One of the harsh realities of the shipping industry lies in Damaged Freight. The fact is, no matter what you do to avoid damaged freight, chances are you’ll experience it eventually in LTL shipping. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about what to do when damaged freight shows up at your door.
Inspect the freight
This is the most important part of the process. When you receive an LTL shipment it’s imperative that you inspect the freight for damage before signing the Delivery Receipt/ Proof of Delivery. Notate any damage to the product on the POD. If you don’t, you won’t be able to file a claim.
To accept or refuse the freight
Depends. If the freight is damaged enough that you’ll want to file a claim, do not accept the freight. Refuse the freight. The carrier will take it back to the terminal, and then you’ll need to contact your broker to ship it back free astray. If the damage is minor and you won’t need to file a claim, go ahead and accept the freight, but (NOTE THE DAMAGE ON THE POD).
Get freight insurance
We talk about this all the time, but it’s very important. It helps the claims process immensely, giving you a better chance at getting paid out for any damaged freight. If your freight’s value is over the average deductible ($500), get insurance. It’s the best way to handle damaged freight.
Sometimes LTL damage is concealed inside the packaging of a shipment. If you think that your freight might be damaged, but there’s no physical signs of damage to the exterior of the shipment, notate that there may be concealed damage on the POD when you accept the freight. It’s not a full-proof system, but it helps in case a claim needs to be filed later.
Remember, there’s no guarantee in LTL shipping that freight will be fully compensated in the event of damage. Make sure to get insurance and package your shipment correctly, before the freight carrier picks it up.