One area in which most transportation providers are lacking in knowledge is the freight claims process. We take a look at some questions regarding the steps you should take to ensure that your claim is honored.
Q: “What steps should I take to ensure that I receive the most compensation for damaged or lost cargo?”
Learning that your freight has been damaged or lost can be a distressing situation.
Understanding the freight claims procedure is a vital aspect of effective supply chain management.
Having third party insurance in place before shipping is highly recommended since carriers typically have limited liability coverage that does not always apply in every situation. The weight and freight class of your shipment are important factors that can be used by a carrier to determine the maximum amount that they will pay. Canadian carriers typically pay $2 per pound, while U.S. carriers usually pay less than this, particularly if the goods are used or refurbished.
When a shipment is damaged, it’s important to act quickly since delays can impact your customers. It’s a good idea to document any apparent or concealed damage to packaging or products by taking digital photos of any irregularities. Make note of any damage or product shortages on the Bill Of Lading (BOL) or POD/delivery receipt and contact the carrier or transportation logistics company immediately to make them aware of the loss or damage.
It’s important to investigate the possible causes of loss or damage to cargo since all parties involved are required to do what is necessary to reduce the amount of damage or loss. You should file for the full value of the freight once the carrier has acknowledged your claim and then do what is necessary to mitigate damages or loss.
Q: “Can I withhold payment if the carrier is at fault?”
You will save yourself much grief by paying the freight bill as soon as possible. Failure to pay the bill in a timely manner, although the carrier may be at fault, can cause problems in resolving your claim. In the case of full truck load shipments, a standard liability insurance fee is included in the bill, which means that the bill needs to be paid for insurance coverage to apply.
Q: “Is there anything I can do to expedite the claims process?”
Becoming more knowledgeable about the claims process and ensuring that you have taken all measures to document any loss or damage can help to reduce the time it will take to resolve your claim.
Q: “What reasons would a carrier have for denying a claim?”
A carrier may deny a claim if any damage was not signed for. This is why it’s so important to document any damage in detail on the commercial invoice, Bill Of Lading or POD/delivery receipt. A carrier might also refuse a claim if the goods were packaged improperly.
Proper handling of freight claims should be encouraged in order to save money and time, which is why it can be advantageous to outsource the management of both freight and claims to a third-party logistics provider such as Skyfer Logistic.