When handling freight claims, the speed and accuracy of the actions immediately following a loss can heavily influence one’s recovery potential. One critical step is presenting the vital shipping documents to the freight carrier. These documents serve as evidence that allows a claimant to quickly and accurately resolve a cargo claim – significantly increasing the chances of recovery.
The following five documents every shipper should be prepared to provide when submitting a formal cargo claim are as follows:
1. Bill of Lading:
This document contains the core details of the movement of the goods – i.e., shipper, delivery, product, and carrier details.
2. Signed Proof of Delivery:
This shows proof of delivery to the consignee, also noting the quality of any received or missing cargo.
3. Statement of Claim:
The purpose of the statement of claim is to define the loss details clearly. This statement should include:
– An itemization of the claim
– An explanation of the claim circumstances
4. Value Verification:
This serves as evidence of the declared value of the damaged or lost cargo. Information provided may include:
– Commercial invoice
– Sales contract/bill of sale
– Screenshot of internal accounting page; if no invoice
If goods are damaged in transit, the freight carrier will likely require photos of the damaged product.
The following information may be requested and should be made available to help expedite the cargo claims process:
Quality Assessment Report:
This may be required for highly technical products such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.
Temperature Monitoring Report:
If the product is temperature sensitive, a report of the historical temperature variances inside the conveyance may be required to prove there was an excursion leading to damaged/spoiled product.
Police Report or Accident Report:
A police or accident report will provide supporting evidence that an accident occurred that led to the damage of the goods in transit.
A repair quote may be requested to accurately value the cost of repairs needed to return the damaged property to good working order.
Proof of Disposal:
If the damaged goods are determined to be a partial or total loss, the insurer may request a disposal report, which will prove that the goods were not salvaged in any way.