In the 14+ years that I have worked in cargo claims, I have reviewed thousands of survey reports.

As a recovery agent, cargo claims handlers often ask us who would we recommend as a good cargo surveyor.

So these are 10 traits of a great cargo surveyor in my opinion:

1. Attention to Detail:
Critical for inspecting cargo, noticing damages, discrepancies, or potential risks.

2. Effective Communication:
Ability to clearly convey findings, issues, or recommendations to clients, port authorities, or insurance companies.

3. Problem-solving Skills:
Capable of quickly determining solutions or alternatives when faced with cargo-related challenges.

4. Adaptability:
Ready to work in various environments, under different conditions, and with diverse types of cargo.

5. Ethical Integrity:
Upholding honesty and fairness, especially when assessing damages or when disputes arise.

6. Knowledge of International Shipping Regulations:
Awareness of global shipping laws, standards, and best practices.

7. Technical Proficiency:
Ability to utilize and understand tools or equipment for cargo inspection, such as moisture meters, gas detectors, or thermometers.

8. Documentation Expertise:
Expert in drafting, reviewing, and understanding cargo documents, bills of lading, and other shipping documents.

9. Risk Assessment:
Capability to assess and predict risks related to cargo storage, handling, and transportation.

10. Understanding of Different Cargo Types:
Knowledge about various types of cargo, from hazardous materials to perishables, and how they should be stored and handled.

A commendable cargo surveyor should also have a good physical stamina, as the job can sometimes be demanding, especially during large cargo inspections.

A critical skill to have today is an ability to use digital solutions to speed up inspection processes.

What did I miss? What would you add?

P.S. if you are a cargo surveyor and would like to join our network of surveyors, DM me and we will set up your profile and offer a free onboarding for you and your team.