New Food Safety Rule Will Impact Shippers

May 18, 2016 at 2:50 PMLeah Hyland

Over the years, refrigerated (reefer) trucks have revolutionized the way perishable goods are transported. This technology provides shippers with the ability to reach larger markets and gives consumers better access to things like produce, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. Most commonly, shippers and receivers of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy products rely on this refrigerated technology to do business. However, with broadening opportunity, often comes increased regulation – especially when it comes to food safety.

In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed by Congress and signed into law to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply. Most recently a FSMA rule was finalized that will affect shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers. The rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food is one of seven foundational rules proposed since January 2013 that aim to help create a solid framework for food safety.

The rule specifies conditions for cleaning vehicles between shipments, pre-cooling trucks, keeping accurate records on temperature controls, conducting training, and other protective measures.

Specifically, the rule establishes requirements for:

  • Vehicles and transportation equipment: The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe. 
  • Transportation operations: The measures taken during transportation to ensure food safety, such as adequate temperature controls, preventing contamination of ready to eat food from touching raw food, protection of food from contamination by non-food items in the same load or previous load, and protection of food from cross-contact, i.e., the unintentional incorporation of a food allergen. 
  • Training: Training of carrier personnel in sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training. This training is required when the carrier and shipper agree that the carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport. 
  • Records: Maintenance of records of written procedures, agreements and training (required of carriers). The required retention time for these records depends upon the type of record and when the covered activity occurred, but does not exceed 12 months.

Some operations are exempt from the rule, including those engaged in food transportation operations that have less than $500,000 in average annual revenue. Small businesses (businesses other than motor carriers who are not also shippers and/or receivers employing fewer than 500 persons and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts) will have two years to comply, while other businesses have one year from publication to comply.

If you ship or receive food, it’s important to understand these changes and the effect they’ll have on your operations. When your shipment requires a refrigerated trailer, you need a carrier that has superior capabilities and a price that won’t break your bottom line. PartnerShip provides competitive pricing on refrigerated truckload shipments and only works with the most reputable carriers. Get a free quote today!

Changes Coming to the FedEx Additional Handling Surcharge

April 28, 2016 at 1:36 PMLeah Hyland

FedEx currently applies an additional handling surcharge to packages with a length greater than 60 inches, but after June 1 the threshold will be lowered to 48 inches. This announcement came during the FedEx third-quarter earnings call and is in response to recent e-commerce trends. More consumers are shopping online, which has led to an increase in home deliveries and an increase in non-traditional items being shipped, such as big screen TVs, mattresses, and swing sets.

The additional handling surcharge currently costs $10.50 per package, so it’s important to take a look at the size of packages you send and receive. If a lot of your packages are greater than 48 inches in length, you will see a significant jump in your costs.

It’s also important to note some of the other criteria from the FedEx service guide that would cause a package to be charged the additional handling surcharge. This surcharge also applies to any Express or Ground package that: 

  • measures greater than 30 inches along its second-longest side
  • has an actual weight of greater than 70 lbs
  • is not fully encased in an outer shipping container
  • is encased in an outer shipping container made of metal or wood
  • is cylindrical, including (without limitation) cans, buckets, barrels, drums or pails that are not fully encased in an outer shipping container made of corrugated cardboard

The rise of e-commerce has caused a considerable amount of change in small package shipping in the past few years. Carriers are constantly adjusting service costs to address market trends. In 2015, FedEx and UPS began applying DIM weight pricing to all ground shipments as opposed to just those three cubic feet or larger. Prior to the 2016 rate increases and just in time for the holiday volume, the charge for oversized packages nearly doubled to $110. In addition, UPS instituted a 2.5% surcharge for third party billing service in response to the growing popularity of drop shipping. As the e-commerce sector continues to thrive we can expect to see more changes like this in the future.

It's important to start evaluating how you these changes will affect your shipping costs. Through a PartnerShip-managed shipping program, you receive significant discounts on select FedEx services - resulting in savings that can help to offset cost increases like these. If you're not sure if you qualify for one of our small package shipping programs contact us and we'll find the solution that's right for you.

A Brief History of the Interstate Highway System

April 21, 2016 at 7:38 AMJerry Spelic

Did you know that the interstate highway system our trucking industry depends on began its life as the “Interstate and Defense Highway System?” We’ll explain the “defense” aspect soon, but first, a bit of history.

In the 1920s, automobiles became more affordable, more families were traveling and moving, and motor truck traffic was increasing as the economy grew and the country expanded. Before the federal government passed “The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1925,” many of the country’s 250 or so highways carried names such as “The Lincoln Highway” or “The Dixie Highway.” The new system would use the now-familiar shield and uniform numbers for interstate highways.

But more drivers needed more roads. Who would pay for them? Other transportation systems (streetcars, subways, elevated trains) were usually built and operated by private companies that made infrastructural investments in exchange for long-term profits. Transportation interests, such as car manufacturers, tire makers, gasoline refiners and service station owners, suburban developers, and trucking companies, began to convince state and local governments that roads were an important public concern.

Now, back to the “defense” part of the highway system. The man who would become president in 1953, former Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was stationed in Germany during World War II and had been impressed by its network of high-speed roads known as the Reichsautobahnen. After he became president, Eisenhower made it a priority to build a highway system that would help connect the nation and provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. When the highway system was introduced, it was simply known as "the National Defense Highway System."

The “Federal-Aid Highway Act” passed in June 1956 authorized the construction of a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways and allocated $26 billion to pay for them. The federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost of construction with the states picking up the remaining 10 percent.

A promotional piece from 1961 claims the new highway system will: “Build up depressed areas. Strengthen our National Defense. Bring in industry. Provide jobs. Improve land values.”

So next time you’re on I-10 on the west coast, I-95 on the east coast, or traveling through the heartland on I-80, remember that the Interstate Highway System we depend on for commerce and travel was created with national defense in mind.

Truckload Shipping 101

March 9, 2016 at 8:29 AMMatt Nagel

If you're a freight shipper, it's important to understand each type of transportation to be sure you are not wasting valuable resources. Truckload freight refers to larger shipments - usually over 10,000 pounds and/or requiring an entire semi-trailer. These types of shipments have their own set of rules, benefits, and nuances separate from other freight that makes truckload shipping a complicated transportation mode to master. Not to worry, as PartnerShip has created a new white paper designed to help you navigate the world of truckload freight! You'll learn:

  • What constitutes a truckload shipment
  • The benefits of shipping truckload versus other types of freight
  • The specialized equipment available for your shipments
  • How to obtain an accurate and cost-effective truckload quote

Click here to download this free white paper!

Visit PartnerShip.com/WhitePapers for a number of PartnerShip white papers on various shipping topics. Be sure to check back periodically as we continue to add new content! As always, the freight shipping experts at PartnerShip are here to lend a helping hand. Give us a call at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.

4 Reasons to Get Excited for CAMEX 2016

February 15, 2016 at 11:06 AMLeah Hyland

This time of year there’s one word you’re guaranteed to hear all around the PartnerShip office…CAMEX. CAMEX is the campus retailing industry’s largest educational conference and buying expo, attracting more than 2,250 attendees from nearly 1,000 campus stores as well as 650+ exhibiting companies. It’s produced and hosted by our parent company, the National Association or College Stores (NACS), so it’s a very important show for us. Our staff has been busy preparing for CAMEX 2016 and we can’t wait to share all of the great things we’re brining this year with you. Here’s why you should be looking forward to joining us in Houston:

1. Because no one can resist free coffee and cookies
You read me right – FREE. During the show you can come to our booth to relax and enjoy a cookie with a hot beverage. We know that when you come to CAMEX you're doing a lot of running around and it can be tiring. That’s why we want to give you the opportunity to kick up your feet and recharge.

2. Because we’re all just big kids at heart
If relaxing and recharging isn’t quite up to your speed, we have something else you might enjoy. You can get in the action with our new racing game! Who says race cars are just for kids? You can challenge your fellow show attendees or one of our staff (just don’t expect us to let you win) in a variety of battle and race modes on this exciting track.

3. Because we like winners
We’ve joined forces with our fellow NACS Inc. subsidiaries, IndiCo, NACS Foundation, and NACSCORP, to give you a chance to win one of five great prizes. Four people will be selected to win a gift basket valued at $250 and one lucky winner will go home with the grand prize – an iPad Air.

4. Because an aquarium is a pretty awesome place to throw a party
The fun doesn’t stop at the show. We’re sponsoring a party with IndiCo, NACS Foundation, and NACSCORP at the Houston Downtown Aquarium on Sunday night. Make sure you come to the Night at the Aquarium to explore the rides and exhibits and enjoy some complimentary food and drinks.

Are you excited yet? All fun and games aside, the best part of CAMEX for us is the opportunity to connect with you. If you’re going to be at the show, we hope you stop by booth #2931 to have some fun with us. See you in Houston!

PartnerShip Named Diamond Broker by Internet Truckstop

January 20, 2016 at 8:25 AMMatt Nagel

PartnerShip is proud to announce that we’ve joined Internet Truckstop’s Diamond Broker Program. Additionally, PartnerShip has secured a $100,000 bond which is a significant increase of what is mandated for all brokers and freight forwarders by law.

For a broker to stay in the program they must maintain an “A” credit rating and experience with Internet Truckstop. The broker also must abide by the TIA code of ethics

About Diamond Broker Program
Participating members receive a diamond designation attached to every load they post with Internet Truckstop. The Diamond Broker quickly delivers valuable assurances to Carriers regarding credit, performance history and the quality of their bond.  In addition to these competitive advantages the Diamond Broker receives experienced support to protect their bond, their credit score and their good name. 

About Internet Truckstop
Founded in 1995, Internet Truckstop is the first and largest freight matching service on the web. Internet Truckstop offers more tools than any other freight matching service available. These easy to use tools, one of the largest freight databases, and a commitment to the transportation industry make Internet Truckstop the leader in Internet freight matching.

PartnerShip is very excited to be part of this great program! We always strive to provide our carrier partners with a quality experience!

5 Resolutions You Should Make in 2016

January 13, 2016 at 9:26 AMMatt Nagel

Now that the countdown is over and you’ve vacuumed most of the confetti out of your carpet, it’s time to look forward to the rest of the year and make (hopefully not empty) promises to yourself for a better future. Your overall resolution as a business, when it comes to your shipping operation, should be to save money. In order to successfully achieve this resolution over the next year, you’re going to have to make sure key operations and processes are in place and followed. Not to fear, as Your Shipping Connection, we’ve compiled 5 recommended resolutions for your company to make in 2016 to achieve your end goal – saving money!

  1. Consolidate - As a general rule, one big order ships for less than three smaller orders. That means businesses should consider consolidating multiple orders into a single large shipment whenever possible, and always try to minimize the number of packages it sends. All too often, shipments are arranged as they come in from sales or order processing. However, a little planning and visibility will go a long way towards saving on shipping costs, supplies, and time.
  2. Commit to Saving on Inbound Shipments - Many companies that have outbound freight will more often than not have shipments coming into their facility from vendors and suppliers. These shipments are often billed to the consignee even though the consignee has no control over how the shipment is shipped or handled by the carrier. Even if your company isn’t seeing a direct invoice for these shipments, there’s no such thing as “free shipping” and the charges are probably being hidden elsewhere. In short, staying on top of your inbound shipping cultivates a healthy bottom line.
  3. Avoid Reweighs and Reclasses – Making this simple commitment to a more detail-oriented shipping operation will no doubt save you time and money in the long run. Most of avoiding costly reweighs or reclasses comes down to one document – your Bill of Lading (BOL). Make accuracy a priority on your BOL and enjoy a hassle-free shipping operation.
  4. Make New Connections – If you’re not yet working with a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) partner, you can knock the above resolutions (and many more) out of the park in 2016. There are many benefits to taking on a shipping partner, but, in short, a good 3PL should put a great deal of effort into concentrating on the shipping industry, developing solid relationships with carriers and drivers alike, and leveraging that stability into savings and service for their customers. Thereby taking costly time commitments from your staff and providing savings for your company.
  5. Catch-up on Your Reading – Between our blog and our white papers, PartnerShip puts out a great deal of information to keep you informed on happenings in the constantly changing shipping industry and tips on how to save money on any and every shipment.

Interested in making and keeping these resolutions? Consider PartnerShip as your dedicated shipping partner! We have over 25 years of experience managing less-than-truckload (LTL), tradeshow, truckload, and small package shipping operations for thousands of businesses. Every year since 1989 our New Year’s resolution has been to save you money! 

Visit PartnerShip.com/LearnMore for more information.

Get winning! Enter the $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes

January 8, 2016 at 9:35 AMLeah Hyland