• Happy College Colors Day from the PartnerShip Team!

    08/31/2012 — Scott Frederick

    PS CCD LogoOn behalf of the PartnerShip team, happy College Colors Day! We hope your team is showing it's college spirit like our team is today. The photo below shows our Cleveland, OH office employees - each showcasing their alma mater or favorite college colors.

    We promise, no matter what colors you are wearing today - and no matter what colors our employees are wearing today - we love providing great shipping services to all of our customers just the same! So, if you're interested in learning more about the PartnerShip blue & green team, drop us a line or give us a call at 800-599-2902!

    PartnerShip College Colors Day

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  • Did you know?

    08/29/2012 — Leah Hyland

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    PartnerShip® is always working hard to save you money by offering services to keep your shipping costs under control. We've given you some tips in the past about how to fully benefit from our free services, but here are a few we think everyone should be aware of:

    The savings you receive from PartnerShip could potentially offset your annual association dues. If you're one of our association member customers and wondering if you should renew your association membership, think about this — many PartnerShip customers save more money annually on their shipping costs than it costs them to be a member of their association. The more you ship with PartnerShip, the more you save.

    PartnerShip has an on-time guarantee for all tradeshow shipping. We know that finding a cost-effective way to get your exhibit materials to a tradeshow on time is important to you. That's why PartnerShip offers you peace-of-mind with our On-Time Performance Guarantee. When you ship your tradeshow shipment through us — if your shipment doesn't arrive in time, you don't pay a dime!

    PartnerShip offers a completely free LTL freight analysis. As Your Shipping Connection, PartnerShip is here to help you determine the best way to save significant money on LTL shipping. We'll provide you with a free, no-obligation LTL freight analysis, comparing rates from your current shipping invoices to PartnerShip rates and services.

    PartnerShip provides complimentary white papers. Looking for tips on how to save money on your shipping? Download any of our electronic white papers as a free resource from PartnerShip:

    Do you have other questions? Drop us a note at marketing@PartnerShip.com or complete our short General Information interest form.

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  • How to Calculate Freight Density for Shipping

    08/23/2012 — Scott Frederick

    FreightDensityWhen shipping international, expedited, or tradeshow freight shipments, you must know how to handle shipment density conversions to properly describe your goods on the bill of lading. Domestic U.S. LTL freight shipments are based on freight classification, although you can also use density to estimate your shipment's freight classification.

    Freight density measures how heavy a shipment is relative to the size of the shipment. A shipment with a high freight density weighs a lot relative to its size, such as densely packed books. A package with a low freight density weighs little relative to its size, such as a box filled with Styrofoam. Divide the total weight of a shipment by the total cubic feet to determine the density as follows:

    Step 1. Measure the height, width, and depth of the shipment in inches. Measure to the farthest points, including skids or other packaging. On shipments with multiple pieces, repeat Step 1 for each piece.

    Step 2. Multiply the three measurements (height x width x depth). The result is the total cubic inches of the shipment. If you have multiple pieces, multiply the height x width x depth for each piece. Take the results for each piece and add them together to get the total cubic inches

    Step 3. Divide the total cubic inches by 1,728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot). The result is the cubic feet of the shipment.

    Step 4. Divide the weight (in pounds) of the shipment by the total cubic feet. The result is the pounds per cubic foot, i.e., density.

    • For multiple pieces, add the weight of each piece together before dividing by the total cubic feet of the shipment.
    • Round fractions to the nearest full cubic foot number.

    Calculating freight density will also provide you with a recommended class for your shipment. The freight class chart below is an abbreviated scale you can use to help estimate the freight classification for your shipments.







    If you have any questions regarding freight density or freight classification, call one of the dedicated shipping experts at PartnerShip for help. You might also want to check out our e-paper on Freight Classification and Routing Management.

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  • 8 Timely Decision-Making Guidelines

    08/22/2012 — Scott Frederick

    Decision Making SkillsAs a 22+ year veteran of the business world, a common challenge I have faced - both individually and collectively - is the dilemma of getting decisions made in a timely manner. That's why the following tips provided in a recent report from Keith Prather at Armada Executive Intelligence really caught my eye.

    Keith works with many big and small organizations on planning and strategy, and he often sees executives spending too much time on too many decisions. He suggests that one strategy for faster decision making is to invest less time on so many decisions. To accomplish this seemingly improbably goal, Keith recommends developing some self-imposed guidelines for identifying decisions where you need to be involved but don't need to spend so much time getting ready to decide what to do. He recommends eight potential guidelines across three categories where you can accelerate your decision making process:

    Decisions with Less Potential Impact

    1. Non-strategic issues - Many business people equate strategic with "long-term" decisions. But in reality, strategic isn't defined by a time horizon. Strategic involves areas having a material impact on the business. If a decision's ultimate outcome and implementation lack real significance or visibility for a business, try to limit how much time you spend on making it.

    2. Current alternatives are adequate to meet expectations — It's popular to suggest one key to success is a willingness to purposely change things that appear to be working. That can be true in areas important to a business and its customers/clients. If it's a process or activity that is required but takes place in the background and could work in a variety of acceptable ways, however, it's best to decide quickly and move on without trying to reinvent the entire operation.

    3. There's plenty of runway to recover from a poor decision — As more processes, services, and even products become digitized, development and recovery costs from something being slightly off the mark are reduced. In these instances, don't overdesign or over-engineer a decision when there is ample opportunity to introduce, test, diagnose, and correct with minimal downsides.

    4. It is likely customers will be indifferent to the options being considered — We've seen too much time wasted at businesses agonizing over service and product enhancements so slight that customers will be hard-pressed to EVER notice the difference. If you have a couple of decent decision options on a product or service feature change that is already low on the list of what's important to customers, it's quick decision time.

    Decisions that can be More Standardized

    5. Decision policies or guidelines already exist — We've seen the human tendency toward boredom used either directly or indirectly as a motivation for overdramatizing what should be routine decisions. When team members have been focused on a narrow area of the organization for too long, even minor decisions can seem like they could change the world. When you have a policy that's working on routine decisions, let the policy work and invest time on bigger issues that really do have some potential for impact.

    6. You have a reasonable track record from which to decide — Even where there's a general track record on the results a decision you're considering may yield, people in the business can be overly invested in arguing for a path that feels comfortable or protects a personal agenda. When you sense this is happening, cut short the debate and go with what your experience suggests is the best course of action.

    7. You don't have resources for prolonged exploration — An important variable for decision making (i.e., time, people availability, investment for attractive decisions, etc.) may be constrained. If that's the case, forego the intellectual attractiveness of giving a decision everything the business has; it's simply not practical. If this is your situation, shift to eliminating options that aren't viable and quickly get to what you CAN decide to do and implement.

    No-Win Decisions

    8. You've got no chance of selling in a preferred alternative — Hope springs eternal, but perhaps you find yourself having already unsuccessfully made your best case to sell an internal or external customer on a decision you think they should make. At some point, when you know the customer isn't going to decide in your favor, but still won't say —No,' it can be in your own best interests to say it yourself. With a firm decline, you can free yourself to move on to fight for a different decision on another day.

    So what do you do to speed decisions in your organization?

    Adopting decision guidelines that make sense for your business and reflect your decision style and pressure points can be a big time saver. The key is to do your thinking upfront (and to continue adding to this list) so you can easily recognize situations where taking more time to get ready to decide is simply not a good investment of resources.

    When it comes to making decisions on transportation - whether determining shipping mode, carrier selection, prepaid or collect, or to ship to a tradeshow using a decorator or 3PL - don't waste too much time when PartnerShip is here to help!

    This post was supported with business intelligence from Armada Executive Intelligence. Visit their website or follow them on Twitter at @ArmadaCorpIntel. And if 8 decision-making guidelines are too many, check out this article on 7 decision-making situations from the folks at Brainzooming.com!

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  • Best Practices for Exhibiting at Your Next Tradeshow

    08/20/2012 — Matt Nagel

    Harry Centa - Senior Program ManagerA tradeshow is a great way to get in front of your customers.Managing shipping programs for over 100 associations means that PartnerShip attends its fair share of tradeshows and events. What we've gleaned from all of these tradeshows is that there is always something new to learn, and things are always changing. That's why we called on one of the PartnerShip resident tradeshow experts to share some experience and knowledge that he has gathered over the years.

    Harry Centa, a senior program manager with PartnerShip, has attended over 100 tradeshows in his seven year career with the company. When asked why tradeshows are important to small businesses, Harry said, —Tradeshows are a great way to put a face and personality to your company. The face-to-face interactions and conversations you have at tradeshows go a long way in building relationships and solidifying leads for your company. That's why we take tradeshows seriously and invest resources in this valuable tool.'

    We asked Harry for some tips on pre-show, at-show, and post-show best practices and this is the advice he had to offer:

    • Pre-Show — —Decide on a plan of attack for the upcoming show. Establish what you want to accomplish, how you are going to accomplish it, and what tools you'll need to successfully carry out your plan. You can then start thinking about collateral, giveaways, and promotions leading up to the show. Determine if your booth will ship to the advance warehouse or directly to the showsite. Lastly, bringing your own table, chairs, modular carpet squares, etc. can dramatically reduce your exhibiting costs.'
    • At-Show — —If possible, setup your booth a day in advance of the show start, that way you are not rushed, have plenty of time to make extra copies of your marketing materials, and deal with any emergencies that can arise from time to time. Take advantage of every networking opportunity, and be sure to track all leads. For larger shows, renting a lead retrieval scanner is a wise choice, and for smaller shows, taking notes on business cards works just as well."
    • Post-Show — —Write down what you learned through your show experience — it will be valuable for future shows. Also, be sure to follow up with any leads you received at the show in a timely manner. Striking while the iron is hot will ensure you are fresh in the prospect's mind and you won't get sent to voice mail with the rest of the sales calls. Another best practice is to send a post show eblast and/or postcard to the attendees list (if offered) to remind them of your product or service.'

    Additionally, Harry emphasized, —The most important aspect of tradeshows is getting your booth and show materials to the tradeshow on-time and in one piece. Without a booth or materials for customers, the tradeshow experience is hampered considerably.' Harry went on to say, —Shipping my tradeshow materials is one part of the tradeshow process I leave to the tradeshow shipping experts here at PartnerShip!'

    Your booth is now at the show, you've followed Harry's pre-show rituals to a T — now, how do you drive people to your booth? —There's not much point in going to a tradeshow if your just going to stand there and shuffle your feet for 8 hours.' said Harry, —I use giveaways as a method for driving traffic to my booth, and once customers are there I use that opportunity to discuss PartnerShip and the services we provide. Tradeshows are constantly changing, but one idea will always hold true: People love free stuff - pens, pads or any swag in general!' Harry went on to stress that a consistent, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing display is an important tool in catching people's eye, getting your sales pitch out, and getting literature in a customer's hand.

    Tradeshows can be an investment for your company, but when done right, tradeshows are one of the most useful tools in your sales toolbox. The PartnerShip goal is to make sure your booth is at a tradeshow on-time and you are prepared for a successful show. That's why we've developed some tradeshow specific information for our customers: The 411 on Tradeshow Shipping and our tradeshow helpful hints page.

    If you have any additional questions about shipping to tradeshows, about tradeshows in general, or would like to quote a shipment to your next show — contact the PartnerShip dedicated tradeshow team at tradeshow@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902. You can also contact Harry Centa at the above information.

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  • Vendor Prepaid versus Inbound Collect Shipping

    08/16/2012 — Scott Frederick

    BOL iconOne 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 mark up 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 with generous, net 20 payment terms

    Contact PartnerShip today and take control of your inbound shipping!

    How to Accept Freight and Handle Claims

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  • Follow PartnerShip on Twitter for a chance to win a $25 Reward Card

    08/14/2012 — Matt Nagel

    PartnerShip is now participating in a variety of different social media outlets with the goal of interacting with customers and potential customers in new and fun ways. The following social media channels are where PartnerShip participates today:  
                                                                                               Follow PartnerShip!                                      



    Each of these channels provides unique features for interacting and communicating with our various audiences. One of our goals with social media is to share valuable and relevant content with our followers to better inform them of news and trends in the world of LTL freight, small package and tradeshow shipping. However, if you aren't following us, then you won't benefit from any of our content!

    As a special promotion, start following us on Twitter and earn a chance to win a FREE $25 Visa reward card*!  Just click here to visit our Twitter page and then click the follow button. That's it! Not only will you be entered to win a $25 Visa reward card, but you'll also receive relevant content, more contest and rebate opportunities, new service offerings, and much more to help your business operate more efficiently. We look forward to seeing you on Twitter and our other social media channels in the future!

    *One of four $25 Visa prepaid debit cards will be randomly awarded to four lucky winners. Contest applies to new followers between the dates of 8/14/2012 and 9/13/2012. One entry per person. PartnerShip will contact winner via Twitter direct message on 9/14/2012 to verify shipping address for the Visa reward card.

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  • Consolidate Orders to Save on Shipping

    08/13/2012 — Scott Frederick

    As a general rule of thumb, one big order ships for less than three smaller orders. That means consolidating multiple orders into a single shipment whenever possible, and always striving to minimize the number of packages you send. All too often, shipments are arranged as they come in from sales or order processing. However, a little planning and visibility goes along ways towards shipping savings.

    As the example below shows, one 30 pound small package shipped via FedEx produces a 27% expense reduction over shipping two separate small packages, netting almost $6 in savings.

    Small Shipment Consolidation

    When it comes to small package shipping, these savings - although seemingly small at times - definitely add up over time. However, when you consolidate LTL freight shipments, the savings become immediately more impressive. As the example below shows, by consolidating three 300 pound shipments into one 900 pound freight shipment, the shippers was able to save 25% - or $454.24 - on their freight shipping expense.

    Freight Consolidation


    Consolidating orders provides additional benefits to both shippers and receivers (consignees) of small package and LTL freight shipments, including:

    • Reduced shipping supply expenses
    • Greater fuel efficiency (better on the environment)
    • Less time needed to receive, handle, and restock orders

    One strategy for shipment consolidation is to create a simple shipping guide that takes into consideration all of your business rules for carriers, weight breaks, orders, and shipping contacts. Distribute this guide to your vendors and discuss it with your customers. A little communication can often go a long way towards small business savings. If you need a partner to help you through the process, you can always call on PartnerShip ... we're here to help.

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  • Big Bookstore Shipping Savings

    08/09/2012 — Scott Frederick

    PartnerShip Case StudyPartnerShip has been helping college stores and retailers save substantially on their shipping for over 20 years. It's always great to hear testimonials and success stories about just how much PartnerShip was able to help some of these organizations. To better capture and share a few of these many success stories, PartnerShip has started a process of requesting and collecting customer recommendations and developing case studies.

    One example of a great case study success involved The University of New Mexico (UNM) Bookstores. UNM sells textbooks, courseware, technology products, suppliers and spirit apparel to students, alumni, and fans of the university. With so many products coming in and going out, shipping expenses are a significant factor for UNM.

    PartnerShip used a five step process to help UNM analyze its shipping and develop the right solution:

    • Perform an up-front freight analysis

    • Negotiate discounts on LTL freight shipping with reputable carriers

    • Create a full-service inbound management program, including supplier routing instructions and compliance

    • Setup invoice auditing and consolidation

    • Provide administrative support for claims and customer service issues related to shipping and carriers

    The new inbound vendor management program for UNM was really at the heart of the overall solution. To implement it, we reached out to UNM textbook and general merchandise suppliers to setup new shipping instructions and ensure it was receiving the lowest possible price on every shipment. In many cases, that meant switching the routings from supplier prepaid to inbound collect so that UNM could take advantage of the NACS Shipping Program that PartnerShip has created for UNM and other members of the National Association of College Stores (NACS).

    After enough time had passed, a complete post-shipping analysis was performed for UNM showing that UNM was saving at least 9% annually on its shipping under the new program. As UNM's business division manager put it ... "(We receive) all the savings and we get to support the National Association of College Stores ... it was a no-brainer!"

    Click the button below to download a PDF version of this case study.

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  • PartnerShip Carriers make the Quest for Quality

    08/06/2012 — Scott Frederick

    LM Q4Qmedal 125x122The editorial staff of Logistics Management (LM) recently unveiled the results of its 29th Annual Quest for Quality Awards. This year, 127 providers of transportation and logistics services have received the ultimate vote of confidence, posting the highest scores across critical service criteria.

    For nearly three decades, LM’s Quest for Quality has been regarded in the transportation and logistics industry as the most important measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence. To determine the best of the best, LM readers rate carriers, third-party logistics (3PL) service providers, and now U.S. port operators strictly on the basis of service quality.

    Not surprisingly, many PartnerShip core carriers were among the award winners in this year's contest for the categories outlined below:

    • National LTL

      • National: Con-way Freight, FedEx Freight

      • Multi-Regional: FedEx Freight, Old Dominion

      • Surface Package: FedEx Ground, UPS

    • Regional LTL

      • Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: New Penn, Pitt Ohio

    • Truckload/Specialized

      • Expedited: UPS Urgent, Old Dominion, Pitt Ohio, New Penn

      • High Value Goods: United Van Lines

    • Air Carriers:

      • Air Express: FedEx Express

    On behalf of PartnerShip - and the thousands of customers that rely on your services as part of our shipping programs - congratulations to all of the transportation carriers that won Quest for Quality awards this year! PartnerShip works only with the best carriers in the industry - and you've all proven to be in that category.

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  • Tradeshow Shipping - Exercise Your Options!

    08/03/2012 — Tina Straw

    Tradeshow ShipmentWhether you’re a frequent tradeshow exhibitor, an occasional exhibitor, or a show organizer, you inevitably begin with a long list of “to-do’s” when planning your exhibit or event. You’ve probably spent months carefully considering your booth design, literature, show floor strategy, and giveaways. But one thing is for certain, your plans all hinge on your show and conference materials arriving at your event – on time and in good condition!                                                 

    This is one part of the process that is often the most overlooked, and least considered – getting your precious cargo from Point A to Point B. When it comes to tradeshow shipping, many exhibitors believe that they can save time, money and energy by using the decorator’s freight solution, shipping through a small package ground program, or bringing the materials in themselves.  Sometimes exhibitors will choose to go with a lesser-known freight carrier, thinking that they will have the lowest rates.                                                                                                              

    If your tradeshow shipment is at least 150lbs., you will want to find a shipping option that meets all of your most important criteria:                                    

    1. Use a transportation partner that has a dedicated tradeshow shipping department – Tradeshow shipping is a unique line of business in the freight transportation world, so pick a partner that specializes in getting to know the logistics of your event. Inbound and outbound shipping paperwork, and warehouse deadlines all become easier to navigate when you’ve picked the right partner.                     

    2. Who’s watching your shipment? – The success of your business can hinge on your success at a large tradeshow or event, so pick the partner that’s going to track your shipment from the time it leaves your dock to the time it gets to the show.

    3. Money isn’t everything, but… – You don’t want to end up spending all of your hard-earned profits from the show on freight, but you want to make sure that you don’t jump at the lowest offer if it’s a carrier that you’ve never heard of. “Bob’s Trucking” may be offering you the lowest shipping rate, but make sure you won’t be charged additional fees that you didn’t know about, such as “wait time” and “lift gate” fees. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your show materials are covered by a certain amount of liability insurance with the carrier that you’ve chosen.

      PartnerShip can help you with all of your tradeshow freight shipping, using the best national carriers, and at the most competitive rates. When you ship to a tradeshow using PartnerShip services, you can be sure that you’re getting the best service from a partner that will treat your shipment as if it was our own – daily tracking, preparing your paperwork, and providing you with the best liability insurance in the industry.

      Visit TradeshowSelect.com to get a free rate quote and learn about our services. For more information, email tradeshow@PartnerShip.com or call our dedicated tradeshow team at 800-599-2902 from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. ET. Want even more tradeshow info from the experts? Download our whitepaper – The 411 to Tradeshow Shipping.

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    1. 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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