On April 18, 2015, The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) announced multiple NMFC rule changes that could affect the business processes of shippers. Odyssey would like to expand on its previous post and take this opportunity to elaborate and clarify what possible impact these rule changes could have.
Rule Changes and Explanations
- Reporting Concealed Damage (Item 300135-A 3)
- Currently a customer has fifteen (15) days to report the notice of loss or damage from the date of delivery. The rule is now changing to five (5) business days. Concealed damage refers to the damage done to the shipment that cannot be seen when delivery is first accepted. The rule also refers to concealed shortage which is the internal piece-count discrepancies between the actual freight and the related paperwork.
- Filing of Claims (Item 300105-A)
- If damages or lost cargo do occur, a customer currently must file a claim within nine (9) months from the date of delivery for damage and in the event of loss nine (9) months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed. The rule is now changing to nine (9) months from the date of delivery in the event of a damage claim, and not more than nine (9) months from the date of the bill of lading in the event of loss.
- Civil Action (Item 300105-A)
- Currently a civil action must be filed not more than two (2) years and one (1) day from the date a claim was denied or disallowed. The rule is now changing to just two (2) years.
- Special or Unique Circumstances (Item 300170-A)
- Contains language around carriers being permitted access to observe loading and/or unloading. In the event that carrier personnel is not provided or permitted access to observe the loading and/or unloading of a shipment, carrier personnel shall notate the restriction placed on it by the consignor and/or consignee on the bill of lading, delivery receipt, or other shipping papers at the time the restriction is imposed and prior to signing the transportation documents. Such notation may be in the form of “Shipper Load and Count,” “SL&C,” “Said to Contain,” “S.T.C.,” or any other similar form that clearly documents that the carrier was unable to verify the condition and quantity of the goods tendered to it.
If you have any questions or concerns about how these new policy changes will affect your specific business process or if you have any general questions about freight handling and freight claims process best practices please feel free to contact Justin Boyce at 704-808-7400 or Mike Eastone at 704-808-7465.