Simple steps to reduce shipping claims or better ways to recover damages

We’d love to have zero claims on all our shipments that go out. But in the event we do have some claims, here’s how we can all work together to either reduce the number of claims or recover the damages.

Last Friday, one of our employees that works with Con-way met with one of their representatives to go over a few details regarding damaged shipment. The damaged shipments were BLS products. This is what she discovered:

In 2010, we had 2,789 shipments with Con-way. In 2011, we had 5,640 shipments with Con-way – a 50% increase! In 2010 and 2011, we had filed 25 claims with Con-way, 20 were paid for, and 15 were declined. The 15 that were declined was because customers had not accurately signed the Bill of Lading (B.O.L.) – and did not mark whether the goods were short, damaged, lost-in-transit, etc.

But considering the sheer number of shipments we have sent via Con-way, our freight claims are very minimal. In fact, we average a 0.9 ratio on shipments that are damaged, lost in transit, short, etc.  Freight carriers try not to exceed a ratio of 0.9 on freight claims. This means, Con-way does a pretty good job for Bluff!

However, our goal at Bluff Manufacturing is to have zero claims, or to reduce the number of claims even further. If there are unavoidable circumstances where a small number of claims do arise, we would like to be able to recover the money. In order for us to achieve this, we need to work together as one team – our distributors and customers, our logistics partner – Con-way, and our employees at Bluff.

How can you help as employees to better package our products? The Bluff employee took diligent measures to prevent further damages by asking the Con-way representative to assess the products in question and see if he had any recommendations on how to better ship or package the product or what could possibly be done at the Con-way terminals to help prevent damaged products. That was a first good step. The second step is to follow some of the representative’s useful suggestions. One great tip was to label shipments to be handled with care. The shipping department will start adding these stickers to any BLS orders and large crash guard orders shipping via Con-way.

How did Con-way help us reduce our claims or better help us recover our money in case of claims? The Con-way representative was happy with Bluff’s packaging. The only suggestion he had was for the shipments to have clearly marked labels like – “Do Not Double-Stack” or “Handle With Care” or “Fragile.” He even gave us some of the stickers to use.

Con-way also went out of its way to add a note to all of our DR’s (Delivery Receipt) so customers do not forget to accurately make a note on the delivery receipt if products arrive damaged, short, or are lost-in-transit. This is the note you can expect to see under ‘Description of Articles and Marks’ – CAREFULLY INSPECT THE CONDITION OF SHIPMENT AT TIME OF DELIVERY AND MAKE ANY NECESSARY NOTATIONS.

How can you help as distributors and customers when taking delivery of our products? In order for Bluff to claim any damages, our customers and distributors must inspect the product carefully upon delivery, sign the DR (Delivery Receipt), and accurately notify Con-way if articles are damaged, short, or lost-in-transit.

These are simple, short steps to take – but the cost savings to us are tremendous, and when we save, you save as well. Here’s to zero claims or better claiming our damages. And thanks to Con-way for being such a great partner to us!

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