How to Deal With Damaged Freight

by | Aug 31, 2018 | Less Than Truckload, Truckload

It’s every shipper’s worst nightmare: an LTL or FTL freight shipment is damaged. How do you get reimbursed for the damage? How long will reimbursement take? Who’s paying for the damage? Understanding the claims and reimbursement process before it’s time to make a claim can make the entire process a lot less stressful.

Keep reading to learn how to deal with damaged freight, then contact us for a free trial of our web-based 3PL software Amrate, which has a built-in claims resolution feature.

Damaged Freight

Who Pays for Freight Damage Reimbursement?

When a package is damaged, the carrier’s insurance company will evaluate the claim, the evidence of damage, and make a judgement about reimbursement. If you’re working with a 3PL like Amware, you’ll open the claim with them and they’ll deal with the carrier on your behalf.

How Not to Deal with Damaged Freight

Because a third-party insurance company is dealing with the claim of damage and reimbursement, there are a few things that not only won’t help but will most assuredly hinder the timeline of your damaged freight reimbursement including the following:

  • Not paying the freight bill or waiting to pay the freight bill. It is your responsibility to pay the freight bill whether the shipment is lost, stolen, or damaged. The freight carrier has insurance to cover the loss and reimburse you in these instances.
  • Refusing the shipment. If the shipment isn’t in your possession, how can you prove to the insurance company there’s a problem? Keep the shipment until the claim and reimbursement are processed.
  • Discarding the damaged freight. This goes hand in hand with refusing the shipment. If the freight has been discarded, you no longer have undeniable proof that it was damaged. The freight itself is the best evidence of damage.
  • Failing to document the damage. While you need to accept/keep the damaged freight, you also need to be able to send documentation to the insurance company of the damage. Be sure to take photos, video, and/or written accounts of the freight damage to send to the company. If they require further proof, you’ll have the freight to show.
  • Accepting the delivery without first checking for visible and concealed damage. When you receive a shipment, you should always check inside and outside to make sure the freight isn’t damaged. Don’t let the delivery driver rush you, and don’t skip out on your due diligence.
  • Don’t lose your documentation. You should keep in your possession the bill of lading, paid freight bill, invoice, packing slip, claim form, and damage evidence for at least one year after the reimbursement.

How to Deal with Damaged Freight

When a freight shipment is damaged, taking quick and appropriate action is the best way to move forward. Fill out the proper claim form, document everything, and submit the information as soon as possible. The claim itself is a legal document requesting financial reimbursement from the freight carrier for the damage or loss they caused. The carrier must respond to the claim within 30 days of your filing.


Want more information about dealing with damaged freight? Contact the team at Amware, or request a free 30-day trial of our Amrate software with claims resolution built right in below.

Amrate - 30 day free trial

About Dan Ramella

About Dan Ramella

Dan Ramella is a member of Amware's executive team, helping drive growth and manage key relationships. With over 20-years experience in the transportation and logistics industry, Dan has helped Amware become one of Northeast Ohio's premier 3PLs