If filing a claim doesn’t work out your next step should be going to arbitration.  This section will explain what arbitration is and what are the requirements.



Arbitration is the calm before the storm. It is the parley, the meeting you have before all out war breaks out. To put plainly, arbitration is essentially the sit down you have to avoid litigation. You and your carrier will be in a meeting room before an arbitrator (like a judge), who will listen to both sides of your story and decide who is in the right. If you request to have arbitration for a claim under $10,000, the decision is binding. If the claim is over $10,000 and you request to have arbitration, and the carrier agrees, the decision is binding as well.

You do not have to have arbitration, but if you are going to escalate the matter from a complaint, this method can save you a lot of time and money.

Here are the mandatory requirements for arbitration.

The carrier must have an arbitration program for individual shippers to resolve disputes about property loss and damage and disputes about whether carrier charges in addition to those collected at delivery must be paid. The carrier must establish and maintain an arbitration program with the following 11 minimum elements:

(1) The carrier must design the carrier’s arbitration program to prevent the carrier from having any special advantage in any case where the claimant resides or does business at a place distant from the carrier’s principal or other place of business.

(2) Before execution of the order for service, the carrier must provide notice to you of the availability of neutral arbitration, including all three of the following items:

  1. A summary of the arbitration procedure.
  2. Any applicable costs.
  3. A disclosure of the legal effects of election to use arbitration.

(3) Upon your request, the carrier must provide information and forms The carrier consider necessary for initiating an action to resolve a dispute under arbitration.

(4) The carrier must require each person the carrier authorize to arbitrate to be independent of the parties to the dispute and capable of resolving such disputes, and The carrier must ensure the arbitrator is authorized and able to obtain from The carrier or you any material or relevant information to carry out a fair and expeditious decisionmaking process.

(5) The carrier must not charge you more than one-half of the total cost for instituting the arbitration proceeding against the carrier. In the arbitrator’s decision, the arbitrator may determine which party must pay the cost or a portion of the cost of the arbitration proceeding, including the cost of instituting the proceeding.

(6) The carrier must refrain from requiring you to agree to use arbitration before a dispute arises.

(7) Arbitration must be binding for claims of $10,000 or less, if you requests arbitration.

(8) Arbitration must be binding for claims of more than $10,000, if you requests arbitration and the carrier agrees to it.

(9) If all parties agree, the arbitrator may provide for an oral presentation of a dispute by a party or representative of a party.

(10) The arbitrator must render a decision within 60 days of receipt of written notification of the dispute, and a decision by an arbitrator may include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances.

(11) The arbitrator may extend the 60-day period for a reasonable period if the carrier or you fail to provide, in a timely manner, any information the arbitrator reasonably requires to resolve the dispute.

  • (b) The carrier must produce and distribute a concise, easy-to-read, accurate summary of the carrier’s arbitration program, including the items in this section.


ECR 375.211