A container to Colombia goes through the same processes as any container freight cargo goes through before it reaches its destination. Because the international container shipping industry is a truly global enterprise, it operates in exactly the same way in every country. The one major difference with a container to Colombia may be in security.
Colombia has a history of internal political trouble and crime syndicates operate in that country, transporting arms and drugs internationally. While this is unfortunately true to a degree everywhere, it is something the port authorities must watch with particular care in that country. As a result, a container to Colombia is more likely to go through a thorough customs inspection upon arrival that a container elsewhere might go through.
Stateside, a container to Colombia may be more subject to inspection before it is given clearance as well. Any household or personal goods that are shipped anywhere must be thoroughly documented both for insurance and security reasons. The Shipping Order will contain a complete list of all items that are inside the container, the number of crates or boxes that are in the unit and the weight of the filled container. This not only serves as a checklist upon arrival but alerts officials if any containers, have been tampered with before delivery.
Once a container is "stuffed" (industry parlance for filled with goods), it is bolted shut and sealed. The only time it can be opened prior to delivery is by security or customs officials who, after clearing the cargo, bolt it shut and seal it again. By the time it leaves a port in the United States, it is virtually guaranteed to be untampered with.
The ship's captain carries a complete record of every container to Colombia aboard his vessel. It is not uncommon to ship 40 ft container loads of up to 10,000 TEU (5000 forty foot containers) on a single large container ship. Not all of these will necessarily be bound for Colombia, since these ships make many stops along the way, but before a ship will schedule a landing at any port, it needs to have a substantial number of containers to offload there. A few days before arrival in Colombia, the captain notifies the authorities that he is coming and gives them all the information they need to be ready for his arrival.
It is likely that an individual who only needs to ship 40 ft container of personal goods to Colombia will have to go through a thorough customs inspection before his goods are released to him. This, however, is a streamlined operation and should not affect the delivery time of his container to Colombia in any significant way.
Finally, having cleared customs, either the goods are transferred from the container to Colombia to a truck or, as is the case when you ship 20 ft container, the entire container will be lifted onto the bed of a truck by a crane and delivered to the door. It is truly remarkable how a single container to Colombia almost always reaches its destination unscathed, even though it has traveled thousands of miles by sea along with thousands of other containers.