Date: Sep 18, 2014

In the August 28, 2014 Western Growers Spotlight an updated version of the WG/CHRW Transportation Program claims procedure was published.  The purpose of providing this best practice update is to emphasize to shippers, that regardless whether you are taking advantage of the benefits of the Western Growers Transportation Program with C.H. Robinson Worldwide, or utilizing another logistics provider, the key to successfully handling any loss and damage claim involves prompt action, communication and proper documentation.  Do not think that ignoring the dynamics of the problem will make the issue someone else’s problem.

As much as we want to avoid shipping or receiving issues, invariably they happen. When they do, making responsible choices can mean a difference in your bottom line. Recently, we’ve updated the claims procedures and complaint forms for the program. They provide step-by-step communication and documentation practices for you to follow when you run into an issue.

Here are some guidelines to help you.

Minimize loss

When handling a loss or damage claim, everyone involved – the shipper, carrier and receiver – must work together to minimize loss. Often our instinct is to focus on liability. But you can worry about liability later. First and foremost, the shipment needs to be handled and sold quickly to mitigate further damage.

Document and communicate

You need coordinated communication and documentation to resolve any transportation claim or dispute. As a shipper or receiver, you must establish and document your damages. On a condition claim, for example, you can accomplish this by always securing a timely USDA or CFIA inspection report, and transit temperature records from both the on-board recorder and the carrier’s smart unit.

From a shipping standpoint, you should show the product was properly loaded in good condition. Pulp temperature records on the bill of lading or load checklist will serve.

Establish liability

If your company is part of the Western Growers/C.H. Robinson Transportation Program [link], C.H. Robinson assumes liability for proven logistics related to loss and damage on all shipments transported with their carriers.

This means shippers file and resolve their claims with C.H. Robinson instead of the carrier. Then, if the carrier is proven liable C.H. Robinson settles with the shipper immediately and follows up with the carrier afterwards. So, shippers in the program get their claims resolved faster.

Even if you are not participating in the program today, these procedures can help you protect your rights with your transportation provider. We encourage you to use them as part of your business processes.

Get help

Have questions about the how the Western Growers/C.H. Robinson Transportation Program can benefit your business? Contact my buddy Ken or me:

Tom Oliveri

Ken Gilliland

WG Staff Contact

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