Handling Freight Damage Claims

Every once in awhile there will be a container ship that has a problem and something will have happened to some of the containers. When your ocean container is affected by water damage or has been crushed or damaged, what are you supposed to do? As much as everyone would like to avoid it, there is a freight claims process for every carrier and thankfully the claims process is usually very straight forward. When you first receive the container and it has visible damages, it is important to take pictures of every part before opening. Once the container is opened and damages are evident, photos should also be taken. It is also important to call your insurance company as well as your ocean freight carrier. Most ocean carriers require notification on the same day as receipt of the cargo. Unfortunately the carrier is not required to assess the damages right away but they should be able to give you a timeframe of when they will send a surveyor. Most companies use an independent company to survey to avoid further claim issues. Next you will need to separate and determine which portions of the cargo are salvageable and how much your claim will be. You will need your commercial invoices to show actual costs and documentation of any other loss you may have as well as proof of delivery. Once the survey is done and documents are filed with the carrier and both sides have settled with an amount, you will usually receive a check within a week or two. Claims can seem like a big hassle, but most of the carriers will be fair and quick about settling the issue. Just make sure you have all of your documentation available and everything should go through smoothly.