Addressing Maritime and Business Law Issues Since 1989

Understand your freight shipping contract before filing a dispute

| Jul 23, 2020 | Business Law And Litigation |

California business owners involved with e-commerce deal with lots of shipments each year. Those shipments are sent nationwide or around the world, and they range in size and weight depending on what’s being shipped. Inevitably, there’s going to come a point when a shipment will arrive damaged, late or go missing. When that happens, it can be very stressful for the vendor as well as the shipper or carrier.

Before the vendor or seller takes retaliatory action against the shipper, they should take measures so that tensions don’t escalate for everyone. Freight shipping is a business fraught with complex issues regarding shipping routes, second- and third-party shipping companies and delays that are sometimes out of the shipping company’s control.

If vendors run into an issue regarding shipped goods, they should first check their shipping contract. Some contracts stipulate that if a problem arises in the shipment process, the shipping company should be given a chance to correct the issue. For instance, if goods arrive damaged, it may make sense for the vendor to accept the damaged goods. This way, the damage can be documented and the shipper can begin the process of giving a refund. If the vendor were to return the goods, the extent of the damage could be called into question.

It’s wise to keep the freight and packaging that the goods came in so that the carrier can inspect and remove the damaged goods. This is especially important for contracts that outline salvage rights for carriers.

Freight and shipping contracts can be very complicated, but they’re there to protect the vendor and shipper. If a vendor runs into shipping issues, working with a law firm that understands transportation law may be a good idea. An attorney can navigate complex contracts and may be able to work out solutions for their clients.