In the span of 1 week we had two customers who received freight damaged machines – unfortunately they eliminated the opportunity for freight insurance coverage because they signed the truckers bills without inspecting the crates so without a notation “damaged” with their signature, their insurance claim was denied by the freight companies.
Most times if a crated machine has been mishandled the damage is obvious but on occasion there can be hidden damage – the crate appears fine but the machine has shifted and something has been damaged.
Empire routinely skids and crates machines if we are shipping in a van – flat deck moves are safer as the machines don’t transfer from truck to truck and dock to dock along the way but flat deck shipments are expensive and not necessary with proper crating and handling.
Drivers have on occasion unloaded machines outside a building – rushed inside to have the bill signed and then away they go. In the freight company’s eyes, it is the receiver’s responsibility to inspect the goods PRIOR to signing the bill of lading and no matter how quickly we phone or how well documented and photographed, it all boils down to the freight bill – was it noted “damaged” when it was signed suggesting there is a suspicion of damage.
Empire’s freight insurance is comprehensive and affordable and covers every shipment where the freight is prepaid by Empire. On the day of shipping or the next day, we fax the bill of lading to our customers with a REMINDER – check out the crate when it is delivered!
Don’t sign the trucker’s bill of lading unless you are SURE there is no damage – the driver has to wait for that signed bill!