Tag Archives: damaged freight

How to Avoid Cargo Theft? 5 Tips for Cargo Theft Prevention

Trucks move a substantial amount of valuable goods over the roads, which makes them an attractive object for stealing. Cargo theft is especially common during the holidays or weekends. At this time, truck drivers park their vehicles and trailers for either the day or an extended period of time, making loads vulnerable. Cargo theft occurs from time to time and normally takes place in areas close to major cities. Shippers and carriers can take measures to increase cargo security and eliminate chances of cargo theft, using cargo theft prevention tips.

How to Stop Cargo Theft?

Keep Track of Employees and Check Carrierscargo theft prevention

Make sure to conduct background checks and screen all employees, carriers, and anyone that has access to shipment information and details. Inside cargo theft is a growing problem in today’s freight industry and happens more than many companies can imagine. Additionally, make sure that shipment information is kept private and screen employees and carriers that will be dealing with shipments to help prevent possible incidents. Utilize all the resources to verify carrier safety and identity and make sure all the information matches. Ultimately, implementing strict and standardized security screening procedures is crucial for preventing cargo theft.

Take Advantage of Technology

Using advanced technology like GPS and shipment tracking can help companies keep track of their assets in the case of cargo theft. There are various tech solutions available, like apps with an alarm option. It notifies you when the vehicle or driver moves outside of its scheduled route. Additionally, it’s useful to monitor various available resources that report suspicious activity. If you see anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to report it. The more information that is out there, the easier it is to keep your freight safe.

Minimize Wait Time

Cargo is always at a certain risk whenever the truck stops for a long time. To reduce your chance of cargo theft, try limiting the need for weekend transits that could include excessive dwell time. If you are a carrier entering into an area where cargo theft is common, plan accordingly and make sure that your truck isn’t left alone for a long period of time. Additionally, consider that scheduling loads during holiday time increase the probability of your cargo being stolen.

What are the most commonly stolen commodities?

The most commonly targeted products are food and beverage, high-value electronics, apparel, and lower-value retail products. These goods are easy to resell and aren’t usually as protected for cost-efficiency reasons.

Where does cargo theft usually happen?

Cargo theft often happens at truck stops and parking lots, especially in poorly-lit areas with no surveillance. Also, it is a common incident after hours at carrier terminals and facilities with limited security. Quite often the actual cargo theft occurs in broad daylight upon pick-up, but no one realizes it until the freight doesn’t show up at the destination when expected.

Cargo Theft Prevention

The cargo theft ratio has been steadily rising year over year. As we come up with better practices to keep our freight safe, fraudulent activity evolves simultaneously and becomes more and more sophisticated. It’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks and take all the precautions possible. With all the safety measures, you make sure to eliminate the cargo theft rate and secure yourself from the frustrations.

The 6 Step Freight Claim Process

Handling freight claims requires time and effort from a shipper. There are certain processes, rules, and regulations that should be followed to ensure freight claims are resolved. A third-party logistics (3PL) provider, like PLS Logistics, works on behalf of the shipper and processes a clients’ freight claim from beginning to end. A 3PL does not have liability for freight loss or damage; instead, it works as a liaison with trucking companies and provides communication through the claims process. Shippers benefit from the expertise of freight claims management when claims are properly filed and processed without any holdups.

6 Steps Freight Claim Process

1. Freight is Damaged or Lost

Time really works against the shipper here. The consignee should inspect the load as it arrives and before the driver leaves. A carrier is liable for all shipment loss and damage, with some exceptions (see Carmack Amendment).

2. Shipper Notates Bill of LadingBill-of-Lading

All visible and concealed damage or loss should be documented. A shipper should make specific notes of damage and shortage on the Bill of Lading. Keep all damaged freight and take photos if possible. A shipper’s “Golden Rule” for freight claims: Don’t sign the BOL before documenting damage/loss!

3. Consignee Contacts PLS

After notating the BOL, a shipper passes freight claim handling to PLS Claim Processing Department, and the investigation phase begins.

4. Inspection Request

PLS contacts the carrier, and asks for inspection and ensures that all parties follow policies and regulations.

5. Carrier Schedules or Waives Inspection

Carrier may waive the inspection, especially if freight value is under $500, but it reserves the right to inspect in all cases. Inspection is performed by a third party company.

6. Claim Handling

It usually takes 90 days to resolve a claim. PLS controls process follows up on claim status and makes sure the claim is paid in a timely manner.

For efficient freight claim handling, a shipper should keep all necessary documents:

  • BOL
  • Copy of Paid freight bill
  • Copy of invoice showing the amount paid for goods
  • Copy of packaging slips
  • Standard claim form

An expert 3PL, whom shippers can outsource freight claim management, provides a hassle-free claim process and transparent communication through the entire process. Most importantly, a partner like PLS Logistics protects shippers from the frustration and expense of improper handling of freight claims.

Continue reading:  6 Steps to Take When Your Freight is Damaged or Lost

A Comprehensive Guide to Completing a Bill of Lading

6 Steps to Take When Your Freight is Damaged or Lost


Whether someone orders shoes online or ships tons of industrial equipment, one common problem can happen: the freight can become lost or damaged. The process for finding out who is responsible for damaged freight could take months, and discovering whether freight had been stolen or lost on route can be difficult. Shippers will never be able prevent all instances of lost or stolen cargo, but they can at least ensure that they are compensated for their loss and informed on the details to try and prevent future instances.

What is the most important rule of receiving freight? Do not sign the Bill of Lading before checking your load for damage, concealed damage or missing parts.

Let’s walk through this step-by-step to determine the proper course of action  when something goes wrong with your freight.

1) Take a close look at delivered freight and inspect all details. Pay attention to every part or item; open crates if needed – there could be concealed damages. Determine what exactly is stolen, missing or damaged. Don’t be intimidated by the driver, who can claim he or she is in a hurry for the next route – you have a right to record all details necessary.

2) Write everything down and take photos, if possible. The more documentation, the better. Make notes of damages and shortages on the Bill of Lading and make sure the carrier is aware of the situation as soon as possible. Don’t underestimate the importance of communication and cooperation; carriers can try to salvage, re-deliver or return the freight if damage or shortage statement was passed on quickly enough.

3) Do not refuse a shipment and never discard damaged freight. If shippers get rid of the freight, they may not be paid the full freight claim amount. So keep all freight and packages intact if possible.

4) Fill out the proper freight claim, shipping claim, cargo claim or transportation claim paperwork. It is a legal request to a carrier for financial reimbursement on damaged or lost freight. The freight claim is created to recover costs for the shipper, but not the profit, only the difference between the original value and the damaged value. So, the shipper must determine a reasonable dollar amount for the claim – it is the shipper’s legal obligation to minimize the cost of claim.

The carrier must acknowledge a claim within 30 days of initial filling. Concealed damages and shortages should be reported to the carrier within 10-15 days of receipt of the load.

5) Pay the freight bill as soon as possible. The shipper is still responsible for payment of goods’ transportation, even if there are damaged, lost or stolen freight. The claim will be processed by an insurance company.

6) Keep all necessary documents:

  • A copy of the bill of lading
  • A copy of the freight bill (paid)
  • A copy of the invoice showing the amount paid for the goods
  • A copy of the packing slip
  • A standard claim form or a letter identifying the shipment and the claim amount
  • Photos of the damage

While it seems quite fair to get compensation for damaged or lost freight, it is more important to gather as much information and evidence as possible to avoid further improper load handling. Having an expert who can manage all of a shipper’s claims and paperwork is a great option to save money, time and peace-of-mind. Partnering with a 3PL, like PLS Logistics Services, eliminates the hassle of dealing with lost or stolen goods.  We make sure your shipment is delivered on time, every time.

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