RECORD KEEPING FOR PORT ACTIVITIES - Food Resources Manual

Record keeping at the port can be divided into two main areas: overall summary records for all shipments that arrive in country, and inventory accounting records for each individual shipment.

Shipment Ledgers

The Master Shipment Ledger records all food arrivals by shipment. This ledger provides basic information useful for cross-checking past shipments and can be used along with individual warehouse inventory ledgers to prepare Commodity Status Reports. Some CARE country offices may keep records of all shipments in one large ledger; other countries have a ledger for each individual shipment or have developed computerized databases or spreadsheets to prepare reports. In any case, the purpose of the Master Shipment Ledger is to have in one record a summary of all transactions relating to the shipment and a file which contains all documents and correspondence relating to each shipment.

A Master Shipment Ledger and Shipment File must be maintained either by CARE’s contracted clearing and forwarding agent, the port representative, or the country office headquarters. The following information should be included in the ledger:

  • Vessel
  • Food type
  • Bill of lading number
  • Donor shipment or contract number
  • Ship’s arrival date
  • Number of units
  • Total weight
  • Marine losses
  • Port losses
  • Total losses
  • Total available balance for dispatch to inland warehouses
  • Date of survey and other documents sent to CARE USA’s
  • Procurement Office or other CI member
  • Cost of survey
  • Costs of reconstitution.

Generally, Master Shipping Ledgers and shipment files should be maintained by logistics managers in the country office. Information in the Master Shipping Ledger should reconcile with the Commodity Inventory Records kept by the commodity financial accountant and the warehouse inventory records kept by port officers or warehouse managers for each shipment.

Shipment File

An up-to-date shipment file must be maintained at the central office. The file contains all shipping documents and correspondence for each shipment and is the primary source material for the Master Shipping Ledger.

Required Documentation for Shipment File:

  • Copy of signed AER or similar document from donors
  • Call forward letter and/or donor approval
  • All transmittal notices
  • All signed customs authorizations and clearances
  • Phyto-sanitary certificates
  • Bill of Lading
  • Independent discharge and delivery survey reports and invoices
  • Ship and Port Out Turn Reports
  • All correspondence related to the shipment
  • Port dispatch summary
  • Dispatch waybills from the port
  • Health certifications.

Warehouse Inventory Accounting at the Port

For warehouse inventory purposes, food arriving at a port is treated and accounted for in the same way as food arriving at a CARE warehouse.

CARE or counterpart staff or a clearing and forwarding agent must prepare a receiving waybill to account for the arrival of food at the port, and prepare dispatch waybills to account for food moved directly from a ship to trucks or rail cars to CARE or counterpart warehouses or from port warehouses to CARE or counterpart warehouses.

Warehouse inventory ledgers must also be prepared for all transactions at the port. Waybills and Loss and Adjustments Reports must account for all food described on the Bill of Lading. These documents will all be forwarded to the country office and the information will be entered into the commodity financial accounting ledgers. Accurate documentation is essential.

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