American Group would like to thank our loyal customers for helping us to succeed into our eighteenth year! The past year has been interesting to say the least and, thanks to you, we have more than persevered. 2024 will bring improved technology, more AG teammates, and more carrier-partners to help simplify your shipping process. Again, thank you! AG stands ready with solutions to your most challenging transportation needs.
We are not the largest, nor do we want to be. Instead, we strive to be the BEST and truly want to simplify the shipping process for our clients – hence our motto, “Shipping. Simplified.”
These Cargo Loss and Damage Terms and Conditions (“Cargo Claim Terms”) set forth the terms and conditions governing the filing and processing of, as well as American Group, LLC’s (“American Group”) liability for, Cargo Claims on shipments tendered by Customer to American Group. By tendering any shipment to American Group for performance of the Services hereunder or by executing any bill of lading relating to a shipment arranged by American Group, the American Group credit application, the American Group credit card authorization form, or any other acknowledgment by Customer of these Cargo Claim Terms, Customer consents to and acknowledges and agrees to be bound by these Cargo Claim Terms.
These Cargo Claim Terms are in accordance with 49 U.S.C. §14101(b)(1) and the parties expressly waive all rights and remedies that each may have under 49 U.S.C. §§13101 through 14914 that conflict with or are otherwise contrary to specific provisions of these Cargo Claim Terms.
Each Carrier’s governing tariff will determine that Carrier’s limits of liability for Cargo Claims. However, Customer acknowledges and agrees that in no circumstances will Carrier’s liability for Cargo Claims be more than $100,000. Customer acknowledges that the maximum Carrier limit of liability may be less than the value of the goods shipped.
Further, Customer acknowledges that Carriers are not liable for Cargo Claims resulting from or arising out of (a) the act, default or omission of Customer or any other party who claims interest in the shipment, (b) the nature of the shipment or any defect therein, (c) a violation by Customer of any provision of any agreement between Customer and American Group, including these Terms and Conditions, the bill of lading, the Carrier’s Tariff, including, improper or insufficient packaging, securing, marking or addressing, (d) failure to observe any of the rules relating to shipments not acceptable for transportation or shipments acceptable only under certain conditions, or (e) acts of God, perils of the air, public enemies, public authorities, acts or omissions of Customs or quarantine officials, war, riots, strikes, labor disputes, shortages, weather conditions or mechanical delay or failure of vehicles, aircraft, or other equipment.
If the full value of their goods is not covered by the Carrier’s maximum liability total, Customers, at American Group’s discretion, may purchase optional Shipper’s Interest Contingent Cargo Liability Insurance (“Third Party Insurance”) from the American Group prior to shipping their goods. American Group has no responsibility or liability with respect to the issuance or denial of Third-Party Insurance, or in the payment or denial of claims. Customer acknowledges that there are items that are excluded and not covered by cargo insurance.
Customer further acknowledges that additional liability coverage through American Group’s insurance providers may be purchased for an additional fee. If Customer wishes to purchase additional insurance, Customer must contact American Group in advance of the shipment. Customer understands that purchase of such insurance does not affect American Group’s liability for Cargo Claims or create liability for American Group with respect to Cargo Claims. Therefore, any demand for coverage for a Cargo Claim under such policy shall be made solely against the insurance company directly. In accordance with Section 1(b), American Group shall have no liability for Cargo Claims except to the extent such Cargo Claims are solely caused by American Group’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Customer agrees that it shall inspect its freight for damage or signs of damage or shortage. Damage/shortage must be noted at the time of delivery on the delivery receipt and/or bill of lading. It is the consignee’s responsibility to check the outside of crates, packaging, and pallet condition for dents, holes, and tears, and note details of any exception. The delivery receipt and/or bill of lading serves the purpose of recording the facts at the time of delivery and certifies that the freight was received in good order unless otherwise noted. When no exceptions are noted, the consignee agrees that the goods were received and accepted in good order and condition. Customer acknowledges and agrees that consignee is not justified in refusing a damaged shipment unless the damage has made the freight worthless. If only partial damage or loss occurs, the consignee must accept the entire shipment and determine whether the damaged freight can be repaired. In the event of a Cargo Claim, subject to the specific terms and conditions of a Carrier’s Tariff, Customer recognizes and understands that it has a duty to seek any and all reasonable salvage opportunities in order to mitigate any damages arising from or relating to a Cargo Claim.
The Customer must ensure that the consignee has unpacked and fully inspected freight before reporting a Cargo Claim to American Group. In the event the Cargo Claim arises from a concealed damage or shortage (“Concealed Claim”), Customer shall refrain from submitting Claim Forms for any such Concealed Claim, American Group will not file or assist Customer in filing a Concealed Claim with a Carrier, and Customer must file all Concealed Claims directly with the Carriers. Please note, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Carrier’s Tariff, concealed damage MUST be reported within five (5) business days from the date of delivery in written/electronic form. An inspection may be required by the Carrier.
After delivery, Carrier may require an inspection. Customer must contact Carrier’s customer service for instruction. Occasionally, the Carrier may not have an inspector examine the damaged freight. Instead, a Carrier may request the consignee or Customer inspect the freight. Most Carriers will send a waiver of inspection. In the event the Carrier provided Customer with a waiver of inspection form, the waiver will need to be provided when the Cargo Claim is submitted. Customer acknowledges and agrees that an inspection report is not a Cargo Claim and does not satisfy all requirements under the Claim Form.
If the consignee refuses damaged freight, Carrier may request disposition. In the event Customer requests or requires the Carrier to return, divert, or otherwise make some other disposition of the freight, such request or requirement shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the Carrier’s applicable Tariff. Disposition must be handled by a Customer agent or claim representative.
If the consignee or Customer discovers that part of the shipment is short, the shortage must be noted on the delivery receipt at the time of delivery.
The consignee must note the shortage on the delivery receipt as a written alarm for Carrier’s personnel who will attempt to locate the shortage. The Customer must notify the Carrier immediately upon discovering the shortage and must provide the following information to the Carrier: (1) Freight Bill Number; (2) Names and addresses of the shipper and consignee; (3) Number of pieces; (4) Number of missing pieces; (5) Weight of shipment; (6) Delivery date; (7) Any part number or serial number; (8) A complete description of the missing pieces (size, shape, color, packaging details, etc.); and (9) Any other information helpful in identifying the lost freight.
As soon as the damage or loss has been identified, unless the Cargo Claim represents a Low Value Claim or a Concealed Claim, Customer must complete the Claim Form found at https://www.shipag.com/existing-clients/ if Customer is seeking to have American Group file the Cargo Claim with the Carrier on Customer’s behalf . Customer should contact its American Group sales agent for the password to access the Claim Form, if necessary. If repairing the damage cargo represents a reasonable mitigation of the damages and the cargo can be repaired, the repairs must be completed prior to filing the Cargo Claim. If the Cargo Claim results from a total loss and requires the full and complete replacement of the shipment, in order to recover the freight costs as part of the Cargo Claim from the Carrier, subject to the Carrier’s Tariff, Customer may be required to use the same Carrier to transport the replacement shipment.
Unless otherwise set forth in the Carrier’s Tariff and subject to the liability limitations contained herein and the Carrier’s Tariff, the measure of damages for all Cargo Claims will be: (a) for goods purchased from a vendor, the purchase price paid to the vendor plus the freight charges or (b) if no invoice or purchase price was agreed to by Customer and the vendor prior to the loss or damage, the destination market value of the goods. Customer acknowledges and agrees that where the Carrier’s Tariff sets forth a measure of damages, the measure of damages contained within that Tariff shall govern and apply.
Customer is required to file any Cargo Claim within nine (9) months of the date of delivery or, in the case of non-delivery, within nine (9) months of the date the shipment should have been delivered. The time limit within which Customer must institute suit against Carrier to recover on a claim filed will be two (2) years and a day from the date Customer receives a written disallowance of the Cargo Claim. If Customer wishes for American Group to assist in the processing of any Cargo Claim (other than Low Value Claims and Concealed Claims), Customer must submit that Cargo Claim to American Group in a timely manner as stated in Section 1(b) and Section 10 above. American Group will attempt to assist in the resolution of Cargo Claims, but has no responsibility or liability, therefore. Unless an applicable Tariff states otherwise, all Cargo Claims will be filed and processed in accordance with 49 CFR Part 370. In accordance with 49 CFR Part 370, Carriers will acknowledge a Cargo Claim in writing within 30 days and will have up to 120 days to pay, settle, or deny a Cargo Claim. If American Group receives a letter of declination from the Carrier, the Customer will be notified.
A Carrier’s Cargo Claim payments equal to $499.99 or less will be credited to the Customer’s account by American Group when received. A Carrier’s Cargo Claim payments for $500.00 or more will be paid to the Customer when American Group receives the claim payment from the Carrier. As agreed to by Customer, all costs, fees, charges, and expenses due for American Group’s performance of the Cargo Claim services shall be set forth in a separate written agreement by and between Customer and American Group and detail the terms and conditions for the payment of the same. American Group will notify the Customer and American Group’s accounting department will process the Cargo Claim payment, less the Cargo Claim Fees, within 7 to 14 days. Depending on the Customer’s credit/payment status, a credit will be made to the Customer’s account, or a check will be processed and mailed. When Customer’s Cargo Claim is submitted by American Group to Carrier, American Group has a lien on any amounts recovered to the extent of open, past-due invoices on Customer’s account.
THESE CARGO CLAIM TERMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE, AMENDMENT, AND REVISION AT ANY TIME AT AMERICAN GROUP’S SOLE DISCRETION. UPON COMPLETING ANY UPDATE TO THESE CARGO CLAIM TERMS, AMERICAN GROUP WILL PROVIDE NOTIFICATION ON ITS WEBSITE AT [www.ShipAG.com] AND/OR BY EMAIL TO CUSTOMER. CONTINUED USE OF AMERICAN GROUP’S SERVICES, ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON AMERICAN GROUP’S WEB PAGE, ITS TENDER OF ANY SHIPMENT TO AMERICAN GROUP FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICES HEREUNDER, OR THE EXECUTION OF THE BILL OF LADING, THE AMERICAN GROUP CREDIT APPLICATION, THE AMERICAN GROUP CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATION FORM, OR ANY OTHER ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY CUSTOMER AFTER NOTIFICATION OF ANY CHANGE IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONSTITUTES ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH CHANGES AND IT WILL SIGNIFY THAT CUSTOMER AGREES TO ABIDE BY AND BE BOUND BY THE MODIFIED CARGO CLAIM TERMS.
All Carriers have a limit of liability. Limit of liability is the Carrier's maximum amount that they will pay per pound for loss or damage, regardless of the value of the goods. Liability for LTL shipments vary on a Carrier-by-Carrier basis, and the maximum liability can be up to $25 per pound for new goods but can be subject to lower amounts depending on the Carrier, packaging, freight class or other conditions. Maximum liability for goods that are used typically maxes out at $0.50 per pound, with $0.10 per pound being very common. When shipments move under FAK provisions, the limit of liability is based upon the freight class as billed, not as actual freight class. When shipping full truckloads, make sure to inquire about the maximum Carrier liability.
If the full value of their goods is not covered by the Carrier's maximum liability total, Customers may purchase optional Shipper's Interest Contingent Cargo Liability Insurance ("Third Party Insurance") from the Company prior to shipping their goods. Company has no responsibility or liability with respect to the issuance or denial of Third-Party Insurance, or in the payment or denial of claims. There are items that are excluded and not covered by cargo insurance, so please contact Company for clarification.
Customer should always inspect their freight for damage or signs of damage or shortage. Damage/shortage must be noted at the time of delivery on the delivery receipt. It is the consignee's responsibility to check the outside of crates, packaging, and pallet condition for dents, holes, and tears, and note details of any exception. The delivery receipt serves as the purpose of recording the facts at the time of delivery and certifies that the freight was received in good order unless otherwise noted. When no exceptions are noted, the consignee agrees that the goods were received and accepted in good order. Please take note that the consignee is not justified in refusing a damaged shipment unless the damage has made the freight worthless. If only partial damage or loss occurs, the consignee should accept the entire shipment and determine whether the damaged freight can be repaired.
The consignee should unpack and inspect freight before calling to report the damage or shortage. The concealed damage or shortage must be reported by the consignee, Customer, or shipper directly to the Carrier. Company will not file claims for concealed damages or shortages. Please note concealed damage MUST be reported within five (5) business days from the date of delivery (calendar days) in written/electronic form. An inspection may be required by the Carrier. The Carrier may offer one-third value or decline the claim.
After delivery, Carrier may require an inspection. Customer must contact Carrier's customer service for instruction. Occasionally the Carrier may not have an inspector examine the damaged freight. Instead, they may request the consignee or Customer inspect the freight. Most Carriers will send a waiver of inspection. The waiver will need to be provided when a claim is submitted. An inspection report is not a claim.
If the consignee refuses damaged freight, Carrier may request disposition. A letter of authorization needs to be sent to the Carrier authorizing the return of the damaged freight at no charge (deadhead PRO or free astray). Disposition must be handled by Company agent or claim representative.
If the consignee/Customer discovers that part of the shipment is short, the shortage must be noted on the delivery receipt at the time of delivery.
The consignee must note the shortage on the delivery receipt as a written alarm for Carrier's personnel who will attempt to locate the shortage. The Customer must notify the Carrier immediately. Before you make contact, please have the following information: (1) Freight Bill Number (2) Names and addresses of the shipper and consignee (3) Number of pieces (4) Number of missing pieces (5) Weight of shipment (6) Delivery date (7) Any part number or serial number (8) A complete description of the missing pieces (size, shape, color, packaging details, etc.) (9) Any other information you would think helpful in identifying the lost freight
As soon as the damage or shortage has been identified, you should complete the form on this page. Please contact your Company sales agent for the password to access the form. If the damage is deemed minimal and can be repaired, the repairs need to be completed prior to filing the claim. If the damage is deemed a total loss and requires complete replacement, the replacement must be shipped with the same Carrier to file for the replacement freight cost, or the claim can be filed with the original freight cost, whichever is greater.
If the freight charges have been paid and the damaged freight is undelivered or deemed worthless, the claimant may recover on them as the Carrier has not performed their contract of carriage. When a claim is filed based on the destination value of the goods, the value presumably includes the freight charges and thus these freight charges may not be separately claimed. Example: if freight costs are prepaid and included in the invoice price the invoice value to the purchaser represents the full actual loss. If the claim is based on the origin value of goods, then the freight charges may be added to the claim. Carrier will never reimburse more than they received for the transportation of the goods.
Once all the information has been submitted to Company's claims department, they will submit the claim to the Carrier for processing. Item 300120 of the National Motor Freight Classification states that Carriers will acknowledge a claim in writing within 30 days. Company will provide the acknowledgment and claim number to the Customer and sales agent. Customers can get claim status by email. Claims generally take 60 to 90 days to settle - legally, Carriers have up to 120 days to settle a claim. If Company receives a letter of declination from the Carrier, the Customer will be notified. Generally, the Company's claims department will send the Carrier a rebuttal, provided the Customer can submit additional information that would be pivotal in demonstrating the claim of Carrier negligence.
Claim payments equal to $499.99 or less will be credited to the Customer's account by Company. Claim payments for $500.00 or more will be paid to the Customer when Company receives the claim payment from the Carrier. Company will notify the Customer and Company's accounting department will process the claim payment within 7 to 14 days. Depending on the Customer's credit/payment status, a credit will be made to the Customer's account, or a check will be processed and mailed. Please note that when a damage claim is submitted by Company with Carrier on behalf of Customer, Company has a lien on any amounts recovered to the extent of open past-due invoices on the Customer's account.
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John Benisek p. 480.361.5851 c. 480.692.8058
American Group 25 S. Arizona Place., Suite 300 Chandler, AZ 85225