This video describes some simple steps you can take to make your ltl freight claim go smoothly. Want to learn more about claims? Check out our Freight Shipping Guide.
[Chris Clever, President – FreightPros]
Hey my name is Chris Clever, I’m the President of FreightPros and today I want to talk to you really quickly about some quick tips on making claims, successful claims, when there is damage on your LTL freight. Now we all hate getting that call from our customer, or I’m sure that you as a shipper, dread when you get damage on your freight. You might ship to someone, they call you up and say “hey this pallet was crushed in transit.” That’s kind of the worst news you can get in this industry. I just want to have some quick pointers for you to help guide you along this process and make sure you have the best chance of getting paid out and as quickly as possible.
Number one. The most important thing you can take away from this video is to make sure that damage is noted on the proof of delivery or the bill of lading at delivery. Without that, the carrier is always going to back off the claim and put all the responsibility on you, saying “nothing was notated, we can’t pay out on that, how do we know the damage didn’t occur after we dropped off the freight?” That’s number one.
Number two. If there is damage, you’ve noted it, let’s get the process rolling. Take a picture, take several pictures from all angles of your freight. Make notes on what is damaged. If something is lost, make notes on that. Once you’ve got that step down, get with your broker or go to the carrier’s website directly and download their freight claim documentation form. Usually its a one page form. You need to get that filled out to get the process rolling. One other piece of documentation that you’re going to need is a commercial invoice stating the value of the freight. The key thing to know is that you’ll need to know the replacement value. A freight carrier is not going to want to reimburse you at your customer’s cost, they are going to want to reimburse you at the cost to replace that freight.
Final thing with a freight claim with LTL carriers. Unfortunately there is a huge waiting time. Carrier’s don’t like to pay out quickly on freight damages for freight claims. Expect sixty to ninety days at a minimum. We wish there was something we could do to speed this process up with the carriers. But the most important thing you can do is get the process started. Don’t wait a couple of months to file that freight claim.
So, note the damage, get your documentation in order, and get that freight claim submitted.
Hopefully that’s helpful. Work with your broker to help speed along these processes. If there is information that you need or want more information on these processes, feel free to reach out to us, and we will help you out.