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The PartnerShip Connection is your small business resource for industry tips, trends, and opinions in the world of shipping. This blog is co-authored by various members of our PartnerShip LLC staff.

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Truckload Equipment Options


TruckloadTruckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of freight - usually exceeding 10,000 lbs and enough to fill an entire semi-trailer. Every shipment is different and needs the proper equipment to ensure a safe and efficient trip from pickup to delivery. Determining the correct option for your specific shipment is an important part of the truckload shipping process and can affect variables like carrier availability. Below is a list of some of the more common equipment choices, what they are, and how they are used.

Dry Van – This is the most common form of truckload shipping and is the option best used with standard packaged freight that does not need to be temperature controlled. The typical 53-foot van trailer can haul 44,000 pounds or up to 26 standard sized pallets of cargo.

Flatbed – Flatbed trailers are used to haul shipments of large, heavy, and oversized loads that cannot easily fit within a dry van. While flatbed shipping may sound straightforward, there are different options within the flatbed category that can throw you for a loop – single-drop, double-drop, and stretch trailers, to name a few. The PartnerShip team of shipping experts is here to make recommendations based on your flatbed shipping needs.

Refrigerated – Often referred to as “reefers”, refrigerated shipments require temperature controlled trailers. This equipment is often used to haul perishable food, beverages, medicine, plants, or even sensitive equipment. The refrigeration unit on the truck keeps the cargo at the exact temperature specified by the customer.

Chances are that your truckload shipment fits into one of the categories of equipment above. If your shipment falls outside of the above options, our team of dedicated representatives and our truckload brokerage department stand ready to help you find the best option for your shipment. We’ve been helping companies with their shipments for 25 years and we have a wealth of experience transporting all commodities and materials at all weights and sizes. We were even named one of NASTC’s best brokers!

Do you have a truckload shipment you’d like to get a quote for today? Visit PartnerShip.com/TLQuote to get a free quote on your dry van, flatbed, or refrigerated shipment today.

How to Pack Your FedEx® Small Package Shipments


describe the imageWe recently posted about the new package laboratory that FedEx opened to test and design packages for a wide variety of products that their customers ship. This new facility will prove to be very beneficial for customers with specific packaging needs. However, even the simplest packages need to pass one basic test – getting your shipment to its destination safely and securely. Here are some tips for packing your FedEx small package shipment like a pro:

When you select a box for your shipment, make sure to match it appropriately to the size and weight of the items you are shipping. Avoid using a box that would leave an abundant amount of empty space as this could cause a cost increase if your shipment is subject to DIM weight pricing. It will also make it more difficult to ensure your product is secure in the box, helping to prevent any damages. For heavier items, use double-walled or thick corrugated boxes. If you are reusing a box, be sure to remove all old labels, and make sure it's high-quality, with no holes, tears, or dents.

Choose cushioning with enough density to keep items from shifting. It’s also good practice to wrap and tape all sharp or protruding edges on the items you’re shipping. You will also want to bind printed material together or secure any loose items together. These precautions help to prevent any damages to your product or to the packaging itself.

Place your label on the package's largest surface and secure it firmly with your hand. When using a pouch, remove the peel-off strip and firmly seal the flap. For luggage, travel cases, or other containers with handles, label your item with a tie-on tag (available at FedEx Office locations). For wood, plastic, or metal containers be sure to use labels with extra adhesive. While not required, it is also a good idea to put a copy of your label inside your package. This way FedEx can still make the delivery in the event your outer label comes off.

With your box properly packed, apply at least three strips of packing tape (no duct or masking tape) that is at least 2" wide evenly across all flaps and seams, top and bottom, using the H taping method. You will also want to avoid taping over your FedEx label.

Through an association shipping program managed by PartnerShip, you can receive exclusive discounts on select FedEx services.  If you belong to an association we work with, take advantage of our free shipping benefits today. If you’re not sure if you qualify for one of our FedEx small package shipping programs, contact us and we’ll find the solution that’s right for you.

Introducing the New FedEx Package Lab


describe the imageEarlier this year, FedEx opened a new package laboratory to better serve their customers. With more than 30,000 square feet of space, this facility allows FedEx to test and design packages for a wide variety of products that their customers may ship – perishables, glass, electronics, and any other items that require special attention.

This new industry-leading facility is the result of three years of design and development work. It uses the latest technology and testing protocols, including equipment that drops, squeezes and shakes various forms of packaging to test their strength and effectiveness.

The facility’s advanced environmental controls maintain the temperature and humidity in the laboratory’s preconditioning room and materials testing room. In fact, they can simulate any place FedEx ships, from the desert to the rainforest to the Arctic.

The lab’s unique features include:

  • Altitude chamber  (Site level to 100,000 feet)
  • Temperature chamber (-90°F to +350°F)
  • Humidity chamber (within 2% tolerance)
  • Two drop testers
  • Three vibration tables
  • Compression table
  • Automated sample table
  • 5-ton crane for testing skidded freight
  • Forklift course for testing skidded freight
  • Material testing laboratory
  • Wood shop
  • Other specialty design and testing equipment

You can take advantage of this new facility by submitting a sample of the packages you currently use for a variety of performance tests; or you can even request package-design assistance by downloading and completing the FedEx Packaging Design Application.

PartnerShip customers come from a wide variety of industries and this new package lab has the versatility to meet the needs of customers of all shape and sizes. Through an association shipping program managed by PartnerShip, you can benefit from these services and receive exclusive discounts on select FedEx® services.  If you belong to an association we work with, take advantage of our free shipping benefits today. If you’re not sure if you qualify for one of our FedEx small package shipping programs contact us and we’ll find the solution that’s right for you.

PartnerShip Selected as a Crain's FAST 50 Company


PartnerShip - Crain's Fast 50Yesterday Crain's Cleveland Business announced its inaugural Crain's FAST 50 class - and PartnerShip LLC was selected as one of the companies recognized! According to the announcement, Crain’s FAST 50 recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit, innovative business tactics and skyrocketing revenue growth of the 50 fastest-growing companies in Northeast Ohio.

To be eligible for the Crain's FAST 50, businesses could be either publicly traded or privately-held, at least five years old, have a had at least $5 million in 2013 revenues, and be located in Northeast Ohio. Also, eligible businesses could not have more than 1 year of declining revenue.

Crain's will be hosting a live event on November 5 to announce the top #10 among the FAST 50. Additionally, the full rankings will be revealed in the November 10 issue of Crain's Cleveland Business magazine.

PartnerShip, along with many of the other FAST 50 companies, will be sharing our newfound status via social media channels using the #Crains50 hashtag. You can follow PartnerShip on Twitter at @PartnerShipLLC and you can follow Crain's Cleveland Business at @CrainsCleveland.

We're very proud to have been named to the first-ever Crain's FAST 500 class. PartnerShip® has been serving the shipping needs of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area businesses for 25 years. We are more than a Cleveland area freight broker – we are a team of dedicated Ohioans that share that same passion for community, and for the shipping services we provide. If you're located in Northeast Ohio and have shipping needs, please click the button below to learn more about how PartnerShip can help.

Northeast OhioShipping Services

Please Join PartnerShip in Celebrating America's Truck Drivers!


ntdaw logoWe've been so busy here at PartnerShip that we almost forgot to give a very important shout-out to the people -- America's 3.2 million professional truck drivers -- who keep this country moving forward.

Check out the ATA website for more news and information on National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (like the video shown below) .... and please join PartnerShip in saying THANK YOU to the professional truck drivers that are the backbone to our economy.

Infographic: How to Build a Shipping Program


PartnerShip has built and presently manages over 130 shipping programs that have been tailored to a specific association, trade or industry group. Each year we build and launch 15-20 new programs - and we talk to hundreds of other groups about building a similar member benefit for their own organization.

If your members do any kind of shipping whatsoever, our proven, turnkey approach will ensure they receive valuable shipping benefits through your organization. Many of our current association clients have provided with us with great testimonials, and they would most certainly tell you that PartnerShip has a first-class approach to launching, marketing, managing, and reporting on their shipping programs.

If you're with an association or group that's still on the fence, or you're just not clear on the process, the following infographic will help walk you through the steps that PartnerShip uses to build a shipping program.

PartnerShip Infographic Shipping Program 

Ready to build your own program? Click the button below to get started.

Build a Program

By Scott Frederick

Remembering and Honoring the Victims of 9/11


Please join PartnerShip and @Sept11memorial as we honor the nearly 3,000 victims of 9/11. Take today to remember the day that changed us forever. #Honor911

Please visit 911memorial.org to learn more.



Estes Now a PartnerShip LTL Carrier


Estes LogoPartnerShip has secured another carrier alliance, with Estes Express Lines - the 6th largest LTL carrier in the United States - to provide our customers with an additional option for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. Estes brings reliable, first-class LTL freight shipping services and additional solutions to PartnerShip customers.

Estes, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, was established in 1931 and has provided top-quality transportation solutions ever since. Throughout the years, high integrity and an unwavering commitment to customers have guided their growth from a small, one-man operation to one of the top carriers in the industry. Today, Estes has almost 15,000 employees and over 24,000 trailers making them the largest privately held LTL carrier in North America.

Estes offers a full spectrum of shipping and supply management services for virtually any destination in the world. PartnerShip customers now have access to Estes world class services, including:

  • LTL Freight – Fast, reliable services to regional, national, offshore and international destinations throughout North America and beyond
  • Time Critical – Guaranteed, expedited, or time- and date-definite service
  • Volume and Truckload – cost-saving volume LTL and full truckload services
Estes Domestic Coverage:
Estes Coverage Map

If you have any questions about shipping with Estes through PartnerShip, contact us today at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com. If you're ready to ship now, click the button below for a FREE rate quote on an upcoming LTL freight, truckload, expedited, or tradeshow shipment.

Get a FREE Quote!

How to Accept Freight and Handle Claims


WarehouseGuyBoxes22178961Sometimes the unthinkable happens – your shipment arrives to your location damaged or short on quantity. Anyone who has experienced this and had to file a claim will tell you that the process can be a little stressful. However, knowing exactly what to do and what to expect in this situation can save you from a major headache. Here are some tips on what you should do when you receive freight:

1. Inspect your freight immediately. Before you sign the delivery receipt, you’ll want to count your boxes and check for any damages. The driver is required to let you inspect your freight – even if he says he’s in a hurry – so take a few minutes to make sure everything looks okay.

2. Document any damages or shortages. If you do find damages or a shortage in your shipment, it’s important to document them for your claim. Take pictures of the damaged products and notate any damages or shortages on the delivery receipt. You will also need to obtain a merchandise invoice illustrating the value of the damaged commodity.

3. Save your damaged freight. Even if you document your damages, an inspector from the carrier may need to come to your location to inspect the shipment. Be sure to save your freight in case this situation arises.

4. Contact your PartnerShip representative. You have 9 months from delivery date to file a claim, however, the sooner you file it – the better. Provide your rep with the information that you documented and your shipment’s PRO number. Your rep will start the claims process for you and help you every step of the way so you aren’t dealing with this alone.

5. Await confirmation of the filed claim. You can expect some kind of communication from the carrier within 30 days of the claim being filed. This could be an approval or denial of the claim, or simply just an acknowledgment that the claim is being processed. Every situation is different and the time required for resolving the claim may vary, but throughout the whole process you can obtain claim statuses from your rep or directly from the carrier.

Dealing with damaged or missing freight is never ideal, but when you work with PartnerShip you don’t have to sort through it on your own. Our dedicated representatives are claims experts and can help you throughout the entire process to make sure your claim gets resolved. Click the button below to download our helpful guide for a quick reference on how to accept freight and handle claims. New to PartnerShip? Click here for a free quote.

Download the reference guide

Infographic: PartnerShip Benefits for Shippers and Carriers


PartnerShip LLC is a leading shipping solutions provider to businesses across North America. The value we bring as a 3PL/freight broker - as our name implies - is that we create meaningful "partnerships" with carriers and shippers. In particular, our online PartnerShip.com freight management tools create the visibility and transparency to information that allows even small shippers to get the same benefit of scale normally reserved for large shippers only.

Using PartnerShip.com, shippers get access to competitive, bookable rates with over a dozen of most reputable LTL freight carriers in the industry. PartnerShip.com users also gain access to competitive truckload rates not available in the open market, as well as helpful tools to schedule shipments, create bills of lading, track shipments, view shipment history, pay invoices, and more.

The following Infographic is a simple illustration of how PartnerShip brings benefits to both shippers and carriers.

Infographic: PartnerShip Benefits

Whether you're a shipper looking for help managing your transportation, or a carrier looking for quality loads and quick payment -- if you're ready to take advantage of the benefits that a true PartnerShip® brings, then click one of the buttons below to get started.

Get a Free Freight Quote      Become a PartnerShip Carrier

By Scott Frederick

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