Your day was going well until you opened up your shipping invoice only to see a hefty “residential fee” tacked on to your final shipment price. You are flabbergasted. How did this happen?! The package you shipped went directly to an accounting office – what an outrageous fee!
This is perhaps one of the most common complaints we receive – and understandably so. If you ship something to an accounting office or to a publisher – or any company for that matter – you don’t think “this is a residence.” But the term “residential” has a specific definition in the shipping world – and it’s important that customers understand what this means and how either avoid – or anticipate and budget for – those additional charges. Continue reading
The Sort and Segregate Scoop
Sort and segregate. Sort of like a less cool (and magical) version of Hogwart’s Sorting Hat, where the carrier is the hat and your freight is Harry P. Still not sure what it means and why it’s appearing on your freight invoice? Read on. Accio info!
What It Is
Sort and segregate refers to when a consignee requests that a carrier sort or separate the items in a shipment according to size, color, flavor, or other differentiating characteristics. This service does not need to be indicated on the BOL, nor does it need to be approved by the shipper (that’s you) or Unishippers. In fact, this service can be performed at the receiver’s verbal request. And, alternately, a specific consignee may have sort and segregate instructions on file with the carrier for any shipment arriving at their location. Therefore, it is imperative that the shipper (again, that’s you) understands the requirements of the consignee and if the consignee location requires this service, the shipper should know in advance so that the quote is as accurate as possible (accurate quote = no billing surprises). Continue reading
Ultimately, the key to dealing with liftgate charges is prevention. And prevention starts with good education. So we’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions about liftgate charges, how to avoid them, and what to do if you need to dispute one after receiving your invoice.
What is a liftgate anyway?
A liftgate refers to a mechanical loading or unloading device that a carrier may have to use if a pickup or delivery site is not set up for easy shipping (i.e. a loading dock). Because, the truck driver most likely can’t turn into a big green Hulk and move your freight off the truck with zero assistance. Continue reading
Back That Dispute Up: Re-Weigh and Re-Class
Reweigh. Like when you hop on a scale right after eating that quarter pounder and fries and the number is different from what you weighed that morning. Super. This can happen with your freight shipments, too. A carrier may inspect the weight of your shipment, and if it doesn’t match what is on the BOL, you can be faced with a reweigh charge. The same is also true with a re-classed shipment. The carrier may determine that the class of a commodity is higher and as a result, you will be assessed with a re-class charge.
Don’t agree with the re-class or reweigh charge? First, make extra sure that your dispute is valid. For a reweigh this means double checking that the original weight you provided was not an estimate and that it included all packaging materials and the pallet. For a re-class this means thoroughly reviewing the NMFC description and notes for the application of that class. Sometimes, factors like packing material, type of crate, the intended use of the commodity, or product materials change what the class of an item is. Continue reading
3 Tips To Help Increase the Odds of Success
Questioning a reweigh charge? Have a guaranteed service failure claim? Investigating a discrepancy on a shipment invoice? Disputes happen from time to time, and when they do, we want to help ensure a speedy resolution between you and the carrier. Check out these tips for dealing with disputes.
Tip #1: Keep It Fresh
Rather than waiting until a shipment is due to be paid, disputes should be filed with the carrier as soon as possible, and no later than 20 days past the delivery date. At this point, details are still fresh and the invoice is not yet delinquent, which will make it easier to work your dispute with the carrier than if it is filed outside of this timeline. Continue reading
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over: What to Do If Your Claim Has Been Denied
Oh joy. You just received the dreaded “denied” letter from the freight carrier after you filed a claim. But don’t despair! If you’ve been keeping up with our Claims Series, you’ll know that persistence pays in the world of freight claims. It is very important to read the denial letter carefully because a denial letter does not always equal the end of the conversation with a carrier. Continue reading
Why “Hands Off” Is the Best Policy
Your mom would be proud that you cleaned up the mess, but carriers won’t be. If you have damaged merchandise, it’s okay to leave it as is. In fact, the shipment must be kept in its original packaging and in the same condition it was when the loss/damage was discovered until the claim has been resolved.
Is this really necessary?
Think of it like a crime scene – you don’t want to contaminate the evidence before the detectives arrive on scene. Freight needs to be kept in its original condition because the carrier has the right to require an inspection of the freight. If the freight is not available for the carrier to inspect when they request it, they may deny the claim. Continue reading
Excuse me, sir, have you got the time?
What’s worse than waiting around for something to happen? Not knowing how long you have to wait around for! We get a lot of questions surrounding claims and the timeline of events. To help you better understand how long the process is really going to take, read on.
Filing the Claim
First and foremost, let’s talk about how long you have to actually file the claim. You have a maximum of nine months after delivery to file a loss or damage claim (unless it is a concealed damage claim) – but the quicker you can file a claim, the better. Also, be sure to always pay the freight charges when you file a claim.Often, carriers will not process claims on unpaid shipments and failing to pay freight charges can result in the denial of a claim. And always remember to keep your shipment in the condition it was delivered until the claim is completely resolved. Continue reading
The Game is Afoot: Proving Your Case
So, your shipment arrived damaged (blimey!) and you have to file a claim (double blimey!). That means that you (the claimant) have the burden of proving that the carrier was responsible for the loss or damage to the shipment. In order to meet this burden of proof it might take a bit of digging and detective work on your part. So don that deerstalker cap (we all secretly want one) and get cracking because you’ve got three things you have to prove – the game is afoot!
1) The shipment was picked up in good condition
The TIA recommends the claimant submit written statements from employees directly involved in the packing of the shipment indicating what was in the shipment, pick lists, etc., and a description of the shipment at the time of tender to the carrier – pictures are also brilliant to provide, if available.
2) The shipment was delivered damaged or with pieces missing
A statement from the consignee’s facility from people with firsthand knowledge of the condition of the shipment at the time of delivery (including photos, etc) also helps to substantiate that the freight was tendered to the carrier in good order and delivered damaged. Invoices, inspections, and appraisals of damage can also be helpful to prove the amount of the claim. As with any claim, a clear description of the extent of damage on the delivery receipt is needed. However, if for some reason damage was not noted or was not clearly notated, the consignee’s statement should also include the reason why. Continue reading
con·cealed damage (kənˈsēld/) [dam-ij]: Loss or damage to a shipment that was not noticeable at the time of delivery and not noted on the delivery receipt
1. I started unpacking my shipment and noticed there was concealed damage – cue a slow motion “nooooo!”
2. Concealed damage claims are the hardest type of freight claims in which to obtain a positive resolution.
Concealed damage claims can be tricky to prove, strict guidelines must be followed and all documentation to prove your case must be provided to the carrier. To help give your concealed damage claim the best chance for success, brush up on the following tips: Continue reading