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Pre-shipment Quality Inspections Are Always Necessary

pre-shipment quality inspection

Why Are Pre-shipment Inspections Always Necessary?


The question is generally asked by exporters and importers. And, why wouldn’t they? It’s always an important part of verifying products in conformity with the approved specifications. Quality control isn’t a formality carried out at the supplier’s end, but a strict procedure of evaluating the products before they arrive at the point of destination.

Our recommendations on Pre-shipment inspections are straight and clear. It’s a matter of fact that when a product is inspected for its quality, the problem is identified and resolved quickly. This, in turn, makes the events faster and resolves all possibilities of failures before the goods moves for 30 or 40-day sea transportation.

Experienced Foreign Managers at Factories – A Tale of Truth

It’s true that many Chinese suppliers employ experienced foreign managers for managing key operations, which include, Research & Development, Marketing, and Business Development & More. Generally, you will find a Japanese person or a Westerner in these companies.

In fact, when you are evaluating these companies, you will discover a handful of best practices of these companies, which you always want to see. Whether it is WIP Tracking, Documentation Management, Standard Operating Procedures and more, at the end of the evaluation, you will feel satisfied with the performance of these companies as compared to the general Chinese suppliers.

The dilemma of Pre-shipment inspection continues…

Knowing these many good things about the suppliers would put you in a dilemma. The major question in front of you would be – Shall I rely on their QC methods and skip the Pre-shipment inspection part to save valuable time? Even we feel tempted to recommend you that, but seriously never do such thing.

You should have certain control levels on the inspection for determining whether the product conforms to your requirements or not.

The case of portable Bluetooth speakers…

To preserve the confidentiality of the client and the supplier we’re going to talk about, we wouldn’t be using their real names or identities. This is a real case, and only a few details are altered, keeping the essence intact.

We had a client, who was purchasing portable Bluetooth speakers from the Chinese suppliers. The evaluation gave us a good report on them, which was more than satisfying. They had procured some foreigners for engineering and quality inspection and, seemingly, everything was fine and under control and properly documented.

However, we never let off our quality control procedure and recommended the client about required inspections before each delivery. The goods were ready for the first purchase order, and as recommended, the inspectors did their job of pre-shipment inspections. Surprisingly, the results were a bit averse to what we had anticipated earlier. The portable Bluetooth speakers had too many minor issues and some major issues and as a result, the goods was rejected. The suppliers were asked to rework on their products and resolve the defects.

Of course, we were quite convinced that the quality evaluation at the supplier’s side is going well yet we didn’t relax that quickly and stuck to the basics of evaluation.

From this case, a few pertinent questions were raised, which were totally related to the production on a committed schedule. For example, was the documentation hassled the way out? Did the workers skip an operation or more for keeping in line with the rapid production speed? Were the workers not skilled enough or well trained? Did the QC check the products strictly comply with quality criteria?

We are oblivious to the answers of these questions, but we are sure that these could have been averted. The supplier was embarrassed on its side but was a reliable manufacturer, who owned their mistakes and reworked on the defects. They firmly addressed the root cause problems and took corrective actions in the course of time.

Meanwhile, we think, had we not pressed the inspection at all, and then what would have happened? Had the suppliers drop-shipped a consignment with flaws, then who would have been held responsible?

This is the major reason why we have hands-on approach to ensuring quality control.

quality inspection

How a PSI or Pre-shipment inspection does help?

As an importer, you will have an expected quality of standards. The third party entrusted with the job of professional quality inspection ensures a fair few things for you, which include:

1. Imported goods are in compliance with the terms that are agreed upon.
2. Imported goods are same level as the approved samples.
3. Imported goods are within specifications.
4. Imported goods pose no threat, risks or hazards to the health.
5. Properly and safely packaged for seamless transition.
6. Imported goods should comply with the rules and regulations of the receiving country.

Why trust Keen Sourcing?

As a leading sourcing agent, Keen Sourcing is also accountable in several sections of quality control and inspection, and ensure stricter standards apply to all evaluation procedures. Given our credible experience with the Chinese suppliers, we have profound ways of identifying the hurdles in between the procedures. We have a strong network of quality inspectors throughout the different provinces of China. We have QC office in Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen and Chengdu city. This further helps in performing the quality inspection in major industrial cities.

Keen Sourcing Quality Control Office location

We have professional inspectors who speak fluent English language so that it doesn’t create any barrier during the proceedings. The AQL levels we apply for quality inspection are internationally recognized and we conform to it. The clients can send us reference samples so that we can perfectly understand what a desirable product would appear and function like.

Our sampling plan always comply with MIL-STD-105D (same as GB/T2828.1-2003). AQL normally is 0/1.0/2.5.

We have a dynamic speed of conducting PSI. Before inspection, we will send you the inspection checklists / Specific Inspection Criteria for your approval, which will help in initiating the inspection procedure / criteria as per your requirements. After the inspection is done, we will provide you with an inspection report in PDF format which is inclusive of images and recommendations that help you take a decision of rejecting or approving a shipment. 


Keen Sourcing is the best sourcing agent in China. We offer product sourcing services, quality control and shipping management. Tell us what you want to source, we will handle everything till you get the products.