Freight Tips and Tricks: Damaged Freight


Welcome to 2020! This year, we’re launching a new series of freight tips and tricks that will cover common questions regarding freight and our tips to help make shipping goods even easier.

First up, we’re talking about an issue that occurs more than any of us would like, damaged freight.

Unfortunately, this is something we all deal with, whether it be a shipment from Acadian that’s damaged in transit to you, or your shipment being damaged on its way to your customer. We’ve put together some information regarding how to determine if freight is damaged and what to do if freight arrives with damages.

What to do when a shipment arrives

When a freight shipment arrives, it should always be inspected PRIOR to signing the delivery receipt with the carrier. If you notice any signs of damage, it should be noted on the delivery receipt, which will help with any future freight claim.

Signs of damage that should be noted:

  • Torn or missing packaging
  • Telescoping
  • Loose fabric hanging off roll
  • Tears in the top layer of fabric
  • Scuffed roll ends
  • Crushed roll core

It is important to note even the slightest sign of damage on the delivery receipt, even if it ends up not inhibiting the use of the fabric. Without having it noted at the time of delivery, the only remaining option is to report concealed damage within five days of delivery. This reduces the amount a freight company will pay towards a freight claim. When in doubt, sign for it damaged.

Should the damage to a shipment be so great that you don’t think the goods can be used, the shipment should be refused and the shipper should be notified immediately.

What happens next?

If damage to received goods is suspected, take photos if possible before opening any packaging. As you remove packaging, take note (and photos) of any additional signs of damage such as tears, punctures, or scuffs and report the damage accordingly.

  • Photograph and take note of any damage found as the package is opened.
  • Keep track of any amount of fabric that is damaged and cannot be used.
  • Report the damage to your supplier with as much detail as possible.

Once damage is reported, a freight claim has to be filed with the carrier to help recover the costs of the damage.

What to do if you need to file a freight claim

If you receive a shipment from Acadian and it is damaged, notify us and we will handle the freight claim for you. If you book your own freight and any of your incoming or outgoing shipments are found to be damaged, you will need to file your own freight claim.

Here are a few key points to help you get started on a freight claim:

  • Collect all related information & documentation
    • Include photos, delivery receipt, original BOL, paid freight invoice, and your cost invoice.
  • Photos and documentation must be submitted to the carrier
    • If you work with a 3rd party freight company, they can usually accept this information via email and will file the claim on your behalf.
    • If you work directly with a carrier, you may be able to file a claim through their website and upload related documentation. Others have forms you can fill out and send in with your related documentation.

Once your claim is submitted, you should receive a confirmation of the claim. Once it is reviewed, you will receive another notification.

Acadian is here to be a resource for you and your customers. Let us know if you have any questions about freight damage or freight claims.