Cargo Loss, Damage and Delay
a. American Group (Company) shall have no liability for cargo loss, damage, distribution, or delay ("Cargo Claims") except to the extent such Cargo Claims are solely caused by Company's negligent acts or omissions. The liability of Company for such claims shall be limited to the fees paid by Customer to Company related to the transaction giving rise to the claim.
b. Customer acknowledges and agrees that the Servicing Carrier's governing General Rules Tariff shall determine the standard liability coverage offered by the Servicing Carrier. If Customer wishes to purchase additional insurance it must contact Company in advance of the shipment. The General Rules Tariffs shall be provided by Company to Customer upon written demand. If the shipment contains freight with a predetermined exception value, as determined by the Servicing Carrier, the maximum exception liability will override on a claim will be that which is recoverable under the respective transportation tariffs, which may be negotiated to differ from those set forth on a Servicing Carrier's site. Company will not be responsible in any way for claims arising out of Customer negligence, Carrier's negligence, or the negligence of any third party. Customer acknowledges that used or household goods, products or equipment may have limits of liability as low as $0.10 per pound or no coverage whatsoever.
c. The Parties agree that time is not of the essence in the performance of services contemplated hereunder.
d. Company will use commercially reasonable efforts to assist Customer in filing claims for cargo loss, damage, destruction or delay with motor carriers, but in no event, will Company accept any such claim on behalf of a Servicing Carrier. Customer is solely responsible for filing claims with Servicing Carriers, unless Company otherwise expressly agrees to assist in writing, and agrees to hold harmless and indemnify Company from any failure to timely file a claim with the Service Center.
The Customer will look solely to insurance provided by the carrier for damage to goods in transit. Each carrier’s governing Tariff will determine the standard liability cargo insurance coverage offered on any shipment, subject to any exception value. If the shipment contains freight with a predetermined exception value, as determined by the selected carrier, the maximum exception liability will override the liability coverage otherwise provided by the Tariff. The Customer acknowledges a claim for damages does not relieve it for payment under the terms of this Agreement. Timely payment is a condition precedent to the processing of a damage or insurance claim. All freight cargo claims should be submitted immediately to American Group to help ensure timely resolution. American Group will attempt to assist in the resolution of freight claims, but has no responsibility or liability therefore. Where a damage claim is submitted with carrier on behalf of Customer, American Group has a lien on any amounts recovered to the extent of open past due invoices on the Customer’s account. American Group may have optional Shippers Interest Contingent Cargo Liability Insurance (“Third Party Insurance”) available for purchase by the Customer. American Group has no responsibility or liability with respect to the issuance or denial of Third Party Insurance, or in the payment or denial or claims.
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 damage freight can be repaired.
Concealed damage MUST be reported within five (5) business days from the date of delivery. The consignee should unpack and inspect freight before calling to report the damage. The concealed damage must be reported by the consignee, customer, shipper or sales agent to the carrier. An inspection may be required by the carrier. The carrier may offer 1/3 or decline the claim. Please note if a concealed claim is NOT reported to the Carrier within FIVE business days from date of delivery in written/electronic form, American Group Claims Department will be unable to file the claim.
After the delivery an inspection may be required. The customer must contact carrier’s customer service. 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.
DISPOSITION OF DAMAGED FREIGHT:
If the consignee refuses damaged freight the 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 (dead head pro or free astray) Disposition must be handled by American Group Account Representative or Customer Service.
FOR A SHIPMENT SHORTAGE:
If the consignee/customer feels part of the shipment is short, the shortage must be noted on the delivery receipt, at the time of delivery.
HOW TO HAVE A SHORTAGE TRACED:
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 terminal immediately. Before you make contact please have the following information: (Freight Bill Number), (Names and addresses of the shipper and consignee), (Number of pieces), (Number of missing pieces), (Weight of shipment), (Delivery date), (Any part number or serial number), (A complete description of the missing pieces, size, shape, color, packaging details, etc.,), (Any other information you would think helpful in identifying the lost freight).
STEPS TO TAKE PRIOR TO FILING A FREIGHT CLAIM:
As soon as the damage or shortage has been identified, you can complete the form below. 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 in order to file for the replacement freight cost or the claim can be filed with the original freight cost; whichever is greater.
FREIGHT CHARGES: (Destination value/Origin Value)
If the freight charges have been paid to the carrier and the damaged freight is undelivered or deemed worthless the claimant may recover them on 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.
HOW THE CLAIM WILL BE PROCESSED:
Once all the information has been submitted to our claims department American Group’s Claim Department will submit the claim to the carrier for processing. Item 300120 of the National Motor Freight Classification states…Carriers will acknowledge a claim in writing within 30 days. Company will provide the acknowledgment and claim number to the customer and sales representative. 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 decline from the carrier the customer will be notified. Generally the claims department will send a carrier a rebuttal providing the customer can submit additional information that would be pivotal in disputing the claim of carrier negligence.
HOW THE CLAIM PAYMENT WILL BE PROCESSED:
Once American Group receives the claim payment from the carrier, we will notify the customer and the accounting department will process the claim payment within 7 to 14 days and depending on the customer’s credit/payment status a credit will be placed on the customer’s account or a check will be processed and mailed. Please take note if the customer has any past due invoices the claim payment will be applied to any open invoices and a credit memo will be issued.
LIMIT OF CARRIERS LIABILITY:
All carriers have a limit of liability. Limit of liability is the carriers cap as to what they will pay per pound for a loss or damage. Most carrier’s limit of liability is based upon the class of the freight. Example: class 50 at $2.00/lb for some carriers ($1.00/lb for others) and class 300 $25.00 per pound. This is the carrier’s cap regardless of the value of goods. Carrier’s liability for anything used or refurbished/reconditioned has a maximum liability of $.05/lb to $.50/lb depending on the Carrier.
This is the value/lb at which a shipper releases the goods. Normally this references NMFC items (116030 data machines or components) where the shipper is required to declare a value because the rate (*class) of a shipment is determined by the released value not to EXCEED (RVNX) of the item. EG: 116030 sub 1 RVNX $5.00/lb class 92.5; sub 2 RVNX $10.00/lb, class 150, etc.
FAK TARIFF PROVISIONS:
This is where the limit of liability is based upon class, it is based upon the class at which the shipment is billed, NOT ACTUAL CLASS, so when a customer ships a class 100 and enjoys an FAK class 50 the limit of liability is based upon class 50 NOT actual class. The carrier will not pay on ACTUAL class but will limit the liability at the class 50.
This is an additional insurance that the shipper can purchase if the carrier’s liability will not cover the value of goods being shipped. There are items that are excluded and not covered by cargo insurance so please contact the Claims Department for clarification. If there is concealed damage the same rules apply, it MUST be reported within 5 days of delivery.