Freight Damage Claims

When goods arrive damaged or go missing, the basic contract for carriage is violated and a shipper can file a claim – this can help to recover lost revenue. Using best practices for documenting and filing freight claims can reduce complications and minimize headaches.

A shipper is eligible to file a freight claim any time a product is disrupted and/or damaged during transit and therefore can no longer be sold. These scenarios include but are not limited to:

  • Truck accident
  • Contamination – water, rodents, insects, dirt, oil, chemicals
  • Damage to product
  • Loss of freight

Freight Claims Best Practices

  • Act immediately
  • Take photos of damage
  • Act immediately
  • Get a testimonial from the driver
  • Obtain video footage if any
  • Take photos of damage
  • Get a testimonial from the driver
  • File an incident report with the police
  • Take photos of damage
  • Ensure all the above is accomplished before the driver leaves

You may have issues filing your freight claim and getting reimbursed for damages if you wait to file a report and lack proof of the accident such as photos. Similar to a car accident, your insurance provider needs to see as much proof of the incident as possible to determine who is at fault.

If you receive damaged cargo: contamination, crushing, water damage, etc.

  • Inspect the freight while the driver is on site
  • Contact the seller immediately if any damage is found
  • Note damage on the BOL, including as much detail as possible
  • Sign the BOL ONLY after damages are included
  • Take multiple, clear photos of damage from different angles before the driver leaves

Give the driver a copy of the BOL with the damages you noted

IMPORTANT: If you sign the BOL before noting any damages, you accept ownership of the freight as is and there is no sure way for anyone to know who caused the damage. Then you will have issues if you try to file a freight claim to recover your losses.