When it comes to LTL freight damage, the shipper and consignee both have responsibilities.

LTL Freight Damage – Shipper Responsibilities

  • Proper packaging.
  • Proper markings on the packaging
  • Proper description on the shipping papers

The shipper must follow all tariff and shipping regulations related to the product.  Proper packaging requirements are outlined in the following two publications:

  • National Motor Freight Classification
  • Hazardous Materials Regulations of the Department of Transportation

7 Habits of Highly Effective Shippers

LTL Freight Damage – Receiver Responsibilities

As the receiver or consignee, you must carefully identify and document loss and/or damage on the delivery receipt at time of delivery.

There are two types of loss or damage:

  • Visible or noted loss or damage
  • Concealed loss or damage

Visible or Noted Loss or Damage

Visible loss or damage is apparent at the time of delivery and should be noted.  Noted loss or damage is recorded in detail on the delivery receipt.

When recording loss or damage, please use specific details and try to avoid general or generic terms such as “box damaged” or “torn”. This type of notation does not provide adequate support for your claim.

Concealed Loss or Damage

Concealed loss or damage is that which was not apparent at the time of delivery.  Concealed damage should be reported to the carrier usually within 15 days of delivery.

These claims are considered and investigated as concealed loss or damage claims and will be handled based on their individual merits.

The National Motor Freight Classification, ITEM 300135 (see specific section below) states: “When damage to contents of a shipping container is discovered by the recipient, which could not have been determined at time of delivery, it must be reported by the recipient to the delivering carrier upon discovery and a request for inspection by the carrier’s representative made. Notice of loss or damage and a request for inspection may be given by telephone or in person, but in either event must be confirmed in writing by mail.

The Best LTL KPI for Measuring Freight Damage


If possible, make a written tally record when a large number of items are being received or the shipment consists of a number of different items.  At the time of delivery please check the labels on all handling units to be certain they are yours and check for shortages as goods are being unloaded. Be sure to keep the shipment together until unloading is complete, in case a recount is necessary

If there is a shortage, please note it on the delivery receipt before signing for the shipment.

Bottom line:  Understand and follow the rules of the carrier, NMFC and DOT.  By following the rules, a shipper will have fewer damaged shipments and be more likely to collect on freight claims.

Questions:  Does your company have a lot freight claims?  Should anything be added to this list?