You have successfully ordered and routed your inbound shipment and it arrives on time at your dock. It looks like a perfect scenario, but what happens if your freight is missing boxes or arrives damaged? By instituting a standard receiving process and enforcing it among employees, you can make sure you receive proper settlement if a claims situation was to occur.
It all starts with the paperwork – the Delivery Receipt. A delivery receipt is a legal document that confirms the shipment is the right product going to the right place in the right condition. When a carrier arrives with your shipment, they will present you with a delivery receipt, it is your job to carefully review the delivery receipt along with the freight for accuracy and condition. Avoid signing the delivery receipt without a process to properly accept shipments. There are two main steps to a good shipment receiving process:
Inspecting the Freight
It is your legal right to inspect your freight upon arrival. If the carrier is pressuring you to skip this process to save time, it’s important to stand your ground and complete your inspection process. You are looking for two things when you are inspecting your shipments:
- The number of pieces – Be sure to audit the pieces noted on the delivery receipt against delivery to make sure nothing is missing.
- Damage to the freight – Inspect your shipment thoroughly for any signs of damage. This could be punctures, rips or any other distress to the packaging. If there is damage, open the package and inspect the goods inside. Make sure to notate all damage on the delivery receipt. If you must, refuse the freight.
When you sign a delivery receipt without noting the damage or missing pieces, chances are your freight claim may be denied. If you notice concealed damage after delivery, you have 5 days to report it to the carrier. Any concealed damaged shipment reported later than 5 days after delivery will most likely denied from the carrier.
Reviewing the Delivery Receipt
After you inspect your freight and note any missing pieces or damage that may have occurred, it’s important to read the delivery receipt closely. If you sign on the dotted line without reviewing all of the information, you could pay for services that weren’t needed or rendered.
On the delivery receipt you will see an area with the special instructions for delivery (liftgate access, unloading by hand, etc.) and most of these services cost extra. If you request these services and don’t receive them, make sure to make a note on the delivery receipt or you will still be charged for them.
The final step before signing off on a delivery, make sure everything is noted and that all of the information is accurate. Getting all of the information down at the time of the delivery will save you money, make a future claim easier or even avoid the need for a claim!