FrontPoint Logistics is a licensed property broker and as such not a trucking company.
We match your shipments with qualified carriers rather than actually transport product. As a Broker we assume no legal liability for loss and damage claims although we offer to assist you with the processing of freight claims. At your request, we may assist you in the filing and processing of claims. If you need freight claims help for a damage or loss please feel free to Contact Us.
Should you decide to handle the claims yourself, we have prepared this step-by-step guide to processing freight claims. Here is how you should file a claim with a carrier:
1) Conduct a thorough inspection of all shipments BEFORE the driver leaves and note any visible shortages, damages, or loss on the driver’s delivery receipt (DR). You should not sign any delivery receipts before you have indicated such “exceptions” on the DR. If there are no exceptions simply sign and date the DR where indicated. If there are exceptions, make notations on the DR as described above. Be sure and get the name of the trucking company, their address, and their Claim’s Manager’s name and phone number. You will need this to file the claim.
2) Each step outlined ends with sending a certified letter. This establishes a paper trail in the event of a lawsuit. Consider the value of the claim before starting down this path and be sure it is worth your time and trouble to pursue. At this point you may want to send a brief letter (via registered mail) to the trucking company letting them know you intend to file a claim. Be sure and give a description of what was lost or damaged and include copies of the DR. We also suggest you submit a Receipt Discrepancy Report along with your letter. Prepare this form in four parts and distribute as follows:
- Copy # 1 to the trucking company’s freight claims personnel (with attached copies of respective packing list and DR’s.).
- Copy # 2 should be sent to your Accounts Payable Department.
- Copy # 3 should be sent to your Purchasing Department.
- Copy # 4 should be secured to any damaged product.
3) If there are any damage exceptions DO NOT DISPOSE of any damaged product. The carrier may wish to inspect the goods. Moreover carriers retain the right of salvage against any merchandise they may reimburse you for. Disposing of the damaged product before the carrier releases it may void the claim. As the claimant you also have the obligation to mitigate the damages. This means if you can salvage any of the products, you must and whatever you recover is offset against the claim.
4) In all cases when damage has occurred we recommend you request the carrier to send out an inspector to examine the goods. Use the accompanying Request for Carrier Inspection Form. Submit via registered mail or some other similar method through which you can obtain a receipt. Once the carrier’s inspector completes his examination, be sure and request a copy of his report.
5) When partial loss or damage is not determined until after goods are placed in inventory, you must immediately notify the carrier in writing. Typically you have 5 days to report “Concealed Damage”. In addition to the standard claim form, we recommend filling out and submitting the Concealed Loss Support Document. Submit this form immediately after the loss is discovered since you have limited time in which carriers are subject to “concealed loss or damage” claims. Send all forms via registered mail or some service where you obtain a receipt showing the carrier received your notice.
6) Ask your accounting and purchasing personnel to determine the monetary amount of loss or damage to the shipment. You will need them to provide appropriate documentation to support any invoice, repair or replacement costs.
7) Once you know the extent of the monetary loss and have received substantiating documentation from your accounting or purchasing personnel, fill out and submit to the trucking company, a Standard Form for Presentation of Loss and Damage claims. Complete this form based on the contents of the Receipt Discrepancy Report, the carrier’s inspection report. Include copies of all reports and relevant documents. Be sure and submit all forms via registered mail.
8) Freight claims for loss or damage are generally governed by Title 49, CFR. Claimants must file the claim within the time limits specified in the bill of lading or contract of carriage. The time period cannot be more than 9 months (49 USC 14706e) from date of delivery or, if never delivered, the expected delivery date.
The carrier must acknowledge receipt within 30 days (49 CFR 370.5). Carriers must pay, decline, or make a firm compromise settlement offer within 120 days after receipt of the claim (49 CFR 370.9). The time period for commencing civil action cannot be less than two years from the date the carrier gives written notice to the claimant disallowing the claim (49 USC 14706e). Since there are legal time limits for filing and processing claims, it is imperative you obtain registered mail or other receipts indicating when you filed your claim.