Convincing your carriers to pay your shipping claims can be challenging. Getting carriers to reimburse you for the full amount that you are entitled to is yet another challenge. Freight claim auditing expert, Dick Lucarelli, shares his top three tips for ensuring that you receive what you deserve for your Loss and Damage claims.
1. Carrier Communication
We’ve said this once and we’ll say it again – always inspect your shipment upon delivery.
If you find anything that is missing or damaged, record the exception and the type of exception on the delivery receipt. Don’t forget to sign the delivery receipt, and ensure that the carrier signs it as well.
Once you find damage, be sure to contact the carrier as soon as possible, whether or not you noted the damage on the delivery receipt. For concealed damage, Dick recommends contacting the carrier within 5 days.
The carrier will usually request an inspection if the shipment has been damaged. If they do require an inspection, ask them to complete it within 15 days. An increased time delay between the discovery of damage and the inspection makes it more difficult to prove that the carrier was responsible for the damage, or that you didn’t do additional damage after the delivery took place. Keep this risk to a minimum by requesting a prompt inspection.
Finally, don’t forget to keep all packaging materials until the carrier completes or waives the inspection.
2. Photos, Photos, Photos
Photographs are very important. Based on the photos, the carrier will decide whether or not to do an inspection. If the photos clearly show the damage the carrier may waive the inspection altogether.
If possible, take photos of the products while they are still in the trailer to support your case that the damage occurred before you received it. Signs of damage within the trailer, such as a tipped skid will also serve as evidence of damage by the carrier.
You should take photographs to document each stage of unpacking the damaged product. Take photos of the product in the trailer, on the skid, in the package, and while unpackaging the product.
3. Claim All Shipping Claim Costs
You can claim many more expenses on your shipping claim than simply the cost of the product. You can also claim shipping charges, including:
Shipping for disposal
Shipping for repair
Dick explains that once a carrier admits liability, the claimant should never pay any additional shipping charges. The claimant may even be able to claim the cost of shipping charges that they have already paid.
You can also claim costs for inspecting the product, such as if you needed to run the product through quality control procedures. This is especially true in the food industry. You can also claim any disposal costs that you may incur.
Dick Lucarelli helps claimants recover all possible losses on their freight claims. He is the claims expert in charge of TranSolutions Inc.'s popular Freight Claim Post Audit. Dick analyzes filed, unfiled, paid and denied freight claims to find additional losses that claimants can recover. With his extensive experience in the claims industry, Dick can often find recoverable expenses that were not initially claimed. He is also skilled at persuading carriers to pay previously denied claims through his knowledge of court precedents.