Does Size Really Matter?

This post is not about what you might think it is. Trust me.

My company had product that was damaged while it was in transport from one of our factories to one of our warehouses. The walls of the containers had holes, which allowed water inside. You can just imagine what that water did to the cardboard packaging, as well as our wood furniture. Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty.

I was tasked with compiling and sending the freight damage claim to the carrier. At the time, I was still fairly new here, but it still seemed an easy enough task. I gathered all the documentation and photos, wrote the letters (for which I received kudos from my boss), and sent the claims to the carrier.

Fast forward a couple of months. I hadn’t heard anything as to whether the claims were resolved or not. My boss called me into his office on Monday and let me know that the carrier was claiming they never received the emails. When my boss tried to resend the emails to them, he received an error message. The emails were too big; their mail server wouldn’t accept them. Huh? And why didn’t I see anything when the claims were initially submitted? On top of that, the files weren’t that big! I didn’t get it. With the current state of technology, and with email becoming the more common form of business communication, there are still organizations out there that have those kinds of limits? Um, ok.

So, my boss gave me a new task: reduce the file size and resend the claims. Loverly. But, I did it, and received confirmation of receipt from the carrier. Whew, that was over.

Or so I thought.

The next day, we were notified by the carrier that my calculation of pro-rated freight was incorrect. They clarified that it needed to be based on the number of cartons damaged, as opposed to cubic feet (or cube) damaged, because the bill of lading is listed in carton quantities. That seemed simple enough to me, so I revised the claims to match their calculations.

My boss thinks otherwise. He thinks it should be based on cube, because the carton sizes vary by product. And he wants to fight it.

I’m not saying he’s wrong (after all, I’m still the newbie here). I do, however, think he’s fighting a fight he won’t be able to win. The shipping documentation is listed in quantity of cartons, not cube. This is the information that is filed with U.S. Customs for entry into this country. What recourse do we really have to change how they calculate pro-rated freight?

I recognize that I could, in fact, be the one who is wrong. Maybe the fight is worth it. Maybe the carrier will agree. Maybe they will change their calculations.

Or maybe he’s trying to save face after the $56,000.00 anti-dumping duty fiasco.

Who knows.