Coming Out Ahead on Claims

Part II: Freight

Recently we went through the claims process for small packages. This time around, we’ll talk about filing a freight claim if there is loss or damage to your shipment. Here are some recommendations to help make your claims process as smooth as possible:

1. Be a Slueth. When your shipment is delivered, inspect and note any visible losses or damages before you sign the delivery receipt.

2. Accept, Don’t Reject. Even if a shipment is short or damaged, accept the delivery. Do not refuse the shipment unless the damage has rendered your freight worthless.  Be sure to mark on the Damaged FreightBOL and delivery receipt that there are damages and have it signed by the driver to be submitted with the claim.

3. Prevent Future Damage. Take steps to protect the shipment from further loss and file a claim for the actual shortages or damages.

4. Stop, Drop & Retain. If you discover damage after the driver has already left, stop unpacking the shipment and retain all the packaging. Contact the carrier immediately and request that an inspector be sent to review the damage.

5. Learn to Love Those Forms. Completely fill out the claim form. Neglecting to take the time to understand and properly complete claims forms can often lead to rejection of the claim. In addition, having photographic evidence of the damage will go a long way in justifying your claim.

6. Pay On Time. Do not hold off on paying freight charges on a shipment, even if you are making a claim. This may delay or derail the processing of your claim.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the claims process can be pretty smooth if you follow these simple guidelines.