Tradeshow Shipping - Exercise Your Options!

August 3, 2012 at 7:29 AMTina Straw

Tradeshow ShipmentWhether you’re a frequent tradeshow exhibitor, an occasional exhibitor, or a show organizer, you inevitably begin with a long list of “to-do’s” when planning your exhibit or event. You’ve probably spent months carefully considering your booth design, literature, show floor strategy, and giveaways. But one thing is for certain, your plans all hinge on your show and conference materials arriving at your event – on time and in good condition!                                                 

This is one part of the process that is often the most overlooked, and least considered – getting your precious cargo from Point A to Point B. When it comes to tradeshow shipping, many exhibitors believe that they can save time, money and energy by using the decorator’s freight solution, shipping through a small package ground program, or bringing the materials in themselves.  Sometimes exhibitors will choose to go with a lesser-known freight carrier, thinking that they will have the lowest rates.                                                                                                              

If your tradeshow shipment is at least 150lbs., you will want to find a shipping option that meets all of your most important criteria:                                    

  1. Use a transportation partner that has a dedicated tradeshow shipping department – Tradeshow shipping is a unique line of business in the freight transportation world, so pick a partner that specializes in getting to know the logistics of your event. Inbound and outbound shipping paperwork, and warehouse deadlines all become easier to navigate when you’ve picked the right partner.                     

  2. Who’s watching your shipment? – The success of your business can hinge on your success at a large tradeshow or event, so pick the partner that’s going to track your shipment from the time it leaves your dock to the time it gets to the show.

  3. Money isn’t everything, but… – You don’t want to end up spending all of your hard-earned profits from the show on freight, but you want to make sure that you don’t jump at the lowest offer if it’s a carrier that you’ve never heard of. “Bob’s Trucking” may be offering you the lowest shipping rate, but make sure you won’t be charged additional fees that you didn’t know about, such as “wait time” and “lift gate” fees. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your show materials are covered by a certain amount of liability insurance with the carrier that you’ve chosen.

    PartnerShip can help you with all of your tradeshow freight shipping, using the best national carriers, and at the most competitive rates. When you ship to a tradeshow using PartnerShip services, you can be sure that you’re getting the best service from a partner that will treat your shipment as if it was our own – daily tracking, preparing your paperwork, and providing you with the best liability insurance in the industry.

    Visit TradeshowSelect.com to get a free rate quote and learn about our services. For more information, email tradeshow@PartnerShip.com or call our dedicated tradeshow team at 800-599-2902 from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. ET. Want even more tradeshow info from the experts? Download our whitepaper – The 411 to Tradeshow Shipping.

    A Free Freight Analysis

    July 25, 2012 at 7:42 AMScott Frederick

    Sometimes you just don't know what you don't know. This is especially true when it comes to LTL freight rates. Because there are so many variables that go into your bottom-line LTL freight pricing - such as commodity classification, base rate schedules, discounts, accessorial fees, etc. - it's difficult to really understand if you're getting the best rate when you call your carrier or 3PL for that LTL freight quote. As shown in the example below, sometimes the "highest discount" doesn't always mean the "lowest price."

    LTL Freight Comparison

    For this reason, PartnerShip began offering a no-obligation FREE freight analysis service a few years ago to help small businesses sort through their current freight rates to ensure they aren't leaving money on the table. We run several of these analyses for customers every week, and requesting a freight analysis is as simple as:

    • Visit PartnerShip.com and complete or brief Freight Analysis Form.

    • In the About Your Shipments section of this form, let us know what you are shipping, how frequently you are shipping, and a general idea of where you are shipping to our from.

    • If possible, also provide us with examples in an email to select@PartnerShip.com. This could be a few recent freight invoices, or better yet, send us a simple Excel file with recent shipments, including the following four pieces of information: Origin ZIP, Destination ZIP, weight, and commodity type (or classification).

    Once we have your request, our LTL freight experts will analyze your shipments to determine your current freight rates. Then we will review the best rates we have in place with our best-in-class LTL transportation carriers to see if you can save additional money on part or all of your shipping. Again, our free freight analysis comes with no-obligation - if you already have the best market rates, we'll let you know so that you can continue to enjoy them.

    If you're wondering how your current LTL freight rates compare, before (or after) you ask for that next LTL freight quote from your existing carrier, consider having PartnerShip provide you with a free freight analysis to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

    A PartnerShip Profile: ABF

    July 23, 2012 at 10:22 AMMatt Nagel

    ABF was recently added to the select group of core carriers serving PartnerShip customers. ABF concentrates on national and regional transportation of general commodities freight, involving primarily LTL shipments. Established in 1923 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, ABF has solidified its reputation as a benchmark for safety, security, and freight-handling standards.

    ABF Logo 
    Through the PartnerShip alliance with ABF, customers can access competitive LTL freight rates, create bills of lading, print labels, and track shipments on PartnerShip.com. In addition to competitive freight rates PartnerShip customers enjoy ABF U-Pack services which offer extremely competitive rates on the ReloCubes for moving purposes. Some other advantages PartnerShip customers have by using ABF for LTL freight services are:
    • ABF provides comprehensive shipping services to all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Guam and Puerto Rico (see map below).
    • More than 99 percent of all shipments handled by ABF are moved without a loss or damage claim.
    • Additional ABF services available upon request through PartnerShip:
      • TimeKeeper®, a guaranteed expedited service for time-critical, time-definite shipments.
      • TurnKey®, a premium inside delivery and set-up service.
      • FreightValue®, a service for shipments requiring special equipment or handling.
    If you have any questions regarding ABF services, or special LTL freight shipping needs that ABF might be able to address, call your dedicated PartnerShip sales representative at 800-599-2902.

    If you are interested in receiving a ABF rate quote for an upcoming LTL shipment, log on to PartnerShip.com, or create a web account if you haven't already done so.
    ABF Map

    A PartnerShip Profile: Old Dominion Freight Line

    July 10, 2012 at 10:09 AMMatt Nagel

    Old Dominion Freight Line, or "OD" as they are often referred, provides less-than-truckload (LTL) freight services with nationwide coverage across all regions of the United States. Based in North Carolina, Old Dominion focuses their LTL services domestically with 217 service centers which ensures that your LTL freight gets there on time and as promised.

    OldDominionLogo

    Through the PartnerShip alliance with Old Dominion, customers can access competitive LTL freight rates, create bills of lading, print labels, and track shipments on PartnerShip.com. Old Dominion offers regional and inter-regional LTL freight service with very competitive transit times and pricing. The map below shows the six Old Dominion regions and U.S. service coverage. Some other advantages PartnerShip customers have by using Old Dominion for LTL freight services are:

    • Comprehensive U.S. service coverage with competitive transit times and pricing.

    • One of the most efficient and financially stable LTL carriers in the industry.

    • Additional OD services available upon request through PartnerShip:

      • Security Divider Service which provides guaranteed, locked-in security. Your freight is locked securely into place on a trailer at its origin, and is not unlocked until it reaches its final destination.

      • OD Expedited which provides daily on-time and guaranteed deliveries within normal transit times or time-specific windows.

    If you have any questions regarding Old Dominion services, or special LTL freight shipping needs that Old Dominion might be able to address, call your dedicated PartnerShip sales representative at 800-599-2902.

    If you are interested in receiving an Old Dominion rate quote for an upcoming LTL freight shipment, log on to PartnerShip.com, or create a web account if you haven't already done so.

    Old Dominion Map

    A PartnerShip Profile: UPS Freight

    June 20, 2012 at 8:12 AMMatt Nagel

    UPS Freight, a division of UPS that focuses on LTL freight and truckload services, has been a PartnerShip core carrier for nearly a decade (dating back to when they were known as Overnite Transportation before being acquired by UPS). With over 200 service centers across North America, UPS Freight provides LTL freight service coverage to the entire U.S., Canada, and Mexico. UPS Freight also provides time-sensitive and tradeshow shipment delivery to PartnerShip customers through its LTL Urgent services division.

    UPS Freight

     

    Through our alliance with UPS Freight, PartnerShip customers can access competitive LTL freight rates, create bills of lading, print labels, and track shipments on PartnerShip.com. UPS Freight will be very competitive on virtually any commodity type and any length of haul. Some advantages that UPS Freight brings to PartnerShip customers are:

    • Full North American coverage, including over 200 service centers in the U.S. (see map shown below)

    • Excellent brand reputation and service reliability, with regional, inter-regional and long-haul capabilities (including over 20,000 one- and two-day service lanes)

    • LTL Urgent service options for time-sensitive deliveries, special equipment needs, and tradeshow deliveries

    If you have any questions regarding UPS Freight services, or special LTL freight shipping needs that UPS Freight might be able to address, call your dedicated PartnerShip sales representative at 800-599-2902.

    If you are interested in receiving a UPS Freight rate quote for an upcoming LTL shipment, log on to PartnerShip.com, or create a web account if you haven't already done so.

    UPS Freight US Coverage

    A PartnerShip Profile: YRC Freight

    June 12, 2012 at 12:53 PMMatt Nagel

    YRC Freight (formerly the Yellow and Roadway companies) is one of the nation’s largest LTL freight carriers and has been a PartnerShip core carrier for over 20 years. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, YRC Freight has built a strong foundation on their specialization in LTL freight and tradeshow shipping. Within these service areas YRC Freight offers a full range of national, regional, and international options for the movement of industrial, commercial, and retail goods. These services combine to bring flexibility and reliability to customers' supply chains.

    YRC Freight

    Through our alliance with YRC Freight, PartnerShip customers can access competitive LTL freight rates, create bills of lading, print labels, and track shipments on PartnerShip.com. Typically YRC Freight will be most competitive on mid-length (750 to 1,500 miles) and long-haul (over 1,500 miles) moves based on the strength of their national network. Some advantages that YRC Freight brings to PartnerShip customers are:

    • Full North America service coverage with fewer handoffs than most LTL carriers (see map shown below)

    • Good reliability in 2-5 day delivery lanes (i.e., mid- and long-haul lanes)

    • Responsive customer service, including a Live Chat feature (although in most cases, your PartnerShip team can assist with any of your customer service needs)

    • Reputable time-critical, expedited and cross-border U.S./Canada service options (call PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 to schedule these specialized shipments)

    Like many businessess over the past few years, YRC Freight has had its share of financial challenges. However, its recent announcements on a new financial restructuring plan and rebranding point to a positive future for this important PartnerShip service provider.

    If you are interested in receiving a YRC Freight quote for an upcoming shipment, log on to PartnerShip.com, or create a web account if you haven't done so already.

    YRC Freight LTL Map

    Memorial Day Shipping Schedules for PartnerShip Carriers

    May 24, 2012 at 9:33 AMMatt Nagel
    As Memorial Day approaches, it is important to pause and honor the Americans who have sacrificed while defending our freedoms and values. To honor these sacrifices, businesses around the nation, including PartnerShip, will observe this holiday by closing their doors as a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and our veterans. Below are the Memorial Day delivery schedules for each of our core carriers:

    May 28, 2012

    FedEx

    FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, and FedEx Freight branches in the U.S. will be closed. FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, and FedEx Freight will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    UPS Freight

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29,2012.

    YRC Freight

    Closed. If guaranteed delivery on this holiday is needed, consider the YRC Freight Time-Critical® service. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    Con-way Freight

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    ABF       

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    Old Dominion

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    New Penn

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    PITT OHIO        

    Closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 29, 2012.

    May 29, 2012

    FedEx

    FedEx Home Delivery will be closed. Will resume service at normal business hours on May 30, 2012.

    PartnerShip will also be closed May 28, 2012 and will reopen at our normal business hours on May 29, 2012. For questions about these closures and how they may affect shipments, please feel free to contact PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.

    From everyone here at PartnerShip — have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

    Three Steps to Take Control of Inbound Shipping

    May 8, 2012 at 2:44 PMScott Frederick

    Like many small businesses, you may not currently have control over the shipments coming into your business. It is common for small businesses to let the vendor shipping the product to you arrange the carrier, select the mode of transportation, and manage the actual pickup and delivery times. In some cases, the convenience of this sort of arrangement may work well for your situation. However, that convenience comes with a cost: you may find that you are paying significantly more for inbound shipping than if you had arranged for it on your own.

    Reducing inbound shipping costs is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked ways to reduce your overall transportation expenses. Since you are the buyer of the goods, you can and should determine how those goods are shipped to you. When you control and route your own inbound shipments, you have an excellent opportunity to lower your costs.

    Here is a quick, three-step process for getting control of your inbound shipping expenses:

    1. Look at one or two invoices from your major suppliers. See what dollar amount they allocate for “shipping and handling.”

    2. Compare your suppliers’ freight shipping rates with the rates you have in place with your preferred shipping provider. If you’re a PartnerShip customer, you can easily log into our website and perform a couple rate quotes to see how your freight rates compare (or just give us a call – we’ll do it for you).

    3. If you find your rates are lower, draw up a letter for your purchasing department to forward to your suppliers providing details on how you want your products shipped, your small package carrier account number, and your preferred LTL freight carriers (again, PartnerShip can do all of this for you if you’d prefer). The letter also acts as an insurance policy if your supplier mistakenly ships by a carrier not on your routing letter. Having a signed letter allows you to charge vendors back for their mistakes.

    Updating your routing instructions with all of your suppliers is the first important step in gaining control of your inbound shipping costs. Ensure your products are delivered to you via your preferred carriers and at your known rates. This takes the unpredictability out of inbound shipping costs, and can save you money in the process.

    LTL Freight Quotes with ABF Now Available

    April 26, 2012 at 2:58 PMScott Frederick

    PaLTL Freight CarriersrtnerShip has a new alliance with ABF, making them the newest carrier partner available through our LTL Freight shipping programs (LTL stands for less-than-truckload). ABF joins our short list of reputable national and regional carriers, which also includes UPS Freight, YRC Freight, Con-way Freight, Old Dominion, FedEx Freight, New Penn, and Pitt Ohio. When PartnerShip customers use the Quote/Create Shipment tool on PartnerShip.com, they will now often see ABF shown as a service option depending upon the specific lane. ABF has been delivering LTL shipments since 1923, and they are one of the largest, most recognized LTL carriers in the industry today, providing both national and regional service. For more information about ABF, how to get no-obligation LTL freight quotes, or to request a free LTL freight shipment analysis, click the button below.

    PartnerShip also has an alliance with ABF to provide moving services for many of our retail customers. ABF does this through their U-Pack Moving service. If you are a PartnerShip retail customer interested in adding moving services to your shipping program, please give us a call at 800-599-2902.

    Small Businesses Cope With Rising Shipping Costs

    April 20, 2012 at 2:35 PMScott Frederick

    Manage Shipping CostsWith ever-soaring fuel costs and the resulting rise in shipping rates, many businesses may find their profit margins shrinking even as production increases. Many small businesses use e-commerce in the start-up stages, but with the recent rise in shipping rates, owners are looking for ways to reduce shipping costs.  

    In-House Strategies

    • Postage meters are an inexpensive way to save time and money for companies that either ship very small light weight products or for which shipping is a smaller portion of their overall product delivery.  A Postage meter will weigh packages accurately, assess precise postage charges and print the shipping label. By taking the guessing out of shipping estimates, both your company and your customer will be satisfied, and shipping overages will be eliminated.

    • Compare services and pricing for each carrier on common shipping requirements. Factor in delivery time as well as shipping costs; customers satisfaction is higher when delivery times are shorter.  Eventually you'll gain a picture of what shipping criteria is best serviced by which service. For example FedEx Express has overnight and 2-day delivery options for small packages, but if your shipment is heavier (more than 10 pounds) and isn't under strict time constraints, it might be more cost-effective to use FedEx Ground service.

    Outbound Shipping Solutions for Larger Volumes

    • Consolidate your orders into less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipments (more than 200 pounds) could save you even more on shipping. If your company has multiple products going to the same customer, it might make sense to consolidate them into one shipment and use an LTL freight carrier like UPS Freight or YRC Freight. You'll pay quite a bit less than parcel or express service and your liability coverage will be much better as well should there be any loss or damage in transit. 

    • Work with a third party logistics (3PL) company. If you don't have the time or resources to figure out which carriers and services would be best for your shipping volumes, a company like PartnerShip can handle the logistics for you and often negotiate a better overall shipping rate for you.

    Inbound Shipping Costs

    • Small business owners may lump their inbound freight costs into the cost of goods, but poor inbound freight management can severely impact your gross profit margin.  Be sure every vendor invoice is reviewed for hidden fees. Vendors can inflate "Shipping and Handling" fees to compensate for lower priced items. 

    • Send routing instructions to your vendors specifying which carriers you want them to use when shipping you your products. You can also set up a direct billing account for vendors that ship to you via FedEx or LTL freight carriers through your 3PL partner. With a direct relationship, you'll be able to track shipping volume putting you in a place to negotiate a better overall rate. 

    Small businesses must continually adjust their practices to survive and grow in today's economic climate. Adapting to rising shipping costs is something your company can't afford not to do.