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File a claim FAQs

​​​​​Here's what you need to know about reporting losses or damages. ​

What is a ​​​cla​​​im?

A claim is a demand in writing for payment, by the owner of the product, to the carrier for damages to, or the loss of, product while the product was in transit.

Why do I need to report loss ​​or damage?

Protect yourself and your claim rights by reporting any loss or damage immediately. Failing to report to your delivering carrier loss or damage upon receipt of goods may jeopardize future claim rights.

What do I need to re​port?

You should report any damage, overage or shortage to your shipment as soon as it is discovered. This will protect you in case the damage is our responsibility or another carrier's. It also provides a record that can be used to process your claim. When we receive the information, we will determine if an inspection is necessary and will issue an exception number for future reference. 

Important information to provide includes:

  • Reporting party's name, address, phone number, railway equipment ID number (e.g.: container CPPU683865)
  • Date the shipment arrived
  • Shipment details including shipper, consignee, origin, destination
  • Itemized description of the product(s) damaged and the extent of damage
  • Possible cause of the loss or damage
  • How the product was secured in the rail car or container
  • Value of the loss or damage, if possible
  • If you want the product to be forwarded, recouped, salvaged, or dumped

Who can file a cla​​im?

Only the shipper, consignee or care of party shown on the Revenue Invoice can file a claim. Parties other than those described above must obtain claim rights from one of the parties named on the revenue invoice.

Assignment of claim rights

Freight Payment Terms & Who Files the Claim

Are there any time limitati​ons to filing a claim?

The bill of lading or contract a shipment moves under has provisions that will stipulate the time frames in which a claimant may file a claim. Under a Canadian bill of lading, notification of loss/damage must be received by the delivering carrier within four months after delivery. A formal claim must be submitted within the statute of limitations. On shipments moving under a United States bill of lading, your claim must be received within nine months from date of delivery. However, your confidential contract may stipulate claim limitations different from above.

What documents do I need to support ​​​my claim?

  1. Bill of lading
  2. Paid freight invoice
  3. Invoice showing ownership and costs
  4. Detailed breakdown of all items damaged/lost and the amount claimed for each
  5. A copy of a survey report (if applicable) and/or an exception report or its number
  6. In the case of bulk shipment(s), a copy of scale documentation, both at origin and destination, to substantiate the amount of product lost or damaged
  7. A copy of the delivery receipt or proof of delivery (POD) on intermodal shipments
  8. If a shortage claim, verification of quantity shipped and quantity received, as well as a seal record at time of unloading and on receipt from carrier
  9. If repairs are done, invoices for parts and labour
  10. Stock transfer certification if shipment is a transfer of stock Canadian Form and U.S. Form
  11. Product disposition

Note: Original documents must be retained for audit purposes.

Can I claim the Goods and Ser​vices Tax (GST) and Harmonized Service Tax (HST)? (Applicable only in Canada)

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has ruled that GST and HST are not claimable on loss and/or damage claims, but can be used by the payer as an input tax credit.

How much can I cl​aim?

If your shipment moved under a contract, the amount claimable may be subject to a minimum or deductible. Otherwise the amount claimable under a Canadian bill of lading is limited to the value of the goods, including freight charges and other non-refundable charges, at time and place of shipment in the quantity shipped. Under a U.S. bill of lading, the amount claimable is defined as the destination due date value.

Can I apply the value of my cla​​im against any outstanding freight charges that I may owe?

No. Freight charges and lading claims are considered separate items. Please refer to your credit agreement.

Do I have to report damages electr​​onically?

Although it is preferred that you submit a claim electronically for tracking, you can submit your claim through postal mail instead.

How do I file ​​my claim?

There are three ways to file a claim:

1. Email your Claim Submission form, with supporting documents, to Freight_Claims@cpr.ca.

2. Fax your completed Claim Submission form to 1-877-685-3555.

3. Mail your Claim Submission form to: 
Damage Prevention & Claim Services
Building #7, 478 McPhilips St.  
Winnipeg, MB  R2X2G8​​

How do I check the stat​​us of a claim?

Please email us at contact_dpfc@cpr.ca​

Can my claim for damage be j​eopardized if a customer accepts the damaged goods?

No. Acceptance of a shipment with only minimal or partial damage will not reduce your chances of a legitimate claim being rejected. We don't recommend turning over goods and products to salvage dealers as they will undercut your prices. Generally, you know your product and you have the expertise to maximize the money received on damaged products through repair, allowance or your contacts in the marketplace.

Does the carrier have to dispose of s​​alvage?

No, you have the option on salvage. In many cases, the goods may have minimal damage, or only a part of a shipment will be damaged. To dispose of the goods quickly, CP and many other carriers will sell damaged goods to salvage dealers in lots. This means that the salvage dealer purchases a large quantity of damaged goods at one price. With minor repairs and sorting of the shipment, salvage dealers can offer your product to your customers at prices below your regular price. Due to the price advantage salvage dealers can offer, we recommend not going this route as you may hurt your business by creating your own competition. If the claim is accepted, you will receive some money but you will lose all the profit on the goods you could have sold. If for some reason the claim is disallowed, your problem is compounded. Not only do you lose profit on your goods but the carrier will offer you only the salvage proceeds it has received, which in most cases is substantially less than the amount you paid for the goods.