Freight claim management is all about attention to nitty-gritty details. However, in this post, we’re going to step back and take a look at the big picture procedures that will take your recoveries to the next level.
It’s a common misconception – the idea that freight claim management is confined to the claims department. In reality, departments ranging from receiving to purchasing play an important role in ensuring that freight claims are paid and properly processed. For example, if the receiving department handles the paperwork or incoming shipment incorrectly, the claims department will be unable to collect reimbursement for the damaged shipment.
Therefore, it’s essential that you communicate each departments’ responsibilities toward freight claim management.
Although every claim is unique, the same set of steps will be repeated across claims, such as submitting the claim form, a request for inspection, or a follow-up if the carrier doesn’t respond to your claim.
Ensure that your claims staff aren’t wasting time by writing these requests from scratch each time. Be sure to provide your claims staff with stock letters, templates, and emails that they can use for each claim.
Unfortunately, most claims fail before they are even filed. Why? Because the carrier has written liability limitations right into their tariffs, and most shippers fail to negotiate better terms for themselves. This is why successfully negotiating an agreement that works in your favor will make it possible to recoup far more losses than if you’re shipping under the terms set out by the carrier.
Most claim clerks lack the training needed to argue against a carrier who declines their claim. This can result in the loss of thousands of dollars that could have been recovered with the proper legal argument. However, it doesn’t take a degree in transportation law to be able to effectively argue these claims. Usually it’s a simple matter of a few hours of training and some templates for arguing against the most common types of declinations.
Most businesses have a bias regarding which departments are eligible for training. Sales teams are sent to training workshops, and the manufacturing floor manager is encouraged to upgrade his Six Sigma certification. However, claims clerks are rarely given additional training, and as a result shippers miss out on tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in recoveries. A monthly coaching program is an affordable way for staff to get advice on difficult claims while receiving training at the same time.
Want more information on how to implement these programs? Download our Freight Claim Assistance Program Brochure.