Receiving Equipment by Freight: What You Need To Know
TCW goes to great lengths to carefully package, wrap, and secure all orders. Our business relies completely on repeat customers and referrals. If you receive supplies & equipment that you can't use then that is a bad experience for all of us. Our aim is to prevent damage from occurring by properly preparing products for freight and if damage does occur, we can help inform our customers on how to recover damages.
Once your newly purchased equipment leaves our facility we no longer have control over the care or handling of this equipment. This is why we only work with top rated, established freight companies to deliver our customer's purchases.
Freight is different than typical mail or parcel carriers in that common freight carriers typically only provide "dock-to-dock" service or curbside delivery where the driver does not touch the freight.
Moving freight is expensive. The trucking industry is a boom-and-bust business, tied closely to the economy, labor shortages, gas prices, and conglomerates that decrease competition. This can mean higher prices than you may expect. Freight prices are based on weight, density, distance, accessibility, carrier minimums, and freight classifications. Freight classifications are established by the NMFTA which has established 18 different classes ranging from 50 to 500. The class is determined by product density, value, stow-ability, handling and liability. Lower classes represent very dense freight that is difficult to damage and is easy to handle. Lower classes have lower rates. Conversely, higher classes represent lighter / less dense freight that typically takes up more space. The higher the class, the higher the rate will be.
When you sign your name on the Bill of Lading (delivery receipt) the freight company no longer has any responsibility for it. If you "accept" delivery by signing your name, regardless of the damages that you may not have seen yet, you've released the driver and freight company of liabilities.
Do's and Don’t of Freight Shipments
In general, most freight shipments arrive with no issue. But occasionally there are issues. Read the following Do's and Don’ts to help protect yourself and your investment. Planning ahead to be prepared for the shipment delivery is a good thing.
Don't accept freight without opening and inspecting all of your purchased products.
You should refuse any damaged or incorrect shipments before signing the bill of lading. If you see significant damage to the shipment, for example a steel part is noticeably bent over or there is obvious damage that is not repairable and will affect the product's function you have the right to refuse the shipment. Take photos of the damaged shipment on the truck and email them to [email protected] Have the driver note the damage on the bill of lading. Indicate the shipment is "Damaged and Refused." The truck driver will try to get you to sign the bill of lading and leave the shipment, but once the shipment is delivered and signed for the driver no longer has any responsibility for it.
Don't be rushed. You’ve paid for the services of a freight company. This includes delivery and time. Even if at first glance a shipment appears to be in satisfactory condition, open and completely inspect. The driver might be pressuring for you to sign but don't succumb to their schedules. If they absolutely insist they must leave, write on the bill of lading "Subject to Inspection. Driver Refuses to Wait." Also make note on the BOL of any irregularities of the shipment packaging. For example stretch wrap is torn, or skid has broken boards, scratches on product, etc. Do count the number of pieces and compare to the number listed on the bill of lading. Shipment pieces can be separated during transit so only sign for the number of pieces that are actually being received. Check the packing list for the shipment contents. Once the shipment bill of lading has been signed for you are accepting the products in the condition they are received and the quantity listed. Do's and Don't of Freight Shipments, Cont. Do note any acceptable flaws in the shipment's condition on the bill of lading before signing. If there is minor damage to the shipment, for example scratched paint, small dents or other cosmetic damage that will not affect how the equipment functions, still indicate these details on the bill of lading at the time of signing. You might be okay with small flaws from shipping because the equipment is operable. Write the details of the flaws and accept shipment. Also take photos of the shipment both while it's wrapped and immediately after unpacking. Email us the photos and information as soon as possible for further review. Don't wait to get help if there is an issue with the shipment. If damage is found after a shipment is unpacked it is more difficult to file a freight claim and get positive outcome if there is nothing noted on the bill of lading. Noting the shipment abnormalities on the bill of lading before signing for the shipment will help if there is concealed damage and a freight claim needs to be filed. Freight carriers limit the amount of time you have to file a freight claim. It can range from 48 hours to 1 week after delivery depending on the freight carrier. Please contact customer service for additional assistance as soon as possible. Please provide photos and any other relevant information in regards to the delivery, shipment packaging and product condition.
We are a legal business with a commercial license. Why am I being charged for a residential drop off?
The fact that a business is being operated from a location does not qualify it as a commercial address. Any business being operated from the same area as a home, apartment, or other dwelling where people live is considered to be a residential address regardless of.
Why am I being charged palletizing fees?
Preparing a pallet for shipment by freight is much more costly than preparing it for shipment by common carrier. The palletizing fees cover the extra costs that are needed for freight shipments including the cost of the wooden pallet itself, triple-walled boxes, protective wrapping, vinyl straps with steel staples, etc. It also requires skilled labor to prepare freight for safe shipment over long distances. To keep costs low, we only add this charge when customers utilize freight services and not to those customers who pick up merchandise. The palletizing fee is $47.50 per pallet.
Why am I being charged for a liftgate when I can lift the lighter product/merchandise off of the truck myself?
The freight company is responsible for your freight until it is off of their truck. The possibility of an incident happening is more likely if someone were to attempt handling freight without proper handling equipment such as a forklift. This is not a risk that carriers are willing to take.
Why is the freight company refusing to pay damages when they clearly damaged my items during transport?
Once a shipment is delivered and signed for the driver and the freight company no longer have any responsibility for it. If you "accept" delivery, regardless of the damages that you may not have seen yet, you've released the driver and freight company of liabilities.