Has your business ever experienced a significant amount of freight incidences? Research shows that one out of ten deliveries experience some sort of loss or damage. There are several variables that could increase the risk of something happening to your freight:
Improper packaging + care
Selecting the wrong service type
Incorrect labeling or lack of documentation / information
Untrustworthy or inexperienced providers handling your freight
Lack of visibility / security in the logistics process
Not adhering to special loading/unloading requirements
Weather or road conditions
Fortunately, we’ve outlined 7 highly recommended ways you can drive down claims and avoid these costly and timely mishaps to your freight.
#1 Use Full Coverage Insurance
Especially if goods are irreplaceable and/or of high value. Although insurance will not prevent damage, it will protect you financially in the event something does happen.
#2 Secure Packaging Best Practices + Proper Care
Whether it’s boxed goods or palletized. . Some aspects to consider implementing:
use of correct packaging type and size
If pallets cannot double stack, make sure they are labeled properly and/or consider using pallet cones secured to the top of each pallet.
use quality pallets and wrap securely
Stack product carefully on pallets making sure nothing hangs off pallet edges.
Ensure empty space is filled in
distribute weight evenly
If fragile, separate them from non-fragile goods and use air-ride suspension trucks to transport
Increase water resistance for liquid goods that could possibly burst / leak
#3 Transition Away From LTL, Use Dedicated or “Load to Ride” Service
Every time freight is handled, or handed off, it increases the freight damage percentage. Consider freight consolidation with other small-volume shipments moving to the same region or distribution center. 3PLs are in an excellent position to advise you here since they have visibility and years of experience to offer strategic advice, such as selecting the right service for your shipping needs / goals
#4 Always Clearly Label Your Freight
And include all necessary documentation / information associated with your freight.
Easy to identify, placed in most obvious location
Include the total number of pallets / handling units on each label to easily identify when 1 or more have gone missing.
Outline the details, including weight, type of contents, handling requirements, address, etc…
#5 Implement Proper Loading / Unloading Guidelines
This is a stage in the process that must be well-planned and executed, as it can prevent damage and avoid mistakes before goods even move.
Avoid double stacking
Light on top, heavy on the bottom
Dry good on top of liquid goods
#6 Use a Trusted Third-Party Provider
One that builds partnership in addition to managing and moving your freight. There are many benefits to establishing such a relationship. For instance:
a reputable 3PL is your liaison to monitoring and submitting freight claim, and will ensure you have everything required to make a successful claim
in true partnership, a 3PL will help assist in all aspects of the process, and ensure your shipping experience is seamless and meets your needs as much as possible through advice and offering tweaks that will save you time and money
a tech-driven 3PL will provide clear visibility to your freight at all times, including status updates and immediate, transparent communication
a well-vetted provider will have an extensive network of carriers and partners to move your freight
In the event freight has arrived at the delivery location and damage or shortage is visible, or even suspected, make sure you educate your warehouse team and/or your customer to take the proper actions.
The bill of lading or delivery receipt is your first line of defense. Shortages and/or damage to your product or even the outer packaging must be noted, before the driver leaves.
If visible damage is extreme, it’s OK to refuse or reject delivery.
No detail is too small, note everything on the BOL. Taking pictures before the driver leaves is highly recommended.
Do not discard damaged freight once received. Your carrier may need to send in an inspector to evaluate. They also have the right to salvage damaged items if needed, to recoup their loss.
If damages are concealed, you must notify the carrier / transportation provider immediately. Concealed damage claims must be reported within 5 days.
By implementing a few simple steps and making adjustments where needed within your shipping process, you can reduce the number of damaged items and the amount of freight claims overtime.
For more information about how you can improve your shipping process and prevent future claims, please contact us: We’re happy to help!
P: (925) 386.8666