How to Proactively Manage Risk, File Claims, and Resolve Issues
There are several tips for better freight claims management that shippers and logistics service providers have followed and have stood the test of time. When it comes to effective freight claims, the fundamentals are paramount in proactive management to lower freight damage risk, such as:
- Improved, damage-resistant packaging.
- Checking labels for accuracy.
- Working with carriers to avoid the “rush” during pickup and drop-off.
- Properly completing documentation.
The distinction between these fundamentals and the tips to succeed as we move into the new decade focuses on the degree to which technology enhances the process. For example, these steps can help mitigate, file, and resolve freight claims:
- Use software-as-a-service systems, including a TMS, to connect your whole supply chain and capture the necessary data around each freight shipment. This makes it much easier to process the freight claim if necessary.
- Leverage automated alerts and exception algorithms to address any deficiencies or delays, preventing a premature claim.
- Take advantage of predictive analytics to recognize when things may go wrong.
- Collect all necessary documentation, including photos of the damage, original invoices, estimates for repairs (if applicable), and proof of delivery.
- File the claim using the carriers’ or service providers’ online claims’ portals.
- If possible, file claims within your integrated carrier-connected TMS.
- Consider outsourcing the freight claims management side of logistics.
- Track the time. Chris Cotter, via Inbound Logistics provides these guidelines for submitting a claim:
“For ocean shipments, the timeline to file a claim is only three days from delivery, and the deadline to file suit is one year from the date of delivery.
For air carriage, different rules apply depending on whether the shipment is domestic or international. For domestic shipments, the air carrier’s tariff sets the time limits and limits of liability. These limits can be short—seven days or fewer. The limit of liability can also be low—50 cents per pound.
For international shipments, the Montreal Convention of 1999, an international treaty, sets the time limits and limits of liability. A claim must be filed within 14 days of delivery for damage and 21 days for the delay.”