What should I do if a shipping company damages or loses my order and whose responsibility is it to file a claim against the carrier?

What a typical Portland Bolt shipment looks like when it leaves our facility.
What a typical Portland Bolt shipment looks like when it leaves our facility.

Let’s begin by addressing responsibility for filing a claim. When Portland Bolt ships product collect on a carrier of our customer’s choosing, ownership of the material changes hands the moment the carrier leaves our loading dock. Therefore, if a shipment is damaged or lost, it is our customer’s responsibility to file a claim against the carrier. On the other hand, when Portland Bolt is prepaying the freight and the order is FOB destination, ownership changes hands when the product is received complete and undamaged at its destination. In this case, it is Portland Bolt’s responsibility to file a claim against the carrier.

Here at Portland Bolt, we have invested in some of the best packaging and safe freight carrier partners to ensure the best delivery possible of our product.  However, even with our efforts, accidents happen and shipments can still be damaged or lost while in transit to you.  When damage or loss of product occurs during shipment, it is the responsibility of the receiving party to sign the freight bill and note that damage has occurred.  To ensure a safe arrival we ask that you follow these simple steps.

In the case of a damaged shipment:

  1. When the freight carrier arrives with your order, before you sign the carrier’s copy of the bill of lading, please thoroughly inspect the shipment for any signs of damage such as torn or smashed boxes, heavy taping on the boxes, etc.
  2. If you see any signs of damage to the shipment you MUST specifically notate any signs of damage on the delivery receipt before you sign it.  Even if there is no clear place to write these notes down, just make sure to write it down somewhere visible on the delivery receipt.  Alternatively, you can refuse the shipment and note the damage as the reason for refusal on the delivery receipt.
  3. If possible, take pictures of the damage. Photos of the damage will assist us in filing a damage claim with the freight carrier.
    notice Damaged-Box-1-300x225 (1)
    Examples of Portland Bolt boxes that were damaged in transit. Notice that the carrier tried to tape the boxes back together to reduce further product loss or possibly even conceal the damage.
  4. Contact us right away so that we can replace the damaged or missing product as quickly as possible and start the claims process with the freight carrier.

In the case of a delayed or lost shipment:

In the rare instance that your order does not arrive as expected, the first step is to track it online with the tracking email that we automatically send for every order we ship. If the order shows a status such as Exception, Delayed, Information Unavailable or something other than the standard shipment tracking message, please notify your Portland Bolt salesperson right away. In cases where a freight carrier has lost a shipment, or part of a multi-box/multi-pallet shipment during transit, we must give the carrier a reasonable amount of time to attempt to locate the missing shipment or portion of a shipment and deliver it. Typically the carrier will be able to locate the missing goods within a short period of time and ultimately deliver them to you. If it is a time critical delivery and you cannot wait for the freight carrier to locate and deliver the lost or delayed shipment, we are happy to manufacture and ship a replacement order. However, in cases like this where the customer wishes us to remake or reship before the carrier has a chance to locate the shipment, Portland Bolt requires acknowledgment in writing that the customer is responsible for paying any costs incurred if the original shipment is recovered.

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