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 PartnerShip.com 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 PartnerShip.com 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 PartnerShip.com 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.

PartnerShip Carriers Recognized for Quality Services

August 26, 2013 at 7:51 AMScott Frederick

LM 082013coverJust like last year, once again, almost all of the PartnerShip core carriers were recognized with Quest for Quality awards this year by the readers of Logistics Management magazine.

As part of the 30th annual Quest for Quality awards competition, Logistics Management readers evaluate companies in all modes and service disciplines, choosing the top performers in key categories. This year the research group received 6,179 total responses. In order to be a "winner," a company had to receive at least five percent of the category vote. Transportation service providers are rated on five key criteria: On-time Performance, Value, Information Technology, Customer Service, and Equipment & Operations.

Here are the PartnerShip carriers that received awards this year:

  • National LTL Freight:

    • National: FedEx Freight, Con-way Freight

    • Multi-Regional: FedEx Freight, Old Dominion, UPS Freight

    • Surface Package: FedEx Ground, UPS

  • Regional LTL Freight:

    • Northeast/Mid-Atlantic U.S.: New Penn, Pitt Ohio

    • Western U.S.: Reddaway

  • Truckload/Specialized:

    • Dry Freight: Pitt Ohio, Con-way Truckload

    • Expedited: UPS Urgent, Old Dominion, Pitt Ohio, FedEx Custom Critical

    • High Value Goods: United Van Lines

  • Air Express:
    • Air Express: FedEx Express

On behalf of PartnerShip, our employees, and the thousands of our customers that rely on your services as part of our shipping programs - congratulations to all of the carriers that won Quest for Quality awards this year! PartnerShip works with only the best carriers in the industry - and you've all proven to be in that category once again.

PartnerShip Competes in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge

August 15, 2013 at 12:57 PMScott Frederick

2013 Cleveland Corporate challengeThe PartnerShip staff (and friends) once again competed in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge. The 2013 games kicked off June 13 and officially ended August 8. The event is always a great team-building, summer activity that helps build pride and camaraderie among our employees.

This year's activities included the softball, mini golf, skeeball, kickball, volleyball, basketball, footgolf, cornhole, touch football, bowling, a 10K relay, tug-of-war, obstacle course, and 1 mile fun walk. Despite some scheduling issues that prevented PartnerShip from fully participating in every event, we still managed a 5th place finish out of 16 teams in the DIVISION 1 category (<79 employees). The video captures some of the photographic highlights that were shared at an all-staff meeting today.

 

Scott G Frederick

The Best Way to Transport Your Display Materials to an Event

August 14, 2013 at 8:00 AMLeah Palnik

Conference, Special EventIf you find yourself traveling frequently for business — whether it is to meetings, conferences, or trade shows — you know that it can be a challenge to find the best way to transport your marketing collateral and materials. Sometimes you may require exhibit transportation services for your larger, palletized shipments, but other times you might just have display materials for a small booth or table. Before you try to stuff all of those materials into your suitcase, consider shipping them. 

Shipping to a conference or a meeting can be a cost-effective and convenient option to get your materials where they need to be. But where do you ship it to? Through FedEx, you can ship your package to a nearby FedEx Office store at no extra cost. There are many FedEx locations around the country — often times right around the corner from, if not in, your hotel or conference center. And if you are an enrolled member in a PartnerShip association shipping program, your FedEx discounts still apply to the shipment.

Gone are the days that you try to stuff your marketing collateral in your personal luggage or pay extra to check an additional bag! Not to mention, you don't have to worry about lugging another set of luggage around the airport and to your hotel or show site.

Watch the video below or follow these simple steps to benefit from this free service:

  1. Find a FedEx Office location

  2. Create your shipment

  3. Select the option —hold at a FedEx location'

  4. Pickup at your convenience


 

Thank You for the PartnerShip Testimonials!

July 31, 2013 at 12:22 PMScott Frederick

PartnerShip TestimonialsOn June 27, I blogged about how customer recommendations (i.e., testimonials) and business referrals are important to PartnerShip as we look to grow and expand both our brand reputation and our business relationships. Over the past month, we've collected some nice testimonials that I thought I would share here (we also post them to our testimonials pages on the PartnerShip.com website).

"PartnerShip has been one of the benefits for being a member of SDRA that I initially did not think I would use. That is until it was going to take 4 days to ship some food items from New York to Mrs. Murphy's, and at a cost I considered excessive. Since I wanted frozen foods as part of the shipment, 4 days was too long to arrive by truck still frozen. So I would have to take off those items from the shipment. One call to Partnership got me a quick quote -$200.00 less than the 4 day shipping, and it would arrive in just 2 days, which meant the frozen items would also be coming our way. Great customer service and definitely a cost savings to our small Irish gift store. Thanks to PartnerShip!" -- Dick Murhpy, Owner of Mrs. Murphy's Irish Gifts

"We're a small company, and don't ship freight all that often, but when we do, Mike has quickly become my first (and only) phone call. Quite honestly, Mike has been providing us with some of the best customer service I've experienced over the last 5 years New Vintage has been in business. What I think says even more is we do so little business with PartnerShip, but he treats me like we do many freight shipments a day! Shipping freight was always a scary thing for us, since we do it so little of it. On top of that, most of our customers aren't "normal" freight recipients (residential addresses, music venues, etc...). Mike always goes above and beyond to make sure not only our shipments arrive on time, but also makes sure that things go smoothly for our recipient and us There's been occasions where we've had time-critical shipments, traveling cross-country, and he took the time to track the shipment first thing each morning and send me an email, letting me know on its progress." -- Nic Patullo, President of New Vintage Amplifiers, Inc.

"I will be ordering again very soon. We usually have a lull in the middle of the month. Thanks. I am glad to be doing business with you. Your website is easy to navigate and the service is fabulous. I don't usually throw out compliments unless it's well deserved." -- Laura Tapp, Owner of Vintage Bee

"I have no control over how our exhibit gets to (our show), but once there, PartnerShip ships it back. They are friendly folks how, over time, have become friends. I recommend them highly and will continue to utilize their services." -- Jim Ball, sales representative with Texas Art Supply.

"We lean heavily on PartnerShip to help us out with our marketing, and they do a great job. They do postcards, they do emails, videos; they send us white papers, and information on what's going on in the shipping industry ... that's a crucial component when you're looking to select and endorsed provider, like PartnerShip, is to ensure they are truly able to be your partner in your marketing needs." -- Causby Challacombe, director of membership for NAMM

Once again, we're so fortunate to have such wonderful customers that have already gone out of their way to say good things about us. We invite more of our other customers to do the same - and we want all of you to know that your support is greatly appreciated by our entire team!

Tradeshow Shipping - Exhibitor Testimonials

July 12, 2013 at 10:19 AMScott Frederick

The PartnerShip exhibit transportation team continues to accumulate many accolades and testimonials for our tradeshow shipping services. Common points of feedback tend to include:

  • 'Your team is there supporting me from A-Z, start-to-finish for every show.'
  • 'You help take the burden off the exhibitor of finding the right carriers and completing the right paperwork.'
  • 'You've got great people working on your team, and I know they are always just a quick phone call or email away.'
  • "PartnerShip makes every trade show go smoothly - we have never been dissapointed."
  • 'In the rare cases where I have a problem or delay, your team is very responsive in resolving the issues.'
  • 'The proactive communications and tracking information your team provides me goes above and beyond my expectations.'
  • 'You guys are awesome, thanks!'

We love happy customers, and we love it when our customers share their experience with us (both good and bad), which is why we ask every exhibitor for their candid feedback after each tradeshow shipment we handle. In fact, we've recently started taking a camcorder with us to some of the bigger shows that we support in order to capture live feedback from a few of the exhibitors we serve. Here are three recent shows and testimonials captured on film by one of our very own senior tradeshow representatives, Bryan Chambers  - who we now affectionately refer to as "Bryan Seacrest" (the first video also includes an introductory interview conducted by Harry Centa, senior program manager for PartnerShip).

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We typically share our tradeshow videos and stories on The Tradeshow Stories Blog - and we also encourage our exhibitors to share their stories using a simple, online form. So if you're an exhibitor looking to work with one of the best, most experienced, tradeshow shipping providers in the industry, I encourage you to check out these resources and then give us a call for a free, no-obligation quote on your next exhibit shipment. 

Scott G Frederick

 

A Look at Logistics

June 18, 2013 at 8:15 AMLeah Palnik

iStock 000000631939MediumBefore your favorite products end up on store shelves, they have to be transported from where they are manufactured to their final destination. Many people may not think about what goes into the transportation of goods, but logistics is a large part of the world we live in. Here are some fun facts* to put into perspective just how important logistics is:

Logistics by the numbers

  • 3.5 Million The approximate number of truck drivers moving freight in the U.S.
  • 1.2 Million The number of trucking companies operating in the U.S.
  • 149 The number of ports located in the U.S.  
  • 1.28 Trillion The total U.S. logistics spend in 2011 
  • 71% The percentage our nation's freight movement that trucking accounts for
  • 566 The number of railroads in the U.S.

Did you know?

  • More than $1 out of every $10 produced in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is related to transportation activity.
  • 1 in every 15 people working in the U.S is employed in the trucking industry.
  • The highest-valued imported products in the U.S. include agricultural products, industrial supplies, capital goods, and consumer goods.
  • Shippers who partner with third-party logistics providers report an average cost reduction of 13%. 
If you need a shipping expert to help you navigate the complex world of logistics, click here to contact one of our dedicated team members or click the button below for a free shipping analysis. 



* Source: http://www.thelogisticsoflogistics.com/2012/06/fun-facts-about-logistics/

What You Need to Know About Shipping Internationally

May 21, 2013 at 11:01 AMLeah Palnik

Going global with your business is a great opportunity for growth. Whether you've already taken your business overseas or have just started to dip your toes in the international waters, simplifying your shipping is essential for keeping your business afloat. Here's what you need to know about shipping internationally:

Find your markets
When you're selecting your international markets, there are several factors to consider. You may start off by selecting markets where you have local distribution connections or markets that have signed free trade agreements with the U.S. You may also think about staying within markets with a common language to avoid any cultural or language barrier issues.

As you continue to expand it's also important to be aware of the requirements and restrictions you will encounter. Each country has different restrictions or prohibitions that affect what commodities are allowed to be important and exported.

Some countries also have standards you must adhere to. For example, China uses the China Compulsory Certification Mark (CCC), whereas European countries conform to the Conformite Europeenne (CE). Products not meeting the particular standards in these markets may be held up by customs and will be subject to other penalties. Make sure you are aware of these restrictions and standards to avoid any unwanted hassles down the road.

As a helpful tool for researching your markets, FedEx provides Country Profiles that can give you detailed information on import and export restrictions, trade group information, prohibitions, standards, and more.

Prepare your documents
There is a great deal of documentation involved with shipping and selling a product internationally. The U.S. government requires export documentation and each importing country will have different requirements for import documentation.

What documentation you have to submit with your shipment depends mostly on where you are shipping to and what you are shipping. The primary shipping document for most international shipments is the International Air Waybill (IAWB). Other documents you may need will vary. Some other common documents include the Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Origin, and Electronic Export Information (EEI).

To help you determine what international documents you will need to complete, check out the FedEx International Document Assistance page.

Ship your products
When you have selected your markets, completed the necessary paperwork, and are finally ready to ship, it's important to select the right service at a low cost. It's also important to remember that things like duties, taxes, port handling fees and other customs charges will affect your costSaving money on your international shipments with a reliable carrier can make a world of difference. 

FedEx offers a number of services to fit all of your international shipping needs. Through an association shipping program, managed by PartnerShip, you can receive discounts on your international shipments with select FedEx services. PartnerShip works with over a hundred major trade associations, across many industries to provide their members with the money-saving tools to help them be successful. If you belong to an association we work with, take advantage of our free shipping benefits today - and save on your international shipping. If you're not sure if you qualify for one of our shipping programs contact us and we'll find the solution that's right for you.