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How to Handle Damaged Freight

As much as we don’t like to admit it, damage is part of the world of freight. The more you ship, the more risk there is that something you might send arrives damaged. So what should you do when you receive freight, and more importantly, what should you do about damaged freight? Here are some things to keep in mind when using any type of freight service to move your goods, or when you are receiving in freight that may have become damaged during transit.

Have Your Shipment Insured

It has been mentioned before, but probably bears repeating: Have your shipment insured. Insurance goes a long way to cover shipping and other freight accidents. If you choose to skip it, you might have some expensive consequences. Many carriers do not carry their own insurance, or enough to cover your entire loss. Protect your shipment by having it insured and insured correctly. Remember that you can have the wrong insurance for things with value like artwork, so check to make sure that you have the proper coverage.

Inspect and Document

This is probably one of the most important parts of the freight process. Have your shipment inspected before it leaves and on arrival. Shipping damage must be documented before you sign the delivery receipt. If you don’t document the damage on the form then you may not be eligible to file a claim on the damage later. If you can, do the inspection with the delivery driver there to acknowledge the damage. Document the damage with photographs that show as much detail as possible, you might need them for the claim.

Hidden Damage

The way that freight is packaged can make detecting the damage tricky. Sometimes you might not even notice that a shipment has been damage until you take it off the pallet or open up the shipping crate. If you see subtle signs that there might be damage, document it on the delivery receipt or proof of delivery paperwork. While this isn’t a guarantee, it will help you if you need to file a claim to recover damages incurred when shipping. The more documentation you have, the better off you will be when trying to recover your losses.

Accepting Damaged Freight

You do have the right to refuse freight, but should you do so if the freight arrives damaged? Unfortunately, there really is no easy answer to that question. If there is a lot of obvious damage, you are going to want to refuse the freight. This is important if you plan on filing a claim. The carrier will then need to return it to the sender. If there is minor damage but the freight isn’t affected, then you may want to accept the freight anyway and note on the delivery receipt or proof of delivery document what the damage is and that you found it during your inspection.

One of the best ways to avoid damage is to use the right crate for the job. Contact Cratex today for all your custom crate needs!