Whether youíre sending truckloads or LTL, OS&D claims come with the territory, and they can be quite costly. No one wants to deal with overages, shortages or even worse, damaged loads, but it happens. The claims process is a necessary part of transportation logistics, but there are things you can do to reduce their frequency.
It all starts with personnel. Make sure your dock workers are highly trained and safety conscious. Most damage and overage claims happen because of improperly stacked and wrapped pallets. If they are stacked too high or wrapped too loosely, theyíll be unstable and could fall. Loosely wrapped pallets also make theft easier. To reduce shortage claims, make sure your warehouse or fulfillment center has adequate security including surveillance cameras when choosing a freight carrier, stick with the most reputable ones and donít be swayed by almost too good to be true deals. Your workers should be checking the BOL with the product on the pallet before wrapping to make sure the counts match. It sounds simple and common sense, but in many cases, speed is prioritized above it. Faster is not always better!
If damage happens, youíre better off letting it be sent to salvage and writing it off. This means less hassles for you. To prevent damage, make sure product is packed properly. Sometimes the boxes meant for store display just arenít enough and youíll need to supplement with outer packaging or cushioning. Proper pallet stacking is crucial for even weight distribution. This helps prevent crushed corners and cave ins. When in doubt, start another pallet. Another cause of damage is careless forklift use. Operators should be giving the task their full attention and not rushing. This prevents boxes from being speared or dropped.
Speaking of your pallets, they should be inspected regularly and any that are showing signs of damage like cracks, splintering or loose boards should be discarded. The last thing you want is for one to give way after being stacked with merchandise.