• 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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  • What is a Bill of Lading?

    07/06/2016 — PartnerShip

    The Bill of Lading, or BOL, is one of the most important freight shipping documents because it fulfills three purposes: 1) it acts as evidence of a contract between the shipper and the carrier; 2) it serves as a receipt of freight services and goods; and 3) it is a document of title, or ownership, of goods.

    Let’s examine the roles the Bill of Lading plays, one by one.

    Evidence of contract between shipper and carrier. The Bill of Lading is a document that provides the driver and carrier details of your freight shipment, including what goods you are shipping, where the shipment is coming from, and where it’s going. It acts only as evidence of a contract between the shipper and the carrier, since the contract is agreed upon before a Bill of Lading is issued. The BOL must be provided to the carrier when a shipment is picked up, and will be delivered to the consignee upon delivery.

    Receipt of freight services and goods. The Bill of Lading is issued by the carrier or its agent and provided to the shipper in exchange for receipt of the freight. The BOL is proof that the carrier has received the freight in good condition, as provided by the shipper. The shipper should keep a signed copy of the BOL as proof of carrier liability in the event the shipment is lost, damaged or destroyed.

    Document of title, or ownership, of goods. The Bill of Lading means that the goods may be transferred to the holder of the BOL (the carrier) to be transferred to someone else (the consignee). The most common type of BOL is the "Straight Bill of Lading." This is typically used to ship freight to a customer that has already paid for it.

    Information contained on the Bill of Lading includes: shipper and consignee names, name of the carrier, an itemized list of goods being transported, number of packages and kind of packaging, weight and/or volume of the cargo, each package’s freight class, terms of payment, special handling instructions, and freight rate and amount.

    A Bill of Lading is required for all claims for compensation due to damage or loss, and for any disputes regarding ownership of the freight. Without a correctly completed BOL you could be faced with a major headache to be compensated for your freight loss or damage.

    In addition, carriers have the right to inspect, reweigh and reclassify your freight so be sure all weight and shipping class information is accurate. Errors can result in additional charges and delayed delivery of your freight.

    As you can see, the Bill of Lading is a very important document and needs to be filled out completely and accurately.

    The shipping experts at PartnerShip are here to help you focus on your business by managing the complicated parts of shipping. To stay competitive, ship smarter with PartnerShip! Contact us at 800-599-2902 or get a quote now!

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