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This post concludes are very extensive and thorough look at the world of freight claims and damage. Make sure you browse the freight claim blog post category to view all of them. Today our freight claims department will discuss the top 5 questions they get asked from our customers for whom Cerasis manages freight claims for. Not only will you see the top questions, but our team provides expert answers too! If you need any help in freight management, and find that you are struggling to stay competitive due to the time and money spent in managing your freight, reach out to us for a free freight and logistics consultation to see if we can help in process and decrease the resources needed.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Freight Claims

#1: What do I do when I receive damaged freight?

freight claim answersSign the delivery receipt as damaged… I repeat, SIGN THE DELIVERY RECEIPT AS DAMAGED!  Once there is a clear delivery receipt involved, it is almost guaranteed that your freight claim amount will be reduced to a settlement, or worse, denied altogether.

Below are a couple things to remember when signing for damages:

  • Notate all damages – If only one item is notated damaged, more than likely the carrier will only refund that one item
  • Be Specific – (e.g. 5 hoses punctured, 8 broken glasses)
  • “Subject to Inspection” is NOT a valid notation – This notation is not enough to hold the carrier liable.  When in doubt, notate “Damaged.”
  • If you must, refuse the freight – In cases where the driver will not let you sign or check for damages, refuse the freight.

#2: Does the carrier need to be notified?

In short, yes, the carrier needs to be notified.

Proper notations on the delivery receipt constitute as notifying the carrier.  If damages are noticed after the delivery, the carrier should be notified ASAP, and MUST be within 15 days of the delivery.  Any damaged shipment where the carrier was notified later than 15 days after delivery will be immediately denied from the carrier.

#3: What do I need to file a damage freight claim?

When filing a freight claim, the more documentation, the better.  However, there are a few key documents that you should include with every freight claim.

  • Completed freight claim form
  • Product invoice/sales invoice
  • Proof of delivery/delivery receipt
  • Original Bill of Lading
  • Carrier freight bill (for freight charges)
  • Repair cost invoice (if applicable)

Additional documentations that assist the freight claim process are:

  • Photographs
  • Carrier inspection report (especially for high value shipments.  You can request the carrier to do an inspection at no cost!)
  • Write up or description of loss or damage
  • Record of discounted sale

If you think the document can help your case against the carrier, add it to the freight claim.

#4: What should I do with the damaged freight?

Through every freight claims process, the freight needs to be available for the carrier, usually for inspection or salvage pickup.  This means the freight needs to be held onto until the freight claim is resolved.  DO NOT throw away the freight, including the packaging as this could result in the carrier denying the freight claim.

So what are your options?

  • The consignee can accept the freight and sign the POD as damaged/short and hold the freight until the freight claim is resolved
  • The consignee can refuse the freight and have it shipped back to the shipper (usually Free Astray) where the shipper will hold the freight until the freight claim is resolved
  • In some rare cases, carriers will dispose of the freight themselves if given the okay by the customer due to a complete loss of the product.

The carrier WILL NOT hold onto the damaged freight during the freight claims process and storage charges will accrue if disposition is not given to the carrier in a timely manner.

#5: How do I get a replacement shipped out?

Carriers understand that many shipments are time sensitive, and therefore, you do not have to wait for the freight claim to be complete before you ship out a replacement.  As a matter of fact, if you ship it out before you start a freight claim, you can include replacement freight charges on your freight claim.  However, when you have to ship out a replacement shipment, you should always use the SAME carrier.  I know, they just damaged your freight, why would you want to use them again?  Most carriers will only pay for the replacement freight charges if you use the same carrier.

My freight claim is declined; am I out of options?

Absolutely not!  There are many options a freight claimant has after a carrier declines a freight claim.   These range from submitting additional documents to taking the carrier to court.   You can find the most common carrier declination reasons here.  If you are having trouble getting a freight claim approved and are unsure where to go next, seek out a freight claims representative to assist.  You can reach a Cerasis Freight claims Representative at