This is the story of my third trip to a factory with our SBE inspector. Check the previous stories from here and here.
This time the mission location was in Hangzhou, a one hour train ride away from our office in Ningbo. Trains are a really convenient way to travel in China, and so they were this time. Though, you have to keep in mind that it actually takes much more time than one hour arrive in your final destination. First, I took the taxi (at 6.30 am) to the train station, then the train, then the subway to the last subway station and finally a car to the factory. So, even though the location on the map seems to be 150 km away from your office, in reality it takes you nearly 4 hours to get to your final destination.
Well, this time we went to do CLS, which is the abbreviation of Container Loading Supervision. In brief, it means that we go to the factory to check that the customer’s final goods are within the purchase order’s requirements for description, quantity, packing and marking just before they are loaded and shipped out from the supplier’s facilities. This way we can prevent the risk that you would receive damaged or wrong products or the quantity would be incorrect.
This time we checked fabric – a total of 17 000 meters in 224 rolls.
The container truck
When we were arriving at the factory by one of the salesperson’s car, we were told that we have a few hours time to inspect the quality of the fabrics before the truck with the container comes and the loading starts. Though, when we arrived at the plant, the truck was already there so we had to slow the loading down in order to check the quantity and test the fabric. So, even though we were actually in a bit of a hurry, it was better this way. For me, this means that there are actually times in China that you don’t have to wait for something to happen! (The inspector told me that one time he had to wait for 8 hours for the truck to arrive.)
Because of the truck being so early and the workers being so efficient, we could set the truck off early in the afternoon. After this, we had an hour time to wander around the factory and take pictures of the warehouse and the different phases of the production of the fabrics. It was amazing – I had not been to such a big factory in China before. The best thing was a big factory building were they had the huge weaving machines for producing the cloth. The sound was really loud in there, but to be in China, “of course” the workers have no earmuffs what so ever.
Check out these pictures from the factory:
Reporting one of the lots of fabric
The small spools are wound into a big spool. (You can see one of the big ones behind the threads)
A weaving machine
The rolls of fabric come down the slide straight to the container door
The containers ready to get shipped!
All in all, the container was loaded as within the requirements:
The products were confirmed.
The container was clean, dry and water proof.
The loading process was safe, and the goods are stored in the load well. The door was closed well.
Finally, we took the 4 pm train back to Ningbo, and I was back home at 6 pm. Once again, it was an eye-opening and interesting day for me!