The rise of technology also gave rise to the popularity of e-commerce; more and more bulk orders of products travel great distances before reaching their destinations. The longer the distance that freight deliveries travel, the more prone they are to damage. How can you ensure that your freight delivery retained its quality over its journey?
Why Freight Delivery Inspections are Necessary
While some lost products and damaged goods are expected over time, how you handle the delivery of those items can affect whether or not you get your money back. Due to recent changes in the LTL (less-than-truckload) freight sector and how damaged freight claims are now handled, a consignee is likely to incur costs if they do not follow the correct procedures for reporting damaged goods.
Examine Freight Before Signing Proof of Delivery
One of the most crucial documents for any cargo is the Proof of Delivery (POD). The delivery person will carry the proof of Delivery receipt, which certifies that the package has been delivered. The POD serves many purposes as a legal instrument.
- Title to Cargo – It serves as a document of title that identifies the cargo’s owner.
- Cargo Receipt – This record attests to the delivery of the cargo. It is evidence that is required for any claim involving liability or insurance. This receipt lists the exact things delivered along with crucial information like class, weight, manufacturer, dimensions, and the number of items.
- Evidence of contracted transportation – The POD records the agreement between the carrier and the recipient.
A consignee’s signature on a proof of delivery indicates two things:
- The products arrived undamaged and in good condition.
- All obligation now rests with the consignee who has possession of the cargo.
As a result, if you inform a carrier that you discovered damage after the fact, they will cite the Proof of Delivery as proof that they kept their end of the deal and that the impairment must have happened under your supervision.
How to Inspect Your Freight Delivery
You must carefully inspect each pallet or item that is delivered for the reasons mentioned above.
Ensure Ownership and Contents
Verify that your name and information are on the delivery receipt by scanning it. If your business has many locations, ensure they were sent to the right one. To ensure that these products were designed for you, carefully read the labels on each one.
Verify that all items are listed on the delivery receipt by counting them.
Document Loading and Offloading
It is highly recommended to take pictures of the freight while it is being offloaded. To compare and contrast the cargo as needed, ask the carrier if they are willing to take photos of the load prior to shipment. You will have visual proof if there are any legal or insurance difficulties if you do this.
Review Items for External Damage
Check for external damage on each item and each package. The pallet, the outside packaging, the shrink wrap, the tags, and the caution tape should all be examined.
Look closely at the product for any signs of abuse or tampering, such as holes, stains, wetness, or tears. Check to make sure no pallet wrap has been cut, no items have been opened, and no sealing tape has been changed.
Take pictures of any damage you find, and then carefully note every area of the cargo that has been impacted, if any. You should mention even the smallest of plastic rips. Make sure the delivery person is present as you meticulously describe every bit of visible damage on the delivery receipt.
With the driver present, inspect every pallet or package with apparent loss or damage. Together with the driver, examine the items for any additional damage. Keep notes that are in-depth about this inspection.
Notes on potential damages that do not necessarily result in a claim are exceptions. You won’t need to submit a damage claim if a package is damaged, but the container contents are undamaged.
Have the Driver Confirm Your Inspection Notes
The driver should sign their full name next to the damage footnotes once you have documented all issues on the delivery receipt.
What to Do After Inspection
Here is the protocol to follow after the initial inspection:
Accept the Cargo
Unless the wrong goods were accidentally delivered to you, never turn the driver away. Ultimately, declining the delivery will cost you more because the carrier might bill you for additional shipping fees if the driver needs to return.
Accepting the freight is a critical step toward reimbursement. Finding out what went wrong and where it went wrong along the process will be the goal of a damage claim. Losses suffered by a consignee cannot be recovered until the cause of the loss has been identified.
Accepting freight is a requirement of several insurance plans. If you decline, their obligation to pay will be void. The goods can sustain more damage if you return them while your claims are being reviewed. Accepting keeps the damaged goods and the circumstance under your control.
Deliver the cargo to your facility with care. Open these packages and meticulously recheck them for any damage the packaging might have obscured. You must notify the carrier of any newly discovered difficulties for concealed damages within five business days.
Check the Packaging
Take notes and images pointing out flaws if it looks that the shipper mishandled the packaging and protection of the items. Is the packing enough to safeguard bulky, liquid, or fragile items?
File Damage Claims
Hold on to your damaged cargo, protect them, and file a claim posthaste.
Avoid Freight Deliver Damages; Work with Corlett Express Trucking
Whether you run a small, family-owned business or a vast, multifaceted enterprise, the main objective of Corlett Express is to assist your company in meeting your unique logistical needs. We take pride in offering your company the most straightforward shipping process you can find at the best possible pricing!