rail transport freight

Process and Contacts for Filing a Claim

Our main aim is to deliver our customers' Freight on time and undamaged. However, losses and damage may on occasion occur, and when this happens our experts will be at your service. If your freight is involved in any damage or if any items are missing, our specialists will be at your service to assist and to resolve your claim as swiftly as possible. To allow us to resolve problems connected with damaged or lost freight, we would ask you to follow the steps below: 

1. Notify the Railway at Destination immediately upon delivery of your freight if you detect any damaged or missing freight. 

    • The contact details to notify KCSR or KCSM can be found in the contacts section.
    • KCS may reject the damage inspection if it sees fit. Nonetheless, the obligation on the consignee to serve notice of the loss is fulfilled by requesting the damage inspection, and if the damage inspection is declined, this does not mean that your claim will be rejected.
    • If KCS rejects the damage inspection request, please request written notification of this rejection.
    • If KCS agrees to the damage inspection, you must ensure that the unit and freight are available and accessible to undergo the inspection. KCS will not pay any cost to position the unit.
    • Demurrage Costs will not arise until the inspection has been performed, provided that KCS has accepted it.

2. Document the Loss or Damage

    • Take photographs of the unit, the product, the seals and the freight before or during the offloading process.
    • Retain documentation such as weighing tickets at source, weighing tickets at destination, or any other document providing proof of the inventory.
    • Do not remove the damaged freight without notifying the Railway which delivered at the destination.

3. File your Claim - General Information

    • The liability of the Carrier Railway may be found in the Transport Service Provision Contract.
    • Most contracts are governed by the terms and conditions established in the KCS Tariff and Rules Publications, including the terms limiting liability. The terms contained in these Rules will govern liability for damage or loss of freight if there is no specific contract establishing different terms or conditions.
    • There is a minimum amount for a claim to be filed, and a maximum limit on liability. 
    • Any sender wishing to obtain cover other than as indicated in the Transport Service Provision Contract or the Rules published by KCS will need to contact KCS before the freight is documented.
    • Only the owner of the freight can file a claim. If the claimant is not listed on the bill of lading, a letter will need to be provided assigning rights to file the claim.
    • Claims must be submitted by the contractual deadline from the date of delivery, or in the case of missing goods, the same deadline from the scheduled delivery date.
    • In the USA, the deadline for filing a claim expires after 9 months.
    • In Mexico, the legal deadline (under Article 186 of the Mexican Railway Service Regulations) is 180 days after delivery.
    • The submission of a "notification of claim" or "notice of possible claim" will not protect the deadline for claims if the claim is not submitted by the aforementioned deadline with the documents requested.
    • Standard form to file claims for losses and damages</a >

4. Documentation required to file a claim

    • Letter claiming a specific amount.
    • Proof of rights over the goods to file a claim.
    • Proof of payment of carriage.
    • Proof of the quantity at origin and condition.
    • Proof of the quantity at destination and condition.
    • Proof of measurement of the damage.
    • Disposal of the freight.


Letter claiming a specific amount and the reasons for the claim.

Whether using a form or a letter describing the quantity and the reason for the claim.

Proof of rights over the goods to file a claim.

Copies of the bill of lading or waybill. A printed copy of electronic notes will be sufficient.

Proof of conditions and quantity at origin. Proof of the type and number of seals applied at origin will be required if the claim is because of missing goods

Cargo manifests, invoices will fulfill this requirement. Weight tickets from certified scales. Photographs are excellent means of establishing that the loading method was properly applied.

Proof of conditions and quantity at destination, including evidence that the goods or products were properly loaded in accordance with the AAR regulations.

Documentation such as photographs, offloading inventory, inspection. Weight tickets issued by certified scales. Photos are excellent means of evidence to establish that the freight was properly loaded.

An explanation of how the amount being claimed was arrived at, and proof of this amount.

A simple mathematical calculation of how the amount claimed was arrived may be based on invoices or repair bills in proof of the amounts claimed. In other words, ask yourself how the claim was determined, and what documents were used to arrive at this quantity.

In the case of claims for damaged freight, indicate what was done with the damaged freight.

If you are calling for the carrier to pay for the shipment claimed, the carrier will be entitled to take possession of the goods.

Contacts Freight Damage and Prevention Claims Department


PO Box 219335
Kansas City MO 64121-9335

816-983-1825 telephone
816-218-0114 fax


Avda Manuel L. Barragan #4850 Nte
Colonia Hidalgo
64290 Monterrey, N.L. 


From U.S.
1-888-812-9512 ext. 7944

Fax from U.S.

From Mexico
81-8305-7900 ext. 7944