When shipping LTL freight, you’ve likely run into this hypothetical, but common scenario:
A damaged shipment occurs, and it’s 100% the responsibility of the carrier.
The delivery receipt is signed as damaged, so all the right documentation is in order. A claim is filed with the carrier. The carrier takes upwards of a month to review and come to a decision.When the letter finally arrives, the carrier is admitting they are in the wrong, however when you get to the “good part,” the amount the will reimburse you on, it’s actually less than half of the full value that
To use USF Holland (part of YRC Worldwide) as an example, the word “liability” shows up 96 times in their Holland 100 Rules Tariff. It’s clearly an important part of the industry and important to them!
When you go to item 420 in their tariff (Standard Liability Limitations) you’ll see, among other things, a table like the below:
Ref: http://www.hollandregional.com/pdf/forms/RulesTariff.pdf (item 420, page 22)
This table spells out the amount in dollars and cents PER POUND that Holland will pay on a freight claim – even if they are 100% at fault. It’s a risk with choosing to ship LTL that needs to be known ahead of time. When it comes to LTL performance/transit and claims risk – the safer alternative would always be paying for a dedicated truck for just your freight – however statistically and from a cost perspective, that doesn’t make sense, as most LTL carriers really do damage a very low percentage of the shipments they handle.
To use a real life example here – if you ship a 500 pound item at class 85 using USF Holland, and it’s worth more than $2500, then in the event of a claim, you will not get the full value paid back to you by
the carrier. 500 pounds x $5 (per lbs) gives you at max, $2500 back from the carrier.
This is where some exciting news comes into play:
As of Mid 2020, Recon Logistics has partnered with the best third-party cargo insurance company in the industry – Falvey Cargo Underwriting – to offer insurance on your freight above and beyond what the carriers offer as standard liability.
Furthermore – it’s very affordable – much more so than buying additional insurance (or liability coverage) directly from the carriers themselves, as many shippers do in these situations.
While using the cargo insurance option on every shipment still isn’t recommended due to overall shipping costs rising – applying this option strategically and especially on your higher dollar (lighter) shipments is a very astute decision to make in order to apply that ounce of prevention and benefit from the pound of cure – if Ben Franklin were to be weighing in on this.
Right now – reaching out to your Recon Operations team for insurance quotes is the way to go and they will get you set up with the extra coverage. With this option now in place – it’s 99.99% of the time going to be the better direction for you, versus getting additional coverage from the carrier, which can be quite costly, as many of them are self-insured in this regard.