What to Do If Your Test Equipment Shipment Arrives Damaged

What to Do If Your Test Equipment Shipment Arrives Damaged

So you’ve done everything right in preparing your gear for transit. Shipped in a double walled box. Used 4 to 6 inches of instapak on all six sides of the gear, insured your shipment, and yet it still arrived damaged. Things happen sometimes. Maybe a rogue forklift driver, unhappy delivery person, an unsettled cargo bay, or poor weather conditions. Regardless, you carrier of choice should be in your corner and ready to assist you. What do you do now?


Prepare to Minimize Your Risk

There are a few easy steps you can take to minimize the risk and maximize your recourse in the event you have to address a damaged shipment situation.

For outgoing freight, actual photos of the equipment to verify its condition are helpful. Specifically photos taken before gear it is put into the shipping container, transit case or box. A photo of the packed box is helpful as well to show how the parcel looked before it left your facility. Please note that in most cases, problems or damage in shipment is the result of poor packaging.

For incoming freight, prior to signing for the package be sure to examine the box for any sign of damage. Check all sides for holes, dents or crushed corners. In the event you find any damage to the container have the driver note it on their paperwork prior to signing for the package. This will help you in the event you need to file a claim.


Problem Solve And Be Proactive

Once you sign for the package you need to open the box and examine the item as soon as possible. You will typically have 24 to 48 hours to file a claim in the event of shipping damage. Make sure to retain the box, all packing material and the paperwork until the item has been examined and accepted. You will need the tracking number of the shipment when you contact the shipper to make a formal damage claim. The shipper will send someone out to examine the box, packing material and the paperwork to make sure it meets the shipper’s guidelines. The shipper web sites are loaded with tips.

Once everything is confirmed to be in order, you should receive a check from the shipper for the insured amount.


Develop a Relationship With Your Carriers

Know your vendors and treat them how you want to be treated. Repeat business leads to lower rates, accountability, and better service levels. If you are a good customer, care will be taken to address your needs. When carriers stop at your facility daily, treat their delivery people well, as they are guests in your loading dock area. Ask your delivery people for input on how to improve your logistics process and procedures, they can be an excellent resource. If problems persist, take a hard look at your shipping personnel. Have they been trained properly, do they assist your company in rate negotiations, or are the materials they use being deployed in the correct manner? It is a smaller world now, and we are much more interconnected than ever before, so there should be no geographic barriers when conducting business needing the timely transit of your goods.

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Mike is a finance industry executive with expertise in test, IT and avionics equipment acquisition, resale, residual valuation, leasing, renting and consignment.
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