As a produce salesperson, I appreciate you have a challenge meeting all the daily demands for your time. With that said, the very last thing you want to deal with is a problem load at contract destination. What questions should you ask? Does my product meet contract at destination? How do I determine responsibility for the condition of the produce at destination? To assist you in saving time in order to make that determination, I have attached an easy reference guide (HERE) that will assist you in making sure you ask all the right questions and secure all the appropriate documentation to make an educated business decision. This Notice of Complaint form can be customized to your own company needs and can assure that you are doing your due diligence in asking for the right information from your customer.
Always verify the transit time by verifying the date of shipment and the date of arrival. Next, confirm the inspections timely (same day as arrival). It is also important on a FOB sale to determine the inspection date versus expected inspection date calculated on normal transit.
As all inspections are not the same, determine what type of inspection was taken (restricted or unrestricted), make sure to get a hard copy of the inspection and verify if it is a USDA inspection or an in-house inspection. Next, the number of cartons shipped vs. the number of cartons available at time of inspection is important to confirm that a representative sampling of your product was still available at the time of inspection. Determine where the product was inspected (on or off the truck)? Also scrutinize the pulp temperatures, as well as the temperature recording device placed inside the trailer and request a download from the trailer refrigeration unit (TRU). Only when you have this complied information will you be able make an educated decision for your company and grower to determine whether or not your product met contract specifications upon arrival or if the contract was voided due to abnormal transportation. When you have this information, always consider contacting me with any questions concerning clarification on any arrival problem. Invest five minutes, pick up the phone and give me a call for help. My direct line is (949) 885-2269.