoid delay
A minimum of one litre of sample for a full analysis is ideal; this covers the analysis and leaves a small surplus for further testing or retesting if required. We retain the remaining sample for six months.
A quality container made of a pliable plastic – polypropylene or similar should be used. Each container needs a well fitted lid (preferably wadded). We use and recommend Plasdene containers.
Be sure not to seal hot tallow into jars immediately after packaging, as the pressure inside the container can lead to leakage during transit.
Containers should be sealed with a strong sealing tape around the lid as well as end to end and placed into a sealed plastic bag. Sealing samples this way prevents the lid coming off under pressure and loss of the sample.
Please make sure samples are labelled and paperwork included for identification.
For grain, seed and pulse samples
We require a 1.5 kilogram shipment composite sample for testing. An ‘A’ and ‘B’ sample should be sent – with the ‘B’ sample retained in case of retesting or future testing needs.
Samples should be sent double-bagged, using heavy grade zip-lock bags or strong plastic bags sealed with zip ties. Zip lock bags should have any air removed then folded and taped down to prevent the seal from bursting open. Paperwork is safest in between the double bagging where it can be seen.
For meal samples
We require a 1 kilogram shipment composite sample for testing. As with the grain samples, meal samples should be double bagged and clearly identifiable using the CIS sample request form.
If a sample is high in moisture and or fat (like pressed cake meal) it should be well sealed and sent at the beginning of the week. If they are sent late, they may be held up in a courier dock over a weekend and risk being compromised or spoiled.
Do you have international offices?
CIS is currently based in Australia, but superintendence requires a global network, so we work daily with trusted international superintendence companies on an interdependent basis. We work with companies that share the same values of service, integrity and reliability and as such have developed strong relationships over time. Contact us on 1300553491 if you have any questions relating to global representation.