• Freight Carrier Closures: Important Dates for the 2023 Holiday Season

    11/01/2023 — Jen Deming

    Freight Carrier Closures 2023

    With the holiday season just around the corner, shippers need to be extra mindful of their LTL schedules. In addition to the usual cyclical increase in freight loads, the industry has also had a volatile year, with carrier closures and limited capacity causing more hiccups. As a result, transit times are a bit uncertain.

    We want to make sure that your shipments reach their destinations on time and without any drama along the way. When planning, be sure to check which days carriers will be closed in our helpful guide below:

    Freight carrier closures

    • Saia LTL Freight – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • XPO Logistics – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 22 – 25, and January 1.
    • ArcBest – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25, and January 1.
    • R+L Carriers – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25, and January 1.
    • Estes – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • Dayton Freight – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • Pitt Ohio – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • AAA Cooper – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • Midwest Motor Express – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • Dohrn Transfer Company – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.
    • TForce Freight – will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25 – 26, and January 1.

    To keep things running smoothly and avoid any unnecessary stress, it's crucial to plan your shipping schedule carefully during these final months of the year. Don’t forget, PartnerShip can help you navigate your LTL loads so your season stays merry and bright!

    Please note that our office will be closed November 23 – 24, December 25, and January 1 so that we can celebrate with our families. Happy Holidays!

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  • Your Essential Guide to the 2024 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

    10/27/2023 — Leah Palnik

    The essential guide to the 2024 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

    FedEx and UPS will be increasing their rates by an average of 5.9% in 2024. While that is lower than last year’s General Rate Increase (GRI), don’t start celebrating just yet. The frustrating truth is that your actual shipping costs will likely go up more than 5.9% in the new year. The changes that FedEx and UPS are making are more complex than meets the eye - it’s essential to understand them so you know how your costs will be affected and what you can do about it.

    Here's your guide to the FedEx and UPS rate increases for 2024. Jump to:

    A look back at the FedEx and UPS GRIs 

    FedEx and UPS have a long history of mirroring each other’s pricing. They typically announce the same GRI and appear to have very similar pricing strategies. Bottom line, published rates aren’t a major differentiator between the two carriers.

    For 2024, both FedEx and UPS are facing a slowdown in demand, as indicated by a GRI that is less aggressive than the increase we saw for 2023. Let's do a quick history lesson. In 2022 the carriers took a 5.9% increase and then bumped that up to an all-time high of 6.9% in 2023. That was thanks, in part, to all of the supply chain disruptions and surges in demand that resulted from the pandemic. For several years prior to that, both carriers had been raising their rates annually by an average of 4.9%.

    This year, FedEx made their GRI announcement earlier than they typically do, and many speculated it was a way to put the pressure on UPS. Over the summer, UPS faced threats of a driver strike and during the heated negotiations, the carrier lost some business to its competitors. While UPS and the Teamsters eventually averted a strike and came to an agreement, the new contract comes with a steep increase to labor costs. Many were expecting a higher GRI in 2024 from UPS as a result.

    Some important quick facts about the new FedEx and UPS rates:

    • The new FedEx rates take effect on January 1, 2024, while the UPS rates take effect a week earlier on December 26, 2023.
    • The 5.9% average doesn’t take surcharges into account - many of which are increasing by more than 5.9%.
    • How much your costs actually go up in 2024 will depend on several different factors. The services you use, your shipment dimensions and weight, and how far your shipments are traveling all have an effect.

    Important changes for 2024

    So you already understand that FedEx and UPS rates are going up in the new year. What does that look like exactly? First, you'll want to review the released service guide previews: 

    If all of those tables and numbers are making your head spin, you're not alone. But there are some key takeaways. Let’s take a look at a few of the general observations from the base rate changes:

    • In general, longer zones are getting hit with higher increases than shorter zones. Many of those increases are higher than the announced average. 
    • For Ground Commercial services, many of the rates come in lower than the 5.9% average increase, especially for lightweight packages.
    • Many of the highest increases can be found on Express/Air services. 
    • Both FedEx and UPS have increased their Ground Minimum charge to $10.70

    When you are reviewing your shipping costs, you can’t look at the base rates alone. Surcharge fees often make up a significant chunk of the amount you end up paying. Here are a few noteworthy surcharge updates:

    • Fees for larger, more difficult to move packages continue to rise to hefty prices. These fees are already very costly, and in 2024 they're rising significantly higher than the GRI and other surcharges. You could be paying an extra $1,250 for a shipment that qualifies for the Unauthorized Packages fee by FedEx or the Over Maximum Limits fee by UPS. FedEx and UPS Surcharges for Larger Shipments
    • Pickup fees are also changing. With regular pickups being a necessity for many businesses, it’s critical to factor in those costs when budgeting for the new year.UPS Pickup FeesFedEx Pickup Fees
    • Many other common surcharges are increasing, with a significant amount increasing by more than the 5.9% GRI.Common FedEx and UPS Surcharges

    There are also a couple of other changes that are important to be aware of:

    • FedEx is joining UPS in renaming “peak surcharges” to “demand surcharges”. Several years ago FedEx and UPS started implementing peak surcharges to address the increased demand the holiday season brings. Then the pandemic hit, leading to UPS and FedEx implementing additional peak surcharges to address the atypical surge in demand straining their networks. The decision by FedEx to rebrand these fees matches the change UPS made last year. Calling them “demand surcharges” signals the carriers will implement them anytime there is an uptick in demand, rather than based on seasonal predictability like the “peak surcharges” of the past.
    • UPS is changing the list of zip codes for zones and the Delivery Area Surcharge. Depending on where you’re shipping, you may have to pay based on a longer zone than before. On top of that, you could get hit with a Delivery Area Surcharge on a shipment that it didn’t apply to in the past. It’s changes like these that make budgeting for your annual cost increase very challenging.

    How the FedEx and UPS rate changes will affect your costs in 2024

    You can’t take the announcement of a 5.9% increase at face value, unfortunately. You’ll need to determine which services you use the most, how far your shipments travel on average, and how much of your invoice charges can be attributed to fees.

    Most shippers will see their costs go up over the announced 5.9% average. With that in mind, let’s look a few factors that could put you at risk for higher-than-average cost increases:

    • If you’re shipping larger packages or your packages require special handling. For the past several years, FedEx and UPS have been raising these fees at an alarming rate. 2024 is no different. Any shipment they can’t run through their normal systems costs them more time and money, and these fees are a way to discourage those types of shipments from entering their networks.
    • If a high percentage of your shipments go to longer zones. It’s always been true that the further your package travels, the more expensive the rate. This year that’s especially true. Longer zones are seeing more increases above the announced average than shorter zones.
    • If you’re using Express/Air services. These faster delivery services continue to be the most expensive. They’re seen as a premium service that other smaller carriers can’t compete with thanks to the robust networks that FedEx and UPS have. But this year, with some of the highest increases being on Express/Air services, you’ll pay even more.
    • If you ship a lot of low density packages. The pricing structure that FedEx and UPS have in place punishes larger, lighter shipments. The carriers prefer denser packages that take up less space because they’re able to fit more packages on their delivery vehicles. If your package dimensions cause your shipment to be rated at a higher weight due to dimensional (DIM) weight pricing, your cost increase could be compounded. Many of the higher weight breaks are getting hit the hardest with increases over the average this year.

    What you can do to mitigate the effects of the FedEx and UPS rate increases

    • Right-size your packaging. While FedEx and UPS rates are based on weight, that’s not actually the whole story. If your dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight, your package will be rated using the dimensional weight - meaning you’ll be paying more. This makes any excess space within your package extra costly. Focus on packaging that allows space for the items you’re shipping and the necessary cushioning and nothing more.
    • DIM Weight Calculation
    • Consider opening or using a new distribution center. Shipments with the longest distance to travel cost you the most every year. But in 2024, this will be even more important as the longest zones are seeing the highest increases. Getting closer to your customers could be a great strategy for keeping those costs down.
    • Evaluate the services you’re using. Ground services are the more economical option and often the transit times are comparable to what you can get with some Express/Air services. Where you can, utilize Ground services to save on your costs.
    • Take advantage of discounts available to you. Many trade associations and chambers of commerce will offer FedEx or UPS discounts to their members. Oftentimes the annual cost savings from those discounts more than make up for the cost of joining. PartnerShip works with over 130 groups to provide their members with discounts on FedEx services. Contact our team to find out if you qualify.

    Wrapping your head around all of the changes for 2024 FedEx and UPS rates can be challenging. But, using this guide to understand what's behind the announced average and published service guides is a good first step. Use this information to properly budget for the new year and set up any mitigation tactics that work best for your business.   


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  • Uncovering the Top 5 Benefits of Regional LTL Freight Carriers

    10/10/2023 — Leah Palnik

    In the complex world of logistics, the carrier network you utilize can either optimize your shipping operations or bring them to a grinding halt. One strategy that is often overlooked is partnering with regional less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carriers. Regional LTL carriers play a crucial role in the supply chain ecosystem by offering a focused and localized approach to freight transportation. Unlike their national counterparts, regional carriers operate within specific geographic areas, so they've got the inside scoop on what makes your local logistics tick. It's like having a shipping partner who knows the shortcuts, secret spots, and best routes – because they're in your backyard.

    In this article, we'll delve into the top 5 advantages of leveraging regional LTL carriers for your shipping needs and explore how they can transform your supply chain efficiency.

    Advantages of using regional LTL carriers

    1. Lower Damage and Loss Claims. Minimizing freight damage and loss is a top priority for any shipper. Consider regional LTL carriers as your secret weapon in the battle against damage. They excel in this aspect by offering better handling and protection of shipments. With a smaller service area, these carriers can ensure more direct routes and fewer touchpoints, reducing the likelihood of damage during transit. This commitment to careful handling translates into fewer claims and greater peace of mind for shippers.
    2. Lower Minimum Charges. There’s no way around it - minimum charges are a buzzkill. National carriers typically have higher minimum charges due to their extensive network coverage. Regional LTL carriers, on the other hand, offer a more favorable structure for small to medium-sized businesses. By catering to a smaller service area, these carriers can maintain cost-effective minimum charges, making them an attractive choice for shippers looking for a cost advantage.
    3. Shorter Transit Times through a Smaller Carrier Footprint. Efficient supply chains rely heavily on fast transit times. Regional carriers shine in this aspect as their smaller service footprint translates to quicker deliveries. With less ground to cover, shipments can move swiftly through streamlined routes, reducing overall transit times. Real-world examples have shown that regional LTL carriers consistently outperform national carriers when it comes to delivering on time.
    4. Top Notch Customer Service and Communication. Who doesn't love getting the VIP treatment? Customer service plays a pivotal role in freight shipping, where timely updates and proactive support are crucial. Regional LTL carriers excel in this domain by providing a more personalized and responsive customer experience. You can establish direct lines of communication with local carrier representatives who possess an in-depth understanding of the regional landscape, ensuring effective troubleshooting and issue resolution.
    5. Cost-Effective Shipping Solutions. For businesses that frequently ship within a specific geographic area, regional LTL carriers offer budget-friendly solutions. The proximity of the carrier's service area to the shipper's location means reduced transportation costs and potentially fewer accessorial charges. Say goodbye to excessive charges, and hello to optimizing your freight spend.

    Advantages of using regional LTL carriers

    The Regional LTL Carrier Advantage is Clear
    It’s clear - using regional LTL carriers puts you on track to shipping smarter. From minimizing damage to providing faster transit times and superior customer service, these carriers are tailor-made for businesses seeking localized, cost-effective, and efficient freight transportation. As you evaluate your shipping options, consider the strategic benefits that regional LTL carriers bring to the table. By making the right carrier selection, you can optimize your supply chain and elevate your shipping strategy. PartnerShip has a vast network of reputable carriers, including regional LTL freight carriers that service your area. 

    Contact our team today to uncover how you can benefit from utilizing regional carriers.


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  • What is a Drop Trailer? Discovering the Advantages and Applications

    06/30/2023 — PartnerShip

    What is a Drop Trailer?

    Is it time for your business to consider a drop trailer and / or drop and hook freight program? 

    First, let's answer what is a drop trailer? It is when a carrier brings a tractor to the loading dock and picks up a previously loaded trailer. Drop and hook takes drop trailer shipping one step further. A carrier will arrive with an empty trailer to drop, pick up a loaded trailer, and continue on to the destination.

    What is a drop trailer used for? Many shippers consider drop trailer programs because of the hours of service rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which are more strictly monitored by the ELD mandate.

    Before the change to the hours of service rules, if a driver waited three or four hours or more while their trailer was loaded, they could make up the time by driving more hours. Now, with an ELD required for every tractor, load time and detention is a significant consideration because it cuts into the 14-hour on-duty shift rule.

    To illustrate, if a carrier has to drive an hour to the shipping origin, then wait five hours to get loaded, that means he can only drive for 8 hours after leaving for the destination. If he averages 60 mph, he can travel 480 miles. If the same driver picked up a loaded trailer, he could drive 10 hours before reaching the 11-hour driving limit. If he averages 60 mph, he can travel 600 miles.

    What is a drop trailer doing for your supply chain? Drop trailer programs help shippers and carriers plan more effectively for deliveries and outbound shipments so it is important for them to align their schedules. Without drop trailers, a carrier must arrive within a narrow appointment window for employees to load or unload the trailer. Depending on how the appointment fits into their on-duty schedule, and considering traffic conditions, weather, breakdowns and other unexpected events, the driver could be forced to wait for hours, or miss the appointment altogether. In these situations, late delivery fees, detention fees, and a negative vendor scorecard are typically the unpleasant results.

    Drop Trailer Process for Shippers

    Drop Trailer Benefits for Shippers:

    • Smoother supply chain operation. You can load or unload a trailer at your convenience or when staffing levels are adequate; no more paying overtime to load or unload when a truck is early or late.
    • Great for time-consuming loads, like floor-loaded freight.
    • Less congestion in docks, improving overall safety of operations.
    • Avoid costly driver or truck detention accessorial charges.
    • Higher on-time delivery percentages. On-time freight departure times substantially increase the odds of an on-time arrival.
    • Decrease fines. With strict retail Must Arrive By Date (MABD) requirements becoming more common, drop-trailer shipping can help your carrier arrive on time and minimize the fines associated with missing a delivery window.
    • Better retailer relationships. When you fulfill MABD requirements, your vendor scorecard improves and you are seen as a more desirable vendor partner.

    Drop Trailer Benefits for Carriers:

    • Better planning. You decide when you pick up (and drop off) trailers.
    • No more waiting to pick up a load or be live-loaded; spend more time driving to the destination.
    • Great for time-consuming loads, like floor-loaded freight.
    • Higher on-time delivery percentages.


    Drop Trailer BenefitsThere are a few circumstances of which to be aware when considering a drop trailer program. What is a drop trailer cost? Every trailer that a carrier takes out of over-the-road service is lost revenue, so to recoup it, there will be a cost for a drop trailer, either on the front end or back end (or both). Of course, this cost will pay for itself because there should never be any detention fees.

    Drop trailers should not become warehouses; the maximum time a trailer should sit is a week. In most drop trailer programs, trailers turn two or three times a week. Because of this, produce and perishable goods aren't well suited for drop trailers, since keeping the goods fresh is necessary.

    Finally, there is a lot of up-front work to implement a drop trailer program. Not all carriers do drop trailers so finding one that does can be time-consuming. Trailers make carriers money so if one of your carriers doesn’t want to drop a trailer, simply look at using a different one.

    A drop trailer or drop and hook program is a perfect opportunity to use a freight broker. Working with a broker allows you to tap into their network of carriers and take advantage of their expertise in finding carriers that will drop trailers. The truckload shipping experts at PartnerShip will work with you to find a drop trailer or drop and hook carrier and get you the best freight rates possible. We know the lanes, we know the rates and we will help you ship smarter. Contact us today to learn more about setting up a drop trailer program!


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  • Freight Brokers vs. Carriers: What Are the Real Differences?

    06/20/2023 — Jen Deming

    The freight industry can be a confusing place. It's pretty easy to get lost in terminology, and even experienced shippers can find themselves puzzled by basic questions. For example: what's the difference between a freight broker and carrier?

    It turns out there are actually three key distinctions between the two parties, and understanding how each factor affects your load is important for smooth shipping.

    Key Distinction #1: Responsibility to shipper

    When looking at a freight broker and carrier, it's important to understand the primary responsibility of each party in the physical transportation of your freight. 

    What is a carrier?

    A carrier refers to the company, or operator, that directly handles the transportation of your shipment. Common national carriers include TForce Freight, YRC Freight, ArcBest, and more. Carriers can specialize in less-than-truckload (LTL), dedicated truckload freight, or even specialized services such as refrigerated or oversized freight equipment.

    What is a freight broker?

    Broker vs Carrier comparison chart

    A freight brokerage is a company that serves as a transportation intermediary rather than directly operating a truck fleet and physically moving your freight. A freight broker's job is to contract available loads with a carrier and find an acceptable rate within a specified time frame according to the shipper. The freight broker cuts down the time and effort it may take for a company to look for its own carriers and may decrease costs by shopping quotes.

    Key Distinction #2: Geographical restrictions

    Freight carriers and brokerages serve distinct areas in the U.S. and sometimes overseas. Knowing their strongest network locations can guide your business decision.

    Where do carriers operate?

    Common carriers, like XPO Logistics, primarily move freight loads. They have hubs in high-demand areas offering maximum truck availability and competitive pricing. For regions outside these hubs, they may have limited schedules or collaborate with regional carriers for rural deliveries. These regional carriers are smaller businesses operating within a specific area and have exceptional proficiency within their zone. Essentially, national carriers can deliver anywhere in the U.S., but for remote areas, they might need to involve regional carriers which could result in longer delivery times.

    Where do freight brokers operate?

    Third-party logistics providers don't need to manage assets or trucks, so they can operate from any location. Many have main offices in popular shipping areas and satellite offices across the country. Some specialize in certain industries, like oversized freight or cross-border shipping. A broker can also focus on building relationships with transportation carriers for increased flexibility and specialized service. 

    Key Distinction #3: Liability for claims

    In damage claims, carriers are generally legally liable due to the Carmack Amendment, while brokers aren't. However, brokers can and should aid in dispute resolution. With blurred lines between the two parties, it's important to explore them in detail.

    Broker vs Carrier comparison chart

    What is a carrier's liability?

    Per the Carmack Amendment, the carrier owns the items while they are being transported. When the carrier agrees to transport something, a deal is made based on the shipper load and count on the bill of lading (BOL). The shipper signs this document, saying that they packed and counted everything correctly. From the moment the goods are picked up until they are delivered, the carrier is in charge. If anything gets lost or damaged, the carrier has to answer for it. If there's a problem, you make a claim with the carrier, not the broker who set up the transportation.

    What is a broker's liability?

    From a legal perspective, carriers, not freight brokers, are responsible for any freight damage. However, good freight brokers have claims experts who know about shipper rights, liability limits, and claims filing. While carriers must handle damaged freight, brokers have the ethical duty to guide shippers and assist during complex situations like damage or loss claims.

    The advantage of using a freight broker

    When you work with a quality freight broker, you gain expertise, increase operational flexibility, and add a cost-saving alternative that you may not have when working directly with a carrier. Working with PartnerShip can ensure you have a team in your corner to help you navigate even the most unique shipping challenges. 

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  • Navigating the Potential UPS Strike: How to Protect Your Supply Chain

    05/25/2023 — Leah Palnik

    Navigating the Potential UPS Strike: How to Protect Your Supply Chain

    In today's interconnected business landscape, small businesses heavily rely on efficient and reliable shipping services to maintain their supply chains and meet customer demands. With the potential UPS strike looming, it is crucial for small businesses to understand the implications and take proactive measures to safeguard their operations. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the potential UPS strike, why small businesses should care, and provide actionable steps to protect their supply chains during this uncertain period.

    Understanding the UPS Strike

    Negotiations between UPS and the Teamsters, the union representing UPS employees, are ongoing and have reached a critical point. While it is uncertain whether a strike will occur, it is essential for small businesses to be prepared for such a scenario. The Teamsters and UPS have until August 1 to reach an agreement. The impact of a UPS strike can be significant, disrupting supply chains and causing delays in deliveries, which can have far-reaching consequences for businesses of all sizes.

    Implications for Small Businesses:

    • Disrupted Operations: Small businesses heavily reliant on UPS services may face disruptions in their day-to-day operations, such as delays in receiving inventory, shipping products to customers, and meeting delivery deadlines. This can lead to dissatisfied customers, decreased revenue, and potential damage to the brand reputation.

    • Increased Costs: In the event of a UPS strike, small businesses might be forced to seek alternative shipping solutions, which could come at a higher price. Exploring other shipping carrier options and securing competitive pricing now will be a necessary lifeline.

    • Supply Chain Bottlenecks: A UPS strike can cause a ripple effect throughout the entire supply chain. Suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors relying on UPS may experience delays in receiving raw materials or components, leading to production slowdowns and potential stock shortages. Small businesses need to proactively address these bottlenecks to mitigate the impact on their operations.

    Protecting Your Supply Chain:

    • Diversify Shipping Partners: Small businesses should consider partnering with alternative shipping providers such as FedEx, DHL, or regional carriers. Research and negotiate discounted rates with these providers well in advance, ensuring they can handle the business's shipping volume during a UPS strike.

    • Plan Ahead: Developing contingency plans and forecasting potential disruptions is crucial. Small businesses should communicate with suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, informing them of potential delays and seeking alternative arrangements if necessary. Implementing buffer inventory or safety stock can help mitigate supply chain disruptions during this period.

    • Explore Local Sourcing: In case of a UPS strike, small businesses can explore local sourcing options for raw materials or components. This reduces the reliance on long-distance shipping and minimizes the impact of any potential disruptions in the transportation network.

    • Optimize Inventory Management: Efficient inventory management becomes paramount during uncertain times. Small businesses should analyze their inventory levels, streamline their procurement processes, and leverage technology solutions to track and manage inventory in real-time. This ensures the availability of essential products and reduces the risk of stockouts during a UPS strike.

    • Communicate with Customers: Proactive and transparent communication with customers is crucial during periods of disruption. Small businesses should keep customers informed about potential delays, set realistic expectations, and provide updates throughout the process. Customer loyalty can be maintained by offering alternative shipping options or discounts during this challenging period.

    • Control Your Costs: One effective way for small businesses to safeguard their supply chains and keep costs under control during a potential UPS strike is by exploring discounted shipping options. PartnerShip works with over 130 associations to provide members with substantial discounts on FedEx services through the FedEx Advantage program. By signing up for the program, businesses can mitigate the financial impact of a UPS strike while maintaining reliable shipping services. These discounts can help offset any potential increase in shipping costs and ensure that businesses can continue to fulfill orders and meet customer expectations without compromising their bottom line. Contact our team to find out if you qualify for the FedEx discounts and how to get started.

    From Disruption to Resilience

    While the potential UPS strike poses challenges for small businesses, it also presents an opportunity to reassess and strengthen their supply chain strategies. By diversifying shipping partners, planning ahead, exploring local sourcing options, optimizing inventory management, and maintaining open communication with customers, small businesses can navigate through potential disruptions and emerge stronger. Being prepared for contingencies ensures business continuity and safeguards the customer experience, even during challenging times.


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  • 4 Questions You Must Ask About Your Freight Broker's Carrier Network

    11/09/2022 — Jen Deming

    When it comes to the carriers that can move your freight, "more is better", right? While that may be true for some, the quality of your partner carriers may be more valuable than quantity. If you're looking to add new carriers to the mix by working with a freight broker, make sure to ask the big questions to determine if their network is right for your needs.


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  • Freight Carrier Closures for the 2022 Holiday Season

    11/03/2022 — Jen Deming

    2022 Freight Carrier Closures

    As we near the end of 2022, it’s crucial to plan ahead for shipping through the holiday season.  Freight demand is starting to show signs of decreasing but continues to strain available carrier capacity. As a result, transit times are still a bit unpredictable. 

    Planning your shipping schedule during the final months of the year will be extra important. To avoid extra stress, take note of when your carriers will be closed during the holidays. 

    Freight carrier closures

    • Saia LTL Freight – will be closed November 24 - 25, December 23 - 26, and January 2.
    • YRC Freight – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 24 – 26, 31, and January 2.
    • XPO Logistics – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.
    • ArcBest – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 24 – 25.
    • R+L Carriers – will be closed November 24 - 25, December 24 - 26, and January 2
    • Estes – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.
    • Dayton Freight – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.
    • Pitt Ohio – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.
    • AAA Cooper – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.
    • TForce Freight – will be closed November 24 – 25, December 23 – 26, and January 2.

    Avoid being left out in the cold this holiday season

    Freight shipping during peak shipping months can be extra-challenging, but you’re not alone. With over 30 years of holiday seasons under our belt, the freight experts at PartnerShip can help you ship smarter. 

    Please note that our office will be closed November 25-26, December 26, and January 2 so that we can celebrate with our families. Happy Holidays!


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  • FedEx and UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2022

    10/21/2022 — Leah Palnik

    2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines for FedEx and UPS

    As you prepare your store for the influx of orders that come with the holiday season, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the shipping deadlines. Both FedEx and UPS have announced the last dates you can ship your orders and make it in time for a Christmas delivery.

    It’s important to note these deadlines because demand surges this time of year. The carriers' networks are already strained, and it’s only going to get worse the closer we get to the holidays. To keep your customers happy and set the right expectations, we recommend clearly communicating the shipping cutoff dates and adding in extra days in case of delays.

    FedEx has published a complete visual list of the last days to ship. Here are some highlights for domestic shipments:

    • December 8 for FedEx Ground Economy
    • December 14 for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
    • December 20 for FedEx Express Saver
    • December 21 for FedEx 2Day and 2Day AM
    • December 22 for FO, PO, SO, and Extra Hours
    • December 23 for FedEx Same Day

    UPS has also created a list of the last days to ship for Christmas delivery. Unfortunately, one thing that is missing is a specific cutoff date for Ground shipments. You will need to get a quote on the UPS website instead. For domestic UPS air shipments, the dates are as follows:

    • December 20 for UPS 3 Day Select
    • December 21 for UPS 2nd Day Air
    • December 22 for UPS Next Day Air services

    It’s also important to note that service guarantees are currently suspended for both FedEx and UPS ground services. It's also suspended for select air/express services. The main takeaway? You’ll want to encourage your customers to order early and do what you can to add in extra days when setting delivery expectations.

    If you're looking for any additional guidance or need a way to lower your small package costs, PartnerShip can help. Contact our team today.


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  • Why Carriers Hate Difficult Freight and How to Fix It

    02/18/2022 — Jen Deming

    ALT TEXT FOR IMAGE

    Have you ever thought about whether your LTL freight loads are worthwhile for the carrier? Your freight shipments must be worth the amount of effort that’s invested in moving them. If the payoff isn’t there, your loads will be regarded as “difficult freight”.  This can lead to declined loads, infrequent pick-ups, or a tense relationship with your carrier. To get your freight prioritized, the first step is determining whether you have difficult freight, then taking the steps needed to become a shipper of choice. 

    Reason 1: Your pick-up or delivery location is tough to access

    One way to determine whether your freight is cringeworthy can be as simple as walking through the door of your business and scanning the surrounding lot. Ask yourself, are my freight pick-ups a pain to complete? Maybe you don’t even have a lot, but your business is located on a side street or an alley in the city. A standard LTL dry van being dispatched by the carrier is 52 feet long, which definitely takes skill to maneuver safely. If your business location is in a challenging place, such as a cramped area that restricts maneuverability or doesn’t have a dock, pick-up is tough for the driver to complete. 

    On the other hand, maybe you have the space to maneuver, but it’s such a rural location that the carrier only services the area infrequently. If you’re in an isolated region that doesn’t have many other local businesses moving freight, the work to payoff ratio is pretty unbalanced. Either way, carriers have a term for these hard-to-reach locations. High-traffic metropolitan areas, remote construction zones, and extremely rural regions all fall within the definition of limited access.

    The best thing you can do to avoid this particular pitfall is to create as much flexibility as possible for the carrier. You might not be able to move your business, but if the physical location of your pick-up has some structural challenges, you need to communicate that to the carrier beforehand. Informing the carrier allows them to plan for the proper equipment, such as dispatching a smaller box truck for arrival. If you can swing it with your warehouse team, consider shipping to or from a freight terminal, rather than your business. Busy freight terminals are located in desirable geographic areas that you know the carrier will visit regularly. This helps ensure your shipment gets moving and will spare you extra limited access fees. 

    Reason 2: Your freight is a prohibited commodity

    Want to know another reason that your shipment may be marked as “difficult freight”? The commodity you are shipping may be prohibited by the carrier. This is usually due to liability, governmental regulations, or company policy. The act of prohibiting certain items exists for two main reasons: 

    High risk/high value - These types of products can be difficult to put an exact value on, or may be easily damaged or stolen. Commodities include bank bills, credit cards, gold or precious stones, currency, original artwork, furs, or other high-value items. Your chosen carrier may be willing to accept certain items, but you must prove you have the appropriate insurance coverage.  

    Regulated – These shipments may be excluded due to government regulation or may be hazardous in nature. This may also include perishable items that require controlled storage requirements. Items in this category include aerosols, chemicals, assembled guns, alcohol, combustible materials, hazardous materials, and live plants and animals.

    So, since this type of “difficult freight” can include so many different commodities, what can you do? Your first goal should be to learn just how your carrier views these products. Evaluate your carrier’s terms and conditions  before you even start planning your pick-up. Restricted or prohibited items will be listed there, as well as any liability and claims information. Inspections regularly occur during transit, so if you aren’t sure if you’re safe, call the carrier and find out their policy.

    If you are consistently moving these types of risky shipments, make sure that you are working with carriers that are properly certified. Many carriers specialize in these types of loads, so you can ensure your shipments are moving safely and legally. For some types of cargo there may be state-mandated regulations, as in the case of transporting alcohol. Be sure to have the proper permits and to adhere to the necessary policies. Any type of shipment that has restrictions will likely have very specific packaging requirements and requisite paperwork.  

    Reason 3: Your warehouse hours don’t mesh with the carrier

    Maybe the location of your business isn’t the thing preventing a carrier’s arrival, but your facility’s operating hours are what create further problems. Due to the nature of certain establishments, arrival times may be heavily policed or limited. Places like schools, prisons, or storage facilities often have restricted hours for arrival and loading – and sometimes they’re after a carrier’s business hours. 

    All a driver wants to do is arrive onsite, get loaded quickly, and then to get back on the road. Having to work around odd hours can complicate the daily schedule. To make matters worse, some locations may require an appointment for arrival. If you have a small loading window that requires the driver to stick to a very fixed schedule, this is going to present some issues. Traffic issues or detours can throw off an entire day’s work. If a driver arrives just short of the appointment time, the shipment may need to be put back on the board for the next day.

    Create flexibility in your loading hours whenever possible. If you must require delivery appointments, make sure your loading team is efficient and organized so that you don’t run over. Allowing weekend arrivals, extended hours for pick-ups, and having a team “on call” can greatly reduce the stress a driver will experience and boost the chances the carrier will work with you again.

    Reason 4: Your reputation proceeds you 

    When you are auditing carriers, and measuring up how well they’re working out for you, realize that carriers are doing the same thing. With capacity as limited as it is, freight carriers want to work with customers who have their shipping processes down pat and are pleasant to do business with. If you are anything but that, they will take their business elsewhere.

    One major disruption for carriers is the subject of detention. Carriers usually allot two hours for loading, and any time it takes over that is considered detention. Detention holds up drivers, wasting time and preventing them from moving on to the next load. It’s pricey too, as most carriers will pass on a detention fee to offenders. Keep in mind, drivers are not going to help you load your cargo. Some may assist, but be warned, that will rack up some hefty fees too.

    In order to avoid these fees and stay in good graces with the carrier, you need to have a well-trained and efficient warehouse team that also has the proper loading equipment. If you don’t have a dock for loading, that’s okay, but you should have a forklift or another alternative ready and working at pick-up. 

    Be helpful and accommodating to the driver. Amenities like accessible parking options, a comfortable resting area, and food and coffee will be greatly appreciated by the driver. Keep in mind, when it comes to difficult freight, your reputation is the one factor you can truly control. Becoming a shipper of choice takes planning and a little bit of thoughtfulness, but it goes a long way in helping the carrier look forward to your loads.

    Reason 5: Your business has above average claim submissions 

    It probably seems pretty obvious, but if you’re submitting a lot of claims, the carrier is going to be wary of your cargo. Freight claims cause headaches for everyone involved. While the burden of proof is on the shipper to prove carrier negligence, claims submissions take a lot of time, research, and possibly loss of revenue for the carrier. Whether you win the claim or not, damage and loss claims mean the carrier will think twice about moving your shipments.

    If your company has a history of damages, your freight carrier is going to evaluate a few risk factors. It may be possible that you are shipping extraordinarily fragile, or perishable, commodities that create a lot of risk. For example, a landscaping business shipping live plants may want to use LTL services for smaller freight loads. While possible, doing so is hazardous. Any delays in shipments or extra handling may cause an above-average risk to the integrity of the product. 

    The other issue may be with your packaging. A business that is shipping built furniture may experience increased risk of damage to their product. Custom crating your product can help avoid some damages, but the risk may still be too high, and standard carriers may decline to move your loads at all.

    If you are shipping any sort of fragile or high-risk shipment, your first step should be to perfect your packaging procedures. It may be costly to invest in custom packaging, but using standard pallets and shrink wrap is not going to be enough to protect your freight. It’s more important to consider whether specialty shipping services may be the right option for your cargo. White glove shipping services can be pricey, but they prioritize safe handling and security. Refrigerated options or even using dedicated truckload services will limit the handling of your product, and may speed up transit as an added benefit.

    Reason 6: Seasonality is shifting carrier priorities

    During certain times of the year, there are huge spikes in available freight shipments for carriers to move. Depending on the industry, these periods vary by region and season, and sometimes there may be some cross-over. Some examples include produce season in places like Florida, the Midwest, and California, construction season in the spring, or nationwide during the winter holiday season. Because there are so many available loads to choose from, carriers will prioritize the loads that, you guessed it, have the highest payoff for minimal effort.

    If you’re shipping during these busy seasons, you need to be flexible. LTL rates will go up and transit times will increase. You should always be practical about your budget, but consider the long-term goal. It’s not the time to tighten the belt on your budget during busy seasons - aim to lower costs year-round so that you have room when you need it. Since transit times will be longer, consolidating loads whenever possible will decrease your overall risk for late deliveries. Expanding your pool of carriers by working with a freight broker will increase the likelihood your shipment gets moved. As always, make your freight as appealing as possible so that when carriers are frazzled by the seasonal onslaught, they can count on your shipments to be fast and easy.

    Make difficult freight a thing of the past

    Nobody wants to be seen as a “problem shipper”, but the good news is that with time, and a little foresight, you can turn the situation around. It all starts with putting yourself in the carrier’s shoes. Would you want to work with your business? It’s your responsibility to make your cargo desirable, and encourage a strong relationship with your carrier. PartnerShip can help, by guiding your business to make the right choices for your loads, and connecting you with the right carriers who want to move your freight.


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  • 2021 Year-End Planning for Your FedEx and UPS Shipments

    11/15/2021 — Leah Palnik

    2021 Year-End Planning for Your FedEx and UPS Shipments

    The end of the year is usually pretty hectic for a lot of businesses, but 2021 is proving to be one for the books. As you navigate the holiday season and prepare for the year ahead, you’ll want to heed our warnings for your FedEx and UPS parcel shipments.

    Ship early
    We can’t stress this enough. Delays are becoming more common and will likely get worse the closer we get to Christmas. The FedEx and UPS networks are very strained right now. Fueled by the pandemic and all of its ripple effects, demand for parcel services is at an all-time high. Both FedEx and UPS have suspended service guarantees for their ground services and some of their air/express services, which means you can’t leave things up to chance. Ship early and build in plenty of extra time where you can so you don’t run into major disruptions.

    Review holiday shipping deadlines
    For retailers, this is especially important. As customers place their orders for holiday gifts, they’ll want to know that they’ll receive them before the big day. FedEx and UPS have released their shipping deadlines, so make sure to review them and plan accordingly. That way you’ll be able to manage expectations appropriately and keep your customers happy.

    Prepare for the 2022 rate increases
    Don’t sleep on the fact that after you make it through the holiday season, your FedEx and UPS rates will be going up. Both carriers announced that they will be increasing their rates by an average of 5.9%. It’s tempting to take that announced average and budget for your costs to go up by that much, but unfortunately it’s not that simple.

    How much your rates will go up in the new year will largely depend on which services you use, your package characteristics, and where you’re shipping to/from. That 5.9% average also doesn’t account for surcharges which can drive up your costs even more. If this all sounds like a major analysis that you don’t have the time to conduct, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve reviewed the updated rate charts for you. Download our free guide to see a full analysis of what you can expect.

    The Essential Guide to the 2022 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases.

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  • Types of LTL Carriers and When You Need Them

    11/10/2021 — Jen Deming

    Working with a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier is a great way to move your larger, palletized loads efficiently and often with some cost-saving benefits when compared to other services. But, even within the LTL service category, there are a few different business models - each offering a different mix of security, speed, and cost. Understanding the benefits of each will help you choose what works best for your business.


    Types of LTL Carriers Infographic.


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  • Freight Carrier Closures for the 2021 Holiday Season

    11/03/2021 — Jen Deming

    2021 Freight Carrier Closures Blog

    2021 has been another challenging year. The freight market continues to be oversaturated with available loads while simultaneously suffering from a capacity crisis. Transit times are delayed, so to ensure timely delivery (you can't count on eight tiny reindeer), you must plan ahead and create a flexible shipping schedule. You'll also need to be mindful of carrier closure dates. We've compiled a list to keep on hand when you're executing your holiday shipping strategy.

    Freight carrier closures

    • Saia LTL Freight - will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.
    • YRC Freight – will be closed November 25-26, December 24, and December 31.
    • XPO Logistics – will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.
    • ArcBest – will be closed November 25-26, and December 24.
    • R+L Carriers – will be closed November 25-26, December 24, and December 31.
    • Estes – will be closed November 25-26, and December 24.
    • Dayton Freight – will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.
    • PittOhio – will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.
    • AAA Cooper – will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.
    • TForce Freight - will be closed November 25-26, December 23-24, and December 31.

    Santa has his elves, you have a team at PartnerShip

    With extra challenges facing your business this year, keep in mind that the freight experts at PartnerShip can help you successfully manage your holiday shipping. Our office will be closed November 25-26, December 24, and December 31 so that we can spend time with our families. Happy Holidays!


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  • The Essential Guide to the 2021 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

    12/08/2020 — Leah Palnik

    The Essential Guide to the 2021 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

    It’s been a wild and unpredictable year, but there’s one thing you can count on as we head into 2021 – the annual FedEx and UPS rate increases. For the fourth year in a row, both carriers announced an average increase of 4.9% for air and ground parcel services. The new rates for UPS will go into effect on December 27, while the new rates for FedEx will go into effect a week later on January 4.

    How to budget your parcel costs for 2021
    While it may be tempting to budget for a 4.9% increase, you have to dig a little deeper to uncover how much your costs will actually go up in 2021. The actual rate increases vary quite a bit depending on the service you use and your package characteristics.

    Both carriers have made the new rates for 2021 available:

    You will also need to account for updates to FedEx and UPS surcharges. Common surcharges like Residential Delivery and Address Correction will be more expensive in the new year. But on top of that, FedEx and UPS have both made changes that could cause a package to incur a fee that it wouldn’t have in the past. For example, they both broadened the qualifications for their Additional Handling fee and have updated the list of zip codes for Delivery Area surcharges.

    You can view a complete list of the changes that the carriers have each posted:

    How to analyze the 2021 FedEx and UPS rate increases
    While it’s imperative for you to be aware of the changes coming ahead in the new year, combing through every detail of the new rate charts is challenging and time-consuming. A good place to start is to identify the changes that will have the most significant impact on your budget. First, take a look at your shipments from the last year and identify trends for the services you typically use, your package characteristics, and zip codes. From there you can use the new report from PartnerShip, which highlights the areas with the highest increases and outlines the important changes.

    The state of the parcel industry
    Aside from the general rate increases, it’s important to understand what’s happening within the parcel industry. Within the past several months, the coronavirus pandemic has brought on a great deal of logistical challenges. Carrier networks have been strained as they struggle to keep up with demand and deal with restrictions. As a result, both FedEx and UPS have instituted peak surcharges.

    Most notably, since the beginning of the pandemic FedEx and UPS have been applying peak surcharges to international shipments. Air cargo capacity has been limited which has disrupted the global supply chain and driven costs up.

    Additionally, residential deliveries have increased substantially as more people are relying on online shopping. High-volume B2C shippers specifically have been ramping up their business. FedEx and UPS have responded to this increased demand by instituting peak surcharges. Instead of simply applying a surcharge on all residential shipments during the holiday season like they’ve done in the past, UPS and FedEx are applying it to those shippers with a large volume of packages or those who are experiencing a significant increase. That’s good news for many small businesses, but tough on those larger ecommerce retailers.

    Even if these peak surcharges don’t apply to your business right now, it doesn’t mean that you’ll forever be immune. There are still a lot of unknowns related to the coronavirus pandemic and how it will continue to impact the supply chain. You will need to stay vigilant and keep up to date on announcements from FedEx and UPS.

    What you can do to combat rising shipping costs
    With everything the industry is experiencing right now, shippers don’t exactly hold the power. Add the general rate increases on top of that, and you may feel helpless against rising costs. However, there are things you can do to mitigate the damages. Download our guide to the 2021 FedEx and UPS rate increases to help identify the problem areas. Then contact PartnerShip to find out if you qualify for one of our discount shipping programs, and we'll help you ship smarter.

    Download the essential guide to the 2021 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases


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  • Carrier Closures for the 2020 Holiday Season

    11/19/2020 — Jen Deming

    2020 Holiday Schedule Blog Post

    2020 has been a year unlike any other. With the holiday season upon us, managing your shipment timelines is more important than ever. Most carriers have strict cut-off dates to ensure your holiday cheer is delivered on time, and with COVID-19 stretching available carriers extra thin this year, it’s more important than ever to plan accordingly. Whether you’re shipping small packages to customers, or need to order seasonal supplies for your business, we’ve broken down the most important holiday shipping dates that you need to know.

    Freight carrier holiday schedule

    Truck in SnowTruck drivers deserve some time off too, and it’s important for shippers to know which dates carriers are closed for business so you can plan your loads. Here are the 2020 holiday season closure dates for some common freight carriers:

    • UPS Freight will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be modified service hours on New Year’s Eve, December 31.
    • YRC Freight will be closed November 26-27, December 23-25, and January 1-2.
    • XPO Logistics will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Old Dominion will be closed November 26, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited service hours on November 27 and December 31.
    • New Penn will be closed November 26-27, December 23-25, December 31, and January 1.
    • Pitt Ohio will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Reddaway will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited service hours on December 23 and December 31.
    • Dayton Freight will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • R&L Carriers will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Estes will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Central Transport will be closed November 26 and December 25. There will be limited service hours on November 27 and December 24.
    • Roadrunner will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • FedEx Freight will be closed November 26-28, December 24-25, and January 1. 
    • Holland will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited service November 27, December 23, and December 31.
    • AAA Cooper will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • ArcBest will be closed November 26-27, December 24-25, and January 1.
    Truck in Snow

    Small package carrier closures and deadline dates

    With a holiday season projected to be bigger than any other, it’s super important to review holiday carrier schedules and deadlines. For your shipments moving with FedEx, make sure to reference the FedEx holiday schedule so you can plan ahead. If you're using UPS to ship during the season, remember to check the UPS year-end holiday schedule beforehand.

    PartnerShip schedule

    If the unprecedented volume of holiday shipments has you saying "no, no, no" instead of "ho, ho, ho," the experts at PartnerShip can help. Please keep in mind that our office will be closed on November 26-27, December 25, and January 1. Happy Holidays from PartnerShip, and hang in there -  we're welcoming 2021 with open arms!


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  • Gearing Up for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2020

    09/01/2020 — Jen Deming

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    Our country has long depended on the tireless efforts of the nation’s truck drivers, and this year, we have even more reason to be grateful. September 13-19 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and here in 2020 it takes on a special significance. Throughout the unprecedented challenges our country has faced during COVID-19, businesses have depended on shipments being delivered that our homes depend on. From medicine to food items for families, medical provisions for essential workers and school supplies for our makeshift at-home classrooms, truckers are on the front lines, at risk, so that we receive the goods we need to keep this country going.

    Many national and local businesses and service centers are running promotions and contests for truck drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in honor of these heroes behind the wheel.

    • PartnerShip - As a special thank you to our very own partner truckers, PartnerShip will randomly select one driver daily moving loads during National Truck driver Appreciation Week to win a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. 
    • Shell Rotella SuperRigs 2020 – This year, the popular truck “beauty contest” is going virtual and has added a special category for “Most Hardworking Trucker.” Tune in online for winners being selected during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Category winners will be featured in a 2020 Shell Rotella SuperRigs, MyMilesMatter Rewards Points, and all kinds of merch like jackets, hats, and other goodies. 
    • Travel Centers of America – Starting Sept. 1, TA will begin a month-long celebration of America’s truck drivers. UltraONE members making a fuel or service purchase will be entered to win the “TA Driver Appreciation sweepstakes”, with prizes like airline tickets, gift cards, an Indian Scout motorcycle, and more. Additionally, the service centers will be offering extra points, discounted services and products, and other promotions through the TruckSmart app.
    • Pilot Co. – Through Sept. 1-30, truckers receive special offers and can to enter-to-win signed merchandise from singer-songwriter Randy Wylie Hubbard, who also helped create a special video honoring America’s professional drivers. Through the month, drivers also receive free drinks and shower services every day all month long, free diagnostic tests on their trucks, and bonus Push4Points.

    In addition to these special promotions being run during Truck Driver Appreciation week, many businesses and restaurants have also offered free services and meals throughout the COVID-19 crisis, as a thank you for the extra efforts and added risk these drivers are taking to get consumers the supplies they need.

    • CDL Meals – Drivers can order these healthy meal alternatives on-the-go through the app and receive an extra 25% off using the code “SHOP25”.
    • Denny’s – Participating Denny’s locations have extended the 15% off online orders for truckers. Call individual locations to confirm, and use promo code "Driver15" online.
    • Cracker Barrel – Locations nationwide are offering free coffee and fountain drinks for drivers. Speak to a store associate for details, and find a Cracker Barrel along your route at crackerbarrel.com/locations.
    • Papa John’s – Professional truck drivers receive 25% off regular menu prices until Dec. 31, 2020. Use code "Deliver25" at checkout.
    • Ruby Tuesday – Between noon and 8 p.m.,truck drivers receive 25% off their online order. Drivers should enter "25" when prompted at checkout.
    • Motel 6 – For drivers who need a break from sleeping in their cabs, the hotel chain is offering special discounts for drivers during COVID-19 when booking through the Trucker Path app.

    We appreciate all of our drivers – thanks to your hard work and dedication on the front lines, our customers and our nation’s businesses can keep moving through this crisis. 

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  • 2020 FedEx and UPS Rates Explained

    12/10/2019 — Leah Palnik

    2020 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases Explained

    UPS and FedEx rates are slated to go up in 2020 by an average of 4.9%. The changes will go in effect for UPS on December 29, while the FedEx rates go into place on January 6.

    If you’re planning to budget for your costs to go up 4.9% in the next year, you better think twice. The announced average doesn’t paint a complete picture. The rates for some packages will be increasing less than 4.9%, but that means that the cost to ship other packages is increasing far more. What you’re shipping, where you’re shipping it to, and what service you’re using will ultimately determine how much you should budget for your shipping costs in the new year.

    Here are the released rates for 2020:

    FedEx and UPS surcharges
    The rates, however, are only one part of the equation. You also have to take into account the additional fees that UPS and FedEx tack on. It’s more important than ever to be mindful of what could qualify your packages for these surcharges. Not only do the costs increase year over year, but the carriers also make adjustments to how the charges are defined – making it more likely that your packages will be hit with them.

    A prime example of this is the change both FedEx and UPS made to their Additional Handling fee for 2020. They’ve lowered the weight threshold to 50 pounds from 70 pounds, which means your costs could go up significantly if you ship packages within that window.

    Here are all of the announced surcharge changes:

    Industry trends
    Online shopping has had a profound effect on the parcel industry and the way that FedEx and UPS operate. The carriers are moving more residential deliveries and an increased amount of larger packages, as consumers have become accustomed to being able to order almost anything online and receiving it in 2 days or less.

    The changes FedEx and UPS have instituted in recent years and are making in 2020 are a direct response to these industry trends. In the past several years, they’ve broadened the use of dimensional weight pricing, added new peak surcharges, and drastically increased the surcharges for larger packages.

    Understanding the 2020 rate increases
    We know how daunting it is to analyze the 2020 FedEx and UPS rates, so we’ve done the hard work for you. In our free white paper, we break down the new rate charts and simplify some of the complicated changes. It’s the best way to find out what will cost you the most in the year ahead. Looking for ways to offset the rate increases? We can also help with that. Contact us to find out if you qualify for one of our discount shipping programs.

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

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  • 2019 Holiday Shipping Schedule

    11/22/2019 — Jen Deming

    Holiday Shipping Schedule

    It might be the most wonderful time of the year but getting your shipping in order during the holiday crunch can cause more headaches than too much eggnog. Most carriers adjust their holiday shipping schedules to include back-out dates and cut-off times on certain days of the year. Whether you are moving a truckload of trees or simply delivering to a customer's doorstep, it's important to take note of key dates to keep your holiday shipping running smoothly.

    Holiday schedules for LTL freight carriers

    You can't get your shipment moving if there's no trucks on the road. In LTL freight shipping, it's critical to check which dates your chosen carrier will be closed. Below, we've noted the most common freight carriers and their holiday shipping schedules for 2019:

    • YRC Freight will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and December 31-January 1.
    • XPO Logistics will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Old Dominion will be closed November 28, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited operating hours on November 29 and December 31.
    • New Penn will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited operating hours on December 31.
    • Pitt Ohio will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Reddaway will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Dayton Freight will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • R&L Carriers will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Estes will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • Central Transport will be closed November 28, December 25, and January 1. There will be limited operating hours on November 28 and December 24.
    • Roadrunner will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • FedEx Freight will be closed November 28-30, December 21-22, 24-25, 28-29, and January 1. There will be modified service hours on December 23 and December 31.
    • Holland will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be limited operating hours on December 31.
    • New England Motor Freight will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • AAA Cooper will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • ArcBest will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1.
    • UPS Freight will be closed November 28-29, December 24-25, and January 1. There will be modified service hours on December 1.

    When it comes to your smaller, ground shipments, it's important to keep on top of peak surcharges during the holiday season. While both FedEx and UPS have announced that they will not implement additional fees on residential shipments, those that are over-sized or require additional handling will. UPS will apply surcharges to larger packages from October 1-January 4. Charges will be applied for those packages requiring additional handling from November 24-January 4. FedEx will charge extra for larger packages from October 21-January 5. The carrier will apply peak surcharges for those that require additional handling from November 18-January 5.

    Deadlines and closures for small package shipments

    For your small package shipments being moved by FedEx, make sure to check out the last days to ship and reference the 2019 holiday schedule so you can adjust your own holiday shipping schedule. 

    FedEx holiday schedule graphic

    PartnerShip office schedule

    If your holiday shipping has you frazzled, PartnerShip can help you get sorted this season. Just a reminder, our office will be closed so we can enjoy time with our families November 28-29, December 25, and January 1. Happy Holidays!


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  • UPS and FedEx Peak Surcharges Announced for 2019

    09/24/2019 — PartnerShip

    2019 UPS and FedEx Peak Surcharges

    UPS and FedEx have both announced that they will not apply peak season surcharges on residential deliveries this holiday shipping season. However, both companies will continue peak surcharges on large shipments and those requiring additional handling during the holidays.

    During the 2018 holiday season, UPS applied a per package residential peak delivery surcharge of $0.28 for ground and $0.99 for air shipments. This year, the company is leveraging its expanded air and ground capacity, and automated sorting hubs and processing facilities, to pass cost savings on to customers in the form of no residential delivery peak surcharge. More than 75% of UPS's small package volume will pass through these automated facilities in peak 2019.

    “We delivered a record-setting 2018 peak season in terms of both on-time delivery performance and operations execution,” said David Abney, UPS Chairman and CEO. “We will build on the lessons learned last year and leverage our new efficient air and ground capacity to make the 2019 peak season another success for customers, investors and other stakeholders.”

    This is the third holiday season FedEx has not added additional peak surcharges on residential deliveries. With UPS and FedEx both not applying a residential delivery surcharge this year, it is great news for e-commerce retailers and online shoppers. Online sales are expected to grow 14% to 18% this holiday season, and in the past, these residential delivery surcharges were passed along to shoppers in the form of higher shipping costs.

    It’s important to remember that both UPS and FedEx are implementing peak surcharges this holiday season on larger packages and those that require additional handling.

    UPS peak surcharges will apply to larger packages from October 1 through January 4:

    • $31.45 per package for shipments that qualify as large (a 20% increase from 2018)
    • $250.00 per package for shipments that qualify as over maximum limits (a 51.5% increase)

    UPS will apply peak surcharges for additional handling from November 24 through January 4:

    • $3.60 per package for shipments that require additional handling (a 14% increase)
    FedEx peak surcharges will apply to larger packages from October 21 through January 5:

    • $37.60 per package for shipments that qualify as oversize (a 36.7% increase from 2018)
    • $435.00 per package for shipments that qualify as unauthorized (a 190% increase)
    FedEx will apply peak surcharges for larger packages from November 18 through January 5:

    • $4.10 per package for shipments that requires additional handling (a 13.8% increase)

    The growth of e-commerce and online shopping for large and awkwardly shaped products such as mattresses and furniture has necessitated these surcharges because heavy and bulky packages can’t move through the automated systems in which UPS and FedEx have heavily invested. Through these surcharges, shippers are paying the price for the loss of efficiency these packages represent.

    If you’re a retailer, you should pay close attention to this year’s UPS and FedEx peak season surcharges so you can make any needed changes now to help ensure you remain profitable during the busy holiday shipping (and shopping) season. A good first step would be to look at the large packages you ship and determine which will be impacted by the peak surcharges.

    The UPS and FedEx additional handling peak surcharge will be triggered by packages that:
    • Weigh more than 70 pounds
    • Measure more than 48 inches along its longest side and more than 30 inches along its second-longest side
    • Are not enclosed in traditional corrugated cardboard packaging

    UPS Large Package and FedEx Oversize Package surcharges will be triggered by any package that exceeds 96 inches in length or 130 inches in length and girth.

    UPS Over Maximum Limit and FedEx Unauthorized Package surcharges will be triggered by any package that exceeds 150 lbs., 165 inches in length and girth combined, or longer than 108 inches.

    Surcharges for these packages are already high; additional UPS and FedEx peak surcharges represent an added dent to your bottom line. When deciding how to ship your small package shipments, or if you should use LTL to ship your oversized or heavy packages, you need an expert on your side. PartnerShip manages shipping programs for over 140 associations, providing exclusive discounts on small package shipments to their members. To find out if you qualify or to learn how you can ship smarter, contact us today.

    FedEx and UPS rates will be going up after the holiday season! 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

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  • PartnerShip Appreciates America's Truck Drivers!

    09/09/2019 — PartnerShip

    2019 Truck Driver Driver Appreciation Week

    This week has been designated National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and PartnerShip says “thank you” to all of the men and women who keep America moving forward by transporting freight safely, reliably and efficiently. 

    “Every September, trucking comes together to recognize what we consider the most important profession in the country: truck drivers.” said American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear. ATA Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna added, “It’s a chance for the industry to work with the general public, policymakers and members of the media to acknowledge truck drivers for their dedication to safety and professionalism.

    National Truck Driver Appreciation Week happens September 9 - 15 to honor all 3.5 million professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment. PartnerShip is saying “thank you” with a Dunkin' Donuts gift card for drivers that move a load for us during the week. It’s our small way of thanking drivers that help our customers ship smarter.

    To learn more about National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and the American Trucking Associations, visit the ATA website. To become a partner carrier, contact one of our Carrier Procurement Representatives for a setup packet at carriers@PartnerShip.com or visit our Becoming a PartnerShip Carrier webpage. Then check the PartnerShip Load Board and get started!

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  • Why Shippers Should Care About the CVSA Roadcheck

    06/03/2019 — Leah Palnik

    Why shippers should care about the CVSA roadcheck

    Coming to a highway near you, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 4-6. On average, 17 trucks will be inspected every minute in Canada, the United States, and Mexico during the 72-hour period. The CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level 1 Inspection and could render trucks out of service or place drivers out of service for violations. In fact, nearly 12,000 trucks and buses were placed out of service last year.

    Both the drivers and their vehicles are put through a 37-step inspection which includes checking items such as the braking system, securement of cargo, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, tires, wheels and rims, and other critical components. Each year, the CVSA places special emphasis on a specific category of violations. This year’s focus will be on steering and suspension systems due to their importance to highway safety.

    Drivers and their trucks are subject to these same inspections year-round, but the International Roadcheck event brings a significant increase in inspections that has a notable ripple effect.

    What can shippers expect?

    • Capacity will tighten which will likely increase freight rates. Many smaller carriers and owner operators will take the days off to avoid the potential hassle. This can make it more difficult for shippers to find trucks during this time – driving up the load-to-truck ratio and therefore driving up rates.
    • Delivery times will be affected. Not only do all of these inspections take time, but some loads may be delayed if drivers are pulled out of service due to violations. Even something as simple as a cracked windshield could cause a vehicle to be pulled out of service. In general, it’s a good idea to allow for some extra time just to be on the safe side.

    Finding a truck during Roadcheck week is easier when you’re working with a quality freight broker like PartnerShip. We’ll help you find the best option and let you know what you can expect. Get a free quote today!

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  • 3 Times You Should Consider Regional Freight Carriers

    05/14/2019 — Jen Deming

    3 Times You Should Consider a Regional Carrier

    Most shippers are familiar with the large network of national freight carriers commonly seen on the road, but regional freight carriers tend to be a little less recognizable. While larger freight carrier organizations have many benefits, including a sizable service area and the resources to have a large pool of available trucks, many shippers are not aware of the lesser-known benefits associated with using smaller local or regional carriers. In order to make smart shipping decisions, it's important for shippers to weigh the advantages of working with different types of carriers. Consider whether they may make sense for you, so that you're getting a service that best accommodates your business. 

    When using a regional freight carrier makes sense: if you don't need to ship far to reach your customers

    In terms of size, regional freight carriers operate in a smaller, more concentrated geographic territory than national carriers. Typically, the trucks are traveling 500 miles or less, though there are several companies that service larger areas or specific lanes. These carriers territories tend to fall into one of two categories: multi-state lanes or local transportation that operates within a certain city lines or borders. Examples of regional freight carriers include PITT OHIO, Dayton Freight, and AAA Cooper

    If your business is shipping mostly to local customers that are located within state, or even in the same general geographic area of the U.S. (Southwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, etc.), you may want to consider using a regional carrier. Because these carriers aren't servicing larger cross-country lanes, they tend to have shorter hauls since they are delivering locally. This may limit where you can ship to, but keep in mind that there are still larger, national carriers at your disposal. There are many benefits to shorter hauls, as well. Typically, these hauls do not undergo as much loading and unloading at carrier terminals like longer hauls do. This can mean less damage and more on-time deliveries for your freight, ultimately getting you happy customers and better business. Smaller companies can sometimes spend more time focusing on continuing safety and service training. For example, Dayton Freight, a top regional freight carrier, dedicates time and energy pursuing the continued education of its team. In-house programs like "Dayton Freight Academy" to focus on improving and supplementing the skills of drivers and other employees when it comes to safety, truck maintenance, and freight handling. This intentional focus on service at the employee level helps regional freight carriers like Dayton improve the customer experience. 

    Also because regional freight carriers specialize in a smaller geographic area, drivers may have greater familiarity with the region in general. They may be much more knowledgeable about things only locals drivers may know, like which complicated delivery addresses are located where, whether they are likely to be classified as a business or residential location, what time of day traffic is most congested, or other route obstacles to avoid. This can help avoid potential pick up and delivery challenges or other issues that may delay a shipment.

    When using a regional freight carrier makes sense: if service level is of utmost importance

    There are many service benefits in working with regional freight carriers. Due to their smaller size, they can often offer a more personalized class of service that puts a greater emphasis on the customer experience. Because these carriers are working with a smaller customer pool, they often can offer better flexibility and responsiveness when issues come up with a shipment. Many regional freight carriers have smaller corporate offices in local areas which may mean live, reachable customer service teams versus automated service lines. That way, shippers can have more direct contact with local terminals rather than being given the run around by calling a general customer help line. All in all, this may lead to better management of a shipment from pick up to delivery for some shippers who value a high level of customer service. 

    When using a regional freight carrier makes sense: if you need to be particularly mindful of your freight spend

    Using a regional freight carrier can lower your freight costs, especially if your business needs specialized services, such as liftgates or other accessorials. It's relatively common that regional carriers do not have to pay delivery area surcharges and have fewer accessorial costs and lower minimums than national freight carriers, which means they can pass on these savings through lower prices to shippers. Another benefit associated with working a smaller service area? Next-day or expedited delivery is more reasonable. For example, PITT OHIO, a regional carrier based in the Midwest, offers some of the most expanded next-day lanes in the nation. A small service area means a shorter haul, quicker transit time, and less work overall for the carrier to hasten delivery. Because of that, these expedited shipping costs can be lower than with national carriers.

    Finally, because regional freight carriers are also typically smaller organizations, shippers may have more negotiating power when it comes to discounted rates or lowered accessorial fees. Regional carriers are likely to be more flexible in order to compete with the huge volume of business that national carriers naturally pull from the market. 

    For some shippers' needs, bigger isn't always better. There are very specific instances when a business may benefit from utilizing a smaller regional or local carrier network over a national carrier company. The first thing to consider is whether your customer base is located in a targeted geographic area. If you're doing business with local customers, and factors like price, service level, and timeliness are important, a regional freight carrier may streamline your shipping procedures. To learn more about the benefits of using a regional carrier, and whether they are right for you, call 800-599-2902 or get a free quote today.  

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  • 6 Considerations for Choosing an LTL Freight Carrier

    03/13/2019 — Leah Palnik

    6 Considerations for Choosing an LTL Carrier

    The 25 largest U.S. less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers collectively brought in $34 billion in revenue in 2017. That is a staggering number and a 7.8% increase over the previous year. When the numbers are in for 2018, don’t be surprised to see another healthy rise. As the largest LTL carriers continue to command more of the overall marketplace, shippers must be resourceful when looking to source LTL freight services so as to not get squeezed on price due to the number of market players. Shippers should take the following six factors into consideration when finding the most efficient LTL freight services.

    1. Transit Times - How fast do you need to get your shipment to your customer, or to receive your shipment from your vendor? Long-haul carriers tend to have slower transit times in regional lanes, while regional and multi-regional carriers are much faster in these lanes, but may not provide service in longer haul lanes.
    2. Geographic Coverage - Once you get beyond the top 10 LTL carriers, most of the remaining players provide only regionalized direct pickup and delivery services. Understanding carrier coverage areas helps you optimize which carriers are best suited for the service.
    3. Service Performance - On time pickup and delivery performance is not always the same. Often this depends on where your business is located relative to the nearest freight terminals. Long-haul carriers traditionally have been known to provide lower delivery reliability, while regional carriers tend to provide reliability in a higher range. Almost all of the LTL carriers will guarantee delivery or provide deliveries that are "faster than standard" for additional fees.
    4. Liability Coverage - The amount of liability coverage you receive can vary and is set by the carrier. It’s not uncommon to see liability restricted to $0.25 per lb. or less, which means shippers need to be diligent about understanding their options. Especially if the liability coverage doesn’t meet the actual value of the freight.  
    5. Financial Stability - Most of the remaining LTL carriers in the industry are pretty stable from a financial standpoint. However, there are a few carriers that continue to struggle with profitability and debt issues. Anyone who may recall when industry behemoth Consolidated Freightways closed its doors in 2002 will understand the importance of not having your freight in the hands of a financially unstable carrier. 
    6. Pricing Factors - Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for many small business, is price. When working with an LTL freight carrier, there are many factors that will determine your true cost of transportation. These include:
      • Discounts, base rates, and net price 
        Most LTL carriers provide pricing in the form of discounts off of base rates, which will vary by carrier. So, a 68% discount from one carrier might actually be less expensive than a 70% discount from another. The main point to consider when comparing LTL carriers is not what the discount or the base rates are, but rather what is the final net price to you.

      • Minimum charge  
        Generally a flat fee under which the carrier will not discount its price. Some carriers offer big discounts, but set the minimum charge high which may result in less of a discount on smaller weighted shipments than you anticipated.

      • Freight classification 
        There are 18 different freight classes ranging from 50 to 500. These classes are based on the density of your product and will definitely impact your overall price.

      • FAK provisions 
        If negotiated, "freight-all-kinds" provisions may allow you to ship products with different classes under a single class from a pricing standpoint. 

      • Weight 
        How much your shipment weighs will play a significant role in how your rate is calculated. Keep in mind that carriers will use hundredweight pricing, which means that the more your shipment weighs, the less you'll pay per hundred pounds.

      • Accessorial fees 
        Extra services performed by the carrier generally add additional fees to your overall freight bill. The fees that carriers charge for these services can often be radically different so it's important to educate yourself. 

    There are other factors not mentioned above that need to be considered when choosing an LTL freight carrier as well, such as equipment specifications (e.g., liftgate, trailer size, etc.), scheduling flexibility, and tracking capabilities, to name a few. It's easy to see why, what may seem like a simple service of picking up a shipment and delivering it, is often more complex than meets the eye.

    Generally speaking, there is almost never just one LTL freight carrier that fits every need you may have. Unless you have spare time on your hands, your best bet is to work with an established freight broker like PartnerShip that can do the heavy lifting for you so that you can stay focused on running your business.

    Need some help evaluating your freight shipping? Need help finding the right LTL freight carriers? Let PartnerShip provide you with a free, no-obligation quote to get you started.

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  • Truck Driving Trailblazers: Women in Shipping

    03/08/2019 — Jen Deming

    Women In TruckingMany of us are familiar with the impact truck shipping has on our day-to-day lives, but few of us are familiar with the women truck drivers who contribute so significantly to the transportation industry. March is Women's History Month and PartnerShip would like to take the opportunity to look at how women have played a part in trucking's past and are currently shaping the future. From the first women who sat behind the wheel, to the movers and shakers changing the shipping industry today, we take a look at the women who help get our stuff where it needs to go.

    Riding West with Annie Neal

    Stagecoach and horse-drawn freight wagons, often hauling bullion and other high-value supplies heading west from the east, were a very early predecessor to the modern trucking industry. A notable husband-wife team, Annie Neal and her husband William often ran routes together, taking turns driving the teams of horses or acting as load security. Annie is often credited with being one of the earliest female "freight haulers" and helped pave the way for women drivers of the future.

    A Shift in Responsibility

    Horse-drawn modes of transportation were being retired through the beginning of the 20th century, and engine-powered trucks evolved as a reliable, efficient mode preferred by most freight carriers. As World War I broke, the first utility trucks were being used to haul medical equipment as well as injured soldiers to and from the battlefront, oftentimes being driven and loaded by women medical attendants and nurses. The onset of the first World War set the tone for a female-dominated industry while men were otherwise occupied and away fighting.

    Luella Bates - Mechanic, Operator, Spokesperson

    The early 1900's also saw the need for women to fill long-haul freight positions left by men who reported for duty. Luella Bates was one of about 150 women hired as test drivers for new truck prototypes by Four Wheel Drive Auto Company. These women tested safety, security, and overall mechanical soundness of these vehicles, logging many hours under various weather conditions and road types. When the men returned, Luella stayed on, acting as a demonstrator, mechanic, and driver, often touring across the United States for truck model launches and safety demos. She was often used in advertisements and as a consultant for dealerships throughout the remainder of her career, and used her public platform to generate excitement and interest among fellow female truck drivers.

    Lillie Drennan - the First Licensed Truck Driver

    Lillie Elizabeth McGee Drennan was another huge force in the history of women truck drivers. After starting a trucking company with her husband William Drennan in 1917, Lillie played a huge part in the training and recruiting of additional drivers. After divorcing in 1929, Lillie took control as sole owner of the trucking company, and also began driving trucks in order to expand and grow the business herself. After an initial denial to receive her own commercial driver's license (CDL), presumably due to a hearing impairment she'd had since she was a child, she successfully won a lawsuit and received the license in 1929. Following that, she continued expanding her successful truck business as a well-known regional owner-operator in East Texas. Lillie became a strong advocate for women's rights and a hero to those living with disabilities. She continued to push for equal opportunities for women in the workplace and helped successfully recruit female drivers during World War II.

    Driving the War Effort

    During World War II, Rusty Dow was a truck driver for the U.S. Army Engineers/Alaska Defense Command. In 1944, she became the first woman to drive a fully loaded truck the entire length of the Alaska Highway, completing the 1,560-mile trip in 11 days. During the same period, Mazie Lanham became the first woman driver for UPS in 1943 due to a workforce shortage during the war. Many other women came to follow in her footsteps, earning the nickname "Brown Betties."

    Starting a Revolution

    In the 1970's, Adriesue "Bitzy" Gomez was a truck driver and a champion of women in the trucking industry. During this formative period in the Women's Movement, she founded the Coalition of Women Truckers, an organization that worked to level the playing field in such a male-dominated industry. Through her efforts, and those of the other 150 members she recruited, Bitzy pushed forward a campaign to hire more female drivers and machinists, fighting for equal opportunity and safety from harassment within the workplace. 

    Where are we now?

    The truck shipping industry has changed a lot over time, and women are entering the field of transportation more readily than before. But, there's still a lot of catch up to do to even out female representation within this male-dominated industry. The Women in Trucking Association is an organization created with the intention to increase the number of women working in trucking transportation. The WIT has partnered with the National Transportation Institute in order to accurately report the number of women in trucking. While women represent the minority group within the industry, and women only comprise 7% of the available pool of drivers, women are working in over 24% of the management and training roles. 

    Where are we headed?

    Women drivers are more in demand than ever, especially with the ongoing driver shortage that continues to affect the available pool of carriers. To recruit and entice qualified truckers, male or female, carriers are optimizing current work conditions by upgrading tech, creating new dedicated rest areas, updating equipment to include more comfortable living accommodations for long hauls, and an increase in base pay. Drivers earn pay based on experience and miles, offering a more level compensation playing field than in many other industries and available career opportunities. While women continue to encounter many of the challenges presented since first breaking into the trucking industry, carriers are making it clear that they're wanted - and needed, not only as drivers, but as trainers, recruiters, brand advocates, mechanics, and business owners.

    Women have been involved in the transportation industry since wheels first hit the road. As time has passed, the role of these women has evolved, and that role continues to change as needs of the industry adjust to meet the needs of consumers. Throughout the transformation, one thing is for certain - women in trucking continue to play an indispensable and revolutionary part in the future of transportation. If you're a driver, we want you to play that part with us - join our network of partner carriers!


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  • ArcBest: Delivering New Shipping Solutions to PartnerShip

    01/23/2019 — Jen Deming

    ArcBest Solutions Blog

    PartnerShip® is always working to expand our available carrier network in order to meet every customer's shipping needs, every time. For those customers who value premium service and an unmatched experience, we are pleased to announce the addition of the ArcBest® network to our comprehensive group of partner carriers. With an extensive transportation solution network, ArcBest offers superior less-than-truckload (LTL) service through ABF Freight® as well as specialized time-sensitive alternatives through Panther Premium Logistics®. These additions help elevate available logistics options for PartnerShip customers. 

    ArcBest offers a variety of stand-out services that benefit customers with specialized or unique needs. In addition to a full-service network of transportation options such as intermodal, supply chain services, international shipping, warehousing, and distribution services, ArcBest also provides premium time-critical and event shipping solutions. In addition to these options, the ArcBest company umbrella of carriers brings even more unique benefits for shippers.

    Shorter, Pup-trailer Options

    A standard 53-foot enclosed trailer, or dry van, is the most common truck type used to move freight. The height of the trailer is 8.5 to 9.5 feet. There isn't much differentiation between trucks aside from the door type, which can either swing open or roll up. This is a sizable truck, and not every pick-up or delivery location is equipped for proper vehicle maneuverability. This presents challenges for loading and unloading. ABF Freight, a premier ArcBest freight carrier, commonly utilizes shorter pup-trailers, not 53' vans. A pup-trailer measures between 26 and 29 feet in length. Due to this smaller size, congested access points such as a busy side street or challenging dock configuration, like a school, can be more easily navigated.

    Unique Freight Capabilities 

    Most common carriers are very specific about what they will move for shippers, and what they will refuse. Odd, over-sized items and easily-breakable commodities are determined risky for freight carriers, and shippers are usually refused pick-up, often at the discretion of the local terminal. Carrier Rules Tariffs are frequently being updated as capacity continues to crunch, allowing common carriers to become more selective about what types of products they choose to move. Items such as flag poles, furniture, and other challenging density-based commodities are accepted by ArcBest carriers, making them an excellent option for shippers who may have a challenging freight move.

    Terminal Direct Scheduling and Contact Info

    Another special service that ArcBest offers for shippers is terminal-direct scheduling and available contact information. If you've ever had to schedule your own pick-up, or tried to contact specific terminals to check on freight, you know that carrier websites are almost never transparent. Most often, you will need to go through an automated number and exhausting phone tree in order to access a service representative. Some carriers don't allow shippers to connect to specific terminals at all. This can be frustrating when time is compromised and your shipment is being delayed. Speaking to a particular terminal allows for better tracking, accountability, and clarification for customers. ArcBest, in particular ABF Freight, makes this a critical option for shippers.

    Expediting in Transit

    The added ability to expedite ground LTL shipments while already in transit is a service now available to PartnerShip customers through Panther Premium Logistics. Panther, an expedited carrier option under the ArcBest umbrella, is a convenient choice for customer's time-critical shipments. With a variety of truck equipment options, from sprinter vans to flatbeds, Panther offers premium logistics solutions for those who may have unique shipping requirements. If the deadline for your shipment delivery is sooner than you anticipated, Panther has the ability to bump up your service from standard ground LTL to expedited delivery while in transit.

    Added Benefits

    In addition to these distinct solutions offered by the ArcBest umbrella of carriers, there are a few other notable benefits suited for shippers who value quality and exceptional experience: 

    • The carrier network extends nationwide, providing reliable transportation that fit both regional and long-haul markets.
    • In line with providing premium shipping and handling services, ABF Freight also boasts one of the lowest LTL claims rates in the industry.
    • ABF Freight prioritizes meeting customer pick-ups, making sure your shipment gets moving when it needs to so you meet your deadlines.

    We know that every shipper has individual needs for their business and their shipping. By adding another carrier we are able to extend available service options for customers - helping to broaden our network and meet those needs. If you'd like to learn more about ArcBest shipping options, contact us and we'll help determine which solutions are right for you.

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  • Your Guide to the 2019 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

    12/17/2018 — Leah Palnik

    your guide to the 2019 FedEx and UPS rate increases

    FedEx and UPS rates will be going up in 2019, and it’s more important than ever that shippers know how to mitigate the impact to their business. In November, FedEx announced that its small package rates will increase an average of 4.9% as of January 7, 2019. In December, only a few weeks before the change is set to take place on the 26th, UPS announced the same average increase.

    If you’re thinking that means you can budget your costs to go up by 4.9%, you are sorely mistaken. There is a lot to unpack with these rate increases. For starters, some services are increasing at a higher rate than others – meaning that depending on the services you commonly use, your costs could go up significantly more than the announced average.

    Other factors determine how much more you will pay for your FedEx and UPS shipments in 2019. You will need to look at the new rates based on your package characteristics, as well as how far your shipments are being sent. Here are the released rates for 2019:

    FedEx and UPS surcharges
    The announced average increase only covers the base rates. You’ll also need to consider what fees and surcharges apply to your shipments. Many of these surcharges are increasing quite a bit. Here are the announced changes:

    One surcharge to take note of is the Third-Party Billing fee. A couple years ago, UPS introduced this in response to the growing popularity of drop shipping. Right now if you use third-party billing, you will incur a charge of 2.5% of total cost. Beginning December 26, UPS will be increasing that charge to 4.5%. FedEx is leaving its Third-Party Billing charge unchanged at 2.5% for 2019. This is just one example of why it’s important to evaluate the changes that come out each year from UPS and FedEx. One small difference can have a huge impact on your costs.

    The most costly surcharges continue to be those that apply to shipments that qualify as “Unauthorized” or “Over Maximum Limits.” If you send a package with UPS that weighs more than 150 lbs., exceeds 108 inches in length, or exceeds a total of 165 inches in length and girth combined, you’ll be looking at a $850 charge on top of your base rate. That same package will incur a $675 charge if you ship it with FedEx. Either way, you’ll be paying a huge premium to ship larger, bulkier packages.

    Peak season strategies
    It’s also important to note that ahead of the 2019 general rate increase (GRI), FedEx and UPS both announced peak season surcharges. For those larger packages, the carriers applied additional surcharges during the busiest time of year. A huge difference between the two, however, was an additional charge on residential shipments. UPS applied a $0.28 peak surcharge on residential ground shipments, while FedEx decided that for the second year in a row, it wouldn’t follow suit. If you’re a retailer that delivers a large amount of customer orders over the holidays, that charge can add up fast.

    Trends in the small package industry
    If you zoom out on all of these changes from FedEx and UPS, there are a few insights to glean.

    1. FedEx and UPS tend to institute similar pricing strategies. The carriers have a habit of matching each other when announcing average increases, and when one introduces a new charge or a different way to account for something, the other tends to do the same down the road. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter which carrier you use. Instead, it’s important to stay on top of the changes and evaluate your options on a regular basis so you’re always using the service that works best for your budget.
    2. Many of the changes over the years have been put in place as a result of the ecommerce boom. With more shipments coming from online orders, comes more trends that strain the carriers’ networks. For example, ecommerce has led to more residential deliveries and more deliveries of oversized packages. That’s why you’ll see the carriers making changes that help them to recoup some of the costs associated with these trends.
    3. Both carriers have been making changes throughout the year, instead of just during the GRI. For example, FedEx and UPS both increased their Additional Handling surcharges ahead of the new year – in September and July respectively. When UPS first introduced peak surcharges for residential ground shipments, that was also done outside of the annual announcement. This just highlights how important it is for shippers to stay aware throughout the year.

    We know you don’t want to comb through every tedious page of the 2019 FedEx and UPS service guides and compare them to your current rates. That’s why we did the leg work for you. In our free white paper, we break down where you’ll find the highest increases and explain some of the complicated changes you need to be aware of. If you’re looking for ways to offset the rate increases, we can also help with that. If you’re a member of one of the many associations we work with, you can get access to exclusive discounts. Contact us and we’ll find a way to help you save.

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  • The PartnerShip Carrier of the Month for October Is…

    11/16/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our October 2018 Carrier of the Month

    The mission of PartnerShip is to help our customers ship smarter and stay competitive. The only way we can do that is to partner with great carriers and we love recognizing our awesome partners!

    Our October Carrier of the Month is Doug Davidson Trucking LLC of Salem, OH. With 27 years of trucking experience, they specialize in oversize and overweight loads and operates a fleet of 11. They are fully committed to on-time pickup and delivery with safety as their number one goal.

    The reason PartnerShip has a Carrier of the Month program is to recognize carriers that do an exceptional job helping customers ship and receive their freight. PartnerShip team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    As our October Carrier of the Month, Doug Davidson Trucking gets lunch for their team and an official framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall.

    Consider becoming a PartnerShip carrier because we try very hard to match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

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  • 2018 Holiday Shipping Schedule

    11/09/2018 — Leah Palnik

    Holiday Shipping Schedule 2018

    There’s no way around it – shipping during the holiday season can get hectic. Whether you’re sending packages to customers or shipping out several pallets, the holidays can affect your transit times. To help you prepare for this busy time of year we’ve compiled your important need-to-know dates for some common carriers.

    Holiday schedules for LTL freight carriers
    Before you schedule your shipment, make sure to account for the days your selected carrier will be closed. Below are some common freight carriers and their holiday schedules for the 2018 season:

    • YRC Freight will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and December 31-January 1
    • XPO Logistics will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • Old Dominion will be closed November 22, December 24-25, and January 1; it will have limited operations on November 23 and December 31
    • New Penn will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1; it will have limited operations on December 31
    • Pitt Ohio will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • Reddaway will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • Dayton Freight will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • R&L Carriers will be closed November 22, December 25, and January 1
    • Estes will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • Central Transport will be closed November 22, December 25-26, and January 1; it will have limited operations November 23, December 24, and December 31
    • Roadrunner will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • Clear Lane Freight Systems will be closed November 22-23 and December 24-25
    • FedEx Freight will be closed November 22-23 and December 24-25, and January 1; it will have limited operations December 31
    • Holland will be closed November 22-23 and December 24-25, and January 1
    • New England Motor Freight will be closed November 22-23 and December 24-25, and January 1
    • AAA Cooper will be closed November 22-23 and December 24-25, and January 1
    • ArcBest will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1
    • UPS Freight will be closed November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1

    Important dates to note for your small package shipments
    As for your small package shipments, make sure you’re aware of the peak surcharges that UPS and FedEx will be applying. UPS will be instituting an additional surcharge on residential ground shipments from November 18 through December 1 and then again December 16-22. Unlike its competitor, FedEx won’t be applying a similar peak surcharge. Both carriers, however, are charging more for larger packages or packages that necessitate additional handling. FedEx will apply these surcharges November 19-December 24, while UPS will be applying these charges November 18-December 22.

    For your FedEx small package shipments, check out the last days to ship, review important information on the money-back guarantee, and refer to the 2018 holiday schedule below.

    FedEx Holiday Schedule 2018

    PartnerShip holiday schedule
    If you need help with a last minute shipment during this busy time of year or have any questions, we're here to help. Keep in mind, PartnerShip will be closed so we can enjoy time with our families November 22-23, December 24-25, and January 1. From our families to yours – happy holidays!


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  • Here is Our September PartnerShip Carrier of the Month!

    10/12/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our September 2018 Carrier of the Month

    The mission of PartnerShip is to help our customers ship smarter and stay competitive. The only way we can do that is to partner with great carriers and we love recognizing our awesome partners!

    Our September Carrier of the Month is Fanton Logistics of Garfield Heights, OH. They have been serving customers since 2007 and have a fleet of 23 Volvo power units and 53′ dry vans. Building trust and respect through quality customer service and on-time delivery is their main goal.

    The main goal of the PartnerShip Carrier of the Month program is to recognize carriers that do an exceptional job helping customers ship and receive their freight. PartnerShip team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    As our September 2018 Carrier of the Month, Fanton Logistics gets lunch and an official framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall.

    Consider becoming a PartnerShip carrier because we try very hard to match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • The August PartnerShip Carrier of the Month

    09/14/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our August 2018 Carrier of the Month

    PartnerShip is proud to partner with many high-quality freight carriers to help our customers ship smarter and stay competitive. We love shining the spotlight on carriers that go above and beyond and provide stellar customer service.

    Our August Carrier of the Month is A&M Group Enterprises, Inc. of Berlin, CT. They have been in business for more than 15 years and have a fleet of 30 power units and 35 trailers and strive to make deliveries as smooth and hassle-free as possible. At the same time we recognize A&M Group Enterprises, we'd again like to express our thanks to all drivers that keep our economy moving during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

    The PartnerShip Carrier of the Month program was created because we want to recognize carriers that do an exceptional job helping customers ship and receive freight. PartnerShip team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    For being our August 2018 Carrier of the Month, A&M Group Enterprises gets lunch and a nifty framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall. The “thank you’s” may be small but our appreciation is huge!

    Interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier? We try very hard to match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • PartnerShip Salutes America’s Truck Drivers!

    09/10/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Celebrates Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2018

    This is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and PartnerShip would like to recognize the men and women who keep our economy strong by moving freight safely, reliably and efficiently.

    "From the food and medicine in our cabinets, the furniture and electronics in our living rooms, and even the cars or bikes in our driveways – none of those items would be available to us without truck drivers," said American Trucking Associations (ATA) COO and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs, Elisabeth Barna.

    National Truck Driver Appreciation Week happens September 9 - 15 to honor all 3.5 million professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment. PartnerShip is saying “thank you” with a Dunkin' Donuts gift card for drivers that move a full truckload for us during the week. It’s our small way of thanking drivers for helping our customers ship smarter.

    To learn more about National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and the American Trucking Associations, visit the ATA website. To become a partner carrier, contact one of our Carrier Procurement Representatives for a setup packet at carriers@PartnerShip.com or visit our Become a PartnerShip Carrier webpage. Then check the PartnerShip Load Board and get started!

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • The PartnerShip July Carrier of the Month Is… (drum roll please)

    08/17/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our July 2018 Carrier of the Month

    PartnerShip works with high-quality freight carrier partners to help our customers ship smarter and stay competitive and we love recognizing our awesome carriers for a job well done!

    July’s Carrier of the Month is Salem Ridge Contractors LLC of Waterford, Ohio! They specialize in heavy haul and oversize loads.

    The PartnerShip Carrier of the Month program was created to recognize carriers that go above and beyond to help our customers ship and receive their freight. PartnerShip team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    For being our July 2018 Carrier of the Month, Salem Ridge Contractors gets lunch and a nifty framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall. Our gestures may be small but our appreciation is huge!

    Interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier? We match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • FedEx and UPS Peak Season Surcharges: The Important Differences

    08/09/2018 — Leah Palnik

    FedEx and UPS Peak Surcharges for the 2018 Holiday Season

    FedEx recently announced that for the second year in a row, it won’t be applying a peak season surcharge on residential shipments. This is good news for retailers who expect a significant amount of e-commerce orders over the 2018 holiday season.

    UPS, however, will be instituting a surcharge on residential ground shipments from November 18 through December 1 and then again from December 16 through December 22. UPS will be charging $0.28 per package for most residential shipments using ground services. For UPS air services the fees are as high as $0.99 per package.

    UPS delivered around 700 million packages during the 2017 holiday season – a huge jump compared to the rest of the year. Ordering online has become so commonplace and easy for shoppers, and the carriers are feeling the effects. The increase in volume over the holidays drove UPS to introduce this new peak surcharge for the first time last year.

    Typically UPS and FedEx have comparable rates and surcharges and will mimic each other’s changes, so this is a notable distinction between the two small package giants.

    FedEx is sending a clear message to shippers. “FedEx delivers possibilities every day for millions of small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx Corp. “We are demonstrating our support for these loyal customers during this critical timeframe by not adding additional residential peak surcharges, except for situations where the shipments are oversized, unauthorized or necessitate additional handling.”

    It’s important to note that both carriers are implementing charges on larger packages. With the rise of e-commerce, people are ordering items online that they would’ve exclusively purchased in-store in the past – including televisions and appliances. FedEx and UPS have made several adjustments to account for these trends, including a pushback on larger packages. Heavy and bulky packages don’t move through their automated systems and require more attention. FedEx and UPS are putting a price tag on that loss in efficiency and shippers need to stay aware.

    FedEx will apply peak surcharges for larger packages from November 19 through December 24:

    • $3.20 per package for shipments that necessitate additional handling
    • $27.50 per package for shipments that qualify as oversize
    • $150.00 per package for shipments that qualify as unauthorized

    UPS will apply peak surcharges for larger packages from November 18 through December 22:

    • $3.15 per package for shipments that necessitate additional handling
    • $26.20 per package for shipments that qualify as large
    • $165.00 per package for shipments that qualify as over maximum limits

    If you’re not careful, the surcharges can add up fast. These peak surcharges are in addition to the already existing surcharges that apply to larger packages, and any others that may apply including delivery area and residential surcharges.

    Retailers should take note of these peak season changes to ensure a profitable 2018 holiday season. If you see a significant amount of online orders over the holidays and ship with UPS, you’ll be paying an extra $0.28 per package, which will eat into your bottom line.

    To prepare, take a look at what you shipped last year around the holidays and determine a forecast for this season. From there you’ll be able to see how much more you can expect to spend during the designated peak season. You may find that switching from UPS to FedEx for the busiest time of the year will provide you with a decent cost savings. Depending on the billable weight of your shipment and the destination, the base rate could be lower with FedEx – compounding the savings during peak season. It’s worth evaluating the options, when the holiday season can make or break your year.

    There are many factors to consider when deciding how to ship your small package shipments. You need an expert on your side. ParterShip manages shipping programs for over 140 associations, providing exclusive discounts on small package shipments to their members. To find out if you qualify or to learn how you can ship smarter, contact us today.

    FedEx and UPS rates will be going up after the holiday season! 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 explain some of the complicated changes you need to be aware of.

    Contact Us Today!


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  • And the PartnerShip June Carrier of the Month Is…

    07/20/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our June 2018 Carrier of the Month

    Without high-quality freight carrier partners, our job would be much harder, and the economy would move much slower. We love recognizing our awesome carriers for a job well done because they help us help our customers ship smarter and stay competitive.

    June’s Carrier of the Month is Boyko Trucking LLC of Richfield, Ohio! They have been in business since 2009 and specialize in LTL and full truckload shipping.

    The PartnerShip Carrier of the Month program was created to recognize carriers that go above and beyond to help our customers ship and receive their freight. PartnerShip team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    For being our June 2018 Carrier of the Month, Boyko Trucking gets lunch for the whole office and a nifty framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall. The gestures may be small but our appreciation is huge!

    Interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier? We match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • It All Adds Up: The Operational Costs of Moving Freight

    06/22/2018 — PartnerShip

     It All Adds Up The Operational Costs of Moving Freight

    Moving freight is getting more difficult, and therefore, more expensive. If you’ve ever had “sticker shock” from a freight quote, you’re not alone. There are a lot of cost factors that go into the price you pay to move freight, so we want to explain them so you can be an informed shipper and ship smarter.

    Every LTL or truckload freight shipment has fixed and variable costs that are calculated into the rate you pay to ship your freight. Let’s start by looking at the fixed costs.

    Fixed Costs:

    • Truck Payment. Owned or leased, drivers and operators have the expense of their equipment (trucks and trailers) to consider when quoting your freight. New trucks can be leased for $1,600 to $2,500 per month and used trucks can be leased for $800 -- $1,600 per month; a new truck can be purchased for $2,250 a month (purchase price of $125,000 with 5-year financing). On average, truck payments are 16% of the cost of moving freight.
    • Insurance. The FMCSA requires individual owner-operators to carry a minimum of $750,000 to $5 million in liability coverage. On average, liability and damage insurance can cost between $6,000 – $8,000 per year, with newly-granted authorities typically paying between $10,000 and $16,000 their first year. Truck insurance accounts for 5% of the cost of freight shipping.
    • Driver Salary. This is the largest operating cost of moving freight. Commercial truck driver salaries are based on the distance driven, and although drivers spend a lot of time in traffic, at the dock being loaded or unloaded, etc., their operating costs are only derived from miles traveled. With an average salary of $78,200, driver pay and benefits accounts for 43% of operational costs.
    • Office and Overhead. This fixed cost includes a building lease or mortgage, and includes electric, phones, internet, computers, and office support. These costs can vary widely.
    • Permits and Licenses. Permits and license plate costs account for $2,300 annually, or 1% of operational costs.

    Variable Costs:

    • Fuel. The second largest operating cost of moving freight is diesel fuel. A commercial truck can easily consume 20,000 gallons ($64,000) of diesel fuel per year, accounting for 21% of operational costs.
    • Tires. Retreaded truck tires are less expensive than new tires and cost on average $250. Annual tire expense accounts for $3,600, which is roughly 2% of operational costs.
    • Maintenance and Repairs. Trucks need constant maintenance and do occasionally break down. Issues with air lines and hoses, alternators, wiring, and brakes are all common in commercial trucks, and can cost $17,500 annually or 10% of operational costs.
    • Meals. The truck isn’t the only part of LTL and truckload freight shipping that needs fuel! 10 meals a week at $12 each equals a meals expense of $6,500 a year.
    • Tolls. With nearly 5,000 miles of toll roads in the US, chances are good that your freight will be traversing at least one of them, and this will be factored in your cost. For example, a load moving from Chicago to Baltimore will encounter toll roads in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, costing $225.75.  Sometimes a carrier can avoid toll roads, but this will frequently increase the number of miles driven, which also increases your cost. On average, tolls add $2,500 a year, 2% of the total cost of freight shipping.
    • Coffee.  Did you know that truck stops sell more coffee than convenience stores? The average commercial truck driver spends more than $600 a year on coffee. Its effect on cost is negligible but we thought it was interesting!
    • Profit. Remember, freight carriers are in business to make a profit. Owners, operators and drivers are funding their kids’ education or dance lessons, paying their mortgages, and buying food and necessities, so please don’t expect them to move your freight for free.

    There are also many miscellaneous items that can factor into overall freight costs:

    • Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), which have decreased driver productivity approximately 15%. When drivers spend less time driving, transit times increase and drivers move fewer loads, which pushes costs up.
    • Telematics services, such as vehicle and trailer GPS tracking.
    • Driver turnover; not just the cost of recruiting and training, but also the opportunity cost of empty trucks not hauling freight because they have no drivers.
    • Finding loads to move can take up a sizable chunk of every day. Every hour spent not driving loaded miles is an hour a driver isn’t making money.

    The bottom line is that a lot of factors go into the cost you pay for LTL or truckload freight shipping. The costs listed here are conservative and are probably on the low end, so your costs may be higher.

    The struggle is real: moving freight is getting more difficult and more expensive. By shedding light on the costs that go into each and every LTL or truckload freight move, we hope that you’re better informed so you don’t experience “sticker shock” next time you get a freight quote. If you find yourself battling rising freight costs and need some help, contact the freight shipping experts at PartnerShip. We have significant experience in both the LTL and full truckload markets and can help you ship smarter so you can stay competitive.

    Get A Free Quote


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  • Factors Contributing to the 2018 LTL Rate Increases

    06/19/2018 — Leah Palnik

    Factors Contributing to the 2018 LTL Rate Increases

    LTL freight rate increases are unavoidable. And in this current tight capacity market, it’s no surprise that many carriers have taken their general rate increases (GRIs) earlier than in previous years. Just like in the truckload market, costs are been driven up by the ELD mandate, the driver shortage, and hours of service (HOS) rules. Coupled with the strong U.S. economy, freight demand is surging and straining the market.

    Along with the tight capacity market, trends towards shorter supply chains and smaller, lighter loads have led to more demand for LTL services. The rise of ecommerce has played a large role in the increased demand. Products that consumers never would have dreamed of ordering online years ago, like furniture, have now become commonplace for ecommerce. However, these types of shipments are less desirable for carriers. With more deliveries being made to more remote areas without backhaul opportunities, the costs are significantly higher for them.

    With the driver shortage, it is easier for carriers to find and recruit LTL drivers, compared to truckload. They are more appealing jobs, with shorter lengths of hauls and less time away from home and families. However, there are fewer LTL carriers entering the market when compared to truckload. The complex networks of terminals that LTL carriers rely on are much more difficult to establish, making it a significant barrier to entry.

    With all of those factors to contend with, LTL carriers have been announcing their GRIs throughout the first half of 2018.

    Rates aren’t the only thing on the rise. Many carriers are charging more for accessorials like inside delivery or Saturday delivery. Carriers are also implementing tools and technology that help them determine what types of freight are profitable and which ones aren’t – and charging accordingly. Dimensional pricing is one example of this. Many carriers have invested in dimensioning machines, which calculate the amount of space a shipment will need in the truck, leading to less dependency on the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system.

    As with any announced rate increases, the important thing to remember is that the averages may not reflect the actual increases you’ll see in your freight bills. Depending on the lane and shipment characteristics like weight or class, the increase could be significantly more.

    To determine what you can expect and what you can do to offset the rising costs, start by taking a look at the increases for your typical lanes. That will give you a better idea of what cost increases you can budget for, rather than relying solely on the reported averages. Then determine ways to reduce those costs. Consider working with a freight broker, to benefit from their industry expertise. A quality broker will have the knowledge to help you navigate the market and will be able to find solutions that can help to reduce your costs.

    PartnerShip can help you ship smarter. For a competitive rate on your next LTL shipment, get a free quote!

    Get a free quote!


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  • PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our May Carrier of the Month

    06/15/2018 — PartnerShip

    PartnerShip Loves Our Carriers! Here is Our May 2018 Carrier of the Month

    We love our carriers, because we know that if it weren’t for our top-quality freight carrier partners, our customers couldn’t ship and receive their freight in a timely and cost-effective way. Our carriers help us help our customers ship smarter. 

    Our May Carrier of the Month is Stankovic Transport, Inc. of Brunswick, OH! They have been in business since 2009 with more than 50 owned and operated trucks and trailers.

    The PartnerShip Carrier of the Month program recognizes carriers that go above and beyond in helping our customers ship and receive their freight. Our truckload team members nominate carriers that provide outstanding service in communication, reliability, and on-time performance.

    For being our May 2018 Carrier of the Month, we’re providing Stankovic Transport lunch for the whole office and a framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall. The gestures may be small but our appreciation is huge!

    Interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier? We match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • We ❤ Our Carriers! The April 2018 Carrier of the Month Is…

    05/18/2018 — PartnerShip

    We ❤ Our Carriers! The April 2018 Carrier of the Month

    At PartnerShip, we love our carriers. We offer quality service to our customers because of the quality of our freight carrier partners; if it weren’t for them, our customers couldn’t ship and receive their freight in a timely and cost-effective way. Simply put, our carriers help us help our customers ship smarter. 

    This month, we celebrate our first-ever Carrier of the Month, Royalton Star Inc. of Parma, OH! They have been in business since 2009 and operate 12 trucks.

    The Carrier of the Month program recognizes carriers that go above and beyond in helping our customers ship and receive their freight. PartnerShip truckload team members nominate carriers throughout the month that provide outstanding service in communication, reliability, on-time performance and flexibility to our shippers, receivers and our team.

    For being our April 2018 Carrier of the Month, Royalton Star receives lunch for their entire office, a sincere letter of thanks from our team, and a snazzy framed certificate to proudly hang on their wall! The gestures may be small but the appreciation is huge!

    Interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier? We match our freight carriers’ needs with our available customer loads because we understand that your success depends on your truck being full. If you’re looking for a backhaul load or shipments to fill daily or weekly runs, let us know where your trucks are and we’ll match you with our shippers’ loads. If your wheels aren’t turning, you’re not earning.

    Become a PartnerShip Carrier


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  • 2018: The Year of the Truck Driver

    12/06/2017 — Jen Deming

    Truck Driver

    Ringing in the New Year means starting fresh and anticipating big changes for future, and truck drivers may be looking forward to 2018 more than anyone. The ELD mandate, driver shortages, fuel costs, and e-commerce boom are all components that leverage trucking companies' ability to determine cost and coverage.

    As we covered in our previous blog post, truckload rates are going up due to a number of different factors. That means that drivers and trucking companies are going to be behind the wheel when it comes to determining how much shipping lanes will be going for. Having this leverage pushes the shipper to the passenger seat, with the potential for less bargaining power and high shipping costs heading into the new year.

    A significant factor contributing to the higher truckload rates is due to an overall shortage of willing and capable truck drivers. Trucking analyst John Larkin suggests that the slow but steady economic increase will result in stronger demand with tighter supply. "The primary driver of the supply/demand tightness is the economy-wide shortage of skilled, blue collar labor," he says. "While driver pay scales began to rise in the 2nd half of 2017, the starting point for wages was so low, that it may take multiple wage hikes before we see any alleviation of this chronic challenge." The ELD mandate, which will be fully implemented on Dec 18, 2017, may add increased tension to an already volatile scenario. Many drivers view the mandate as an invasion of privacy, and may push an already limited number of qualified and experienced drivers from the pool of available carriers.

    The amount of freight being hauled by trucks is expected to increase more than 3% annually over the next five years, as reported by the American Trucking Association. The industry has already seen a 2.8% increase over the past year, and the ATA estimates it could accelerate as much as 3.4% before slowing down again slightly. A notable increase in shipping economy means that though the available trucker pool has dwindled, those who are qualified are more in demand than ever. In addition, because those drivers may have to travel outside their normal area of operations, they can charge a premium. The ATA also reports that trucking will continue to be the dominant freight mode, and in 2017 "approximately 15.18 billion tons of freight will be moved by all transportation modes." The growing economy will further push demand and stretch the pool of available carriers. The ATA estimates that the current 50,000 driver-deficit could expand to 174,000 by 2026.

    With that economic push, and labor shortage, truck drivers will demand higher wages and shippers will have to pay. The third-quarter hurricanes are also said to have played a factor, with drivers understandably asking more for lanes they had run at lower rates previously. Additionally, Florida and Texas, the two states hit the hardest by the storms, are typically some of the most reliable recruiting markets for new drivers. Until the economy recovers in these states, the pool of new drivers will be limited, with many potential recruits choosing the recent wave of construction positions over trucking. A jump in driver pay may keep them interested. According to Bob Costello, the American Trucking Association's economist, observes, "We've already seen fleets raising pay and offering other incentives to attract drivers." The driver pay structure is also evolving. Where once most carriers were being paid by load, many are now moving to an hourly pay model, specifically as the ELD mandate takes effect. Either way, with the anticipated changes for the new year, it's safe to say truck drivers and carriers are going to have a huge influence on shipping rates for the near future.

    So, now that truck drivers have extra leverage, what can shippers do to help keep down their shipping costs in 2018? Working with a freight broker like PartnerShip can help add value and flexibility to your current shipping options. We shop rates and put in the legwork for you, negotiating on your behalf with carriers for both your LTL and your Truckload moves. If you have questions on how PartnerShip can help manage your shipping costs, call us at 800-599-2902 or get a free quote today!

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  • The 2018 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases: A Closer Look

    11/20/2017 — Leah Palnik

    FedEx and UPS Rate Increases for 2018

    With the New Year approaching, it’s time to look at the UPS and FedEx rate increases for 2018 and how they will affect your costs. In September, FedEx announced an average increase of 4.9% on Express and Ground services. UPS joined the party in October, announcing that they will also be increasing their rates by an average of 4.9%. The new 2018 UPS rates will take effect on December 24, 2017, while FedEx will be instating them a week later on January 1, 2018.

    The averages might be the same, but the rates vary. With higher increases for some services and lower increases for others, you can’t budget based on your costs increasing 4.9%. It’s important to look at what services you use, your package characteristics, and the locations you’re shipping to, and then evaluate the new rate charts to find your biggest cost offenders from the 2018 FedEx and UPS rate increases.

    On top of the FedEx and UPS rate increases for 2018, there are additional updates that are likely to affect your shipping costs. First, UPS is lowering its dimensional (DIM) weight divisor from 166 to 139 for domestic packages less than or equal to one cubic foot (1,728 inches) in size. With this change, UPS and FedEx are back in line with each other on how they calculate dimensional weight. Both carriers will now use 139 for all domestic and international packages.

    It’s been a wild ride the past few years with multiple changes to which packages DIM weight pricing applies to and how it’s calculated, so this is a welcome stabilization. However, a lower divisor means a higher chance that your package will get billed at your DIM weight, rather than your actual weight. If you ship packages one cubic foot or under with UPS, it’s important to take note and make changes to eliminate any unused space in your packaging or consolidate orders when possible.

    Surcharges are also increasing, with some at alarming rates. Most notably, in 2018 FedEx and UPS are coming after larger, oversized packages. Not only are they increasing at a higher rate than most surcharges, they are by far the most costly. For example, the FedEx Unauthorized Packages fee is increasing from $115 to $300 and the UPS Over Maximum Limits charge is increasing from $150 to $500. The shipping trends that have resulted from the rise of e-commerce has taken its toll on the carriers and they’re having to move more and more oversized packages that can’t go through their automated systems. Time is money, so they’re tacking on hefty fees to make up for it.

    Ahead of the new FedEx and UPS rate increases for 2018, new holiday peak season charges will also apply. UPS is adding peak surcharges on domestic residential packages during the busiest shipping days of the year – from November 19 to December 2 and from December 17 to December 23. These fees will add up quick when you have an increased amount of orders over the holidays. 

    In a notable departure from UPS, FedEx decided not to add a peak season surcharge this season. Instead they opted to increase surcharges for packages that are big or bulky enough to require special handling. UPS is also increasing the cost of larger packages by adding additional peak season surcharges on top of the already existing surcharges. The 2018 UPS rate announcement included increases for these surcharges for the next holiday season, so you can expect this trend to continue.

    The 2018 FedEx and UPS rate increases are proof that the carriers are getting smarter, hitting shippers where it hurts most. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate the changes alone. The shipping experts at PartnerShip have evaluated the new rate charts and we have completed a detailed analysis, so it’s easier for you to assess the impact on your shipping costs. Download our free white paper today!

    Download the free white paper: A Closer Look at the 2018 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases


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  • Holiday Shipping Schedule 2017

    11/16/2017 — Leah Palnik

    Thanksgiving is coming up, and Christmas and New Years are just around the corner! It's a busy time of year, so we've put together a shipping schedule that you can use to plan around carrier closures. 

    check out the 2017 holiday shipping schedule

    Days of operations for PartnerShip are listed as well. As always, we're here to help you ship smarter during the holidays. If you need help, give us a call at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com. 


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  • FedEx Announces General Rate Increases for 2018

    10/05/2017 — Leah Palnik

    FedEx Announces Rate Increases for 2018

    You may have heard that FedEx announced its General Rate Increases (GRI) for 2018. In the past few years, UPS has been the first of the two major small package carriers to make an announcement for the coming year, but this time FedEx is taking the lead.

    Here are the announced average increases that will take effect January 1, 2018:

    • 4.9% for FedEx Express domestic and international services
    • 3.5% for FedEx One Rate
    • 4.9% for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
    • 4.9% for FedEx Freight

    As it’s important to remember every year, these averages don’t paint a complete picture. The zones you typically ship to and the services you typically use could dramatically affect the actual increase you’ll see on your invoices. Some are much higher than the average, while others are much lower or remain the same. UPS is likely to make its announcement for 2018 rates soon and if history is any indication, the averages will be similar to its competitor. 

    FedEx and UPS traditionally have similar average rate increases, but in the last few years their base rates have diverged a bit. Ground base rates used to be nearly identical, but in 2017 the two carriers took different increases in different zones, making it harder to compare apples-to-apples. On top of that, they also implemented slightly different approaches to dimensional (DIM) weight pricing, by using different DIM factors. As a result, looking at what would be most cost effective for you and how your rates will change has become more complicated.

    Another trend that we’ve seen from UPS and FedEx is the announcements of additional changes throughout the year, separate from the GRIs. The announced averages have gone down in recent years, but these mid-year adjustments can sometimes have a larger impact.

    One example of this is the new peak season surcharges that UPS is implementing for the holidays this year. UPS recently announced that it will apply a 27-cent charge on all ground residential packages during its busiest weeks in November and December. FedEx is taking a notably different approach and forgoing any additional holiday residential surcharges except for  packages that are big or bulky enough to require special handling.

    Both UPS and FedEx attribute charges like this to the rise of e-commerce, which has brought a sharp increase in residential shipments, particularly oversized items like furniture and exercise equipment. These kind of parcel shipments put a strain on their networks and their sorting machinery, and they've been finding ways to make up for these costs.

    FedEx is also making a couple of additional moves to address the changing nature of parcel shipments in 2018. It will now apply a surcharge for shipments with third-party billing – mimicking a move that UPS made at the beginning of 2016. FedEx will also begin applying a DIM factor of 139 to all SmartPost parcels, effective January 22. UPS already applies DIM weight pricing to SurePost packages, but uses a higher DIM factor for packages 1,728 cubic inches and under.

    Every year, when the new rates for UPS and FedEx are out, PartnerShip does a complete analysis so you can determine what effect it will have on your business. Subscribe to the PartnerShip Connection blog to be alerted when it’s out so you can start planning for the new year and learn how to mitigate the rising costs of small package shipping. 

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  • LTL Rate Increases You Need to Know About

    07/13/2017 — Leah Palnik

    LTL rate increases 2017Freight carriers are catching shippers off guard this year by taking their general rate increases (GRIs) earlier than before. Last year, the LTL rate increases came in the fall, but this year many of the major carriers increased their rates in May and June.

    • ABF increased an average of 4.9% on May 22
    • Estes increased an average of 4.9% on June 26

    Planning and budgeting for your freight
    When you look at average LTL rate increases, it’s important to note that you can’t take the average at face value. If you’re trying to determine what kind of effect this increase will have on your freight costs, you will need to look at the specific increases in your typical lanes. Some lanes will have drastically lower or higher increases than the average.

    Factors affecting price
    There are several factors that contribute to the cost of your freight, and there are several trends that have had an impact recently. In recent years freight carriers have made a push to become more efficient in measuring and classifying freight. Many LTL carriers have invested in dimensioning machines, which makes measuring dimensional weight a lot easier. This means shippers need to be extra careful when choosing a freight class on the BOL to avoid costly reclassifications.

    Another factor is capacity. The manufacturing industry is expanding steadily, creating more demand, while the trucking industry is experiencing a driver shortage. The new ELD mandate and hour of services changes will only continue the trend. When capacity is tight, the power is in the hands of the carriers and they can charge more – especially on less profitable lanes.

    If you’ve been watching the news the last several months, you probably saw the recent wave of retail chains closing many of their brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce has had a profound effect on the market and the trucking industry is not immune. Consumers have come to expect free shipping and are buying more and more individual items online. As a result, there are more residential deliveries than ever before and in some cases there has been a some shift in demand from truckload to LTL.

    Offsetting the increases
    PartnerShip works to negotiate competitive rates on your behalf with the most reputable LTL carriers in the industry. Combat these rising costs by contacting our shipping experts at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.

    Get a free quote on your next LTL freight shipment!


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  • How Will ELDs Impact Freight Costs in 2017 (and Beyond?)

    05/17/2017 — PartnerShip

    In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established standards for Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). An ELD is electronic hardware that connects to a truck’s engine to automatically log hours of service (HOS). Regulating a driver’s hours of service is to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. Fleets and owner-operators have until December 18th, 2017 to implement use of ELDs if they have not already done so.

    One of the factors surrounding the ELD mandate is its impact on freight costs. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the factors that will drive freights costs up with use of ELDs. Let’s examine these factors one-by-one.

    • Cost of implementing ELD. When electronic logging devices were introduced 20 years ago, a single ELD cost up to $2,500. Today, the FMCSA estimates that the average annual cost of an ELD will be $495 per truck. The cost to implement ELDs will be passed along to shippers but will only marginally drive freight costs up.
    •  Decreased productivity. Most carriers that have implemented ELDs have reported productivity decreases of approximately 15% with fewer miles driven per day. ELDs track drive-time to the minute so operating logs can’t be “fudged.”  A driver can no longer report 300 miles driven when they actually drove 600 miles. Some carriers are charging more to make up for this loss in productivity. 81% of large fleets (more than 250 trucks) have achieved full ELD implementation so their rates have “normalized” by now. For smaller carriers, expect nominal price increases of 5-10% for loads that are booked on the spot market.
    •  Reduced capacity. Some owner-operators will view the cost to implement ELDs combined with the decrease in productivity as “big brother” meddling in their business and will leave the industry, reducing capacity.

    So, what effect will the electronic log mandate have on freight rates? According to transportation economist Noël Perry, truckload rates will increase about 4% this year, with additional capacity pressure caused by the ELD mandate. “The maximum impact will occur in 2018,” says Perry, “and it won’t stop until two to three years afterwards when people finally figure out they have to do it.”

    Truckload capacity utilization is expected to remain greater than 100% well into 2017 and Perry puts the chance of a “significant” capacity shortage at 60%, with a 30% chance of a “real whacko” shortage. He also notes that the spot market tends to be much more volatile, with the 4% increase in contract rates translating “easily” to a 15-20% increase in spot pricing.

    So, what will electronic logging device regulations mean to shippers?

    • As carriers procrastinate to comply with electronic logging device mandate, it will result in fewer available carriers. Consider working with a broker/3PL to offer additional resources to keep your freight moving without any delays.
    • Loss of carrier productivity means that shippers will need to better manage their time to ensure on-time delivery. For example, lanes that range from 450-700 miles will be affected as these lanes will turn into two day transit hauls instead of one.
    • The truckload capacity crunch could shift some freight that would normally move via truckload to LTL. Working with a broker or 3PL that routinely handles both truckload and LTL will ensure that your business keeps its freight moving!
    • Shippers can help drivers become as efficient as possible to decrease time spend on duty, but not driving.  Following these suggestions will increase driver efficiency and create additional capacity to drive down your shipping costs:

    o   Have flexible shipping/receiving times

    o   Reduce driver wait time

    o   Quickly and efficiently load drivers

    o   Provide and offer legal parking at pickup and delivery locations

    •  Using a broker/3PL will help you fully vet carriers and their ELD compliance.
    • Most importantly, as capacity tightens, expect rates to increase. Working with a freight broker or 3PL can help you find the carrier capacity you need and negotiate rates on your behalf.

    Working with a freight broker can help you mitigate the costs associated with electronic logging device regulations. Contact PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or use our contact us form to see how we can help you ship smarter so you can stay competitive.


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  • A Closer Look at DIM Weight Pricing

    11/29/2016 — Leah Palnik

    Dimensional (DIM) weight can be a tricky subject to master. All of the changes that small package carriers UPS and FedEx have made in recent years don’t help. In 2017, FedEx is lowering the DIM factor for domestic packages to 139 from 166. UPS is making the same change for domestic packages less than or equal to 1,728 cubic inches. So how will this change affect you?

    First, it’s important to understand what dimensional weight is and how it’s calculated. 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.

    The basic formula for calculating DIM weight is (length x width x height)/DIM factor. For most small packages, the DIM factor will now be 139. The one exception is UPS domestic packages 1,728 cubic inches and under. UPS originally didn’t announce any changes to its DIM weight pricing for 2017, but it followed suit after FedEx announced it would be using 139 as the DIM factor for both domestic and international packages. Let that serve as a reminder to stay informed, as UPS and FedEx are continually making updates to their rates, surcharges, and DIM weight rules.


    Once you calculate your DIM weight, compare it to your actual weight. The greater of the two will become the billable rate. When deciding if you need to make any adjustments to how you ship your packages in the upcoming year, start by doing an analysis of your common shipments. Look at those package measurements, calculate the cubic inches (length x width x height), and find the DIM weight to determine your billable weight. For an easy way to determine your billable weight, click here to use our DIM weight calculator.

    UPS and FedEx base rates differ quite a bit more in 2017 than they have in the past. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you’re not just using DIM weight pricing to determine which carrier to use. Download our free white paper, Understanding the 2017 Small Package Rate Increases, for a detailed analysis on the new rates.

    Since density is the name of the game, make sure you review your shipment packaging to reduce the size of your package if you can. Don’t use oversized boxes that contain unused space and, where possible, consolidate orders. By being more efficient with your packaging, you’ll ensure you’re not paying to ship empty space.

    One of the best ways to offset the rate increases and DIM weight pricing changes is to ensure you’re maximizing any discounts available to you. 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.


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  • Understanding the UPS and FedEx Rate Increases

    11/11/2016 — Leah Palnik

    Every year small package carriers FedEx and UPS evaluate their shipping rates and make adjustments that can have a substantial effect on you and your business. The UPS rate increases take effect on December 26, 2016, while the new FedEx rates take effect on January 2, 2017. As always, how much more expensive your particular small package shipments will be in the new year depends on many factors, including shipment volumes, sizes, weights, and modes.

    Here are some quick facts: 

    • FedEx Express and International rates are increasing an average of 3.9%
    • UPS Air and International rates are increasing an average of 4.9%
    • FedEx Ground and Home Delivery® rates are increasing an average of 4.9%
    • UPS Ground rates are increasing an average of 4.9%
    • The dimensional divisor for FedEx domestic packages is changing from 166 to 139
    • UPDATE: the dimensional divisor for UPS domestic packages greater than 1,728 cubic inches is changing from 166 to 139
    • FedEx SmartPost®, FedEx One Rate®, and UPS SurePost® rates will be changing

    The important takeaway when thinking about your shipping expenses in 2017 is that the announced average increases paint an inaccurate picture of the true impact these new rates could have on your business. The shipping experts at PartnerShip® have dug into the details and analyzed the new rate tables to assess the true impact to shippers and help you make sense of these changes. Learn more about how the 2017 rate increases will affect your shipping costs by downloading our free white paper!

    Download Now! Understanding the 2017 Small Package Rate Increases


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  • Get winning! Enter the FedEx Advantage® $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes

    10/13/2016 — Leah Palnik

    Get ready for a chance to win! FedEx is giving PartnerShip customers a chance to win up to $10,000, or over 100 other prizes, in the $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes. By enrolling in a PartnerShip-managed shipping program, association members will be automatically entered in the sweepstakes. If you are already enrolled in one of our programs, you simply have to join My FedEx Rewards. Then you’ll have a chance to earn up to 51 additional entries.*

    Imagine how you could invest in the success of your business with these prizes:

    • $10,000 Grand Prize (1) 
    • $1,000 First Prizes (10) 
    • $50 Second Prizes (100)

    Get started. Keep saving.
    PartnerShip customers enjoy significant savings on select FedEx® services. The program is free to join and there are no minimum shipping requirements. What’s more, you may be eligible for other special offers and promotions.

    PartnerShip works with over 120 major trade associations, across many industries, to provide their members with time- and money-saving tools to help them be successful in all facets of shipping and logistics. If you belong to an association we work with, take advantage of our free shipping benefits today and get in on the $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes. If you're not sure if you qualify for one of our association shipping programs contact us and we'll find the solution that's right for you.

    *Limit 52 total entries. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. The $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes is sponsored by FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., age 18 or older who are members of an eligible FedEx Advantage affiliate as of 9/11/16. Begins 9/12/16; ends 11/4/16. For rules, go to smallbusiness.fedex.com/get-ready-rules.


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  • FedEx and UPS Announce 2017 Rate Increases

    09/26/2016 — Leah Palnik

    FedEx recently announced changes to its shipping rates for 2017. In a surprising move, these new rates do not match the increases that UPS announced earlier this month. FedEx and UPS typically announce similar rate increases annually, making this year rather unique.

    The new rates for FedEx will take effect on January 2, 2017. FedEx Ground services will increase an average of 4.9%, matching the announced average increase for UPS Ground that will take effect on December 26, 2016. However, while UPS Air services will be increasing an average of 4.9%, FedEx Express rates will only be increasing an average of 3.9%. This is the first of many differences between the announced changes from the two major carriers.

    FedEx will also be lowering the dimensional (DIM) divisor to 139 for domestic shipments, matching the divisor currently used for international shipments. Many shipments that were not previously charged at the DIM weight will now be affected, which will have a significant impact on overall shipping costs. In 2011, the dimensional divisor decreased from 194 to 166, and in 2015 both FedEx and UPS began applying DIM weight pricing to all ground shipments. At this time, UPS hasn’t announced any changes to its DIM weight pricing.

    In addition, FedEx announced a change to its fuel surcharges. Effective February 6, 2017, the fuel surcharge percentage will be subject to weekly adjustment, rather than monthly. There’s currently a two month lag time between the US government fuel indexes and the fuel surcharges. This change will better align them by reducing the lag time to two weeks.

    As a shipper, it’s important to understand how these changes will affect you and your business. As we’ve done in past years, Partnership will conduct a full analysis to help you make sense of these changes. Be on the lookout for our white paper on the topic before the New Year!

    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 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.


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  • Changes Coming to the FedEx Additional Handling Surcharge

    04/28/2016 — Leah Palnik