Freight Shipping Claims: How a 3PL Can Help
Filing a shipping claim for your damaged freight can be confusing and time consuming — especially when you’re busy managing a business. That’s when working with a 3PL like Unishippers can help.
We’ve outlined the seven steps you should take for your best chance at a positive claim resolution. Learn what you should do if loss or damage occurs — and how shipping with a 3PL provides your business with an advocate through the claims process.
1. Report damage quickly
Inspect and report any damage to your shipment right away. If possible, try to document damage on the bill of lading (BOL) while the driver is still there. If you find concealed damage — damage that was not noticeable at the time of delivery and therefore not noted on the BOL — you must report it within five days and file the official claim within 15. Unishippers customers can call their account team to get help submitting a Letter of Notice to the carrier.
2. Take photographs
The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that not only was the freight delivered damaged, but also that the damage did not occur before pickup or after delivery. Take photos of your shipment — including the packaging — when it’s picked up and when it’s received to help prove your case.
3. Keep the packaging
It might be tempting to throw away the damaged item or its packaging, but be sure to save everything that was included in the shipment — packaging and all — in case an inspection is required.
4. Gather all documentation
Speak with your carrier or 3PL partner to determine what documentation you must provide to officially file a claim. You will typically need to include details about the shipment like the contents and number of boxes. You will also need to submit receipts and invoices with your claim to confirm the shipment’s value and establish repair or replacement costs.
5. Pay the shipping invoice
Withholding payment may delay or derail the claims process. Always pay your invoice, even if you are making a claim. Many carriers won’t process a claim until the invoice is paid in full.
6. Monitor the claim status
The carrier will notify you if your claim is approved or denied. They have 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim, so calling sooner won’t speed things up. Unishippers customers can contact their shipping representative for further guidance if the claim is denied.
7. Receive claim payment
If your claim is approved, you will be reimbursed based on the weight and class of your shipment up to the carrier’s limits of liability. If you’ve purchased insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for the full value of the goods. Unishippers customers can easily purchase freight insurance when they book a shipment through myUnishippers™.
Helping you with the claims process is just one way a 3PL like Unishippers can benefit your business shipping. Contact Unishippers to learn how else we can save you time and trouble on your freight shipping.