How to Deal with Damaged Freight

How to Deal with Damaged Freight

If your business deals with large amounts of freight regularly, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll receive a damaged package. It’s just a risk companies have to deal with — human error, shipping mishaps, and plain old bad luck can all lead to a package being damaged or destroyed before it reaches you. If that happens to you, don’t panic. You will more than likely get your money back, or at least a partial compensation, depending on the extent of the damages. All you have to do is stay calm, and follow the proper steps.

Step #1 – Don’t refuse delivery

B2B freight follows slightly different rules compared to your everyday retail order or pizza delivery. If you order a bulk lot of laptops and then refuse the delivery because some of them appear damaged, you will a) potentially be charged for the cost of sending the product back to the seller, b) lose control over the damage claim process, and c) potentially be liable for the cost of housing the laptops on your carrier’s warehouse until the damage claim procedure is taken care of. If you hired a third-party insurer, refusing to accept a damaged package might prevent you from being able to file a claim right entirely.

Accept the package, even if it’s clearly damaged. It’s generally the safer option, and it gives you more control over the process. Especially if the damage claim process doesn’t go well, and you end up having to contact a transportation agreements attorney.

Step #2 – Document everything

You’ll want to take pictures of everything and document everything as soon as you can. Get quality photos, preferably in well-lit conditions, so the extent and nature of the damages will be visible in the final shots. This is also where you should annotate your Bill of Lading, detailing the damage.

Being thorough is important because you generally only be compensated by the damage you notice right away. It’s very hard to get compensation for damages that you only noticed weeks after the fact. Time is also a factor as the longer you take to file a claim, the weaker that claim will usually be. And most couriers have a limit on how long you can take to file a damage claim — that limit is usually around 20 days, but it might be much longer or shorter depending on where you operate and the policies put in place by your courier or insurance provider.

Step #3 – Contact the relevant parties

Time to contact your courier — or your third-party insurance provider — and let them know there was a problem. They’ll tell you how to proceed from there. The damage claim process usually involves an investigation to figure out if the damage was caused by a mistake on the part of the sender or by something the courier did during transport. If the fault lies on the courier, their insurance will cover the damages.

This phone call is also a good time to ask what kind of documentation you should gather. You might have missed something, or their customer service might be able to give you tips on how to make the claim process smoother.

Step #4 – Preserve the evidence

You’ll want to preserve both the box the freight arrived in and the goods themselves. Your courier and insurance provider both have a right to inspect the damage for themselves, and they might want to exercise that right. If you dispose of the damaged items too soon, you might lose your chance to be compensated, even if you keep all the photographic evidence.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours