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LTL Freight & Concealed Damage Claim Settlements

Concealed damage is much harder to prove because there's reasonable doubt as to who's responsible for having caused the damage. Carriers can't simply take everyone's word that a shipment arrived with damage and can't return every concealed damage shipment back to the shipper free of charge. If they were to do that, they'd go out of business quickly. Let's face it: customers don't always tell the truth. The unfortunate issue with concealed damage is the fact that, unless someone accepts and/or admits responsibility for having caused the damage, it's virtually impossible to concretely determine exactly who was responsible for having caused the damage.
There’s no doubt that concealed damages happen and they are sometimes the fault of the carrier. Concealed damage also happens sometimes through no fault of the carrier, and it is sometimes a result of careless handling by another party involved with the handling of the shipment, either before or after …

The LTL Freight Claim Process

Freight damages are certainly not pleasant surprises, but they are inevitable at some point if you are a regular LTL shipper. An understanding of the process will help you be more successful at bringing claims to a satisfactory resolution.

WHO FILES THE CLAIM?
Typically, the payer of the freight can only be reimbursed for the freight charges, so they are usually the ones to file a claim. Anyone can file a claim, however, but this is usually the simplest way to do it.

HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
The answer to this depends on the type of claim being filed. There are generally two types of damage claims, Noted Damage and Concealed Damage. The difference between the two is that noted/visible damage claims were noted at the time of delivery, usually on the delivery receipt, and concealed damages were not.

Concealed damages must be reported to the carrier within 5 days of delivery. Anything reported past the 5 day window will not be considered for a settlement and will be denied …

ReTrans Freight eCommerce

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WHY MANY 3PLs FILE FREIGHT CLAIMS

Broker model 3PLs buy freight from the carriers and put a markup or margin on it and resell it to the shipper at a higher rate. This is how they make their money, and their margins can be adjusted on virtually every shipment as they fit. With the 3PL broker model shippers are normally unable to go directly to carriers for copies of the actual freight bills, and in some cases they are unable to obtain rates directly from the carriers. Since the 3PL broker is actually the one “buying” the freight from the carrier, they invoice the freight to a shipper on their own freight bill instead of one from the carrier. Otherwise, if shippers had direct access to the carrier freight bills then the shippers would be able to see how much the freight actually cost versus what the 3PL was "re-selling" it for.
As a part of their proposed value to shippers, many broker model 3PLs will tout that they file claims for their customers. They portray filing claims as their willingness to go the extra…

Concealed Damage LTL Freight Claims

Concealed damages must be reported to the carrier within 15 days of delivery. Anything reported past the 15 day window will not be considered for a settlement and will be denied for filing too late. A claim for noted/visible damage may be filed for up to 9 months after the delivery date. Any later than that and it will be denied.

A concealed damage claim is much harder to prove, since no party other than the consignee was there to bear witness to the discovery of the damage. This leaves reasonable doubt as to who could be responsible. In all cases, report the damage to the carrier immediately after discovering the damages. The sooner it’s reported, the better chance there is of receiving a settlement offer.

With concealed damage claims where the carrier accepts liability for the damage, the carrier will typically only pay 1/3 of the amount claimed. They view this as there are 3 parties involved: the shipper, the carrier, and the consignee. The carrier will sometimes accept responsibilit…

Common LTL Freight Damage Claim Questions

It is important to keep in mind that each claim is different and involves different circumstances, so not all of the below information will apply for every claim.
WHO FILES THE CLAIM? Typically, the payer of the freight bill can only be reimbursed for the freight charges, so they are usually the ones to file a claim. Anyone can file a claim, however, but this is usually the simplest way to do it.
HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM? The answer to this depends on the type of claim being filed. There are generally two types of damage claims: Noted Damage and Concealed Damage. The difference between the two is that noted/visible damage claims were noted at the time of delivery, usually on the delivery receipt, and concealed damages were not.
Concealed damages must be reported to the carrier within 15 days of delivery. Anything reported past the 15 day window will not be considered for a settlement and will be denied for filing too late. A claim for noted/visible damage may be filed for u…

LTL Freight Claims: Refused Damage Claims

It is important to keep in mind that each claim is different and involves different circumstances, so not all of the below information will apply for every claim. Typically, the payer of the freight can only be reimbursed for the freight charges, so they are usually the ones to file a claim. Anyone can file a claim, however, but this is usually the simplest way to do it.

If the item was noted as damaged and refused, someone will first need to take possession of the freight. The carrier will typically only store the refused items for 15 days at the terminal until they begin to charge storage fees. If warranted, it is typically during this time that the carrier will have an inspection done by an independent third party. This third party, or inspector, will mainly be looking for the extent of the damage, what type of damage, and as to why/how it occurred (i.e. was packaging sufficient).

After it is completed, someone qualified to make an assessment will need to do so in order to estim…