• 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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  • PartnerShip Year in Review

    12/22/2015 — Matt Nagel

    With 2015 coming to a close, PartnerShip looks back on an amazing year that was highlighted by great people, customers, and carriers! Below is a snapshot of what went into 2015!

    5 white papers developed
    Valuable, free information designed to help you navigate the complicated world of shipping.

    6 potlucks
    The crockpots would be too many to count…

    10 association programs created
    Adding to our over 150 other association programs, PartnerShip brought on 10 new association partners this year – helping their members save on shipping!

    13 new employees hired
    Tony, Robert, Amanda, Tyler, Larry, Zoey, Chelsea, Kim, Dillon, Jen, Jim, Kelly, and Stefanie were brought on board in 2015. Contributing to an already unique culture and helping customers get their important shipments from point A to point B.

    20 Cleveland playoff plates awarded
    Yes, it's as strange as it sounds.

    45 tradeshows
    As you can see, PartnerShip employees spend a good amount of time on the road exhibiting at the tradeshows of our association partners.

    72 blog posts
    Counting this post, that’s over 70 tips, trends, and opinions to keep you informed on the world of shipping.

    594 claims resolved for our customers
    PartnerShip prides itself on being a true partner to our customers. That’s why we’re very proud about successfully resolving almost 600 claims with carriers in our customer’s favor!

    614 white papers downloaded
    The aforementioned white papers were downloaded over 600 times!

    775 carrier partners added
    That’s 775 vetted and reliable carrier options for your shipments!

    3,824 pens given away at tradeshows
    The PartnerShip pen is an important accompaniment to any event or tradeshow.

    17,048 customers served
    Just over 17,000 customers saving on every shipment they send and receive!

    2,202,950 shipments sent
    Whether small package or freight, thank you for using PartnerShip for your shipping needs!

    Thank you for another great year! If you haven't already, take a look at our holiday schedule to plan out your shipping operations for the next couple weeks. As always, feel free to contact PartnerShip at sales@PartnerShip.com or 800-599-2902 if you have any questions! Have a great 2016!


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  • 2013 Small Package Rate and Accessorial Increases Report

    01/02/2013 — Leah Palnik

    2013 Small Package Rate IncreasesNear the beginning of every New Year, the shipping experts at PartnerShip dig into the small package carriers' annual rate increase announcements. We like to read between the lines for our customers, digest the tables and charts, see what information is out there that FedEx and UPS didn't say, or maybe just hinted at. As always, how much more expensive your particular small package shipments will be in the New Year largely depends on many factors, including shipment volumes, sizes, weights, and modes.

    Here are some quick facts regarding this year's small package rate increases:

    • UPS rate increases in effect December 31, 2012
      » 4.9% average rate increase for UPS Ground (5.9% average increase -1% reduction in the fuel surcharge)
      » 4.5% average rate increase for UPS Air (6.5% average increase -2% reduction in the fuel surcharge)
    • FedEx rate increases in effect January 7, 2013
      » 4.9% average rate increase for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery services (5.9% rate increase -1% reduction in the fuel surcharge)
      » 3.9% average rate increase for FedEx Express services (5.9% average increase -2% reduction in the fuel surcharge)
    • UPS will enjoy an extra week of the rate increases by beginning 12/31/12 to FedEx's 1/7/13

    Interested in learning more? Our exlcusive report includes detailed tables and insights. Click the button below to read on ...

    Learn More

     

     


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  • USPS Misses Huge Payment

    08/01/2012 — Scott Frederick

    Small USPS TruckPostal Service missed huge payment today. The USPS missed a $5.5 billion Treasury payment today, and is expected to miss another $5.6 billion payment due in September. The USPS has been desperately trying to restructure, but has been unable to maneuver due to deadlocks in Congress. Any recommendation of the USPS must be approved by Congress, but a combination of partisan bickering and the fear of rural congressmen of the impact changes will have on their constituents kept any reform from taking place so far this year.

    Meanwhile First Class Mail, the core business of the USPS, continues to decline rapidly in volume. At current trends the USPS could be facing an annual deficit of $20 billion within the next five years— the situation is truly dire. Unfortunately for the USPS, the deadlock in Congress is not only slowing its restructuring efforts, but also likely actively contributing to its losses. Many of its customers are likely to take note of the uncertainty surrounding the USPS and opt to switch to FedEx or UPS. The biggest problem for the USPS is that any restructuring must both address its systemic problems, and be politically favorable to enough in Congress to pass a vote—and there may not be any solutions left where everyone comes out ahead.

    While no one here at PartnerShip is rooting against the USPS, we do want our customers to know they have other small package shipping options that we can help them with at any time.

    This post was supported with business intelligence from Armada Executive Intelligence.

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  • Executive Intelligence Briefing System for Business Leaders

    06/28/2012 — Scott Frederick

    Most PartnerShip customers are small businesses, and very much focused on the local communities and economies in which they participate. However, there may be many of you who are also very interested in staying abreast of the broader global economy, general business trends, and geopolitical happenings. After all, we live in a global economy where both domestic and international events can impact a wide variety of small business concerns - from consumer demand, to fuel prices, to security risks, to export tariffs ... and even LTL freight, small package and tradeshow shipping rates. 

    If you're looking for a good "cliff notes" format for keeping up with the economy, business, and politics - I'd highly recommend you take a close look at the Armada Executive Intelligence Briefing (AEIB) system. The sytem was designed in conjunction with a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, and patterned after the "U.S. President's Daily Brief."

    There's about ten different weekly, monthly, quarterly, and periodic reports that come with the AEIB system. All are very easy to read and digest quickly. Armada Executive Intelligence, the group that publishes the reports, was founded by a pair of individuals with extensive experience in supply chain management, economics, credit policies, and global affairs (and in full disclosure, one of the partners used to work closely with a member of the PartnerShip team).

    You can check out the AEIB system out at www.armada-intel.com - you just might get a little smarter for it! Plus, click here for a limited-time promotional rate of only $7/month being offered to PartnerShip customers and partners. That's a 72% discount off their normal price (and the equivalent of just two cups of coffee)!

    Armada Intelligence Offer


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  • Low Inventories Require Reliable Freight Shipping

    04/16/2012 — Scott Frederick

    The U.S. Department of Commerce recently released updated statistics on business inventories. While inventory levels continue to be somewhat flat, the rate of demand for reliable freight shipping services and on-demand types of shipping are growing - this according to Armada, an executive intelligence firm based in Kansas City, MO. Armada believes the low inventory trend will drive upexpected spikes in raw material and commodities demand, which ultimately may drive sales at the retail levels as well. But this short-term "whip-saw" effect may not be indicative of longer-term growth trends. They also contend that inventory replenishment continues to be at the very fundamental base of much of what is happening in the broader economy. The chart shown below helps show how business sentiment is keeping inventory balances very low, while maximizing "just-in-time" inventory strategies relative to sales -- ultimately keeping overall inventory-to-sales levels at near 20 year lows. 

    What does this mean for small business? It appears that retail growth rates will remain steady for the foreseeable future, but that some of the short-term spikes we may see in shipping could be related to inventory replenishment strategies rather than true consumer demand. Stay tuned, and check out the www.armada-intel.com website for more interesting strategic and economic insights.

    Inventory to Sales Chart


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