How Commercial Trucking Changed the World

September 30, 2013 at 10:12 AMScott Frederick
The following guest blog post is being published compliments of Steve Updike Vice President / Principal at Updike Distribution Logistics, LLC, a Phoenix, Arizona-based distribution company.

The commercial trucking industry revolutionized the transportation of products when it arrived on the scene. Before trucks were used for transport, America's goods were shipped via railroads. However, trucks would soon prove to be faster and more efficient.

Advancements in technology

The combustion engine was invented in the mid-1800s, making trucking a viable alternative to the railroads. Solitary trucker-owners eked out a living, before even the invention of closed containers to protect goods. Roads were cobblestone and tires were solid rubber, making the journey a precarious one.

Economic prosperity in the 1920s, along with advancements in wheel technology, brought the first real boom in trucking. The advent of covered containers on trucks also helped to protect goods during transit and expanded possibilities for the nascent industry. Soon, however, the Depression put many growing companies out of business and essentially paused the industry until the economy rebounded after World War II.

Diesel engines expanded opportunity

Through the 1950s and 60s, diesel engines came into use, making longer journeys possible. Other technological advancements, such as multiple axles that allowed trucks to carry heavier weights, increased the trucking industry's capability to meet rising demands for consumer goods.

New laws spurred commercial trucking growth

interstate highway system tIn 1956, the federal government authorized an interstate highway system, which would make long-haul trucking faster and more cost effective than other methods of distribution. The development of the interstate highway system coincided with the rapid growth of suburbs, making truck transportation even more vital because railroads stopped mostly in major cities.

Market complexity prompted innovation

Over time, as trucking emerged as the most common method of transporting merchandise, trucking companies became larger and more complex. Third party logistics (3PL) providers would ultimately work with companies to navigate those complexities, helping businesses find the most efficient ways to distribute products.

Starting in the 1970s and 80s, the trend toward outsourcing to 3PLs gained speed. Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act in 1980, which deregulated the commercial trucking industry. This deregulation paved the way for companies to begin providing multiple services across transportation sectors.

Before 1980, for example, companies mostly provided trucking services, operated on the railroads or stored goods. Companies entering the market were required to prove their entry didn't financially harm an existing company. Deregulation removed the barriers to entry and companies began offering multiple services and expanding their reach into the supply chain.

As technology became even more advanced in the 1980s and 90s, possibilities for tracking products and analyzing routes became even more complicated. The technology side of 3PL became one of the industry's main selling points for companies looking to become more efficient in an increasingly competitive world.

Today, with the supply chain so complex and with so many variables, many companies turn to third party logistics providers to manage their supply chain distribution.

Trucking has come a long way since its inception, and continuing advances in technology, including fuel efficiency, mean that it will likely stay an important part of how goods get distributed across the nation.

What to do Once Your Freight has Arrived at its Destination

September 24, 2013 at 8:26 AMMatt Nagel

PalletsYour freight shipment has been created, shipped, and tracked. The shipment has now arrived at its destination and you're ready to complete the final steps in the freight shipping process.

As you know from my two previous posts, PartnerShip has tailored its website to assist customers before and during shipping. We'll now provide you with some steps for after-shipping best practices.

Step #1: If the shipment was inbound, check for damaged or missing items.

As rare as it may occur, it's always a best practice to record and check shipments for shortages, damages, and concealed damages immediately upon delivery.

If you find an issue with your shipment, here are some guidelines for making sure the problem is properly documented:

  • Always notify your vendor of short or damaged shipments
  • Have the driver precisely document all exceptions on the delivery receipt
  • Contact the carrier within 15 days of delivery date to report concealed shortages or damages
  • Never pay for merchandise not received
  • Always try to have your vendor file the LTL freight claim
  • Claims must be filed within 9 months of delivery date (claims forms for PartnerShip carriers are in the Shipping Forms menu)
  • If you have any questions, call your PartnerShip account representative and they will gladly help you with the freight claims process

Step #2: Pay your freight invoices.

If your shipment was sent 3rd party billed through PartnerShip, you have the time-saving option of using to view, track and pay your Invoicing online. We've organized your open invoices for easy reference. The Invoicing tool allows you to view invoices by invoice number and pay invoices immediately with a credit card.

Once your invoices are paid, you can use Payment History to see all of your past invoice payments and transactions.

Step #3: Keep track of your freight shipments.

In my last post, you learned that using Shipment History on is a great way to view all shipments that are in transit. Now that your freight is no longer in transit, Shipment History is a great way to get a consolidated view of all shipments sent in the past. By using Shipment History as a reporting tool, you're able to search shipments by date and keep track of your shipment frequency and details in one report - no matter how many different freight carriers you may have used through PartnerShip.

You can also request a personalized Savings Report from for your company. Simply choose a monthly or yearly report type and click —submit. A PartnerShip representative will then provide you with a customized report showing you how much you've saved off of the carrier's base rates during that period of time.

There you have it! You've completed the shipping process and are ready to send another one! Remember, PartnerShip is always here to help you at any stage and with any type of shipment you may need to send. If you haven't already, be sure to click the below button to subscribe to the PartnerShip Connection Blog so you get future updates and tips.

PartnerShip Honored with 5th Consecutive NorthCoast 99 Award

September 19, 2013 at 8:23 AMScott Frederick

NACS, Inc. (and PartnerShip as one of its subsidiaries) was officially honored yesterday evening with a fifth consecutive NorthCoast 99 award. NorthCoast 99 is an annual recognition program that honors 99 great workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio. The program was developed and is presented by ERC. ERC is Northeast Ohio's leading and largest professional organization dedicated to HR practices, programs and services.

Prominent Northeast Ohio organizations were honored at the Westlake, OH banquet last night, including some very familiar names such as the Cleveland Indians, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Majestic Steel USA Inc., University Hospitals, Avery Dennison, Panther Expedited Services, FedEx Custom Critical, and 15-time winner Shearer's Foods Inc. Joining representatives of these prominent organizations was a small, cross-section of NACS, NACSCORP and PartnerShip employees who proudly accepted the award.

Fifteen years ago, NorthCoast 99 was started to showcase organizations that understood that building and enhancing workplaces for top performers was the key to success. It has since transformed from a workplace competition to a movement - with more and more CEOs shifting towards a great workplace strategy. Here are some interesting facts about this year's NorthCoast 99 companies that were shared at the event:

  • 99% sponsor fundraisers, charitable events and/or scholarships
  • 50% coordinate an organization-wide day of community services
  • 83% provide ongoing coaching and feedback to employees at least quarterly
  • Fill open positions with internal talent 32% of the time
  • Provided, on average, 47 hours of training and development to employees in 2012
  • 86% offer wellness incentives to employees, and 83% conduct wellness challenges or competitions
  • 76% of the leaders hold small/intimate group gatherings with employees at least monthly
  • 89% offer financial planning assistance

To end the evening, Craig Keilburger, co-founder of Free The Children, gave a very inspirational speech. His message included examples of how one person can make dramatic, positive impacts on the lives of others - a message taken to heart by the NorthCoast 99 companies that strive each and every day to help their employees be successful.

Congratulations to all of this year's NorthCoast 99 winners. Thank you for all that you accomplish, and for building great workplaces along side NACS, Inc. in Northeast Ohio!

Scott G Frederick

Thank You Truck Drivers for Delivering the Goods!

September 17, 2013 at 1:04 PMScott Frederick

As we did last year, PartnerShip joins the American Trucking Association (ATA) in celebrating the men and women across the country who keep this country moving. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (Sep 15-21) is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy's most demanding and important jobs.

America's truck driver workforce includes 3.1 million professional men and women that not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe. They also log close to 398 billion miles each year and they deliver over 68 percent of the U.S. freight tonnage — or over 9.4 billion tons of freight.

For 52 weeks a year, America's professional truck drivers make sure that our most essential items — food, fuel, medicine, clothing are delivered and lately they are doing so more safely and efficiently than ever before despite increasingly congested highways and ever more demanding logistics schedules," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves in a press release from yesterday. "Their commitment is second-to-none and that's why we're asking that Americans take a few minutes to appreciate the effort these professionals put in every day.'

This is the 25th anniversary for the National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. (Coincidentally, PartnerShip will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary early next year - but more to come on that later.) ATA is once again hosting a video contest focusing on the professional truck driver. To view the contest rules, please click here.  The best video will receive $1,000 to be used towards promoting the winning company's workforce and the image of the trucking industry! You can follow National Truck Driver Appreciation Week on Twitter and Facebook.