What to Do About Concealed Damage in Freight?

How many times have you opened up a shipment to find that your shipment was damaged? Even though there may be no outward signs of the damage at all. There is nothing more frustrating for someone receiving a shipment.
The same could be said for those on the shipping end as well. Even though you took all the time and effort to pack your freight properly, it ends up damaged regardless.
Here is what you need to know about concealed damage and what should be done about it.

What Is Concealed Damage?

In the freight world everything has a specific definition. In this case what we are talking about is officially called concealed damage. Concealed damage occurs when freight may have been damaged in transit. Unfortunately there are no outward signs that there was any damage. This leads the receiver to sign the transit slip, POD or other documentation as clean only to discover upon opening the shipment that it has, in fact, been damaged.


Always Inspect Shipments

One way to avoid concealed or unreported damage is to carefully inspect every shipment that arrives. Yes, this is time consuming. It may cause you to be one of the disliked drop off points for certain drivers who like to drop off and go. The thing is, a careful inspection can help you when things arrive damaged. Make sure to note everything and open up each of the crates to give them a once over.

If you get a driver who simply refuses to wait until you complete an inspection then make a note on your packing slip or POD. Something like “pending further inspection” may go a long way when you need to prove to a shipping company, carrier or insurance agent that you were rushed and couldn’t complete your inspection.


Don’t Wait to Contact Your Broker

Inspections, even if not done with the driver waiting, should be done in a timely manner. The longer you wait to file a claim the less likely that anyone is going to be willing to do anything about it.

When you find something wrong, contact your broker. Don’t wait, do it immediately. Explain to them exactly what you have found and ask what they need you to do for next steps. Your broker should contact your freight carrier and let them know that there was a problem. Remember to document everything. Pictures, as always, speak 1000 words. Take plenty of them. You will need them for the claims process.


Don’t Trust Your Driver

Your first inclination may be to contact the driver and let them know there was an issue. Odds are they will not make it a priority. They are busy and through no fault of their own your claim might fall through the cracks. Contact your broker or the carrier directly.


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If you need custom crating for your next shipment or would like to use transloading services, contact Cratex Group today.