Freight claims are an inevitable part of shipping. Even in the most careful hands, there’s always the chance of damage. Claims offer a way to recoup loss — if shippers are diligent about filing them. A claim isn’t a sure thing until it’s processed, and it’s not processed unless the reporting is accurate, clear, and complete. Companies must be diligent in how they handle damage, service failure, and overcharges, and file claims accordingly.

Freight claims aren’t guaranteed

It’s essential to submit complete and accurate freight claims which include all the relevant data and pertinent details. Incomplete claims, missing details, factual contradictions, and other inaccuracies will increase the time it takes to process a claim — and may result in lower reimbursement or denial.

Exploring freight claims

When seeking recompense, ask yourself this critical question first: What’s the nature of your claim? Filing the wrong type of claim can also complicate payouts or delay processing times. Consider these categories to determine the nature of your claim:

  • Damage. Visible physical damage evident upon delivery.
  • Concealed damage. Hidden damage uncovered during intake.
  • Shortage. Incomplete delivery as noted by inconsistency between the bill of lading (BOL) and POD.
  • Concealed shortage. Incomplete delivery realized after receipt is taken.
  • Refusal. Freight refused by consignees due to damage, inaccuracy, or incompleteness.
  • Loss. The entire shipment is lost or destroyed because of the carrier.
  • Overcharges. An incorrect rate applied to the freight resulting in incorrect costs.

Each type of claim comes with specific stipulations for submission. For example, shippers usually have up to nine months to file a damage claim, but a concealed damage claim may have a filing window as narrow as five days after delivery. And with a concealed shortage claim, the burden of proof is much higher compared to what is required for a refusal.

Rely on your TMS and a paper trail

To compile data for submitting a successful freight claim, rely on a meticulously maintained paper trail and your transportation management system (TMS). Robust TMS tools can expedite freight claims, improve approval rates, and ensure maximum reimbursement.

A feature rich TMS offers the ability to choose between full-service and self-service claims processing. Full-service processing for complex freight claims eases the burden of compiling information and preparing claims. Meanwhile, self-service claims processing relies on TMS data cultivation to provide the necessary information to file and expedite damage, shortage, refusal, loss, and other claims.

Why does a TMS matter? Speed and accuracy ensure claims are processed quickly. Freight claims filed with the aid of nVision Global’s Impact TMS boast an 87% collection rate at speeds 35% faster than the industry standard. Proper completion and accuracy are the difference between compensation for a shipping snafu and eating the cost of problems beyond your control.

Shippers can suffer significant losses from freight claim complications. If you can’t recover the full amount, or hit setbacks with processing, it can affect profitability and the bottom line. nVision Global helps shippers reassess how they handle claims. We work to expedite and improve the accuracy of the process to ensure claims get due attention. To learn more, visit our website at