Freight Claims: How Food, Beverage, and Grocery Shippers Can Manage Freight Claims

MercuryGate Blog - Freight Category

The cold supply chain remains susceptible to many risks, and for grocers, the threat of inefficiencies related to food-related freight claims remains high. Failure to properly process claims in a timely manner may result in an inability to recoup delivery shortages and damage recoveries. What’s more, failures within such claims could lead to a delay in issuing recalls, which may cost lives. Instead of risking an organization’s future on poor food freight claims processes, shippers need to understand a few things about the state of food-related freight claims, how a TMS can improve them, and a few additional tips to reduce delays.

The Problem With Food Freight Claims

Part of the problem with food-related freight claims lies in the time-sensitive nature of such claims. Unlike commodities and nonperishable items, damage to food must be documented immediately, and missing items can amount to thousands of dollars for a single truckload. Without accurate invoicing and clear accountability throughout the procurement supply chain, food, beverage, and grocery shippers will lose money. Moreover, the problem is more prevalent among logistics service providers (LSP) for food freight. As explained by FreightWaves:

“Anyone involved in the movement of food and beverages should know by now about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The act, passed in 2016, requires shippers (including brokers), carriers, receivers and “loaders” to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of food in transit. The rule focuses primarily on maintenance of equipment and documentation procedures, although there are some other provisions as well.”
Failure to maintain the standards as explained in the FSMA opens the door to risk for the LSP, which may lead to more costly and drastic freight claims filed by shippers.

How a TMS Improves Freight Claims’ Processes

The solution to mitigate or stay proactive around food-related freight claims lies in ensuring complete, on-time delivery of inbound food freight. In other words, the burden falls to carriers, but the most robust carrier systems lack value if shippers cannot see what is happening. This is the great conundrum of modern supply chain management. As more organizations have implemented new systems and processes to streamline productivity and reduce costs, systems have grown disjointed and disparate.

A TMS integrated with a freight claims management solution overcomes these obstacles by bringing together various systems and giving all supply chain partners an opportunity to interact through a centralized platform. Specifically, cloud-based TMS applications allow for multiple portals that give carriers, suppliers, and shippers access to different information with respect to the user-specific needs. Moreover, this naturally leads to improved collaboration, reducing the risk of product spoilage as users are able to stay proactive. In the event spoilage or missing freight does exist, food, beverage, and grocery shippers can turn to the TMS to query the system for status updates, identify where the problem arose, and begin the freight claims process.

Additional Tips to Better Manage Freight Claims

Beverage and grocery shippers should also implement clear, concise practices to better manage freight claims processes in-house. These include:
  • Increasing retail and shopper awareness.
  • Embracing the complexities of food-related freight claims.
  • Commit to suppliers, requiring suppliers to use specific systems to track inbound freight where applicable.
  • Holding suppliers accountable for failures to ship products properly.
  • Impact on sales and inventory due to product shortages and damages.
  • Cost to return and re-order food supplies to replace damaged product.
  • Avoiding unnecessary delays for carriers at the dock.
  • Improving data storage and access via a cloud-based TMS.
  • Leveraging analytics to better understand operations.
  • Consider how advanced technologies within a TMS like machine learning can provide quick or automated decision-making.

Improve Freight Claims Processes With a Dedicated TMS

The freight claims process is essential to preventing the spread of foodborne illness, keeping customers fed, and helping companies thrive in modernity. MercuryMyEZClaim, integrated with the MercuryGate TMS, can help you take control of the complete freight claim process. MercuryMyEZClaim provides an automated central repository for all carrier loss and damage claim activity, allowing you to reduce administrative and transaction costs.

Ensure your organization has the tools and resources to succeed and proactively manage food freight claims by contacting Us online now.

Pete Celestina
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