The Art of Claim Filing and Processing

Posted on January 20, 2021

You worked hard to coordinate the procurement of your precious item so that the workflow at your plant or project site can continue without interruption. All is on schedule until the product has not arrived as scheduled. A call is made to that special carrier you selected to deliver your goods only to find out that the freight is currently missing, and a trace has been issued to locate the package. On the other hand, your package arrived but is in so many damaged pieces that it is unrecognizable and unusable. If this is not enough now you not only have to reorder the item to keep the production line going but also file a claim against your trusted carrier to recover money already paid out to the supplier.

Thus, begins the claim process. This can be a long and tedious process, especially if the claim amount is for a large amount. Some important points to follow to expedite the flow is for the shipper and/or consignee to notify their claim agent as soon as possible about the loss or damage. Once notified the claim agent should file with the carrier immediately even if the agent does not have all the information required. This ‘’intent to file’’ notification will protect the claimant from a possible time limitation rule that the carrier can use to decline the claim.

Once our ‘’intent to file’’ has been relayed to the carrier, the claim agent must convey to the claimant what documentation/information, is needed to submit a formal claim. Documents, including the AWB/BOL, Packing list, Commercial Invoice, Delivery Note specifying damages, and pictures of the damaged freight must be obtained. Once this documentation is provided to the carrier a potentially lengthy email correspondence between the carrier, claim agent, and claimant ensues. One of the keys to winning the claim is proving beyond doubt that the freight was damaged or lost by the carrier. This may not be easy to achieve as the carrier will no doubt look for every opportunity to contradict responsibility.

If all goes well a full settlement will be achieved, or at least a partial settlement if the damage cannot be pinpointed to the carrier alone. The situation may be that the damage might have taken place at shippers or consignee location. At worst the claim is denied, and no financial reimbursement is obtained.

The key to success is often perseverance. The carrier may ultimately agree to some form of settlement to achieve final closure if the claim representative continues to pressure for payment.

Contributor: James Diehl

About Allyn International

Allyn International is dedicated to providing high quality, customer centric services and solutions for the global marketplace. Allyn's core products include transportation management, logistics sourcing, freight forwarding, supply chain consulting, tax management and global trade compliance. Allyn clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Allyn conducts business in more than 20 languages and has extensive experience in both developed and emerging markets. Highly trained experts are positioned throughout North America, Europe and Asia and Allyn regional headquarters are strategically located in Fort Myers FL USA, Shanghai P.R. CHINA and Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC. For more information, log on to