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What’s the Timeline for Processing a Cargo Claim?

In transportation and logistics, going through the claims process is sometimes unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be painful. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) established a general timeline to make processing a claim easier for all parties. You can also work with Echo as your third-party logistics (3PL) partner to ensure you’re adhering to the right process. The following steps outline the lifecycle of a cargo claim. This is the third installment in our claims series. Here’s what’s standard for most carriers.

Step 1: You File Your Claim and the Carrier Acknowledges It

For all cargo claims, the claimant must file the claim within nine months from the date of delivery. Shortage claims need to be filed within nine months of the shipment date. The claimant must also provide supporting documents for the claim, including the original commercial invoice, signed proof of delivery (POD), packing slip (if available), pictures of the damaged cargo (if available), and the repair or replacement invoice (must be an actual invoice). The carrier then has 30 days to acknowledge the claim and begin an investigation.

If you work with Echo, one of our reps can file a claim on your behalf and keep you apprised of updates and any requests made by the carrier. You can read more about damages in our blog article, “How to Notate Damages and Shortages on the BOL and POD.”





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