• Biggest Freight Shipping Challenges: Managing Transit Times

    05/27/2015 — Matt Nagel

    Keeping customers informed and improving services are two of the main focuses of PartnerShip. That’s why we regularly seek feedback from customers and tailor our offerings and content to your needs. We recently asked a group of customers about their biggest challenges when shipping freight and received "managing transit times" as the third most mentioned challenge at 14% of overall responses. We’ll address this concern and provide some best practices to keep your mind at ease when scheduling and shipping your time-sensitive freight. 

    Managing the logistics for a company can be a trying task with multiple, and seemingly endless, steps along the way. Gathering materials, being sure to correctly package, and accurately completing your paperwork seemed like a lot in itself, but the most important step lies ahead – making sure it gets to where it needs to go on time. All previous work is rendered pointless if this stage is not completed. 

    Before shipping your freight, here are items to keep in mind to ensure there are no hiccups in your transit:

    • Accuracy on your bill of lading (BOL) is key to keeping your shipment on track and avoiding time consuming reweighs or reclassifications from carriers. Knowing your freight classes as well as accurately weighing your shipment is extremely important to getting your shipment to it’s destination on time.
    • No one likes paying more for their shipping, but knowing which accessorials to add when scheduling your freight shipment will save you from situations like a refused delivery that could have been avoided by including a lift gate. Accessorials like advance notification can also help you and your company better manage your time when shipping freight.
    • Considering guaranteed options from carriers will provide you with a little more insurance when scheduling a shipment where you may be unsure about the time-frame's likelihood. While the guaranteed options cost a bit more, paying a little extra when you know you need it is better than the fallout that comes from the alternatives. 

    Setting yourself up for a properly timed shipment mostly occurs before the carrier is even dispatched to your location, but there are a few measures you can take during and after your freight is in transit:

    • Late pickups can be frustrating, but they occasionally happen as drivers get detained with earlier pickups, encounter trailer capacity issues, are caught in heavy traffic, etc. Our customer service team at PartnerShip does a great job staying on top of pickup times and securing a time commitment from the carrier's dispatch when needed. However, often times it makes sense for you, the customer, to call the carrier directly in the event you need to work out a new time or solution.
    • Stay on top of your shipment by using our track shipment tool to check the status of your shipment and get an estimated time of delivery (ETA). All you will need is the tracking, pro, or BOL number and the carrier you used for your shipment. 
    • If you find yourself sending multiple shipments of similar specifications to the same consignee, as many companies do, making notes and keeping a close eye on your shipping history can help you effectively prepare for the future. Track your experiences with certain carriers as they use different lanes to transport shipments. PartnerShip also works with many regional and local carriers that specialize in certain geographical regions. 

    When all is said and done, planning still only amounts to a portion of the battle. It’s important to remember that freight carrier transit times are estimations and can vary due to weather, traffic, and mechanical issues. Yes, a carrier’s goal is to stick as closely as possible to the transit times provided and deliver to a happy consignee. However, we live in an imperfect world and things don’t always work out that way. Plan ahead and give yourself the best chance possible of a timely shipping operation.

    As always, PartnerShip is here to help manage your company's logistics and keep your shipping operation a smooth running process. Feel free to contact PartnerShip with any questions or concerns.

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  • “But I Don’t Ship Freight!”

    05/11/2015 — Matt Nagel

    Many companies operate under the same assumption that they don’t ship freight. This idea was solidified on a recent survey we conducted, where we asked the question: “What are your biggest challenges when shipping freight?” About 30% indicated price as their biggest challenge, which we addressed in a previous blog post, and another 18% said that they don’t ship freight at all. Customers are quick to jump to this notion as there are no pallets assembled in their facility and no semis in their parking lot – however, they may be overlooking some important aspects of their company operations that could use some freight optimization attention.

    First, we’d like to reiterate an idea that we revert back to quite a bit on the PartnerShip Connection Blog – inbound shipping is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to save money on your overall shipping costs. We bring this point up again since most businesses do not factor in the freight shipments they receive from suppliers as, many times, the consignee is not being directly invoiced for those shipments. However, costs initially written off as ‘free’ often rear their head in the price of the actual goods that are being moved – meaning the costs are not non-existent, but just hidden. As the customer receiving the goods, your company has a say in how that freight is routed and billed, and you should factor it into your overall freight plan.

    The next point we’d like to make is that while some businesses are not shipping freight, maybe they are shipping small packages and reexamining and adjusting that operation may equal big savings. This idea would apply to another portion of the 18% of companies that think they do not have freight shipping but are shipping small packages to or from the same location on a regular basis. As a general rule of thumb, 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 strive 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. 

    We’re sure there are some customers in the previously mentioned 18% that legitimately do not have or will ever need to ship freight due to factors like their business type. For the rest of us, taking into consideration things like inbound operations and the possibility of shipment consolidation may mean more companies are having a freight discussion that they thought they would never have – and will end up with a more efficiently run company in the process.

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  • Biggest Freight Shipping Challenges: Price

    04/15/2015 — Matt Nagel

    In a recent survey conducted by PartnerShip, we asked the question: “What are your biggest challenges when shipping freight?” About 30% of surveyed shippers indicated price as their greatest challenge. This doesn't come as a surprise as freight shipping can often take a large chunk out of a company’s bottom line if not done right. Below are some tips for keeping your freight costs in check and we’ll also refer back to some older blog posts, as this is a topic that we make a point to cover extensively in our content.

    1. Choose the correct partnersWorking with a Third Party Logistics company (3PL) is one of the most common and easy ways to keep your freight costs in check. Through their buying clout, 3PL partners can, in many cases, secure better pricing with carriers than a single business normally could on their own. 3PLs will not only save you money, but the best 3PLs will also save you time by auditing your invoices, providing top-of-the-line technology and tools, and by making a point to keep you informed of freight industry tips and trends. Choosing the correct carrier partners, whether on your own or through a 3PL, will also save you money in the long run as carriers operate more efficiently in different geographic areas and offer different specializations for your freight.
    2. Pay attention to your inbound shipping – Often, when shippers think about their shipments, they will only take into account their outbound operations. Most 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. We know this is an important factor to your overall shipping costs and have many inbound shipping resources available.
    3. Avoid commonly made mistakes when shipping your freight – We recently developed an entire white paper on this subject and it’s designed to help you shy away from and correct the most costly mistakes that we, as a 3PL partner, come across. From inaccuracies in your Bill of Lading (BOL) to improperly handling your claims, there are wrong turns in the complicated world of freight shipping that can cost you big.
    The feedback we received in the survey mentioned above was extremely valuable and we’re working to address your freight shipping concerns and challenges through our content, customer service, and freight shipping tools. Be sure to subscribe to the PartnerShip Connection Blog if you haven’t already by providing your email in the section to the right. And, to be extra-sure you are saving as much as possible on your freight, feel free to request a free shipping analysis of your freight operations.

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  • Thank you for your feedback!

    04/06/2015 — Matt Nagel

    Earlier this year, PartnerShip conducted a survey of customers to learn a little more about their freight shipping habits. As a logistics provider servicing thousands of customers and handling hundreds of shipments a day, it is important to us to understand our customers needs and concerns when it comes to their shipping operations. The survey consisted of around 15 questions geared towards less-than-truckload (LTL), volume, and truckload freight shipping. Upon completion of the survey, customers were entered into a contest to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5-inch Tablet. Congratulations to Brian from Techniply, LLC for being our lucky winner!

    The survey responses gave us an in-depth look at your main shipping issues, equipment often needed when shipping, and top items shipped - to name a few findings. Many respondents also took the time to provide valuable comments about their experiences with us and other carriers. 

    The feedback, suggestions and information gathered in this most recent survey point us in the right direction and helps us to better tailor our content and services to your specific needs - so thank you to those who participated! If you missed out on the survey, feel free to send a note to marketing@PartnerShip.com with your feedback, suggestions, testimonials, or complaints at any time.

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  • Users of PartnerShip.com Website Give High Ratings

    03/04/2014 — Scott Frederick

    PartnerShip Website SurveyThe new and improved PartnerShip.com website recently celebrated its one year anniversary (after being re-designed and re-launched Feb 4, 2013). Now that the cake is gone and the balloons are empty - it's time to focus on making more improvements.

    To get updated ratings and input from our customers, we recently polled the many users that log in and use PartnerShip.com tools on a regular basis. Since our customers' time is precious, we threw in the added incentive of a $50 gift card which we randomly awarded to one of the survey respondents. Congratulations to Tammara at Marauder Bookstore for being our lucky winner.

    Overall we had a very good response to the survey with a great cross-section of businesses located all across North America. We received some good quantitative and qualitative feedback from the survey which will help us ensure we are making the right adjustments and improvements to PartnerShip.com going forward. Although the survey results are proprietary to our management team, here are a few take-a-ways we can share publicly:

    • 52% of the respondents think the website is "Excellent" overall, while another 45% think the website is "Good"
    • Additionally, 64% of the respondents are "Extremely Satisfied" with PartnerShip services, while another 32% are "Satisfied"
    • The PartnerShip Home page, navigation and resources were viewed favorably by most respondents, while many of our secured Tools received exceptionally high grades
    • Most respondents felt the website was simple and easy-to-use, and that being able to quickly obtain rate quotes for multiple carriers and services, and then create the needed shipment documentation, were the highlights
    • Ideas for improvements included being able to submit instant pickup requests to carriers online, enhancing tracking details, and adding more shipment history reporting features (I'm happy to report, many of these enhancements are in development as I write this blog post)

    The feedback, suggestions and ratings in this most recent website survey will definitely help point us in the right direction - so thank you to those who participated! If you missed out on the survey, feel free to send a note to marketing@PartnerShip.com with your feedback, suggestions, testimonials, or complaints at any time.

    Scott G Frederick

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  • Thank You for the Customer Feedback!

    07/25/2013 — Scott Frederick

    Customer Satisfaction ChartLast month PartnerShip sent a broad-based market research survey to all of our active customers. Since our customers' time is precious, we threw in the added incentive of an iPad Mini which we randomly awarded to one of the survey respondents. Congratulations to Linda at Wayland University Store for being our lucky winner.

    Overall, we had nearly a 10% response rate with a great cross-section from across North America. That is a fabulous response rate and definitely a good indication of our customers' passion for what they do and what they ship. We received some great quantitative and qualitative feedback from the survey which will help us adjust current services and possibly develop a couple new offerings in the future. While most of the survey results are proprietary to our management team, here are a few take-a-ways we can share publicly:

    • The majority of customers all have small package and LTL freight shipping needs
    • A significant number of customers have shipping needs for exhibit shipments, truckloads, and time-definite delivery
    • One in four respondents uses a variety of logistics services (e.g., reverse logistics, warehousing, pick/pack/ship, import/export, etc.)
    • Competitive price, reliable delivery, reliable pickup, easy booking process, and responsive customer service are the most important things to our customers
    • Over 85% of the respondents are either somewhat or very satisfied with PartnerShip services overall (<2% are unsatisfied in some way)
    • Almost half of the respondents are very likely to recommend PartnerShip to a friend or colleague
    • 76% of the respondents opted-in for the iPad Mini giveaway

    We also used the survey results to calculate the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for our customer respondents. NPS is based on asking customers a single question that is predictive of both repurchase and referral: "On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to refer to a friend or colleague?" While this metric is not without its flaws, it was still gratifying to see our NPS score well above industry averages and very close to the best-in-class scores you might find in other industries.

    Despite the solid NPS score and satisfaction ratings, the PartnerShip team knows there is plenty of room for improvement. That's why we continue to develop and train our people, and hone our skills - so that we can fulfill our vision of being the leading shipping solutions provider to small businesses nationwide.

    The feedback, suggestions and ratings in this most recent survey help point us in the right direction - so thank you to those who participated! If you missed out on the survey, feel free to send a note to marketing@PartnerShip.com with your feedback, suggestions, testimonials, or complaints at any time.

    Scott G Frederick

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  • Vote For PartnerShip As Your Top 3PL

    05/31/2013 — Scott Frederick

    Vote PartnerShip as Top 3PLHas PartnerShip achieved extraordinary results for you and your business? Have we been a steadfast partner through good times and tough? Have we helped you cut costs, find efficiencies, boost productivity, and keep your business running?

    If the answer is yes to any of these questions, please join thousands of your business logistics peers and vote in the annual Inbound Logistics reader's choice "Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards." We know that PartnerShip -- with our intense focus on supporting small businesses -- is still a "small fish in a very big pond" of large 3PL companies; but we'd still be grateful for any votes we get as a foundation for future contests.

    Last year, over 8,000 respondents — representing a diverse cross-section of office managers,  executives, small business retailers, and global corporations — all cast their votes and shared their accolades. Now, here's your chance to be heard.

    Visit this link and rally behind your favorite 3PL provider (which we hope is PartnerShip): www.inboundlogistics.com/top10

    Whether you vote or not, we sincerely thank our customers for the shipping business they trust us to help them manage each and every day.

    Thank you!

    Scott G Frederick

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Awards & Affiliations

Partner Name
Northcoast 99
Northeast Ohio Top Workplaces
Ohio Best Employer