What is the Role of the Marine Surveyor?

The Marine Surveyor is the professional that, having experience on the various aspects of the marine transportation business, works investigating, supervising, auditing, giving opinion and ascertaining conditions, procedures and/or methods employed for transportation and handling cargoes and the vehicles used to carry them.

Since the primitive times of the commercial navigation, surveyors were in some way necessary to determine the condition of the cargoes and ships.

The Surveyor must have continued attention on updating himself with latest issues, regulations, standards, work procedures and new matters of the marine transportation industry.

All parties involved in the transportation and handling of goods, as shipowners, cargo insurers, charterers, P&I Clubs, stevedoring companies, storage terminals, agents, cargo shippers and cargo receivers, may eventually need a Surveyor.

The Surveyor, in summary, will be the eyes and ears of his Clients and will act to preserve and protect their interests in any case.

Summary of the Main Types of Surveys Carried out by the Surveyors

1.     Quantity Control

Draft surveys, Bunker/bunkering surveys, Tally surveys.

2.     Vessel Condition Surveys

Structure, machinery & equipment.

Seaworthiness, Cargoworthiness & Suitability.

Technical and operational evaluation.

3.     Cargo Loss Prevention Surveys

Loading, stowage and securing of general cargo, heavy lifts, oversized and special cargoes.

4.     Damage Surveys

Damage to Ship: Hull & Machinery accidents, fire, collision, grounding, etc.

Damage to Cargo: mishandling, bad stowage, material/package defect, heavy weather damage, etc.

The purpose of the surveys is basically:

·  To verify and report the condition of the cargo or the vessel prior to loading.

·  To grant that all handling, loading, stowage and securing operations are carried out as per good practices and standards.

·  To investigate the nature, extent and possible causes of any damage that may have occurred.

·  To make recommendations for preventing recurrence of same type of damage in the future.

· To issue a clear and accurate survey report with all relevant data, findings, facts and times.

Final Comments

The above scope of surveys is not exhaustive and other customized tasks can be carried out using the expertise of an experienced Surveyor.

In the marine survey work every job has its own particularity. Similar jobs can happen, but never identical jobs.


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