the PartnerShip Connection blog
the PartnerShip Connection blog
the PartnerShip Connection blog
the PartnerShip Connection blog
the PartnerShip Connection blog
5 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs
12/21/2020 — Jen Deming
In a time where managing business operating expenses is extra important, one of the first places you should look is reducing shipping costs. But analyzing your small package shipping for areas of improvement can be a time-intensive, detail-oriented process. Not everyone has the time to audit invoices and compare rates. For those who want to get the job done quickly and easily, you’re in luck: there are five quick small pack hacks that smart shippers can easily implement to help reduce costs.
- Obtain discounts with carriers
Lots of shippers don’t realize that the pricing structure you are currently using with your carrier may be negotiable, and there are different types of discounts that your account may receive. FedEx and UPS often offer discounts for new accounts when created online, but shippers beware: these discounts are usually temporary, and your pricing may fluctuate based on terms and conditions. You may lose the discounts entirely if you aren’t meeting shipping minimums and your pricing is subject to change at any time.
The more you ship, the better the discounts you’re likely to receive directly from FedEx or UPS. However, even if you have a lower shipping volume, there are still ways for you to obtain discounts. If your business belongs to a trade association or a local chamber, you may have access to discounted rates through your membership. PartnerShip manages over 130 association shipping programs that offer FedEx discounts. If you’re a member of an industry group, look into your member benefits or reach out to our team to find out if you’re eligible.
Take advantage of free packaging
The packaging and supplies you need to properly contain your shipments are important, but can be costly. However that doesn’t mean you should skimp on new materials or reuse old packaging – doing so can compromise the integrity of your shipment and increase the risk of damage. The good news is, some carriers offer free shipping supplies to help ensure your package is secure. Both UPS and FedEx offer free packaging supplies for customers that you can order online and have delivered, free of charge. With free envelopes, packing tubes, boxes, and poly bags, you can be sure your small package shipment will travel safely to its final destination, all while creating some space in your shipping budget.
Make the most of Multiweight and Hundredweight options
From insurance plans to your cable bill, everyone knows you can save money from bundling. That same principal can also apply to your shipping. Both FedEx and UPS offer options for customers who are shipping multiple packages to the same location that can help you save money versus the rates you would pay if they’re considered individual packages. For businesses shipping frequently to the same locations, FedEx multiweight pricing is an efficient and cost-effective service option. UPS has a similar program called UPS Hundredweight.
There is a catch for shippers interested in these options — it isn’t available to just any business. FedEx Multiweight and UPS Hundredweight must be negotiated into your contract, or offered as a part of comprehensive shipping program, like the association programs managed by PartnerShip.
Avoid dimensional weight pricing
To combat the increase in bulky packages entering their systems, FedEx and UPS have implemented dimensional (DIM) weight pricing. With DIM weight pricing, cost is calculated based on package volume, rather than weight. The higher the volume, the more space it takes up in delivery vehicles, which means there is less room for other packages. If a package isn’t particularly heavy but is taking up a lot of space, that’s costly for the carriers.
After calculating your DIM weight, measure the result against your package’s actual weight; the greater of the two will become your billable weight. The best way that you can offset volume-based pricing is to take a hard look at your current packaging procedures. Unused space is a cost-conscious shipper’s worst enemy, so don’t use a package that’s oversized for the product inside and consolidate your orders when possible to ensure you’re not wasting space.
Take control of inbound shipping
Another way to save on small package shipping is by taking control of your inbound shipping procedures. It’s common practice for many businesses to allow their inbound small package orders to be arranged by the vendor. But often times that leads to higher order costs for you. By instructing your vendor to ship through your account, you can reduce your costs through a few simple steps:
- Review your vendor invoices to determine whether you have access to better pricing through your FedEx/UPS account vs. your vendor’s account.
- Create routing instructions that include clear directions on which carrier, account, and service to use for your shipments.
- Ensure vendor compliance by providing your routing instructions to your vendors and regularly reviewing your invoices for accurate pricing.
While taking an in-depth look at how to minimize operating expenses can be time-consuming, these small package hacks give you a few quick ways to ship smarter. For more ways to save, PartnerShip can help.
It’s even more important to cut costs where you can, as FedEx and UPS rates are on the rise. Our free guide will help you easily identify the highest rate increases so you can more easily manage your budget.
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- Obtain discounts with carriers
On-Demand Warehousing: 7 Ways Your Business Could Benefit
11/14/2019 — PartnerShip
A rapidly growing need in the warehouse and logistics industry is for on-demand warehouse space. So, what is on-demand warehousing?
The simple answer is on-demand warehousing is a logistics strategy that matches businesses with a need for short-term or temporary warehouse space with warehouses that have excess capacity.
As recently as two years ago, the topic of on-demand warehousing was relatively unknown, but several factors have led to the rapid increase of its awareness and market need. Let’s look at 7 ways your business could benefit from on-demand warehousing.
- The Amazon Effect. Basically, the “Amazon Effect” has changed consumer expectations and means that anything and everything is available online with one-day or even same-day shipping. The eCommerce giant has created “get it now” expectations, and if your business can’t offer one- or two-day shipping to your customers, you are at a distinct disadvantage. If you are based on the west coast or east coast, you should seriously consider adding additional warehouse storage and order fulfillment in strategic locations to reduce shipping time to your customers.
- Increasing demands of eCommerce fulfillment. If you are a retailer, you’ve seen the headlines about the decline of brick and mortal retail as more and more B2C and B2B commerce shifts online. If the increased demand for eCommerce has stretched your facilities to their limits, you should consider on-demand warehousing and order fulfillment to take the pressure off of your existing infrastructure and help meet your customers’ higher expectations for short shipping times.
- It’s less expensive to borrow space than build it. Start-ups and small companies are finding it advantageous to rent warehouse space as they grow rather than build their own distribution centers and warehouses. By utilizing warehouse space on an as-needed basis, your small business can focus on growing sales and market share instead of adding the overhead a dedicated warehouse requires.
- When peak season is your only season. If your company relies on a single season for the majority of your revenue, it makes more sense to use an on-demand warehouse for your peak season than to pay for year-round warehouse space.
- When its time to outsource to save resources. When your resources are limited, its best to outsource functions that fall outside of your company’s strengths, and warehousing and logistics is usually one of those functions. By working with an on-demand warehouse that can “store it and ship it,” your company can devote its precious resources to product development, R&D, or marketing; whatever it is that you do best.
- Inventory overflow. Even if your company has its own distribution network you may find yourself in need of temporary warehouse space. Expansive new product launches, importation of a years’ worth of goods, or stockpiling of raw materials to hedge against increased costs can create the need for extra storage space.
- “Micro-warehousing.” If your company sells (and needs to store) goods and products near population centers that use them more than other areas, like Ohio State branded products in Ohio, air conditioners in the southeast, or snowblowers in the northeast, then you could benefit from temporary warehouse space outside of your existing distribution network.
PartnerShip has provided a full range of third-party logistics (3PL) services for three decades and now offers on-demand warehousing in our 200,000+ square foot facility, conveniently located near 5 major interstates in Ohio. If you need help with your warehousing needs and inbound and outbound shipping, call us at 800-599-2902 or send an email to warehouse@PartnerShip.com.
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The Top 5 Best Inbound Shipping Resources
08/22/2019 — Leah Palnik
When you think about how to optimize your shipping operations, the freight you receive from vendors might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, you have more control over your inbound shipping than you may realize, and when you have the right resources it can actually be easy to master. We’ve rounded up some of our top resources that will help you manage your inbound shipments.
- Understand the difference between “prepaid” and “collect”. Inbound management 101 starts with looking at how you’re paying for your freight. A common misconception is thinking that you’re not paying for your inbound shipping when you’re not paying for it. This video will help you gain a good understanding of prepaid and collect, and how you can make a switch that will help you save in the long run.
- Learn how to properly accept freight and handle claims. You probably already know that sometimes the freight you receive can arrive damaged. It’s obviously never ideal, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a total disaster. Having the proper procedures in place with your warehouse staff is the key to getting claims approved and paid out when the unthinkable happens. Find out the best steps to take with this helpful white paper.
- Learn how to create and use routing instructions. Creating routing instructions for your vendors is a great way to ensure your inbound freight gets shipped at the best price and in the most efficient way for your business operations. Getting started is the hardest part, but we have you covered. With this blog post we show you some examples, explain how to create your routings, and give guidance on how to communicate them to your vendors.
- Achieve vendor compliance. You’ve perfected your routing instructions and you know exactly how to cut your costs. The only thing that’s missing? Getting your vendors to follow your lead. This blog post gives you a few pro tips to get those relationships on track.
- Follow the 4 steps to gain control of your inbound shipping. When you’re ready to take a full look at your inbound shipping operations, you’ll want to check out this all-encompassing white paper. It’ll guide you through the four important steps you’ll need to take to cut your costs and help everything run smoothly. Find out exactly what you need to do and get tips for executing them.
Figuring out how to effectively manage your inbound shipping doesn’t have to be intimidating. These resources can point you in the right direction, but you don’t have to do everything by yourself. PartnerShip is here to help you implement these important strategies and save you time in the process. We can set you up with discounted pricing, create your routing instructions, and help ensure vendor compliance. Contact us to learn more.
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Vendor Prepaid versus Inbound Collect Shipping
07/24/2019 — Leah Palnik
One of the simplest and easiest ways to immediately cut your inbound freight costs is to change your shipping terms from "prepaid and add" to "collect." Having your vendor or supplier ship collect on your recommended carrier eliminates any handling charges, thus saving you money.
When you gain more control over your inbound shipping, you can save on small package and freight shipments coming into your business every day. As the buyer and receiver of the goods, you can and should designate the carrier and arrange for shipping charges to be billed directly to you at your discounted rate. This is called routing shipments inbound "collect." Collect is a billing option, in which you are invoiced by the carrier. It does not mean paying the driver at the time of delivery.
In general, there are many benefits to having your inbound shipments routed collect. First, it usually saves a lot of money. But even if you don't have as aggressive freight deals as your vendor, their handling markup could be a lot higher than your freight deal.
Shipping inbound collect also reduces the number of carriers from different suppliers arriving at your receiving dock every day. When you control the routings, you control how many trucks deliver to your door. That also makes it easier to maximize your staff's efforts.
There may be some cases where your supplier's prepaid freight can actually benefit you. First, some suppliers do not add any fees for handling, and freight is just a pass-through. In this instance, you may want to continue having your supplier pay the freight to save some time and money. But if you are trying to consolidate the number of trucks at your dock, and increase the control you have over inbound shipping, it might still be worth routing by your carrier, even if it will cost you more.
Another example of where inbound prepaid may continue to make sense is if your supplier has poor packaging. If you have a supplier that ships a high-value product with suspect packaging, you may want them to prepay and add the freight. Even if they are charging a premium for freight, you do not want to deal with the hassle if that shows up at your door damaged. You will be much better off refusing it and letting your supplier deal with the claims process if there are any damage issues.
Taking control of your inbound shipping may take a little work, but the final payoff is reducing your overall inbound freight spend. If you're ready to take control of your inbound shipping and you're not sure where to start, PartnerShip has the process, tools, and experience to help.
- We can provide a complete, inbound freight analysis to help you determine where you can save additional money on your inbound shipping
- We provide simple inbound supplier/vendor management forms making it easy to choose which vendors you use most frequently
- We create updated routing requests and shipping instructions and then we contact your vendors on your behalf
- We maintain great relationships with the common suppliers in the industry to gain routing compliance
- We can provide inbound shipment visibility reports so you know exactly what was shipped to you and by whom
- We consolidate and audit all of your inbound freight bills so you can enjoy the simplicity of a single invoice
Contact PartnerShip today and take control of your inbound shipping!
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Keys to Success for Vendor Compliance and Inbound Shipping
07/10/2018 — Leah Palnik
For many retailers, obtaining vendor compliance and maintaining smooth inbound shipping operations may seem like a tall order. However, with the right planning and follow through, it is achievable. By following these keys to success, you’ll be on your way to reducing your freight costs, avoiding chargeback issues, and creating efficient operations.
Developing an effective routing guide
The very foundation of achieving vendor compliance is developing an effective routing guide. Routing guides provide shipping instructions to your vendors that help you gain control of your inbound shipments. They often include modes and carriers for specific lanes, as well as rate and service requirements.
In order to create routings that are best for your business, you’ll need to consider several factors. Price, transit time, and reliability are all important when selecting a carrier and determining how to have your product shipped. For different services and weight breaks, you want to designate a carrier that provides you with the best rate and can deliver your product in the time you need.
Conducting an in-depth analysis of your inbound shipments can be time-consuming but necessary when determining your routing instructions. This is where working with the right freight broker can make a huge difference. The broker you work with should provide inbound management services that help determine the routings that will be best for your business and will create the routing guide for you – saving you valuable time.
Maintaining good relationships with your vendors
For smooth inbound shipping, you want to have a good rapport with your vendors. Like any other relationship, communication is key. For example, when you send your routing guide out to your vendors, it’s a good idea to include a request for confirmation. However, you won’t always receive one. If that’s the case, following up and opening the lines of communication will be your best bet to ensure vendor compliance.
If your vendors aren’t using your routing instructions after receiving your routing guide, you’ll need to follow up with a call or email. When you have a good relationship with your vendor, you’ll have the right point-of-contact and will be able to resolve the issue quickly. If not, you could have a harder time achieving vendor compliance.
Maintaining a relationship with your vendors can be difficult and time-consuming. This is another area where working with the right freight broker can make a difference. When selecting a freight broker, ask about experience in your industry. Quality freight brokers familiar with your industry will already have an established relationship with many of your vendors, which will help with compliance efforts.
Perfecting your order forecasting
Managing your inventory can be challenging. But the advantages of forecasting and planning your orders ahead of time are too great to ignore. When you don’t plan ahead and then need your product within a shorter time-frame, you will have to rely on costly expedited services. Spending the time up front to make sure your orders are placed with ample time will be better than spending the extra money in the long-run.
Also, with more lead time, you’ll be in a better position to handle any issues that arise. For example, if your shipment gets lost or damaged in transit and you need your product immediately, you’ll be out of luck. In that event, you’ll need to file a freight claim which doesn’t always guarantee compensation and is often a lengthy process.
If you’re not able to place your orders ahead of time, it’s a good idea to consider freight insurance. Unlike relying on carrier liability coverage, you won’t have to worry about if the carrier is found liable or not and often times you’ll get paid out much faster – making it easier to resume operations as normal.
Conducting regular reviews for improvements
Once you do have a routing guide in place and have vendor compliance, you can’t just set it and forget it. It’s best to review your routing instructions periodically so that you’re always getting the best rates and service possible.
You can choose to set aside a specific time each year to do a review. But if you make any changes throughout the year with your orders or any other factor that affects your shipments, you’ll want to take that time to evaluate and update if necessary.
It’s also important to stay on top of carrier rate increases, accessorial changes, and NMFC updates. These kinds of changes can have a significant effect on your freight costs and you'll want to make sure that you fully understand how these changes will affect your specific shipments. For example, carriers announce general rate increases every year and will present an average increase. If you simply use that average to judge how your costs will be affected, your budget will most likely be off. The increases vary greatly across the board depending on a number of characteristics, so it's important to evaluate them based on your specific shipments.
Partnering with the right freight broker
The keys to vendor compliance and inbound shipping management are easy to master when you work with the right freight partner. PartnerShip can help conduct a complete inbound shipping analysis, create a routing guide, and send routings on your behalf for vendor compliance. Contact us today to get started, or download our free white paper to learn more about managing your inbound shipments!
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Slow Season Tips for Shippers
02/19/2018 — Jen Deming
The make-or-break peak season for shippers has passed, and the holiday rush and subsequent surge of returns is over. Months of preparation and planning have paid off and now is the time businesses get to take it easy and enjoy the lull, right? Truth is, this is the most valuable time you can use to plan and forecast for the next year, so you better make the most of it. Here's some core tips on what shippers and business owners can do during the intermission.
Review and Reflect
One of the most important things a business can do almost immediately after a peak shipping season ends is step back and review how the busy period went. By taking a high-level look at successes and opportunities, it's easier to see what adjustments need to be made for more efficient operations in every area of business for a better bottom line. Is your industry consistently cyclic? Are busy times evolving into lengthier periods? Do you need to prepare earlier than you used to? Did you have a large enough workforce to fulfill orders easily? How effective were your marketing promotions? It's also imperative to take a closer look at this year's expenses and where most of your costs, both anticipated and unforeseen, were invested. How close did you come to your projected budget for the period? These are all variables that you need to look at in order to have successful subsequent peak seasons.
With less stress on order production, fulfillment, and replenishment, it's a great time to get organized and focus on what you can't during peak season. In order to operate more productively, it's important to make sure everything is in order from top down – office space, production facilities, and warehousing. Reviewing everything from payroll applications, updated production equipment, inventory strategy, and warehouse management technology is crucial in identifying potential roadblocks that may impede your business from operating at maximum potential. It's also a great time to reinvest in your staff, from developing additional training programs to conducting employee reviews on workplace culture and performance. With less immediate emphasis on production and meeting deadlines, a forward-looking business can also evaluate industry trends as well as evaluate peers. That way, you can better project what you need from purchasing inventory to hiring your sales force.
Good inventory management procedures are important in creating a seamless peak period, specifically for order fulfillment and replenishment. Now is the time to implement proper organization and best practices, in order to maximize efficiency and save time and money on the front-side. Depending on budget and expenses, the slower period is a good time to take a look at updating tech and software. RFID (radio frequency identification) systems, wireless LAN, and bar code systems can all help with monitoring of your sell-through cycle by improving accuracy giving you real-time data. It's also a very good time to take a look at your inbound shipping procedures for your supply orders. Are your vendor-directed options making sense for your business and your customers? If you haven't already, it's a good time to take control of your inbound shipping and take advantage of available alternatives.
To piggyback off of inventory management, it's a great idea to take a look at your shipping procedures as a whole. Was there a high amount of damages to your shipments during transit? Limiting the costs put into freight claims replacement orders is a great way to avoid unexpected expenses, and you can do this by reevaluating packaging type and procedures. Did you have difficulty hitting delivery deadlines? Oftentimes, fulfillment centers can charge for late arrivals or hold-overs in addition to sort and segregation fees. It may be smart to take a look at your available carriers or service options to see which make the most sense for your business and your customers. Different service options can save you time and offer peace of mind about the security of your shipments. With more time available to shop options, it's a great opportunity to collect shipping invoices and conduct a shipping audit with different carriers to see if you are getting the best rates available. Shipping costs add up, especially during heavier freight times, and this is another effective way to keep your expenses down.
Remaining vigilant and being proactive after peak season is crucial for businesses to prepare for upcoming peak periods. Taking a look at what can be improved going forward, and what worked for you in the past an ensure success, and less stress! A huge portion of preparing your business is making sure you have your shipping processes streamlined, and the experts at PartnerShip can help. From analyzing your freight costs, to making sure you have the proper services selected for your shipments, we find the solutions that are right for you. Call 800-599-2902, email sales@PartnerShip.com, or click below to get a free quote today!
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5 "Scary" Shipping Mistakes Even
10/26/2017 — Jen Deming
Halloween season is here! As pumpkins are being carved and candy bowls set out, it’s also just the right time to discuss some scary mistakes made by shippers. Let’s take a look at the top 5 errors commonly made in freight shipping, so we can be sure your fall business is full of treats, not tricks!
Mistake #1: Improperly Packaging Your Shipment
The first mistake freight shippers make happens even before a pick-up is scheduled and the load is in transit! Packaging your product critically protects from damages both during the move and unloading at multiple terminals. Whether you are shipping in boxes or on a pallet, it’s important that both are sized just right, and in solid condition. In fact, a box can lose up to 50% of its structural integrity after a single shipment. Too much space can allow your product to shift, which can increase opportunity for damage. Use proper cushioning and foam inserts, as well as exterior wrapping especially if you have multiple pieces. Be smart, try to group multiple units into a single load so they do not get separated during the move.
Mistake #2: Bill of Lading (BOL) Errors
Another scary shipping mistake concerns paperwork errors. These include details such as entered weight, freight class, and shipping addresses provided on the BOL. All three are elements that help determine a freight rate for your shipment. Any errors made on these factors will most likely cause a discrepancy and an increase in rate due to re-weigh fees, adjusted classes, and re-delivery charges if an address is invalid or incorrect. Holding a shipment at a terminal for any length of time while determining the appropriate address can incur holding fees as well. Often, shippers will intentionally use a lower class than what is accurate for their shipment, hoping to slide by inspection. If flagged, the shipment will be billed at the higher actual class, and the shipper will be responsible for the difference. Guessing approximations for weight is risky too, because if the discrepancy is caught, the shipper will pay a re-weigh fee and the difference in weight. Having accurate details on your shipping paperwork is key in avoiding unplanned shipping costs.
Mistake #3: Forgoing Additional Insurance Coverage
A third scary shipping mistake refers to insurance and liability. This becomes extremely important in the unfortunate case that your shipment should become lost or damaged. Each carrier offers limited liability on freight shipments, with the amount of coverage set at a fixed dollar amount per pound of freight determined by carrier and commodity. It is the responsibility of the shipper to prove that the shipment was in good condition and packaged correctly at pick-up. The carrier will then attempt to prove that it was not negligent or responsible for the damages incurred in transit. The final approval or denial of the claim can take some time, and you cannot always count on getting damages paid out, no matter how thorough you are. Your best line of defense is looking into supplementary insurance. Freight insurance acquired on your own or through your shipping partner provides more protection than relying on the carrier alone. Even if you do win a claim and get paid out by the carrier, liability may be limited, and you may not get the full amount of your claim. Purchasing additional insurance can help, and it’s important to understand your policy before you ship. PartnerShip understands you need peace of mind, and we offer supplementary freight insurance at a minimal additional cost as an option on all freight quotes.
Mistake #4: Choosing the Incorrect Service/Accessorials
Most carriers offer different time-sensitive service levels depending on the urgency of your freight shipment. Expedited, guaranteed, time-critical, and truckload are a few. Guaranteed services help you stick to a delivery schedule with a specified on-time delivery, by either 12 PM or 5 PM. Expedited and Time-Critical services offer faster transit times and a more urgent delivery. All of these services tend to be costly, so it is important to determine what your transit time needs are, well in advance. Delivery schedules can be delayed due to inclement weather, missed pick-ups, and a heavier shipping season. Building extra time into a delivery deadline can help avoid unnecessary expedited costs that add up, especially as we head into the holidays.
Another common error that shippers make is neglecting to add-in the cost of additional services, or accessorials, when they get their freight quotes. Be mindful of what is needed at the shipment's origin or destination. Does the shipper need a lift-gate at pick up? Do they have a dock? Is it being delivered to a residential location, or at a school or construction site? Chances are, there's a fee for that. It's important to learn everything you can about pick-up and delivery services that may be required, and inform your carrier or service provider before you get a rate for your freight.
Mistake #5: Leaving Inbound Shipping to Vendors
A final, costly error that many shippers make is leaving inbound shipping decisions completely up to their vendors. Commonly, businesses may allow the vendor shipping your order to arrange with their own carrier choice, marking the freight charges as "Prepaid," and then including those charges in your invoice. Taking control of your inbound shipping is one of the easiest ways to cut your shipping expenses, and working with a 3PL such as PartnerShip is one way to make sure you are saving on your inbound freight.
At PartnerShip, we can provide an inbound shipping analysis by looking at what you pay and whether we can save money on your shipping costs. Our team can contact your vendors on your behalf, create updated routing requests, and inform them of your specific shipping instructions. We offer consolidated invoicing and audit all of your inbound freight bills for accuracy. Think you might be able to save on your outbound shipment? We've got your back on those, too.
Keeping your shipping costs low and your freight safe may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be scary. When you work with PartnerShip, our shipping experts will double check shipment details, compare your pricing, and make sure you are covered from pick-up to delivery. Take your freight shipping from spooky to stress-free and contact us for a free shipping analysis!
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How to Use Routing Instructions for Better Inbound Management
07/27/2016 — Leah Palnik
Retailers face many challenges when it comes to inbound shipping. Freight costs are constantly on the rise and resources are limited. On top of that, many retailers lack visibility and control of the shipments they receive from suppliers. The good news is that can be remedied – simply by utilizing routing instructions.
Before you can compose your routing instructions, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your current inbound shipping operations. Take a look at the invoices from your major suppliers to identify what they allocate for shipping and handling. Compare these rates with the rates that you receive with your preferred carriers or broker. Often times, you’ll see that you’re able to get better pricing by using your providers.
If you don’t currently have better rates, working with a freight broker can help. Brokers are able to aggregate the freight volume of their customers and help them negotiate better discount rates and terms. They can also provide additional value-added services, sometimes at no additional cost, that are designed to lower your overall logistics expenses.
Once you’ve conducted your analysis and you have secured competitive pricing, you’re ready to create your routing instructions. It’s important to use clear language and include specific service requirements about the mode and carrier. Here are a few examples:
- Ground shipments between 0 lbs. and 199 lbs. – FedEx Ground billing account #999999999
- Ground shipments between 200 lbs. and 5000 lbs. – UPS Freight Third Party Prepaid billed to PartnerShip at 500 E Lorain Street Oberlin, OH 44074
- Air shipments between 0 lbs. and 149 lbs. – FedEx Express billing account #999999999
In most cases, to obtain vendor compliance you simply need to draft a letter that includes your instructions. Be sure to include your full company information and a message requesting compliance within 30 days to avoid shipping fees being charged back to them. You can then include your routing letter in your next order or next communication with your vendor.
Once your routing instructions are in effect, you’ll benefit from streamlined receiving operations, lower costs, and dependable service. When everything is running smoothly, you can focus on growing and improving other parts of your business.
At PartnerShip, we know that it can be difficult for retailers to conduct an in-depth analysis and prepare routings on their own. That’s why we provide our customers with full inbound shipping management. We can provide you with a free analysis, create routing instructions, and work with many of your vendors on your behalf to obtain compliance. Get started by clicking here to request a free inbound shipping analysis.
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5 Resolutions You Should Make in 2016
01/13/2016 — Matt Nagel
Now that the countdown is over and you’ve vacuumed most of the confetti out of your carpet, it’s time to look forward to the rest of the year and make (hopefully not empty) promises to yourself for a better future. Your overall resolution as a business, when it comes to your shipping operation, should be to save money. In order to successfully achieve this resolution over the next year, you’re going to have to make sure key operations and processes are in place and followed. Not to fear, as Your Shipping Connection, we’ve compiled 5 recommended resolutions for your company to make in 2016 to achieve your end goal – saving money!
- Consolidate - As a general rule, one big order ships for less than three smaller orders. That means businesses should consider consolidating multiple orders into a single large shipment whenever possible, and always try to minimize the number of packages it sends. All too often, shipments are arranged as they come in from sales or order processing. However, a little planning and visibility will go a long way towards saving on shipping costs, supplies, and time.
- Commit to Saving on Inbound Shipments - Many companies that have outbound freight will more often than not have shipments coming into their facility from vendors and suppliers. These shipments are often billed to the consignee even though the consignee has no control over how the shipment is shipped or handled by the carrier. Even if your company isn’t seeing a direct invoice for these shipments, there’s no such thing as “free shipping” and the charges are probably being hidden elsewhere. In short, staying on top of your inbound shipping cultivates a healthy bottom line.
- Avoid Reweighs and Reclasses – Making this simple commitment to a more detail-oriented shipping operation will no doubt save you time and money in the long run. Most of avoiding costly reweighs or reclasses comes down to one document – your Bill of Lading (BOL). Make accuracy a priority on your BOL and enjoy a hassle-free shipping operation.
- Make New Connections – If you’re not yet working with a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) partner, you can knock the above resolutions (and many more) out of the park in 2016. There are many benefits to taking on a shipping partner, but, in short, a good 3PL should put a great deal of effort into concentrating on the shipping industry, developing solid relationships with carriers and drivers alike, and leveraging that stability into savings and service for their customers. Thereby taking costly time commitments from your staff and providing savings for your company.
- Catch-up on Your Reading – Between our blog and our white papers, PartnerShip puts out a great deal of information to keep you informed on happenings in the constantly changing shipping industry and tips on how to save money on any and every shipment.
Interested in making and keeping these resolutions? Consider PartnerShip as your dedicated shipping partner! We have over 25 years of experience managing less-than-truckload (LTL), tradeshow, truckload, and small package shipping operations for thousands of businesses. Every year since 1989 our New Year’s resolution has been to save you money!
Visit PartnerShip.com/LearnMore for more information.
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How to Accept Freight and Handle Claims
08/28/2015 — Leah Palnik
Knowing how to properly check your inbound freight can save you from a big headache when handling any resulting claims. To help you understand exactly what you need to do in these situations, we’ve developed a new white paper on how to accept freight and handle claims. You’ll learn:
- What procedures to follow when receiving freight
- How to check for damages or shortages
- How to make notations on the delivery receipt
- The steps you need to take to file a claim
- How to improve your inbound shipping management
Click here to download the white paper!
If you receive shipments from your vendors, this white paper is a must-read. For more educational resources, visit PartnerShip.com/WhitePapers.
When you work with PartnerShip, you benefit from the personalized attention of a dedicated account representative who can provide you with routing management, claims assistance, and the competitive freight rates your business needs. Request a free inbound shipping analysis today by visiting PartnerShip.com/InboundAnalysis.
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Three Steps to Take Control of Inbound Shipping
05/08/2012 — Scott Frederick
Like many small businesses, you may not currently have control over the shipments coming into your business. It is common for small businesses to let the vendor shipping the product to you arrange the carrier, select the mode of transportation, and manage the actual pickup and delivery times. In some cases, the convenience of this sort of arrangement may work well for your situation. However, that convenience comes with a cost: you may find that you are paying significantly more for inbound shipping than if you had arranged for it on your own.
Reducing inbound shipping costs is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked ways to reduce your overall transportation expenses. Since you are the buyer of the goods, you can and should determine how those goods are shipped to you. When you control and route your own inbound shipments, you have an excellent opportunity to lower your costs.
Here is a quick, three-step process for getting control of your inbound shipping expenses:
Look at one or two invoices from your major suppliers. See what dollar amount they allocate for “shipping and handling.”
Compare your suppliers’ freight shipping rates with the rates you have in place with your preferred shipping provider. If you’re a PartnerShip customer, you can easily log into our website and perform a couple rate quotes to see how your freight rates compare (or just give us a call – we’ll do it for you).
If you find your rates are lower, draw up a letter for your purchasing department to forward to your suppliers providing details on how you want your products shipped, your small package carrier account number, and your preferred LTL freight carriers (again, PartnerShip can do all of this for you if you’d prefer). The letter also acts as an insurance policy if your supplier mistakenly ships by a carrier not on your routing letter. Having a signed letter allows you to charge vendors back for their mistakes.
Updating your routing instructions with all of your suppliers is the first important step in gaining control of your inbound shipping costs. Ensure your products are delivered to you via your preferred carriers and at your known rates. This takes the unpredictability out of inbound shipping costs, and can save you money in the process.
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