What You Should Know Regarding Claims

Cargo Loss and Damage Claims

Introduction
Shipper Responsibilities
Consignee Responsibilities
Salvage
Claim Filing Requirements
How to Submit a Claim
Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction  Back to Top

On the following pages, you will find information about:

  • Cargo loss and damage prevention
  • Documentation and verification of loss or damage
  • Filing cargo claims

If you need more information concerning a specific claim, prevention or administration problem, please contact your Pacific Logistics sales representative or terminal office.

Shipper Responsibilities  Back to Top

A number of variables can affect your shipment during transportation:

  • The number, size, and shape of other shipments traveling with it
  • Road conditions
  • The weather
  • Warehousing conditions
  • Special loading and/or handling requirements

To prevent loss and damage, all of these variables must be considered when a product, its packaging, and its package markings are designed.

As the shipper, you must be responsible for:

  • Proper packaging
  • Proper markings on the packaging
  • Proper description on the shipping papers
  • All existing tariff and shipping regulations related to your product must be followed

If you have a packaging problem, notify your Pacific Logistics sales representative. He or she has experts available to assist you.

You are a valued customer. By combining your manufacturing and packaging expertise with our experience in transportation, we can develop a program to correct or prevent loss and/or damage problems.

Consignee Responsibilities  Back to Top

As the consignee, you must identify and document loss and/or damage carefully.

There are two types of loss or damage:

  • Visible or noted loss or damage
  • Concealed loss or damage

Visible or Noted Loss or Damage  Back to Top

When loss or damage is visible at the time of delivery, it must be noted on the delivery receipt. Be as specific as possible when explaining the visible damage.

At the time of delivery, you must:

  • Check each handling unit for visible signs of damage
  • Open any shipments that show signs of loss or damage while the driver is still present (After shipment has been signed for) In the case of COD shipments, the consignee must first take ownership of the goods by giving the check to our driver
  • Call our office and request an inspection. (At this time we will decide whether to have you inspect with our driver present or send out a trained inspector)
  • Record an exact, detailed description of the results of the examination on both the Pacific Logistics’ and the consignee’s copies of the delivery receipt

Do not use general or generic terms ("box damaged," etc.) in the description; they do not provide acceptable support for your claim. Record specific details such as, "Hole in left side of box" or "box crushed with contents exposed"

  • Have the driver sign the consignee’s copy of the delivery receipt

Note: Courts have generally ruled that a consignee may not open the containers and examine the merchandise before giving a receipt to the carrier.

Note: If you discover damage after delivery and the delivery receipt has a vague notation or no notation, you may find it more difficult to obtain prompt and satisfactory settlement of your claim.

Shortages  Back to Top

At the time of delivery, you must:

  • Check the labels on all of the pieces to ensure they are yours
  • Check for shortages as goods are being unloaded
  • Count the actual number of handling units

Keep the shipment together until unloading is completed, in case a recount is necessary.

If there is a shortage, describe it in exact terms on both the Pacific Logistics and the consignee’s copies of the delivery receipt before signing for the shipment.

Mitigation of Loss  Back to Top

You cannot refuse to accept a shipment just because it is damaged or partially short. When practical, the shipment should be accepted, and all necessary steps should be taken to minimize the loss. A claim can then be filed for depreciation, repair costs, or replacement of short goods, but not for loss of marketability.

Concealed Loss or Damage  Back to Top

Concealed loss or damage means that the loss or damage was not noticeable at the time of delivery. If concealed loss or damage is discovered after you have given Pacific Logistics a clear delivery receipt, you must:

  • Notify Pacific Logistics immediately. Notification can be given by telephone, but the telephone call must be followed up by written notification.
  • Keep the shipment (containers and contents) in the same condition that they were in when the damage was discovered. You cannot remove any portion of the undamaged product for sale or processing.

Inspection by Pacific Logistics  Back to Top

Pacific Logistics must inspect the shipment within 72 hours and give you a copy of the Inspection Report for claim support. Include a copy of the Inspection Report when you file your claim.

Failure to Inspect  Back to Top

If Pacific Logistics fails to inspect the freight:

  • Inspect the damage yourself and record all relevant facts.
  • Include this information when you file your claim.

Burden of Proof  Back to Top

In a concealed damage claim, you have the burden of proof. You must prove that the damage was caused by Pacific Logistics, not other parties who handled the goods.

Additional Factors in a Concealed Damage Claim  Back to Top

The following factors are also considered in a concealed damage claim:

  • Nature of the goods
  • Was shipment packaged properly?
  • Movement and handling before pickup or after delivery
  • Retention and condition of the original containers

Salvage  Back to Top

Legally, as the owner of the freight, you must do what you can to keep the loss to a minimum. You can reduce the loss by keeping damaged freight for a discounted price or having the goods repaired. Reducing the loss will expedite settlement of your claim.

If the shipment is a total loss, call the Pacific Logistics claims department at 562-478-4700 or your local operations contact for disposition or assistance. Any salvage must be retained for Pacific Logistics disposition until after the claim is settled.

Loss & Damage Claim Filing Requirements  Back to Top

Pacific Logistics realizes that a lost or damaged shipment causes inconvenience to you and your customers. We will make every attempt to settle your claim promptly and efficiently. You can help by meeting the following requirements.

Time Limits  Back to Top

The bill of lading contract specifies that the claim must be received by Pacific Logistics within 60 days from the delivery of property or, in the case of non-delivery, within 60 days from the scheduled delivery.

All claims for concealed damage must be made within 24 hours of delivery. All packaging material must be kept for inspection. Any concealed damage claim not meeting the above conditions will not be honored. Should you experience what you believe is concealed damage, immediately contact our office to determine if an inspection is warranted. Be certain to note the date, time and person you speak with.

Filing of Claims  Back to Top

  1. All claims must be filed in writing. A claim for loss, damage or delay to cargo will not be voluntarily paid by a carrier unless filed in writing, as provided in subparagraph (b) below, with the receiving or delivering carrier, or carrier issuing the bill of lading, receipt, ticket, or baggage check, or carrier on whose line the alleged loss, damage, injury, or delay occurred, within the specified time limits applicable thereto and as otherwise may be required by law, the terms of the bill of lading or other contract of carriage, and all tariff provisions applicable thereto.
  2. Minimum filing requirements. A communication in writing from a claimant, filed with a proper carrier within the time limits specified in the bill of lading or contract of carriage or transportation, and (1) containing facts sufficient to identify the baggage or shipment (or shipments) of property involved, (2) asserting liability for alleged loss, damage, injury, or delay, and (3) making claim for the payment of a specified or determinable amount of money will be considered as sufficient.

Concealed Damage  Back to Top

When damage to contents of a shipping container is discovered by the consignee which could not have been determined at time of delivery, it must be reported by the consignee to the delivering carrier within 24 hours and a request for inspection by the carrier’s representative made. Notice of loss or damage and request for inspection may be given by telephone or in person, but in either event must be confirmed in writing by mail. While awaiting inspection by carrier, the consignee must hold the shipping container and its contents in the same condition they were in when damage was discovered insofar as it is possible to do so.

Inspection by Carrier  Back to Top

Inspection by carrier will be made as promptly as possible and practical after receipt of request by consignee. Inspection will be made within three normal workdays (72 hours) after receipt of request from consignee, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. A day will be considered as the passing of twenty-four (24) hours from 9 a.m., local time from the date of receipt of request for inspection. Inspection by carrier will include examination of the damaged merchandise, the shipping container, and any other action necessary to establish all facts. If a shortage is involved, inspector will check contents of package with invoice, weigh the shipping container and contents, or conduct any other type of investigation necessary to establish that a loss has occurred. In either case, inspection will be limited to factual report. Consignee must cooperate with carrier in every way possible to assist in the inspection. A written record of carrier’s findings will be made at least in duplicate. The original of the report will be given to the consignee for claim support. Any inspection report issued must be incorporated in claim file.

Failure to Inspect  Back to Top

In the event carrier does not make an inspection, the consignee must make the inspection and record all information to the best of his ability pertinent to the cause. Consignee’s inspection, in such case, will be considered as the carrier’s inspection and will not jeopardize any recovery the consignee is due based on the facts contained in the report.

Salvage Retention  Back to Top

When visible or open damage to shipment has been established by notation having been given at time of delivery, or concealed damage established by inspection report, it is the duty of the consignee to retain damaged merchandise and shipping container until carrier desires to take possession of merchandise as salvage. If record conclusively reflects carrier liability, carrier will take possession of the damaged merchandise as soon as possible and in any event, within thirty (30) days from the date shipment was noted damaged on carrier delivery receipt or from date of inspection report, if damage was concealed. If carrier does not take possession of the damaged merchandise within the time prescribed above, consignee must contact delivering carrier and request removal of goods from his premises within fifteen (15) days from the date of such communication. The above applies only when the carrier and consignee agree that the carrier will handle disposition of the salvage, and does not in any manner affect the legal duty that the consignee, when there is substantial value in the salvage, must accept and handle if possible. If there is doubt of carrier liability, the carrier will so advise consignee; in which event the consignee may hold the merchandise until liability of carrier is determined, or may dispose of it so as to mitigate the damage, and may file claim for such damage. Carrier will remove the damaged goods within fifteen (15) day period or advise consignee that carrier liability is in doubt and that damaged merchandise is to be retained by the consignee until carrier has completed investigation of claim.

Prior Transportation  Back to Top

If a concealed damage inspection report covers merchandise which has had prior transportation movement, consignee is required to assist carrier in determining if shipment was opened and inspected by shipper prior to reshipment, and if not, shall then assist carrier in every way possible to establish record of prior transportation.

How to Submit a Claim

Time Limits  Back to Top

The bill of lading contract specifies that the claim must be received within 60 days from the delivery date or, in the case of non-delivery, within 60 days after the scheduled delivery.

All claims for concealed damage must be made within 24 hours of delivery. All packaging material must be kept for inspection. Any concealed damage claim not meeting the above conditions will not be honored. Should you experience what you believe is concealed damage, immediately contact our office to determine if an inspection is warranted. Be certain to note the date, time and person you speak with.

Filing the Claim  Back to Top

Only the shipper, the consignee, or a third party who has claim or title to the freight may file a claim. To file a claim with Pacific Logistics, fax or mail your claim to:

Pacific Logistics Corp
Cargo Claims Dept.
7255 Rosemead Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Note: If you fax your claim to ensure we receive quickly, please send the original documents via U.S. Mail. (Phone 562-478-4700, Fax 562-478-4865)

Documentation Requirements  Back to Top

You must provide the following documentation:

  • A properly executed claim form for Pacific Logistics. A copy of our claim form can be printed here.
  • A copy of the consignee’s delivery receipt showing that PLC handled the shipment and the condition of the shipment at time of delivery.
  • A copy of Pacific Logistics Inspection Report as evidence of loss or damage.
    (If an inspection was done)
  • An invoice or other document establishing your cost for the lost or damaged freight or an invoice for repairs made to restore the merchandise to its original condition.

Pacific Logistics Handling of Your Claim  Back to Top

Once your claim has been received with the proper documentation. Pacific Logistics will acknowledge receipt of the claim and attempt to settle it within 30 days. If any further documentation or information is required, we will notify you at this time.

Investigation of some claims may take longer. You can assist us in the speedy settlement of your claim by ensuring all pertinent documents are attached when the claim is initially filed.

If a delay in settling your claim occurs, we ask your understanding. If you believe the delay is excessive, feel free to call us at (562) 478-4700 at any time or write us concerning the status of your claim:

Pacific Logistics Corp
Cargo Claims
7255 Rosemead Blvd.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

(Please include the Pacific Logistics claim number in all correspondence)

 

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who may file a loss and damage claim?
    The shipper, the consignee, or a third party who has title to goods may file a claim.
  • What documentation is needed to file a claim?
    A claim must be presented with a statement describing the goods lost or damaged and how the amount of the claim was determined. This statement should be supported with a copy of the bill of lading or Pacific Logistics freight bill, a copy of an inspection report if one was performed, and a copy of the vendor’s original invoice or other document to establish the value of the goods.
  • What is the time limit for filing a cargo loss and damage claim?
    A cargo claim must be received 60 days from date of delivery, or in the case of non-delivery, within 60 days from scheduled delivery.
  • Do I have to retain the damaged goods?
    The damaged articles should be retained along with all of the packaging material until picked up by the carrier or until the claim is settled.