Six Suggestions for Dealing with Damaged LTL Freight
Despite your best efforts to properly package your LTL Freight, sooner or later you unfortunately may have to deal with damaged freight. When freight gets damaged happens what can be done? The answer is to take a proactive approach with these tips from Standard Logistics.
1. Always Inspect Your Freight
As soon as you receive an LTL (less than truckload) shipment, your first step is to inspect it for damage. This should be done before ever signing the Proof of Delivery (POD). Even the slightest hint of packaging damage should be noted on the POD. This document is one of the most important pieces of evidence during the claims process. If you don’t make any notations regarding damaged freight on your POD, the likelihood of having your claim paid is less than 10 percent.
2. Provide as Much Documentation as Possible
The more documentation you have to support your claim, the better. Take photos immediately to document the damaged freight. This additional level of evidence will help you during the claims process as additional proof of carrier damage. You should have a copy of your POD, commercial invoices showing the value of your freight, and completed claim forms ready for the insurer.
3. Should You Accept Damaged Freight?
If the damage to your freight is so bad that there is no question that you will be filing a claim, you have the right to refuse the delivery. Your carrier will return it to the terminal, but it is your responsibility to contact your broker to have it shipped back free astray. If the damage is minor, and you will be able to request replacement parts or receive a discount, as long as you notate damage you can accept your shipment and still file a claim to reimburse for losses. Most importantly is to remember to note the damage on the POD before you sign for the load.
4. What if You Find Damage after Acceptance?
You might not notice any physical damage when your freight arrives. If you think there could be damage, note it on the POD. It could help with a claim if the damage is found once you open up your shipment.
5. Carrier Insurance Doesn’t Always Cover Losses
If your shipment is damaged in transit, you obviously want to be compensated. This is where insurance can be your best friend. Your carrier’s liability provides some protection, but it does have limitations. If the value of your freight is more than the average deductible of $250, purchase additional cargo insurance. For increased insurance protection, third-party insurance through Standard Logistics is your best bet. The claim process goes much smoother and you could be reimbursed faster.
6. Stay Patient During the Claims Process
If you have ever filed an LTL freight claim before, you know it can take some time before the claim is paid. It could take between 60 to 90 days after you file your claim to receive payment. The claim will be paid by your carrier or insurance company, if additional cargo insurance has been purchased.
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