Understanding the Changes to FedEx Ground Dimensional Weight Pricing

May 12, 2014 at 7:46 AMLeah Palnik

bos 3214 06 2008FedEx recently announced that dimensional weight pricing will apply to all FedEx Ground shipments, effective January 1, 2015. This is a significant change from the rating structure in place today. Currently only FedEx Ground packages measuring at least three cubic feet (5184 cubic inches) are subject to dimensional weight pricing. 

UPS is likely to make the same changes, as FedEx and UPS have a history of matching one another's pricing strategies. Both of their general rate increases (GRI) have matched over the years, including similar accessorial fees and special handling charges.

Even though this change is still several months away, it's important to determine what this will mean for you and your business for future planning. So what can you do?

Educate yourself
Dimensional weight pricing is a common industry practice that sets the transportation price based on package volume, in relation to its actual weight. Carriers use dimensional weight in order to account for the space packages take up on their trucks and planes. This allows for a more precise way to charge for their services.

According to the 2014 FedEx Service Guide, FedEx Express calculates dimensional weight for shipments within the U.S. by multiplying the package length by width by height (in inches) and dividing the total by a DIM Factor of 166 (the DIM Factor represents the volume of a package allowed per unit of weight). Dimensions that measure one-half inch or greater are rounded up to the next whole number, dimensions less than one-half inch are rounded down, and the final number is rounded up to the next whole pound. If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight, the former becomes the billable weight. It is likely that the new FedEx Ground dimensional weight pricing will follow the same guidelines.

Determine the impact
Start by looking at the FedEx Ground packages you typically ship and their box sizes. For example, if you tend to ship 24x12x12 boxes, the dimensional weight is 21 lbs. Here is how that is calculated:

length x width x height = volume
24 in x 12 in x 12 in = 3,456 cubic inches

volume/dimensional divider = dimensional weight
3,456/166 = 21 lbs.

You then compare the dimensional weight to the actual weight, and the higher of the two becomes the billable weight. In this example, if your actual package weight is 15 lbs., you will instead be billed at the dimensional weight (21 lbs.).

The change in dimensional weight pricing for small package ground shipments is only part of the impact you'll see on your budget for 2015, but it will be an important one. Keep an eye out around the New Year for the PartnerShip Small Package Rate Increase white paper that will come out after all of the general rate increases are announced by the carriers.

Find ways to offset the rate increase
Be mindful when you select the packaging for your small package ground shipments. Make sure you're not using unnecessarily large boxes for lighter shipments.  If you don't currently have one, investing in a scale can be helpful when determining how to ship out your small packages and selecting box size, so you know exactly what you're working with and how much you can expect to pay.   

Securing discounts for your small package shipments is one of the best ways to offset this rate increase. PartnerShip offers association members discounts on select FedEx services. 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. Also, if you click the button below, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation shipping analysis to determine how much we can help you save on your small package shipping.

PartnerShip Carrier Helps to Deliver Traveling War Memorial

May 7, 2014 at 7:11 AMLeah Palnik

iStock 000003846528MediumThrough the vision of artist Anita Miller, The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial was created and is traveling the country with the help of PartnerShip carrier, R+L Carriers. This powerful and moving exhibit contains 23 portraits that depict the fallen Marines from Lima Company 3/25, one of the hardest hit units in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Back in 2005, the Marine Corps deployed Columbus-based Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment. Within the first two months overseas, Lima Company faced its first wave of causalities, including eight Marines who were killed as a part of seizing Al Qaeda weapons and explosives. On August 3, 2005, the largest IED blast ever recorded happened, devastating the unit.

Miller was understandably moved by their story and spent two and half years to create this memorial in their honor. In 2008 it was unveiled at the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda and viewed by one of the Lima Company survivors, Mike Strahle. Strahle became involved with the project and vowed to make it available to all in need of remembrance and healing. Working with R+L Carriers, Miller and Strahle are now able to share this memorial and the story of Lima Company 3/25 with people all over the country.

R+L Carriers is an alliance partner with PartnerShip, providing a variety of domestic and global shipping solutions, including LTL freight, tradeshow, truckload, and freight forwarding services.

2014 Freight General Rate Increases

May 1, 2014 at 9:55 AMMatt Nagel

Freight ShippingIt's that time of year again. Freight carriers have been announcing their general rate increases (GRIs) this spring. As we did last year, PartnerShip has compiled some details for your benefit so you can make well-informed, money and time saving decisions about the best way to handle your freight shipping.

If you're a seasoned freight shipper, you probably know all too well the ins and outs of the GRIs. However for our more novice shippers, the GRIs are just what they sound like — increases in freight rates. There are many reasons why these increases are necessary, but the main reason is a sharp increase in costs that carriers face every year due to things like rising fuel, maintenance, insurance, and labor costs.

As straight forward as the reasoning for the increases sound, there are also some less obvious nuances to the GRIs that, as your shipping connection, we can help to clear up. One of the more important things to remember is that these rate increases are only averages across all origin and destination ZIP code combinations served by each individual carrier. The effect of the rate increase will vary for individual customers and shipments based on geography, product classification, lane, weight, and dimensions. Using geography as an example, if there's an "average" GRI of 6%; some areas may see a 3% increase and some may see a 9% increase in freight charges. The customer in the area with a 9% increase will obviously see a larger bump in cost, especially if distribution is regional.  

General Rate Increases

Listed to the right, we've compiled GRI for the five largest national LTL freight carriers, the percentage at which their rates will be increasing, and the dates these increases will go into effect.

Remember, PartnerShip is here to help you offset these increases. We've negotiated with carriers on your behalf to bring you the best rates in the industry with the most reliable national and regional carriers. In addition to great rates, PartnerShip brings a dedicated freight team, free money-saving services like invoice auditing and inbound management, and easy-to-use online freight tools ... all designed to save your company time and take the guesswork out of freight shipping (click here to create a PartnerShip.com account if you haven't already).

If you would like more information on this year's GRIs, please contact PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or email select@PartnerShip.com. Click the button below and we'll be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation shipping analysis to help you determine which carriers and which lanes will save you the most money on your freight shipping.



6 RFP Questions for Association Affinity Shipping Programs

April 28, 2014 at 8:21 AMScott Frederick

RFP ClipboardIf you're an executive or a membership director with an association or trade group and you're considering offering an affinity "shipping services" program to your members, here are six (6) questions you should ask your potential partners:

  1. What is your company background and experience? Ask your prospective partner to tell you the history of their company, how many years of experience they have, how did they get into the business, and what makes them different than their competitors. In the case of PartnerShip, we were founded by an association to provide shipping services to members - something we've been doing for 25 years.
  2. Describe your sales and customer service approach? Will your partner have a dedicated account manager for your program? Does your partner have a dedicated customer service department and what is their process for handling member inquiries and resolving issues? PartnerShip, as an example, provides a dedicated "program manager" to every one of our association programs. Additionally, we have a dedicated customer service team to support members.
  3. What marketing communications strategies do you use? What marketing strategies will your partner adopt to maximize program participation? What has been their track record with other associations? What is the process for bringing members into the program? PartnerShip uses a turnkey outbound and inbound marketing approach that includes a variety of high-quality co-branded marketing materials, including a custom website.
  4. How much program implementation support do you provide? How will your partner implement the program for your members? Will they share in the cost of the implementation? Will they provide communications and digital assets to your association for placement across your channels? Do they provide any live webinar support or will they support your trade show? PartnerShip does all of this and more.
  5. Do you have detailed reporting and tracking tools? This is an important one and an area where many partners fall short. Will your partner be able to provide both aggregate and member-level participation information broken out in sufficient detail? Will members be notified of the savings they enjoyed through the program? PartnerShip association clients enjoy a high level of detailed reporting on both a quarterly and annual basis.
  6. What does your compensation model look like? What methodology do you use to establish a mutually beneficial compensation model that will provide long-term success to the program? What process do you use to allow for full-disclosure and transparency of compensation reporting? PartnerShip non-dues compensation models are flexible and very transparent for each association client that we work with.

I hope this blog post helped give you some ideas about how you might approach the RFP process of implementing this type of an affinity program. If you're still interested in learning more about how best to implement a shipping services affinity program for your members, we invite you to download a FREE copy of "Shipping Services as a Valuable Member Benefit" electronic white paper.

By Scott Frederick

25 prizes in 25 weeks - our first 5 winners!

April 14, 2014 at 10:10 AMMatt Nagel

PartnerShip just wrapped up week number 5 of our "25 prizes in 25 weeks" promotion to celebrate our silver anniversary of helping small businesses save on shipping! The entries continue to come in and we are happy to announce our first five winners:*

Store Pictures

Week 1: Gene from Texas A&M Univ. at Galveston Bookstore

Week 2: Sara from UIC Bookstore

Week 3: Jessica from Panola College Store

Week 4: Jerri from Saints Bookstore

Week 5: Angela from On Campus Marketing

Congratulations to all our winners who received a "PartnerShip 25th Anniversary Prize Pack," and thank you to those that provided us with some great pictures of their businesses (as shown to right).

We still have 20 prizes to give away over the next 20 weeks so be sure to enter if you haven't already. Click here to enter our raffle if you are our customer or any other small business that would like to get in on the action. On our promotional website you can watch our 25th anniversary thank you video, learn more about PartnerShip, take a walk down memory lane, and, of course, enter for a chance to win a PartnerShip Prize Pack with some fun prizes such as t-shirts, piggy banks, mini basketball hoops, and more!

Check back here at The PartnerShip Connection Blog for more winners in future weeks - or better yet, click the button below to subscribe and never miss a post!


*Winners are also contacted directly.

New And Improved Freight Quote Form

March 27, 2014 at 10:10 AMScott Frederick

Yesterday PartnerShip released a new and improved freight quote form. The new form makes it easier for our customers to get a free, no-obligation rate quote for a variety of freight shipping needs, including:

  • LTL Shipments ... for standard or guaranteed less-than-truckload freight shipments (typically between 150 and 4,999 pounds).
  • Tradeshow Shipments ... for exhibit freight shipments going to or from a tradeshow, conference, or expo - or to the advanced warehouse.
  • Expedited Shipments ... for shipments that require faster transit times, or time-definite delivery.
  • Truckload Shipments ... for partial truckloads (sometimes called volume shipments) and full truckloads.

NewFreeQuoteForm

The new form reflects the growing demand that PartnerShip customers have for freight services that go beyond standard LTL shipments. Over the past few months, PartnerShip has expanded its carrier alliances to include dozens of new and reputable service providers that specialize in full truckloads, flatbeds, refrigerated trailers, time-definite delivery, and international shipments. Now our small business customers can quickly access these capabilities at very competitive rates using a single, quick and easy-to-use form.

If you're already a PartnerShip customer, then make sure you log in first before using the new quote forms to ensure a very personalized experience (and saving you some keystrokes along the way). If you're not sure what shipment type you have, you can always start with the —LTL Freight Quote' option. If your shipment is truly an LTL freight shipment, you will instantly get our lowest prices for standard and guaranteed delivery services with the industry's most reputable carriers. If your shipment qualifies for tradeshow, expedited or truckload pricing, then your information will be carried over to a new form to complete the request. Of course, if you know you have a tradeshow, expedited, or truckload shipment, you can now go directly to that form and immediately start the quote process.

Whether you're new to PartnerShip, or one of our many loyal customers, we encourage you to use the new PartnerShip rate quote forms for all of your freight shipping needs. Of course, you can still reach out to us over the phone, via email or through live chat if you prefer. In every case, you can always expect great rates, consolidated billing, easy-to-use tools, and friendly service from PartnerShip - your shipping connection.

Soles4Souls and PartnerShip Announce a New Alliance!

March 25, 2014 at 7:33 AMMatt Nagel

PartnerShip employees recently lended a hand to Soles4Souls to help provide shoes to Boston's less privileged. Now, PartnerShip and Soles4Souls have entered into a new type of alliance - PartnerShip will be the endorsed Soles4Souls shipping provider and will coordinate the shipping from the donor drives to the nearest warehouse location. PartnerShip will also help Soles4Souls manage their transportation between warehouse facilities and shipments to shoe distributions in the U.S. 

Soles4Souls, Inc. is a nonprofit social enterprise that advances the fight against global poverty by monetizing used shoes and clothing to create sustainable jobs and fund direct relief efforts around the world. The organization collects new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributes shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and through qualified micro-enterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities.

Soles4Souls collects approximately 2,000,000 shoes each year through 5,000 to 7,000 donor drives taking place in any given year. A single donation drive may generate fifty pairs of shoes to three thousand pairs or more. The donors that sponsor the shoe drives are then responsible for paying freight cost to ship the shoes to the nearest of approximately 17 warehouse/distribution points around the country. Once the shoes reach one of the warehouse locations, the shoes are graded into A, B and C grades. They are then inventoried and eventually shipped to their micro-enterprise providers who pay for the freight (typically 53' containers).

PartnerShip is excited and honored to be a small part in such a worthy cause and look forward to providing shipping solutions for Soles4Souls donors — the lifeblood of this important organization.

If you would like more information or would like to donate today, visit Soles4Souls.org. You can also visit the official Soles4Souls shipping page to set up a donation shipment at PartnerShip.com/Soles4Souls.

A 25th Anniversary Message from PartnerShip

March 19, 2014 at 9:36 AMScott Frederick

In case you missed it, we recently uploaded a new video to the PartnerShip YouTube Channel. The video, which is narrated by John Finucane, president and COO of PartnerShip, contains a few comments regarding the PartnerShip 25th Anniversary, our history, and a thank you message from all of our employees. If you haven't seen the video yet, we invite you to watch it here below.

The video also appears a couple of special web pages we have created specifically for our customers. One web page is for our college store customers, since they helped us get our start in the freight management business 25 years ago. The second web page is for our non-college store customers that span pretty much every other industry imaginable. Both web pages contain a copy of the video message above, and each has an entry form for customers to enter for a chance to win a small "PartnerShip Prize Pack" over a 25-week period of time. You can view the web pages and enter the weekly raffle below.

The main theme with both of the web pages above is that all of the employees here at PartnerShip are thankful for our customers, their business and their continued loyalty. We have fun doing what we do, and we hope it shows by the extraordinary service our customers receive when working with PartnerShip.

25 Prizes in 25 Weeks - Our First Winner!

March 17, 2014 at 1:06 PMMatt Nagel

PartnerShip 25th AnniversaryAs a way to say thank you to our customers for 25 great years, PartnerShip is giving away 25 prizes in 25 weeks! Entries have been pouring in and this is the first week we are giving out a prize for this promotion. Our first winner is ...

Gene from Texas A&M Univ. at Galveston Bookstore!*

Congratulations to Gene, who won a PartnerShip 25th Anniversary Prize Pack which includes some fun items for his store! And to everyone else who didn't win this week, don't worry, you still have 24 weeks to take home a prize!

If you're a college retailer or supplier and have yet to register for this promotion, click here now. If you're one of our many customers that are involved in other industries, please visit PartnerShip.com/25th. On either of these web pages you can watch our 25th anniversary thank you video, learn more about PartnerShip, take a walk down memory lane, and, of course, enter for a chance to win some fun prizes such as t-shirts, piggy banks, mini basketball hoops, and more!

Come back The PartnerShip Connection Blog frequently - we'll be posting the weekly winners of this giveaway at the end of each month.

*The winner will also be contacted directly.

CAMEX 2014 - Thanks for the Memories!

March 12, 2014 at 10:53 AMScott Frederick

PartnerShip® is a leading shipping solutions provider to small businesses across North America and - as the only endorsed NACS and CAMEX shipping provider - the college industry remains an important customer segment for us. That is why we annually have a large presence at CAMEX - the collegiate retailing industry's meeting place for the past 80 years.

CAMEX 2014 was especially important to PartnerShip as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year. Once again, we sponsored opening night on Friday, hosted a special customer appreciation party on Saturday night, and used a coffee bar style booth to serve up coffee and cookies on the trade show floor Sunday through Tuesday.

Here are a few video and picture highlights from this year's event.

CAMEX is a great way for PartnerShip to say THANK YOU to our many college industry customers for their business and loyalty over the past 25 years! The following video/slide show contains pictures submitted by numerous college stores that either attended our 25th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Party at CAMEX 2014, or those that visited our 25th Anniversary College Store Appreciation website at www.PartnerShip.com/25years

PartnerShip also has shipping programs and services for non-college industry small businesses, retailers and suppliers. With over 17,000 active customers across North America, our customer base has become very large and diverse. We ship everything from shoes to auto parts, and everything in between. So, if you're one of our many non-college industry customers, we want to say THANK YOU for your business as well. In fact, if you visit www.PartnerShip.com/25th, you can watch our short thank you video and sign-up for some fun prizes we'll be raffling off throughout the year.

By Scott Frederick