Are Freight Claims The Shipper or Receiver's Responsibility?


February 28, 2022


Here's a question we get asked often: Are freight claims the shipper or receiver's responsibility?

Let's explore.

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with new links and content.
Original Publication Date: April 19, 2013

If you are involved in logistics or related fields, or in an industry that depends upon logistics in order to be successful, you are well-served by knowing as much as you can about the basics of freight claims. In the event that items in transit are lost or damaged, freight claims are the means of recovering some of that lost value. However, just as in any insurance situation, it is very important that you take all of the proper and appropriate steps.

In order to make a freight claim, for example, you will have to be certain that you have properly filled out the relevant freight claim forms in advance. When a freight claim is not supported by the appropriate freight claim forms and other documentation, then it is usually not possible for you to pursue your claim effectively. Every freight claim form you fill out should be kept on record and reviewed by a qualified professional.

Be aware, when shipping items, you are not the only party who has responsibility during the claim process. Both the shipper and the receiver can have certain types of responsibilities when it comes to making a claim on freight. To ensure that your rights are protected, you should be familiar with the different areas of responsibility.

Areas of Responsibility Typically Assigned to the Shipper

The shipper is typically deemed to be responsible for areas including proper packaging, properly marking all packages, and ensuring that all items are correctly and properly described on the relevant shipping documentation. It is worth noting that all of these items can contribute very seriously to freight issues, so it can be argued that the most important responsibility falls to the shipper. Improper packaging is implicated in a very large fraction of shipping issues.

Areas of Responsibility Typically Assigned to the Receiver

The receiver, also often noted as the consignee, is responsible for documenting any loss or damages that might result from the carriage and delivery of freight. If the receiver fails to document the loss or damages on the receiving document at the tie of receipt, or fails to do so in a prompt and appropriate manner, then the loss cannot be resolved by means of a freight claim. It is clear, then, that both parties should do all within their power to ensure complete documentation of items, transit, and end results are documented properly and timely.

Avoiding the Necessity for Claims Through In-Transit Visibility

Many claims are precipitated by unforeseen circumstances that develop while items are in transit. The shipping enterprise can help protect its interests by implementing an appropriate level of in-transit routing, carrier selection, and exception management. Lojistic can help logistics leaders to implement enterprise-level, cloud-based software that will provide real-time shipping intelligence critical to avoiding emergency situations that can end in damage.

Of course, it is impossible to avoid 100% of claims 100% of the time, but the impact and number of claims can be seriously mitigated. In order to prepare appropriately for claims, ensure that the claim management and resolution process at your enterprise is backed by best practices and is well understood by all relevant stakeholders. This can be a challenge when you use a variety of different carriers, so enterprise knowledge management on the subject is a critical success factor.

Do You Need More Information Or Have Questions About Freight Claims? 

Our freight experts are more than happy to help any questions that you have. Just share your question with us here, and we'll get back to you with an answer.  Or give us a call at 800 - 783 - 5753. We're here to help. Also, if there's more specific information you'd like to see in this post - just let us know by emailing us at

Looking For Additional Freight Support? Welcome to the LTL/FTL Marketplace 

If you're looking for additional freight support, check out Lojistic's Freight Marketplace.  The LTL/FTL Marketplace was created to help you get big inbound and outbound discounts from the carriers you trust. Lojistic also offers free TMS, invoice audit and other freight management solutions.

Happy shipping!

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