Copper Run Motor Freight is not a law firm, nor does it employ any lawyers, so the following is intended as helpful information only: it is not offered as no should it be construed to be legal advice.
The value of your loss is determined by laws, by contracts, and by insurance rules. The resulting valuation structure has been developed and tested time and time again in courts across the continent, and it will be applied to your claim, in the same way that it has been and will be applied to every other claim.
Appeals from The Rules
If you think that the structure does not apply to your case, or does not produce a fair result, then that will come out in the settlement process. You generally have some right of review or arbitration. If you continue to think the result is wrong, you have every right to test the result in the courts.
Default Valuation Limits
The valuation calculation is subject to default upper limits on the claimable value of the freight. In general, with few exceptions, the value claimed for the loss cannot be more than:
- The actual cost of the cargo lost or damaged;
- The liability limits on loss specified as specified on the Bill of Lading, or on a pre-agreed document that is directly related to the shipment that suffered the loss, provided yours is a situation in which the pre-agreed document takes precedence over the Bill of Lading;
- The total value, if any, declared on the Bill of Lading as the value of the cargo being shipped;
- If neither a declared cargo value nor a specific liability limit is specified on the Bill Of Lading, then the applicable cargo liability limit as noted here:
- For cargo originating in Canada, $cad2.00 per pound; and
- For cargo originating in the United States, the actual cost value of the cargo; and
- For cargo while it is physically in Mexico, regardless of where it originated, zero.
Copper Run’s Limits on Actual Value
In cases when a customer who has not provided Copper Run shipment value information prior to or at the time of assigning a shipment to Copper Run, Copper Run will provide freight rate pricing and source carriers on the basis of a maximum shipment value of a) for originating in Canada, $cad2.00 per pound; and b) for shipments originating in the United States, $cad6,000 per standard 4’ x 4’ skid spot used, to a maximum of $cad150,000 for the entire shipment.
Valuation limits may also be modified as a result of contractual agreements that apply to specific shipments:
Declared Value: Most Bills of Lading have a location where the Declared Value of a shipment may be entered for cargo liability purposes. This value, which may be higher or lower than the standard valuation rules, will be the value limit that is used in the event of a loss.
Shipper Stipulation: On the Bill of Lading, the shipper may specify a limit on possible cargo liability at some amount other than the standard valuation rules.
Carrier Stipulation: On the Bill of Lading, the carrier may specify a limit on possible cargo liability at some amount other than the standard valuation rules.
Values and limits entered on the Bill of Lading, and agreed to by the shipper and the carrier, generally trump other agreements and understandings that may have been made prior to the shipment.
Quotation Terms: The freight transportation price quotation, or some similar document, issued in advance of and related to the shipment and agreed by the parties may include cargo liability limits. Price quotations issued by Copper Run do contain limits on liability, which are deemed to be accepted by the customer by the act of asking Copper Run to source a truck for the shipment.
Shipping Contract: A ‘master’ shipping contract that is indented to set the terms for a series of shipments may include cargo liability limits.
Released Value For purposes of limiting the carrier’s maximum liability for the cargo, the shipper may agree to ship, i.e., release, a shipment at a lesser value that the actual insurable value of the shipment. The lesser “released to” value may be expressed as a fixed number, or as a dollar value per pound. The released value will be recorded on the Bill of Lading or on another document related to the shipment.
Owner’s Risk: The phrase “Owner’s Risk”, or some equivalent or variant phrase such as, ”Moving at Owner’s risk”, that may appear on a price quotation, or on the Bill of Lading, or on some other document related to the shipment, will relieve the carrier and broker from all cargo liability arising out of normal transportation events in the normal course of transportation
The two most common circumstances where “owner’s risk” shipping is specified and agreed to in advance are:
- Uncrated Machinery – new or used machinery is shipped without any physical protection, thereby leaving it exposed to unknown risks.
- High Value Shipments – shippers who regularly manufacture, use and ship expensive commodities or shipments will often find it less expensive to include in-transit cargo insurance in their own insurance policies, rather than pay the high-value insurance fees that would be required if a carrier were to purchase a high value insurance rider.