Have you been delivered damaged freight, or has part of your cargo been lost? Make sure you understand the rules when it comes to filing a freight claim.

Any company that specializes in transportation logistics and freight solutions commits to performing those tasks diligently by training their drivers to handle each shipment carefully to meet each customer’s expectations. However, sometimes customers do need to file different types of freight claims for various reasons, so it is important to understand freight claim rules and each party’s role when someone files for reimbursement.

Types of Freight Claims

If some or all of your shipment becomes lost or damaged, you have the legal right to file a cargo or freight claim to recover your costs (not your potential profit). By understanding the common types of freight claims and how the claims process works, you can ensure quicker handling and reimbursement. However, a professional and reliable transportation company will always let you know as soon as possible what to do if you have an issue with your cargo.

To initiate this process, make sure you are filing the right type of freight claim:

    • Damage Claim. This is the most common type of claims reported to transportation companies. Any form of damage must be visible upon delivery and reported in a “proof of delivery” document to verify that the shipment was damaged before reaching its final destination.
    • Loss Claim. These types of freight claims indicate that a shipment was picked up but never delivered to its destination. No “proof of delivery” document can be signed or filed if you wish to claim loss.
    • Shortage Claim. This type of claim indicates that a partial shipment was delivered to its final destination. Shortages occur due to an error on the original bill of lading or if products become lost in transit. There must be some kind of discrepancy between the original order list and the delivered product, so make sure that all other pieces are verified upon delivery in order to claim a shortage.
  • Concealed Damage or Shortage Claim. These types of claims occur most often in situations where it is difficult to perform an item count or product inspection immediately upon delivery. If you find missing or damaged cargo after you sign a delivery document, it can be nearly impossible to receive full reimbursement for your claim.

The sender, recipient, or a third interested party may file a freight claim, according to the Transportation and Logistics Council, as long as that party bears the risk of loss while the shipment is in transit, which is most often the shipper or the receiver.

Freight Claim Rules for Requesting Reimbursement

Since there is no uniform claim form for all freight companies, each company creates their own procedures while following four basic rules:

  1. The shipment must be identified by the claimant so the carrier can conduct a thorough investigation.
  2. The claimant must note the type of loss or damage claim they are making.
  3. The claimant must calculate or estimate a claim amount and state it.
  4. The claimant must request payment from the carrier.

Once you decide to file for a freight claim reimbursement, you need to supply the shipping identification number, the bill of lading number, the shipper’s name and address, the receiver’s name and address, the shipping and delivery dates, and a thorough description of the products named in your claim.

At RCX Solutions, we do our best to attend diligently to your shipping needs. If you do have any concerns or questions about the freight claims process, please contact us at 866-336-9697.