Cargo Loss & Damage Requirements

Cargo Loss & Damage Requirements

Shipper’s Responsibilities

As the shipper, you are responsible for:

  • Proper packaging.
  • Proper marking and labelling of the shipment.
  • Accurate description and instructions on the bill of lading and shipping papers.
  • Documenting accurate shipping weight.

Cooler Service:

Standard cooler service for meat, fish, poultry and dairy, etc. is subject to a temperature range of (33°) to (40°)F or (1°) to (4°)C.  Produce is subject to a range of (33°) to (44°)F or (1°) to (6°)C.  Shipments delivered within these ranges are considered to have met the criteria for “cooler service” and are not subject to damage claim for warm freight.  Clark Freightways does not protect shipments to a specific temperature, and does not recognize such notations on the customer’s waybill as a condition of liability.

Clark Freightways does not provide a “cool down or freezing” service for goods received outside standard temperature guidelines described above.  Shipments tendered to Clark Freightways outside of the standard temperatures as outlined above may be refused at pickup or transported at the customers own liability, and will not be subject to a temperature claim against the carrier.

Freezer Service:

Standard freezer service is subject to a temperature of no more than ten (10°)F or minus twelve (-12°)C.

Maximim Liability / Declared Value of Shipment:

Bill of lading conditions allow the consignor an opportunity to declare the value of merchandise at the time of shipment.  Failure to do so maximizes the carrier’s liability for any loss or damage at $2.00 per pound ($4.41 per kilogram).  Shippers should be aware a declared value exceeding $2.00 per pound ($4.41 per kilogram) will result in a valuation surcharge being applied in accordance with the Clark Freightways General Rules Tariff on any prepaid, collect or third party shipment. 


All products must be well packaged or crated to handle the normal rigors of transportation.  The carrier may refuse to transport shipments which are not deemed to be packaged or protected for safe transportation, and reserves the right to move shipments with poor or inadequate packaging at “Owners Risk of Damage” (ORD).  All goods should be clearly marked to show destination and delivery address.  See shipping tips.

Consignee’s Responsibilities

As the consignee, you must identify and document any loss and/or damage carefully when receiving a shipment for delivery.  There are two types of loss or damage.

  • Visible loss or damage
  • Concealed loss or damage

Visible loss or damage means that the loss or damage was apparent at the time of delivery.  In this case, you are responsible for clearly noting the specific loss or damage details on the delivery receipt.  In the case of discovering concealed loss or damage after or during delivery, you must immediately stop unpacking the product, retain the product and all packaging and contact our claims department or branch to request an inspection. 

Delivery Receipt Signatures:

Damages or shortages must be clearly noted and identified on the carrier’s receipt copy of the freight bill (POD) with consignee’s signature and printed name at the time of delivery.  Notations such as “Subject to Inspection and/or Count”, “Cartons Crushed”, “Possible Damage”, “Possible Shortage” do not constitute a proper damage or shortage signature, and do not entitle you to file a loss/damage claim.  Failure to note apparent loss or damage on the delivery receipt at the time of delivery may result in a delay in the processing, or the declination of your claim.

Mitigation of Loss:

When accepting a delivery that may consist of partial damages or shortages, the consignee is not justified in refusing the entire shipment, unless the damage has made the entire shipment worthless.  In cases of partial damage or loss, the consignee is expected to accept the entire shipment and determine whether all or a portion can be repaired or retained for an allowance.  Un-necessarily refusing an entire shipment may be perceived as a failure to mitigate damages.

Reporting Concealed Loss or Damage:

If concealed loss or damage is discovered after delivery (clear delivery receipt),
you must:

  • Notify Clark Freightways in writing and request an inspection.  Notification
    can be given by telephone, but the telephone call must be followed up by written
  • Ensure the shipment and packaging material is maintained in the same condition as
    when the damage or loss was discovered.

Notification to the carrier should be done no later than 48 hours after delivery.  In a concealed loss or damage claim, the consignee maintains the burden of proof.  The consignee must prove that the damage or loss was caused by the carrier and not by other parties handling the goods.

Cargo Inspections:

In general, all claims must be inspected.  However, when the claim is under $500.00 or for other reasons, Clark Freightways may elect to waive the required inspection.  All claims for concealed loss or damage must be accompanied by an inspection report.

A cargo inspection may be requested directly with the Claims Department or through any Branch.  An inspection report does not constitute an admission of liability, filing of Notice or Intent to Claim, or filing of Claim.  Concealed damages and shortages must be reported immediately to the nearest Clark Freightways Branch.  Stop unpacking the goods and keep all packaging materials for the inspector.

When the freight is inspected, you will be provided with a copy of the inspection report. Obtain a copy of an Inspection Report of Loss or Damage.

Failure to request an inspection may result in the carrier refusing to accept liability.

Salvage & Refusal

In the case of loss or damage, all parties to the claim (shipper. consignee, 3rd party, and carrier) have a legal responsibility to make all reasonable attempts to mitigate the loss.  The consignee can minimize the loss by accepting and retaining damaged product for a discounted price or having the goods repaired.  Reducing the loss will assist in expediting a claim.

In cases of partial damage or loss, the consignee is expected to accept the entire shipment and determine whether all or a portion can be repaired or retained for an allowance.  Un-necessarily refusing an entire shipment may be perceived as a failure to mitigate damages.

When a shipment or portion there of is refused, the carrier will send a legal notice of freight on-hand to the owner of record asking for disposition of the goods.

Any salvage that is beyond repair must be retained for the carrier’s disposition once the claim has been settled.