Shipping Best Practices for Online Retailers

November 25, 2013 at 7:53 AMLeah Palnik

Businesses are gearing up for the inevitable increase in traffic that comes with the busy holiday season. Luckily for shoppers, they no longer have to face long lines and crowded parking lots to get their shopping done during this busy time — they can choose to do it all online.

In the past several years, Cyber Monday has been catching up to Black Friday in popularity, offering consumers an alternative way to get the best deals while crossing names off their —nice list.' Online retailers have undoubtedly already begun preparing for Cyber Monday by ramping up marketing efforts and making sure their websites can handle the increased traffic.

If you're one of the businesses gearing up for Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season, it's important to not forget the basics of optimizing the online shopping experience for your customers. Shipping is a very important component of the online sale process and a key part to your ecommerce success. Here are some shipping best practices to keep in mind:

  • Be transparent. Include shipping costs on the product page, instead of hiding them behind a login page, and give extended information on what the customer can expect from each shipping option.
  • Consider a free shipping strategy. You could provide free shipping at a minimum order price, offer free or reduced shipping to your best customers, or offer it for a limited time. For more ideas, check out How to Effectively Offer Free Shipping.
  • Keep your customers in the loop. Arguably one of the biggest downfalls of online shopping is the waiting game, so let your customers know their order is in good hands. Email them a receipt confirmation of their order once they place it, notify them when it has shipped, and most importantly provide them with the tracking number.
  • Make returns easy. There is an increased element of risk when shopping online. Consumers often worry What if it doesn't fit? or What if it doesn't work like I thought it would?. Give your customers the reassurance they need by presenting them with a simple and hassle-free return policy. Better yet, make that policy clear early on in the sale process to ease their nerves and ultimately help secure the sale.
  • Reduce your overall shipping costs. Work with your shipping partners or 3PL (like PartnerShip) to ensure you are saving as much as possible on your shipping. You can pass on any savings you garner to your customers or use it to re-invest in your business. 

Implementing these basic best practices for shipping will provide you with a good foundation for the success of your online sales during this holiday season and beyond. PartnerShip can help you in all facets of your shipping and logistics — not only outbound to your customers, but also inbound from your suppliers. For a free shipping analysis click the button below.

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


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.


Dayton Freight Added as a PartnerShip Core Carrier

November 4, 2013 at 12:59 PMMatt Nagel

PartnerShip has created a new, core carrier alliance with Dayton Freight to provide LTL freight services to our customers located in the Midwest United States. Dayton Freight provides direct delivery to eleven midwestern states with 44 service centers. Founded in Dayton, OH, Dayton Freight has provided freight services since 1981 and built a long-standing tradition of next- and two-day delivery services.

Through our partnership with Dayton Freight, customers will enjoy competitive LTL freight rates as well as the ability to print bills of lading, print labels, and track shipments on Through PartnerShip, along with the competitive freight rates, our customers have access to:

  • The Dayton Freight On the Double program, which is a great way to guarantee delivery of your mission-critical freight for specific delivery dates or times.
  • Additional Special Services, including deck trailers that are designed to ensure the safety of freight shipments and the ability to deliver to residential areas, and liftgate trailers throughout the system.

At PartnerShip, we are confident Dayton Freight will be a valuable addition to our group of world-class, LTL carriers, and will provide our customers with yet another option for their LTL freight shipments. If you have any questions regarding Dayton Freight services, or special LTL freight shipping needs that Dayton Freight might be able to address, call your dedicated PartnerShip sales representative at 800-599-2902.

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