FREIGHT CLAIMS – OVERVIEW & PROCESS 2017-10-31T17:57:22+00:00

FREIGHT CLAIMS – OVERVIEW & PROCESS

General Disclaimer

Champion Global Logistics, Inc., hereinafter referred to as “CHAMPION”, provides services to Customers based in the United States and Canada as a non-asset based freight forwarder. CHAMPION never personally handles or transports our Customers goods because we are non-asset based. Therefore, CHAMPION’s maximum limit of liability on any shipment, by way of any conveyance is $50.00 USD or $.50 cents per pound, whichever is greater. CHAMPION is not required to process freight claims for any Customer. That is the sole responsibility of the Customer. CHAMPION reserves the right to refuse to perform our claims processing service at any time, for any reason, and for any Customer. The Customer reserves the right to process their own freight claim if they choose to do so. If they exercise that right, Customer agrees to hold harmless and indemnify CHAMPION from any future legal action and fully agrees to the details of the Terms and Conditions found on CHAMPION’s website at www.ChampionGL.com, which supersede and take governing precedent over any other document involved in any transaction. CHAMPION’s Terms and Conditions are subject to change by CHAMPION without notification. CHAMPION strongly encourages all of its Customers to read and review our Terms and Conditions prior to tendering a shipment to CHAMPION, its agents, or carrier partners.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this overview is to provide or Customers with a) insurance options to consider prior to booking a shipment with CHAMPION; b) what to do in the event of a claim, and c) what happens during the freight claim process if you select, or do not select CHAMPION’s insurance coverage prior to booking.

2. Champion’s Role, Responsibility and Position Regarding Claims

CHAMPION’s position concerning freight claims is to act only as a short-term liaison between the agents or carriers deemed responsible for the mis-handling, late-delivery, or damaged goods and our Customer. CHAMPION is a neutral party in this process. CHAMPION is a non-asset based freight forwarder. We do not personally inspect, handle or transport cargo under any DOT, Motor Carrier, or IAC Authority. CHAMPION contracts with asset-based carrier partners to provide a) competitive pricing, and b) quality transportation services to safely and efficiently transport products to market for our Customers business.

The extent of responsibility for CHAMPION extends ONLY to the following services:

  • Obtaining and Presenting Competitive Pricing from Asset-Based Carriers to our Customers for their Selection.

  • Ensuring our Customer’s shipment is recovered from the shipping location, and delivered to the consignee.

  • Providing Communication and Customer Service between our carrier partners and our customers until their shipment(s) delivers.

  • Providing our Customer with an Invoice and signed Proof of Delivery of their shipment, and notifying them of their payment terms.

CHAMPION is NOT an insurance carrier, insurance provider, or insurance adjustor. In the event of a freight claim, CHAMPION does not have the power to influence a carrier’s decision to pay, nor do we have the power to demand additional charges for replacement or elevated shipping services to replaced damaged, lost or stolen goods. CHAMPION strongly suggests purchasing additional insurance prior to booking for all shipments over $1000.00 USD in replacement value so that the Standard Carrier Claims Process may be avoided.

  • CHAMPION’s maximum limit of liability is $50.00 USD or $.50 cents per pound, whichever is greater.

  • CHAMPION will advise, prior to booking and recovery of shipment a) Carrier Options, b) Carrier Costs and c) Carrier Transit Times. We can make our recommendations, but it is the responsibility of the Customer to decide which carrier to proceed with.

  • Once a carrier has been selected, the option to purchase additional insurance through our preferred carrier – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – will be offered to our Customer. If Customer declines CHAMPION’s insurance, in the event of a claim, Customer will have to go through the Standard Carrier Claims Process.

As a service to our Customer(s), CHAMPION will communicate and notify the carrier or agent of the pending claim, process a thorough and informative claim file, send the information to the carrier and our Customer, and connect our Customer with the claims department of our carrier partner so they may work out the details of the claim to their mutual satisfaction, or otherwise. Once again, CHAMPION has nothing to do with the favorable or unfavorable outcome of any freight claim. All communication regarding claims, damages, losses or otherwise are the sole responsibility of the Customer. Once CHAMPION processes the paperwork (Our Option) and connects our Customer with the Carrier Claims Department, CHAMPION’S extent of involvement in the matter shall be deemed concluded.

3. Payment of Freight Charges

No claim will be considered or processed until all current and past due transportation charges owed by Customer to CHAMPION have been paid in full. The amount of any projected freight claims may not be deducted from the transportation charges owed on any invoice. The filing of a claim does not relieve the responsible party for payment of freight charges. Freight payment is necessary in order for our agents and/or carriers to process a claim. These legal guidelines are further detailed in the Terms and Conditions found on CHAMPION’s website at www.ChampionGL.com.

4. No Duty to Maintain Records for Customer

Customer acknowledges that pursuant to Sections 508 and 509 of the Tariff Act, as amended, (19 USC §1508 and 1509) it has the sole duty and is solely liable for maintaining all records required thereunder. CHAMPION shall only keep such records that it is required to maintain by any applicable law, but in so doing CHAMPION shall not act as a “record-keeper” or “recordkeeping agent” for Customer.

5. Storage and Maintenance of Damaged Goods

All damaged goods must be retained by the Customer or consignee until the claim is settled. CHAMPION’s agents, carriers and insurers have the right to inspect the damaged goods at the consignee or customer’s facility to determine value, assess damage, and inspect the damaged shipment. If Customer elects, at the end of the claims process, to have CHAMPION dispose of the damaged goods, Customer covenants and agrees to pay for any and all reasonable disposal fees of the damaged product, including transportation, storage and handling charges. Once the claims process is settled, Customer also has the option to dispose of the damaged goods in whatever manner they see fit.

5. Standard Carrier Claims Process

In the event Customer declined to purchase additional insurance coverage at time of booking, Customer will be subject to the Standard Carrier Claims Process. This process moves very slowly, and is performed at the convenience of the agents or carriers claims processing which can vary greatly between companies.

5a. Documentation

  1. The consignee is responsible for proper inspection, documentation and receipt of goods delivered to their facilities. Visible damage must be noted on the bill of lading or waybill upon delivery by CHAMPION’s agents or carriers.

  2. At time of delivery, the consignee shall sign a delivery receipt acknowledging receipt of the shipment and any apparent exceptions to the good order, count and condition of the shipment.

  3. Any additional exceptions discovered during a further inspection in the driver’s presence shall be noted on the delivery receipt.

  4. Notations such as “subject to inspection” and “subject to count” do not constitute exceptions to the good order, count and condition of the shipment.

  5. If no exceptions to good order, count or condition are noted on the delivery receipt, the shipment is presumed to have been delivered in the same good order, count and condition as when it was tendered to CHAMPION and its agents or carrier partners.

5b. Time Parameters for Claims Notification

In the event of a freight claim, there are several important timelines that our Customers need to be aware of. After these timelines have expired, the chances of processing a successful claim drop significantly. Once again, CHAMPION reserves the right to refuse processing of any claim, for any reason, particularly if these timelines are not adhered to during this process.

  1. If, upon delivery, the shipment is visibly damaged but is still accepted and received by the consignee, CHAMPION must be notified in writing within three days (72 hours) of delivery.

  2. If, upon attempted delivery, the shipment is visibly damaged and is refused by the consignee, CHAMPION must be notified in writing within three days (72 hours) of delivery.

  3. If the shipment, for whatever reason, does not deliver within three days of the estimated delivery date and is presumed lost, stolen, delayed or otherwise not delivered, CHAMPION must be notified in writing within three days (72 hours) of delivery.

  4. If any loss or damage not ascertainable at time of delivery (concealed damage) and is later discovered, CHAMPION must be notified in writing within 5 days (120 hours) after the date of delivery.

If these timelines and notification procedures are not strictly adhered to, then it will be maintained and presumed that the shipment was delivered in the same good order, count and condition as when initially received for transportation by CHAMPION, its agents and its carriers. Customer covenants and agrees that after these timelines have passed without a) damage being noted and documented on the delivery documents, bills of lading, or waybills; and b) prompt notification of any concealed damage; and c) prompt notification of any goods presumed lost, stolen or delayed; that Customer’s chances of successfully processing a claim drop significantly. Customer understands that in a court of law, there is no way to discern that the damages did not occur after the shipment was tendered to the consignee, and the claim would appear suspect and frivolous.

CHAMPION’s agent and carrier partners reserve the right of action to take up to, and without limitation a minimum of six months (180 days) to begin the processing and review of any freight claim.

5c. Carrier Claims Processing Procedures

As a value-added service, CHAMPION will perform the following claims procedures on behalf of our Customer.

  • Upon notification, CHAMPION will notify our agents and/or carrier partners that a claim will be filed for the shipment in concern.

  • CHAMPION will secure a claims number from our agents or carrier partners to begin the claims process on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will begin processing a thorough and complete claims document detailing the damages on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will forward a copy of the agents and/or carriers claim form for our Customer to fill out.

    • CHAMPION will not, and cannot fill out this form on behalf of our Customer.

    • CHAMPION will not be held responsible for any error or entry listed on the claims documents.

    • Customer agrees only they have the knowledge of cost of goods and damages pertaining to this claim.

    • Documenting damages and costs are the responsibility of the Customer or claimant – not CHAMPION.

  • CHAMPION will promptly request from Customer certain documents, items, and articles pertaining to their freight claim. Customer understands that they have to provide these documents to CHAMPION within 72 hours of notification, or CHAMPION reserves the right to refuse to further process the claim on behalf of the Customer.

    • Signed and Completed Carrier / Agent Claim Form (All Pages)

    • Commercial Invoice detailing cost of goods sold and product replacement costs (including shipping).

    • Digital photographs of the damaged freight or goods.

    • Any additional documentation Customer can provide for the freight claims file.

  • CHAMPION will process and collect additional pertinent information, complete the claims file, and present a copy of the file to our Customer for their records.

  • CHAMPION will send this completed file and fully initiate the claims process with our agent or carrier partner on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will then instruct our agents or carrier partners to work directly with our Customer so no information is lost or delayed with CHAMPION acting as an intermediary, and so future communications are directly between the concerned parties to expedite the processing and settlement of the claim.

This is the extent of CHAMPION’s involvement in the Standard Carrier Claims Process on behalf of our Customer. CHAMPION is not required to maintain records on behalf of Customer, or perform follow-up communications with our agents or carriers regarding the status of any claim. That is the responsibility of our Customer, and they will need to follow up with the agent or carrier on a regular basis until the claim is settled or processed.

As previously stated in this document, CHAMPION’s position concerning freight claims is to act only as a short-term liaison between the agents or carriers deemed responsible for the mis-handling, late-delivery, or damaged goods and our Customer. CHAMPION is a neutral party in this process. CHAMPION is a non-asset based freight forwarder. We do not personally inspect, handle or transport cargo under any DOT, Motor Carrier, or IAC Authority. CHAMPION contracts with asset-based carrier partners to provide a) competitive pricing, and b) quality transportation services to safely and efficiently transport products to market for our Customers business. CHAMPION is NOT an insurance carrier, insurance provider, or insurance adjustor. In the event of a freight claim, CHAMPION does not have the power to influence a carrier’s decision to pay, nor do we have the power to demand additional charges for replacement or elevated shipping services to replaced damaged, lost or stolen goods.

6. Elevated Carrier Claims Process

If Customer purchased additional insurance coverage at time of booking, Customer will receive an elevated level of claims service. This process moves quickly, and the goal of our insurers is to quickly identify the damage and settle the claim on behalf of CHAMPION and CHAMPION’s Customer. Our insurance carrier – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – will work directly with our Customer to resolve and settle their claim, usually within 15-30 days. It is mutually understood that some claims may take longer and require inspections depending on the loss amount being reported.

Purchasing additional insurance at the time of booking does NOT guarantee you will be fully compensated in the event of a claim in all of the procedures are not followed and adhered to. The same standard procedures outlined in the Standard Carrier Claims Process apply here as well. Proper Documentation and Notification of Pending Claims within the Time Parameters outlined in Section 5a & 5b remain consistent throughout this process. The Elevated Carrier Claims Process is expedited, and our insurers will review and process the claim quickly, and later subrogate and seek damages from the carrier directly to recover their costs in paying the Customers claim.

6a. Elevated Claims Processing

As a value-added service, CHAMPION will perform the following claims procedures on behalf of our Customer directly with our insurers to expedite the processing of their claim.

  • Upon notification, CHAMPION will notify our agents and/or carrier partners, as well as our insurers – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – that a claim will be filed for the shipment in concern.

  • CHAMPION will secure a claims number from our agents or carrier partners to begin the claims process on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will begin processing a thorough and complete claims document detailing the damages on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will forward a copy of the agents and/or carriers claim form for our Customer to fill out.

    • CHAMPION will not, and cannot fill out this form on behalf of our Customer.

    • CHAMPION will not be held responsible for any error or entry listed on the claims documents.

    • Customer agrees only they have the knowledge of cost of goods and damages pertaining to this claim.

    • Documenting damages and costs are the responsibility of the Customer or claimant – not CHAMPION.

  • CHAMPION will promptly request from Customer certain documents, items, and articles pertaining to their freight claim. Customer understands that they have to provide these documents to CHAMPION within 72 hours of notification, or CHAMPION reserves the right to refuse to further process the claim on behalf of the Customer.

    • Signed and Completed Carrier / Agent Claim Form (All Pages)

    • Commercial Invoice detailing cost of goods sold and product replacement costs (including shipping).

    • Digital photographs of the damaged freight or goods.

    • Any additional documentation Customer can provide for the freight claims file.

  • CHAMPION will process and collect additional pertinent information, complete the claims file, and present a copy of the file to our Customer for their records.

  • CHAMPION will send this completed file and fully initiate the claims process with our agents and/or carrier partners on behalf of our Customer.

  • CHAMPION will then send proof of correspondence to our insurers – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – so that they may work directly with our agents and/or carriers to resolve their losses from payment for the claim at a future date.

  • CHAMPION will then instruct our insurers – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – to work directly with our Customer so no information is lost or delayed with CHAMPION acting as an intermediary, and so future communications are directly between our insurers and the concerned parties to expedite the processing and settlement of the claim.

This is the extent of CHAMPION’s involvement in the Elevated Carrier Claims Process on behalf of our Customer. CHAMPION is not required to maintain records on behalf of Customer, or perform follow-up communications with our agents or carriers regarding the status of any claim. That is the responsibility of our Customer, and they will need to follow up with our insurers – Roanoke Trade, Inc. – on a regular basis until the claim is settled or processed.

As previously stated in this document, CHAMPION’s position concerning freight claims is to act only as a short-term liaison between the agents or carriers deemed responsible for the mis-handling, late-delivery, or damaged goods; our Customers, and our Insurers. CHAMPION is a neutral party in this process. CHAMPION is a non-asset based freight forwarder. We do not personally inspect, handle or transport cargo under any DOT, Motor Carrier, or IAC Authority. CHAMPION contracts with asset-based carrier partners to provide a) competitive pricing, and b) quality transportation services to safely and efficiently transport products to market for our Customers business. CHAMPION is NOT an insurance carrier, insurance provider, or insurance adjustor. In the event of a freight claim, CHAMPION does not have the power to influence a carrier’s decision to pay, nor do we have the power to demand additional charges for replacement or elevated shipping services to replaced damaged, lost or stolen goods.

7. Insurance

CHAMPION is not obliged to procure insurance on Customer’s behalf absent Customer’s written request when Customer requests CHAMPION’s services for a particular transaction. Customer shall pay all premiums and costs incurred by CHAMPION in connection with procuring requested insurance. Insurance coverage through CHAMPION and its insurers –Roanoke Trade, Inc. – are not available for transportation conveyance of any kind on the following transportation carrier(s): Central Transport, LLC., SCAC-CTII, DOT-661173; Roadrunner Transportation Services, Inc., SCAC-RRTS, DOT-242009; and UPS Ground Freight, Inc., SCAC-UPGF, DOT-121058. Insurance coverage is unavailable for the following items: Gold, Silver, Precious Metals, Works of Art, Furs, Valuable Rugs (Persian or Oriental), Valuable Papers (To include, but not limited to bonds, deeds, documents, manuscripts, plans, securities, stamps, treasury notes and currency), Watches, Yachts, Personal Effects, Used Equipment or Used Machinery of any kind. This list is not exhaustive, please contact CHAMPION to see if there are any exclusions based on specific commodities.

8. Prohibited Cargo

The following articles shall not be tendered to CHAMPION for transportation: Any Shipment or commodity prohibited by law, animals (live), asbestos tiles, blood/blood products, Dangerous Goods Red label, fishmeal, furs & hides (processed & unprocessed), gems and precious stones, gold & bullion, jewelry (non-costume), meats/seafood (fresh, not frozen), nuclear fuels, securities, monies, silver items, stamps, unprotected or unpackaged goods, valuable papers (to include but not limited to bonds, deeds, manuscripts, plans, securities, stamps, treasury notes), watches, X-ray or similar tubes. This list is not exhaustive, please contact CHAMPION to determine if there are any exclusions based on specific commodities.

CHAMPION shall not be liable for any loss, damage, delay, liabilities, penalties or fines resulting from the transportation of any of the foregoing articles, however described or mis-described in the shipping documentation, and no employee or agent of CHAMPION has any authority to accept for transportation such articles or to waive the limitations herein contained. CHAMPION retains the right to refuse any such Shipment prior to acceptance. In the event CHAMPION discovers after acceptance of a Shipment that the Shipment contains any of the herein mentioned articles, it reserves the right to refuse the Shipment, or, if already in transit, to refuse to deliver the Shipment to the consignee. Customer agrees to pay all expenses, freight charges, fines and penalties for said Shipment. Customer further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless CHAMPION from any and all loss, damage, delay, liabilities, penalties or fines of whatsoever nature arising out of or related in any way to said Shipment.

9. Guaranteed Service

Customer may select from several levels of Guaranteed Service from CHAMPION. Customer will be quoted and charged a Guaranteed Delivery fee for the elevated service level. If CHAMPION’s carrier partner fails to deliver by the promised Guaranteed Delivery time selected, Customer will have the elevated service charge removed from their invoice. In some cases, CHAMPION’s carrier partner will remove all fees associated with the shipment, including the regular level of service, but this is not guaranteed. In most cases, only the guaranteed delivery service charge above the standard rate will be absorbed by the carrier. Customer has three days (72 hours) to notify CHAMPION by writing of their request to have the charges removed, seek a refund, or get a credit of the applicable service charges.

CHAMPION will not be obligated to refund or credit Customer’s transportation charges if the Guaranteed Delivery service failed due to any of the following circumstances: Failure to tender freight to CHAMPION’s carrier in a timely manner resulting in a missed transfer cut-off; Consignee failed to have appropriate personnel on-site to receive goods when carrier arrived; Customer failed to provide accurate shipper and consignee address information; Customer’s failed to provide accurate information regarding the weight and dimensions of the shipment; Customs, security, or other regulatory delays, Perils of the air, public enemies, criminal acts of any person(s) or entities to include, but not limited to acts of terrorism, public authorities acting with actual or apparent authority, authority of law, local disputes, civil commotion, hazards, incident to a state of war, local or national weather conditions, national or local disruptions in air or ground transportation networks as determined solely by CHAMPION, strikes or anticipated strikes of any entity, including, but not limited to, other carriers, vendors or suppliers, natural disasters to include, but not limited to earthquakes, tornados, fire, floods, lightning storms, snow storms, blizzards, avalanches, hail storms & hurricanes, conditions that present a danger to Company personnel, failure of communication and information systems, including Company’s systems, or if the shipment was returned, refused, or considered undeliverable to Shipper of Origin.

10. Limits of Liability

CHAMPION shall not be liable for loss, damage, delay or monetary losses of any type caused by: acts of God; acts of public authorities acting with actual or apparent authority; strikes; labor disputes; weather; mechanical failures; aircraft failures; civil commotions; acts or omissions of customs or quarantine officials; acts of carriers related to security; the nature of the Shipment or any defects thereof; acts of public enemies; hazards incident to a state of war; acts of terrorism; or acts, defaults or omissions of the shipper, including but not limited to, inadequate or improper packaging, marking, addressing or the provision of incomplete or inaccurate shipping instructions, Documentation or related information. CHAMPION shall not be liable for loss, damage or deterioration from delay, consequential loss or damage, damage or destruction of cargo from extremes of temperature, changes of atmospheric pressure, inherent vice or moth, insects, vermin, infestation, wear and tear or deterioration. CHAMPION shall not be liable for loss or damage to shipping containers or any exterior packaging. CHAMPION’ liability for loss, damage, delay or other monetary losses suffered in connection with services performed by CHAMPION is limited as set forth below unless Customer and CHAMPION agree, prior to CHAMPION rendering services with respect to a Shipment, to greater liability by CHAMPION or to coverage through CHAMPION’s all risk marine policy, up to the actual or declared value of the Shipment, subject to a fee for such increased liability or coverage:

11. Indemnification

The Customer shall forever indemnify, defend, refrain from suing, and hold harmless CHAMPION and CHAMPION’s subsidiaries, affiliates, shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, representatives, and Third Parties engaged by CHAMPION, of and from all claims, damages, losses, lawsuits, administrative proceedings, all other proceedings, liabilities, costs, and expenses, wherever and whenever brought or occurring, wholly or partially caused by or involving: (a) any latent or patent condition, any quality, or any part of Customer’s goods, (b) any conduct, omission, or misstatement, by Customer or of any Third Party acting for on behalf of Customer, whether or not intended, unintended, negligent, or knowingly or unknowingly in violation of any law, treaty, convention, agreement, documentation, or industry practice, (c) any documentation, information, or instruction, or the lack thereof, given or not given to CHAMPION or any Third Party by the Customer or any Third Party acting for or on behalf of Customer, and (d) any release of Customer’s goods by CHAMPION contrary to any Third Party instruction. By way of example and not limitation, the foregoing shall include claims for property damage, personal injuries and death; fines and penalties; the expenses of domestic and international travel; storage and demurrage charges; lodging, meals; and the fees of consultants, experts, and attorneys.

12. Obtaining Binding Rulings, Filing Protests

CHAMPION shall not be obliged to undertake any customs release action, including, but not limited to, obtaining binding rulings, advising of liquidations, filing of petitions or protests, or determining or declaring the value of goods or shipments absent Customer’s timely written declaration delivered to CHAMPION. In addition, CHAMPION shall not be obliged to collect funds for Customer from any Third Party.

13. Governing Law, Jurisdiction, Venue, Arbitration, No Juries

All matters between the CHAMPION and the Customer, including but not limited disputes between Customer and CHAMPION, these Terms and Conditions, the provisions of any CHAMPION invoice, and the provisions of CHAMPION’s bills of lading, shall be governed by the laws of the State of Washington and the laws of the United States without applying conflicts of law principles that would result in applying the law of any other jurisdiction. In all disputes between the CHAMPION and the Customer, the Customer hereby submits to the exclusive jurisdiction and the exclusive venue of the state courts located in Pierce County and the federal courts located in Pierce County, State of Washington, U.S.A. The Customer hereby waves all claims that such jurisdiction is improper. The Customer hereby waives all claims that such venue is inconvenient, and the Customer hereby waives all trials by jury in all lawsuits between CHAMPION and the Customer. Customer and CHAMPION mutually agree that arbitration shall be the sole and exclusive remedy for resolving any and all claims or disputes. The decision reached in arbitration shall be final and binding on the parties. Notwithstanding the foregoing jurisdiction and venue restrictions, CHAMPION may enforce a judgment against Customer in any jurisdiction and in any venue.

14. Exclusivity & Modifications

For each shipment, these Terms and Conditions and CHAMPION’s invoices and bills of lading pertaining to that shipment set forth the entire agreement of the parties with respect to that shipment. Without notice to Customer, from time to time CHAMPION may modify these Terms and Conditions by posting the change on CHAMPION’s website at www.ChampionGL.com, and such changed Terms and Conditions shall apply to all future shipments. Therefore, Customer should review these Terms and Conditions before placing an order with CHAMPION for CHAMPION’s services.