How 3PLs Can Minimize Claims and Help Customers Understand Liability
3PLs can become an ally for their customers in the event of a loss, damage, or delay, providing outstanding customer service and support during the claims process.
When customers partner with a 3PL, they are looking for more than just customer service. They seek expertise that cannot be replaced with technology and a proactive approach that boosts the efficiency of their processes and minimizes risks.
One of the main roadblocks in the relationship between intermediaries and customers is the lack of clarity about terms in the event of a loss, damage, or delay during the shipping process. Carriers and freight forwarders are responsible for handling the liability of shipping claims and any reimbursements.
This exemption does not mean that 3PL companies cannot be part of this process. On the contrary, 3PLs can become an ally for their customers, providing outstanding customer service and support for a smoother and easier claims process. This is why 3PL companies need to cultivate and invest in knowledge for their teams through specialized training programs that are customized to their needs, mitigate risks, prevent errors, and yield results.
Essential Aspects of Processing Claims
Regularly follow up on the claim: Assertive communication is vital. With a team designed to handle these processes, customers can be supported by an expert staff that will help minimize risks, losses, damages, and delays. This team will continually monitor the case and its progress until the carrier provides the outcome. The final response can take up to 120 days, but with efficient follow-up, the wait time can be significantly reduced.
Meet the "concealed freight damage claims" deadline: When damage or shortage is not immediately recognizable, and the loss is discovered after the delivery receipt is signed, the customer has 5 days to report the concealed damage to the carrier. An expert team aware of the guidelines and changes to the NMFC rules will help speed up the claim filing process and meet the deadlines to avoid the inability to report or the annulment of cases.
Prepare a shipment avoiding unnecessary risks: When transporting goods, each process must generate and follow detailed documentation. These files provide a record of each load, including all transactions and instructions, to successfully reach the destination. This is critical in order to ensure the service fulfills the guidelines demanded by the customer.
For example, completing the box that says "value of these products" on the front page of the bill of lading helps avoid a total loss. If the value information is missing, the carrier will have the power to assume the release rate. A dedicated team will review the documentation and make sure that each item is designated correctly, therefore protecting the company from unnecessary risks that may arise from carelessness or negligence.
Cover the shipment with insurance: It is essential to determine the type of insurance that a shipment needs in order to be covered throughout the entire transportation process. To define the type of insurance required, a customer should consider the type of cargo being shipped, the type of service needed, and the liability of the carrier. By adding extra protection to the cargo and checking that the 3PL has a variety of insurances available such as Auto Liability Insurance and Primary Cargo Insurance, the customer will have peace of mind knowing their cargo is safe.
Logistics solutions experts can leverage the advantages of their expertise to create more specialized services. These services should not only focus on execution and delivery but also safeguard the best interests of a company and its people.
Customers will find support on quoting and dispatching as well as assistance with handling problems that may arise at any stage of the shipping and delivery process. This added value will strengthen business relationships, build trust, and foster long-term partnerships.