EURO Windows and Doors MFG

Freight Claim Procedure Guide

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INTRODUCTION

EURO Windows and Doors MFG strives to ship its product on safe, cost-effective carriers who understand the challenges of handling architectural aluminum products. Due to the typical order size of our shipments, much of our product ships via the LTL or Less-than-Truckload system. Although our order sizes warrant LTL shipping, our product’s dimensions and finishes do not. EURO Windows and Doors MFG ships its product under FOB Origin freight terms. The transfer of ownership of the freight takes place at the origin (shipping point or EURO Windows and Doors MFG facility). Based upon those shipping terms, the freight is owned by the customer while it is in transit from EURO Windows and Doors MFG to its destination, regardless of freight payment terms (Prepaid or Collect). EURO Windows and Doors MFG makes every effort possible to assist with loss and damage freight claims for our customers, but it is the responsibility of freight owner to file any freight claims that occur while it is in transit. The following information is provided to assist our customers with the freight claims process.

LESS-THAN-TRUCKLOAD DEFINED

Less-than-Truckload carriage is characterized as multiple shipments consolidated into a single system that will be sorted and transported through a terminal network and relay points for delivery to multiple destinations. These establishments are generally characterized by the following network activities: local pickup, local terminal operations (sorting), line-haul (terminal to terminal), destination terminal operations (sorting), and local delivery. Freight can experience the sorting or cross-docking process at several terminal locations prior to reaching its destination terminal. The majority of freight damage occurs in this multiple-handling process. A Less-than-Truckload shipment is one which does not completely fill a truck or which weighs less than the weight required for the application of a full truckload freight rate. The historical definition for LTL freight is shipments under 10,000 pounds and not exceeding 28 linear feet of a trailer, but would differ from carrier to carrier.

LESS-THAN TRUCKLOAD PRICING

Generally, LTL freight rates are dependent upon weight, distance, freight classification and freight discounts. LTL carriers classify freight based upon the guidelines of the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA).

The Classification is a system that catalogues and equitably groups all commodities moving in commerce into 18 classes (classes 50 through 500) according to their “transportability,” as reflected by the four composite transportation characteristics prescribed by the ICC and the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board. These characteristics are as follows: 1) density; 2) stow ability; 3) ease or difficulty in handling; and 4) liability. These freight classes establish equitable relationships between commodities and allow for fair pricing guidelines. The volume of freight a shipper has to offer affects price discounts as well. EURO Windows and Doors MFG has freight rate contracts with many carriers, and we apply that discount to your shipment when possible. EURO Windows and Doors MFG‘S stock lengths fall under the Aluminum group. The classification of our 22’-4″ aluminum extrusions falls under Aluminum: Lineal Shapes or Molding with a NMFC freight class of 60. Our assembled doors and windows ship under a NMFC freight class of 100 and our unassembled door frames ship under a NMFC freight class of 100. Our hardware and rubber weather strip/gasket both fall under a NMFC freight class of 70.

RECEIPT OF FREIGHT

It is extremely important that you take the time to receive your shipment properly. You should be receiving a EURO Windows and Doors MFG Packing List with each shipment. The Packing List allows you to effectively check your material into your facility, as it is unloaded. Visually inspect the condition of the freight while it is on the trailer. Any noticeable packaging damage should be addressed with the carrier’s agent or driver and noted on the Bills of Lading (or Delivery Receipt) signed by both you and the driver. It is highly recommended that each and every customer invest in a digital camera to take pictures of the damage while it is still on the carrier’s trailer. Photographs of the freight’s condition immediately upon arrival to your facility greatly enhance the validity of the claim and expedite the process. Following the visual inspection of the freight on the trailer, unload the freight. Prior to the driver leaving the dock, check your shipment carefully to see that it is in good order and all accounted for. Check for signs of damage that were concealed while on the carrier’s trailer. Under NMFC rules, officially you do not have the right to open the packaging prior to signing for the freight (Delivery Receipt). It has not officially been released to you. Some carriers may use this against you when filing a claim. So with the driver present and with his consent, open and inspect any damaged packaging and check for concealed damage to the material. You may wish to call the carrier terminal prior to doing this to get official direction in this inspection process. Write a precise description of the missing or damaged freight on both the carrier’s copy and your copy of the Delivery Receipt. Based upon the EURO Windows and Doors MFG‘S terms of sale, the customer owns the freight while it is in transit. A carrier’s driver may suggest that you simply refuse the shipment if it contains damage. Based on the freight terms, you own this material, and refusing it will cause more complications between you and the carrier. Do not refuse a EURO Windows and Doors MFG shipment due to the FOB terms of sale, otherwise the carrier will be calling you with regard to additional handling and service fees.

SHIPMENT SHORTAGE/LOSS

If you feel part of your shipment is missing, verify the quantities against what is indicated on your Delivery Receipt and Packing List. Write a precise description of the shortage on both your copy and the carrier’s copy, signed by both you and the driver. Make sure to have the following information available for the call:

  • Freight Bill Number
  • Billing Date on the Delivery Receipt
  • Name of the Shipper
  • Name of the Consignee
  • Number of total pieces and missing pieces
  • Weight of the shipment
  • Delivery Date
  • Precise description of the missing items
  • Any part number, box number, or serial number listed on the missing piece(s)
  • Any additional information to assist the carrier in locating the material (size, shape, color, etc)

VISIBLE DAMAGE

If the packaging of your shipment contains visible damage, take pictures and ask driver to make note of damaged packaging. Ask the driver to inspect the material with you as you open the packaging. Again, write a precise description of the damaged freight on both the carrier’s copy and your copy of the Delivery Receipt.

CONCEALED DAMAGE

If later you determine that there was freight damage to your material, report it to the carrier by calling them immediately. Reporting freight damage must be done within fifteen (15) days, but doing so immediately will reduce the impression that you caused the damage while the material was in your possession. Ask for an inspection of the material by a representative of the carrier. While you wait for an inspection, make every attempt to leave the material as it was when you first discovered the concealed damage or loss. A representative of the carrier will discuss the damage and loss with you over the phone and determine whether or not a formal inspection and written report will be required. An inspector may be dispatched to your facility, or the inspection will be waived and you may be asked to do an inspection yourself. Keep a written statement documenting the inspection. Many carriers have a Waiver of Inspection that allows you to document your own inspection of the material. It is not a claim form, and should not be considered acceptance of a claim.

CLAIM DEFINED

A claim is a written demand for payment by the owner of a shipment to the carrier for loss or damage occurring during transit. A carrier is required to acknowledge a claim within thirty (30) days. A claim and its supporting documentation is required to be filed within nine (9) months of delivery or expected delivery. According to the NMFC, all submitted claims must be acknowledged by the carrier with thirty (30) days. They must rule (pay, refuse to pay, or pending) on a claim within one hundred and twenty (120) days. If pending, they must provide an update every sixty (60) days regarding the status of the claim and the reason for failure to resolve claim. Most claims are settled (not necessarily paid) within 30 days.

CLAIMS PROCESSING

Lost or damaged material occurs during the shipping process. Carriers are responsible for any lost or damaged goods that arrive at your facility, and claims obviously affect the financial well being of the carrier. They have highly trained claims processors that know the ins and outs of freight damage loopholes. Carriers will make every effort possible to create a basis to deny a freight claim. Claim forms can be found on carrier websites. Carriers can also send you a blank claim form via facsimile. A specific form is not mandatory. Either way, the following information must accompany the freight claim:

  • The Vendor invoice for the goods shipped [price paid (after discounts, deductions, etc.)
  • A copy of the Freight Bill Invoice from the carrier
  • A copy of the Bill of Lading
  • Detailed repair invoices (if damaged goods have been repaired)
  • An inspection report of the damaged goods (either done by a carrier representative or one performed by you Waiver of Inspection, Concealed Loss Report, etc.)

The claim should be submitted and all communication with the carrier regarding the claim should be documented. Make copies of all documents sent to the carrier.

NOTE: Products illustrated in this catalog are part of standard systems available from EURO Windows and Doors MFG. We have the option to work on any custom product requested by the client. Prices need to be discussed at time of ordering. Our engineers possess unique knowledge on special applications of EURO Windows and Doors MFG products and integration of products by third parties into EURO Windows and Doors MFG systems. If you need more information regarding utilizing of system components please contact Professional Grade Aluminum for further assistance.