Introducing the New FedEx Package Lab

October 20, 2014 at 2:28 PMLeah Palnik

describe the imageEarlier this year, FedEx opened a new package laboratory to better serve their customers. With more than 30,000 square feet of space, this facility allows FedEx to test and design packages for a wide variety of products that their customers may ship – perishables, glass, electronics, and any other items that require special attention.

This new industry-leading facility is the result of three years of design and development work. It uses the latest technology and testing protocols, including equipment that drops, squeezes and shakes various forms of packaging to test their strength and effectiveness.

The facility’s advanced environmental controls maintain the temperature and humidity in the laboratory’s preconditioning room and materials testing room. In fact, they can simulate any place FedEx ships, from the desert to the rainforest to the Arctic.

The lab’s unique features include:

  • Altitude chamber  (Site level to 100,000 feet)
  • Temperature chamber (-90°F to +350°F)
  • Humidity chamber (within 2% tolerance)
  • Two drop testers
  • Three vibration tables
  • Compression table
  • Automated sample table
  • 5-ton crane for testing skidded freight
  • Forklift course for testing skidded freight
  • Material testing laboratory
  • Wood shop
  • Other specialty design and testing equipment

You can take advantage of this new facility by submitting a sample of the packages you currently use for a variety of performance tests; or you can even request package-design assistance by downloading and completing the FedEx Packaging Design Application.

PartnerShip customers come from a wide variety of industries and this new package lab has the versatility to meet the needs of customers of all shape and sizes. Through an association shipping program managed by PartnerShip, you can benefit from these services and receive exclusive discounts on select FedEx® services.  If you belong to an association we work with, take advantage of our free shipping benefits today. If you’re not sure if you qualify for one of our FedEx small package shipping programs contact us and we’ll find the solution that’s right for you.

Cold Package Shipping with FedEx

October 20, 2014 at 1:57 PMMatt Nagel

By working with the most reputable carriers in the country, we are able to offer our customers many different services to fit their shipping needs. One of these services is Cold Shipping Package provided by FedEx. This temperature-controlled packaging system for shipping sensitive products across the country or around the world serves as a needed solution to many of our customers shipping food, medicine, or anything else that needs to stay cold during transit. The packaging technology uses a special cooling device to evaporate water over time, maintaining a constant 2–8°C environment inside the package for up to 96 hours.

The Cold Shipping Package from FedEx features:

  • Smaller, lighter packaging that weighs less than half of some gel-pack systems, which translates into lower shipping costs and labor savings.
  • No complicated gel packing instructions since there’s no fridge or frozen preparation or preconditioning required.
  • Peace of mind knowing that your temperature-controlled shipments are in the custodial control of the secure FedEx® network.
  • Reusable boxes (replacement cooling devices available), making shipping to and from events and tradeshows easy and cost-effective.

What cold shipping package sizes are available?
FedEx Cold Pack Shipping

If you would like to learn more about cold shipping options available through FedEx, go to fedex.com/coldshipping. There you can order supplies, get more information about cold shipping solutions, and read real world success stories. Also, be sure to check out the short video below about Cold Shipping provided by FedEx.

To learn more about packaging options and best practices, download our free white paper: The Ultimate Guide to Packaging Your Shipments

Your Guide to Using FedEx Express International Services

May 28, 2014 at 1:34 PMLeah Palnik

Sorting out all of the necessary steps for shipping internationally can be intimidating. Our small package alliance partner, FedEx, has the services and tools to simplify the international shipping process for small businesses.

FedEx Express International Services:
FedEx offers a variety of international service options to fit your delivery and budgetary needs:

  • FedEx International Priority® 
    Provides customs-cleared delivery typically in 1 to 3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories. You can import from more than 220 countries and territories too. 
  • FedEx International Economy®
    Provides cost-effective, customs-cleared delivery typically in 2 to 5 business days to more than 215 countries and territories. You get delivery in just 2 or 3 business days to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. You can import from more than 100 countries and territories too. 
  • FedEx® International Next Flight
    The fastest-possible delivery to and from more than 220 countries and territories. Reach major cities in just hours depending on flight availability. It's available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 
  • FedEx International First®
    Reach many destinations in Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland as early as 9 a.m. in 2 business days. You can also take advantage of inbound delivery to select U.S. ZIP codes from more than 60 countries and Caribbean islands in just 1 or 2 business days by 8 or 8:30 a.m. 

FedEx Express International Shipping Tools:
Through the FedEx Global Trade Manager, you have several tools right at your fingertips to get everything ready for your international shipment:

  • Find International Documents: Get help finding the necessary documents for your international shipment.  
  • Estimate Duties and Taxes: Estimate the duties and taxes that will be levied against your international shipment. 
  • Country Profiles: Get a snapshot of country information including demographics, business information and statistics. 
  • Shipping Advisories: Get important regulatory information specific to your shipment. 
  • Denied Party Screening: Identify individuals, companies, and other parties that have been denied international business transactions.
  • Harmonized Code Search: Find the World Customs Organization (WCO) tariff classification for your product.

Through an association shipping program managed by PartnerShip, you can receive discounts on your international shipments with select FedEx services. PartnerShip works with over 120 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 FedEx small package shipping programs contact us and we'll find the solution that's right for you.

Related articles:
FedEx and UPS Peak Season Surcharges: The Important Differences
Your Guide to the 2020 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases
How to Manage Customer Returns with FedEx
How to Schedule a Pickup with FedEx
Take Advantage of Simple, Flat Rate Shipping with FedEx One Rate®

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.

Congratulations to our FedEx Sweepstakes Winners!

January 27, 2014 at 12:26 PMLeah Palnik

moneyAt the end of 2013, PartnerShip customers were encouraged to participate in the $25,000 FedEx Advantage Sweepstakes, sponsored by FedEx. By enrolling and shipping through a PartnerShip-managed shipping program, association members were eligible to receive over 100 prizes totaling more than $25,000. PartnerShip would like to thank the customers that participated in this promotion and congratulate our winners.

Congratulations to the $2,500 first prize winner - NTEA member, Judy from Meridian SV!

Congratulations to the following PartnerShip customers who each won a $100 American Express® gift card:

  • ABA member, Clive from Changing Hands
  • NSRA member, Lou from New Balance Charlotte
  • NACS member, Coral from Randolph College
  • NSRA member, Mark from Shoe Stop
  • NSGA member, Rick from Sports World
  • NACS member, Kathy from Zane State College
  • ABA member, Rebecca from Greenlight Bookstore
  • NSRA member, David from Stans Footwear
  • ACS member, Chris from Bardwell Farm
  • NACS member, Amanda from Arm Pocket
  • NAEDA member, Judy from Riceland Intl
  • NACS member, Michael from Grandview Ed
  • NACS member, Jennifer from Iowa State University
  • NSRA member, Loria from Chiapetta Shoes
  • ANLA member, Kelly from Garden Genetics
  • NACS member, Norm from Umpqua Oats
  • MIA member, Lucille 
Throughout the Sweepstakes, PartnerShip customers who participated also received significant discounts on select FedEx® services. Even though the sweepstakes is over, our customers are still saving money, and association members who qualify for a PartnerShip-managed shipping program can also take advantage of these savings. 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, or click the button below for a free shipping analysis.

 

Improve Your Website with the FedEx Web Integration Wizard

December 5, 2013 at 8:51 AMLeah Palnik

Online retailers know how important it is to streamline the shopping experience for their customers. They constantly strive to have a well designed website, a well managed inventory, and a simplified shipping process. That's why FedEx offers online retailers a way to improve their ecommerce space with the FedEx Web Integration Wizard.

The FedEx Web Integration Wizard is a great tool for online retailers that don't have a dedicated developer, or for anyone looking for a simple way to integrate FedEx functionality to their website. Once this functionality is incorporated into your website, your customers can compare FedEx shipping rates and transit times, create shipping labels, and track the status of their shipments - helping to create a more engaging website and improve overall customer satisfaction.

How to get started:

  1. Create or locate a page on your site where shipment information will be featured, such as an order status page for tracking.

  2. Open the FedEx Web Integration Wizard.

  3. Enter your FedEx account information and set up a merchant account profile.

  4. Select which services you would like to appear on your website (shipping, tracking, rating, or returns).

  5. Answer a few questions about your shipping characteristics.

  6. Select a design to match your website needs.

  7. Click "Get Code" to automatically generate HTML code based on your input.

  8. Copy and paste the HTML code into your website files where you would like the shipment information to appear.

The best part of this FedEx integration is that it can help you save money. Through a PartnerShip-managed shipping program, you receive significant 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.

FedEx and UPS rates are increasing in 2020! Make sure you know what to expect so you can mitigate the impact to your bottom line. Our free white paper breaks down where you'll find the highest increases and explains some of the complicated changes you need to be aware of.

Download the free white paper: Your Guide to the 2020 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

2014 FedEx Express Rate Increases

November 7, 2013 at 9:13 AMLeah Palnik

bos 1002 06 2008FedEx recently announced a general rate increases (GRI) of 3.9%, on average, for domestic and international FedEx Express services. These new rates will take effect January 6, 2014 along with the FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery general rate increases that will be announced later this year (historically, FedEx will match Ground increases set by UPS). In previous years, FedEx has had higher rate increases but offset them with a fuel surcharge reduction. This year they have not announced plans to modify the fuel surcharge indexes and instead have lowered the rate increase compared to previous years (3.9% vs. 5.9% in 2013).

List Rates
For a full listing of the 2014 FedEx Express rates, click here. Below is a snapshot of average rate increases for commonly used FedEx Express services.

FE Rate Increases

 
 
 
 
 
Source: http://www.parcelindustry.com/Media/PublicationsArticle/fedex1.pdf 

Surcharges
2014 will also see changes to surcharges and fees for FedEx Express services, with a 7.6% average increase.

  • Declared Value. Declared value charges for FedEx Express services will increase from $0.85 to $0.90 per $100 of value. For U.S. package services, the charges apply to shipments valued in excess of $100, and the minimum charge will increase from $2.55 to $2.70. For international services, the charge applies to the value in excess of $100 or $9.07 per lb., whichever is greater.
  • Delivery Area Surcharge. For applicable FedEx Express U.S. package services, a delivery area surcharge applies to shipments destined to select ZIP codes.describe the image
  • Collect on Delivery (C.O.D.). For applicable FedEx Express U.S. package services, the charge for FedEx C.O.D. will increase from $11 per package to $12 per package. The cap for FedEx Express Multiweight shipments will increase from $77 per shipment to $84 per shipment.
  • Residential Delivery Charge. For FedEx Express U.S. and international package services, a residential delivery charge applies to shipments to a home or private residence.describe the image
  • Saturday Delivery. For applicable FedEx Express U.S. package services, the charge for Saturday delivery will increase from $15 per package to $16 per package. For applicable FedEx Express international package services, the charge for Saturday delivery will increase from $15 per shipment to $16 per shipment.
  • Saturday Pickup. For applicable FedEx Express U.S. package services, the charge for Saturday pickup will increase from $15 per package to $16 per package and the maximum charge will increase from $105 per shipment to $112 per shipment. For applicable FedEx Express international package services, the charge for Saturday pickup will increase from $15 per shipment to $16 per shipment.

If you ship small packages these rate increases will likely affect your business. When FedEx announces their FedEx Ground rate increases, you can count on PartnerShip to provide you with a breakdown of what these new rates will mean to you and your business in 2014. In the meantime, it's important to start evaluating how you can combat these rises in shipping costs. Through a PartnerShip-managed shipping program, you receive significant discounts on select FedEx services - resulting in savings that can offset these general rate increases.

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.

 

How to Effectively Offer Free Shipping

October 17, 2013 at 7:35 AMLeah Palnik

If you've ever done any online shopping, you're probably familiar with those two little magical words — —free shipping!' As a consumer, it's great — who doesn't love free? But as a small business trying to find your place in the wide world of e-commerce, it can be a little intimidating. As free shipping becomes more common, many customers are now coming to expect it; creating a wide range of costs and benefits for retailers. However, many retailers have experienced benefits, including increases in sales and customer retention, that outweigh the costs.

There are several ways you can offer free shipping to your customers without sacrificing profits. Here are some options to consider:

  • Provide free shipping at a minimum order price. Try providing free shipping at a minimum price point that's above your average order size. If you offer free shipping on orders over $50 for example, a customer who has $49.99 or less in their shopping cart is likely to purchase an additional item to reach that benchmark for the deal.
  • Offer free shipping on orders for a limited time. With the holidays fast approaching, customers are looking for the best deals. Providing a short window of time for free shipping could be just the right trigger for a sale.
  • Target your best customers. Instead of presenting the masses with free shipping, target a select group of customers you can email to increase lifetime value.
  • Create a flat shipping rate. Customers like knowing what costs to expect when shopping online. There's nothing worse than filling up your shopping cart, expecting to pay a certain price, and getting slammed with higher-than-expected shipping costs at checkout.
  • Use a one-time fee. Shipping clubs with an annual fee can be a great way to entice customers and drive customer loyalty. A good example of this is Amazon Prime. Customers pay an annual fee to shop on Amazon.com and receive unlimited free two-day shipping.
  • Offer free shipping on special products. You can offer free shipping on products with higher profit margins, on products where you have excess inventory, or any special item you're looking to promote.
  • Reduce your overall shipping costs. Work with your freight carriers or a 3PL (like PartnerShip) to ensure you are saving as much as possible on your shipping. Any additional savings you can garner will ensure you're overall profit margin is not negatively impacted by any free shipping promotions or offers.

Once you've decided how you want to offer free shipping to your customers, it's important to promote it. Use email marketing to announce it to your customers and advertise it on your website so when your customers are shopping, they can't miss it. Also, be sure to be very transparent about how to receive free shipping if you're not offering it on everything outright. If the customer has to complete an action (i.e. order at least $50, sign up for a shipping club, etc.), make it clear in the beginning what that action is.

Once you've implemented your free shipping strategy, make sure to measure it. Take a look at the costs including increased IT expenses, customer service issues, and your shipping expenses. If these costs outweigh the benefits (increased revenue and an increased customer lifetime value) you should re-evaluate. You may need to experiment with your tactics to find the one the works best for you.  

Through a PartnerShip association shipping program, you can save on select FedEx® services for small package shipping and with LTL freight carriers for large shipments — savings that can be used to fund a free shipping offer to your customers. Want to learn how another business used free shipping to improve their bottom line? Click here to read a case study featuring a PartnerShip customer that used its PartnerShip savings to implement a free shipping strategy. To find out how PartnerShip can help you save on your shipping costs, click on button below for a free, no-obligation shipping analysis.

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.

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