When shipping goods any number of problems can crop up and the result is often that a claim is filed to deal with any loss or damages. At times when a problem does occur where cargo becomes lost, damaged, or missing then the cargo claim procedure is required in order to properly file a claim. The first step is to notify the claims agent as soon as possible.

Your clients should be taken through the process in order to understand and follow instructions making the claims process run smoothly and ensuring that any issues will be resolved much more efficiently.

Filing a claim

It’s vital to inspect and document the condition of the cargo upon its delivery. Many times the damage is a result of the shipment getting wet, and if this is the issue, move the goods to a secure location, and separate any wet and damaged goods from those which are dry and in good condition. Take time to take pictures or video footage in order to show the condition of the freight upon its arrival, making clear any exceptions on the delivery receipt. Receipt may indicate any loss or damage to the cargo and/or the packing or containers. Make sure to preserve all packing, damaged goods and seals until the claims agent arrives for inspection.

A surveyor will often be called in to report the facts to the insurance company and will also have the responsibility for determining the amount of the loss incurred. They work independently and are not affiliated with the insurance company. Generally the insurance company will pay surveyors directly for their services. If you or your client can determine that the loss is not of considerable expense then it’s probably not advisable to pay for the cost of a survey.

Make sure that your client files a formal notice of claim against the carrier in order to be duly compensated. If, as is often the case, more than one carrier is involved, then a claim must be filed against each party individually. In following the cargo claim procedure make sure that all claims are filed in a timely manner and that your client retains copies of all shipping documents as proof.