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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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Happy College Colors Day from PartnerShip!


PartnerShip College ColorsPartnerShip has been serving the college industry for 25 years ... after all, at our origins, we were created by and for the college industry back in 1989. Today we provide shipping services to a very diverse portfolio of customers both inside and outside of the college industry, and we're the endorsed shipping provider for over 130 different industry groups. That said, we still enjoy showcasing our college colors from time to time ... including today: College Colors Day. Unfortunately, a lot of folks are gone today to get an early start on Labor Day weekend. So, here's a photo of the skeleton crew that came to work today wearing their #CollegeColors ...

College Colors Day 2014

Pictured left to right are: Bryan (Ohio State), Laurie (Florida), Leah (Ohio U), Laura (Ohio State), Allison (Wooster), and Scott (Michigan State). In case you missed it, here are other college spirit photos we've shared over the past couple years:

Although our employee staff represents colleges both inside and outside the state of Ohio - we're a single PartnerShip Team and your one-stop resource for LTL freight, truckload, tradeshow, and small package shipping solutions.

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By Scott Frederick

Cold Package Shipping with FedEx


Cold Shipping PackageBy working with the most reputable carriers in the country, we are able to offer our customers many different services to fit their shipping needs. One of these services is Cold Shipping Package provided by FedEx. This temperature-controlled packaging system for shipping sensitive products across the country or around the world serves as a needed solution to many of our customers shipping food, medicine, or anything else that needs to stay cold during transit. The packaging technology uses a special cooling device to evaporate water over time, maintaining a constant 2–8°C environment inside the package for up to 96 hours.

The Cold Shipping Package from FedEx features:

  • Smaller, lighter packaging that weighs less than half of some gel-pack systems, which translates into lower shipping costs and labor savings.
  • No complicated gel packing instructions since there’s no fridge or frozen preparation or preconditioning required.
  • Peace of mind knowing that your temperature-controlled shipments are in the custodial control of the secure FedEx® network.
  • Reusable boxes (replacement cooling devices available), making shipping to and from events and tradeshows easy and cost-effective.

What cold shipping package sizes are available?

FedEx Table

If you would like to learn more about cold shipping options available through FedEx, go to fedex.com/coldshipping. There you can order supplies, get more information about cold shipping solutions, and read real world success stories. Also, be sure to check out the short video below about Cold Shipping provided by FedEx.

PartnerShip Recognized as a Best Broker by NASTC


NASTC Best BrokerPartnerShip was recently approved for Best Broker membership status with The National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC).

NASTC was established in 1989 to bring together small trucking companies for the purpose of sharing transportation information, education, certification, buying power, lobbying effort, discounts, products and management services to level the industry playing field.

In 1991 the NASTC established a Best Broker / Associate Member program for referred and quality rated freight brokers wanting to do business with its 3,600+ member trucking companies. Only brokers that have an excellent track record and credit history are invited to apply. Presently, NASTC has only 250 designated Best Broker / Associate members. Minimum requirements include: three+ years in business, reference status and a good “low risk” score through credit reporting agencies of “80” or higher. Approximately 138 NASTC Best Brokers, including PartnerShip, are also members of Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) - the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines doing business in domestic and international commerce.

"Finding equipment and capacity with reliable, high-quality carriers is often the key to success for a freight broker," says Polly Gordon, truckload brokerage manager for PartnerShip. "Also, small truckers want to do work with only the best freight brokers in the business since their reputation, equipment, and livelihood is on the line. Having Best Broker membership status with NASTC really opens the doors for PartnerShip to work with the best small carriers in the industry, and for them to work with a reputable 3PL/broker like PartnerShip that has 25 years of experience and a proven track record of success."

If you're a shipper interested in PartnerShip Truckload Brokerage Services, I encourage you to let us provide you with a free, no-obligation rate quote on your next load (or click the button below). If you're with a trucking company and you're interested in becoming a PartnerShip carrier, we provide a quick and easy-to-complete carrier application form online for your convenience.

Get a FREE Truckload Quote!

By Scott Frederick

Congratulations to PartnerShip Quest for Quality Carriers


LM 0814coverJust like last year, many of the PartnerShip freight carriers were again recognized with Quest for Quality awards in 2014. This year, 7,451 Logistics Management magazine readers offered their valuable insight and helped the publication maintain the Quest for Quality as the premier benchmark study of logistics and transportation service excellence for 31 years.

In order to be a “winner,” a company had to receive at least five percent of the category vote. Transportation service providers are rated on five key criteria: On-time Performance, Value, Information Technology, Customer Service, and Equipment & Operations.

Here are the PartnerShip carriers that received awards this year:

  • National LTL Freight:

    • National: FedEx Freight, Con-way Freight

    • Multi-Regional: FedEx Freight, Old Dominion, UPS Freight

    • Surface Package: FedEx Ground, UPS

  • Regional LTL Freight:

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

    • South/South Central U.S.: Southeastern Freight Lines

    • Midwest North/Central U.S.: Dayton Freight Lines

  • Truckload/Specialized:

    • Dry Freight: Pitt Ohio, Con-way Truckload, Schneider National

    • Expedited: UPS Urgent, FedEx Custom Critical, OD Expedited, New Penn, Pitt Ohio, Reddaway

  • Air Express:
    • Air Express: FedEx Express

On behalf of PartnerShip, our employees, and the thousands of our customers that rely on your services as part of our shipping programs - congratulations to all of the carriers that won Quest for Quality awards this year! PartnerShip works with only the best carriers in the industry - and you've all proven to be in that category once again. If you're with a carrier that is not working with PartnerShip, start the process of becoming a PartnerShip carrier here.

Become a PartnerShip Carrier

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2014 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Wrap-Up


ASAE Annual Meeting and ExpositionThe ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition wrapped up last week in Nashville, TN. PartnerShip was once again in attendance, represented by senior program managers Harry Centa and Keith Korhely. As a shipping solutions provider that is endorsed by over 130 association partners, this is an important event for PartnerShip to discuss new programs as well as interact with our existing clients. The show is always very well run and attracts the top associations in the world that are looking for new trends and ideas to keep their membership base engaged and attract new members.

The show boasts 5,000+ professionals from associations and nonprofits for three days of networking, education, and fun. The show has 20+ sessions including Express Learning,  insightful General Sessions, an Association Solutions Marketplace, and tons of networking events. Attendees walked away from the show with new strategies, connections, and innovative ideas to move their organizations forward. Below we feature a infographic made by ASAE that details information about attendees and events that took place at the show. This graphic does a great job explaining what the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition is all about and gives you as good idea of what to expect next year in Detroit.

PartnerShip exhibited at the show and spread the word about the advantages of a PartnerShip managed shipping program: savings with top carriers, member retention, and non-dues revenue to name a few. Our association endorsed shipping programs feature shipping discounts with the most reliable carriers in the industry for services including small package, LTL freight, tradeshow, and truckload shipping. PartnerShip had a special promotion in place during the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition that offered association executives a free white paper on shipping programs, a proposal for their very own program, and a mystery gift. That promotion is still in place today for interested associations – visit PartnerShip.com/Trends for more information and to request your care package!

We also randomly gave away two $100 gift cards at the show to attendees that took the time to stop by our booth and learn more about our services. Congratulations to Donna from the American Academy of Neurology and Karen from Helicopter Association International!

It was great that PartnerShip had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Nashville and we can’t wait for next year’s show in Detroit!

Annual Meeting & Expo

Freight Industry Impact from Hours of Service Regulation Changes


Truck DriverThe transportation and logistics industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) through the development and enforcement of safety regulations. One of these regulations is the Hours of Service (HOS) rules which dictate the working hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States – this includes truck drivers.

Last July the FMCSA made a ruling on HOS which altered provisions of the regulations. Changes that took effect in July of 2013 include:

  • The limiting of the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours.
  • Allowing truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most - from 1:00-5:00 a.m.
  • Requiring truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

FMCSA HOS Regulations

There are many reasons for these HOS changes, but the main reason is to combat accidents on the rise due to fatigue. The FMCSA cites increases in crashes due to fatigue the further a driver gets away from a break in driving. The FMCSA's goal is to obviously limit this statistic by inserting more breaks and limiting drive times.

These rules have now been in effect for over 1 year and the influence of the ruling can be seen throughout the industry – impacting every transportation and logistics company as well as their customers.

As you can imagine, one of the major issues that arose from HOS changes is that transit times are now longer. A shipper that is used to seeing a 625 mile next-day-delivery is now seeing that same shipment extended to 26 hours due to a 500 mile per 24 hours limitation change to the regulations. The increased transit times are leading to shipment pile-ups and congestion – a result of the changes that continues to snowball as time goes on.

Another difference that customers are seeing is a bump in prices. With drivers spending more time off of the road than before, rates are escalating to offset that lost time and wages. These changes to HOS regulations, and their effects, are making shippers and carriers reexamine their processes and practices to stay as efficient as possible. Offsetting shipping industry changes and prices can often be achieved by working with a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) company which brings administrative and financial efficiencies to businesses that otherwise lack the resources to negotiate with carriers and navigate the ever-changing world of logistics.

If you’re interested in learning more about the HOS changes, you can read more about them on the FMCSA website. There you can find a summary of HOS regulations, HOS FAQs, and a comparison of old and new HOS rules, among other resources. If you’re interested in learning more about working with a 3PL partner, click the button below to download our free electronic white paper on the subject.

Learn about the Advantagesof Using a 3PL Partner

Cross-Border Freight Shipping FAQs


Cross Border ShippingShipping to and from Canada can be intimidating for even the most experienced shippers. The good news is that cross-border shipping isn’t as hard as you may think it is. The better news is that PartnerShip, your shipping connection, is here to help you every step of the way! Below are some frequently asked questions that we’ve compiled for your reference when you’re gearing up to ship freight cross-border.

What is PARS?

The vast majority of LTL freight and truckload shipments to Canada clear at the border under a process referred to as Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS). PARS allows review with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in advance of the freight’s arrival. The PARS process speeds customs clearance and alleviates congestion at the border.

What is a PARS number?          

The PARS number is the common reference when setting up PARS clearance. The PARS number for all shipments will be the tracking number proceeded by the carrier’s four digit carrier code.

Can my shipment be PARS accepted and still be bonded or inspected at the border?

Yes. Even though the shipment information has been sent via PARS and accepted by CBSA, Canada customs agents have the right to inspect a shipment.

What is PAPS?

The Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS) is the United States equivalent of PARS. PAPS allows customs paperwork for individual shipments to be processed before southbound freight reaches the Canada/U.S. border - facilitating the freight's entry into the U.S.

Where will my shipment cross the border?

Different carriers use different Canada/U.S. Custom gateway locations. Where your specific shipment crosses will depend on its origin and destination. Generally, carriers will list their gateway locations on their website and PartnerShip will use the most direct route for your shipment to meet your delivery expectations.

How long can I expect the transit time to be on cross-border shipments?

While there are occasional delays at the border, mostly caused by volume of traffic, transit times are rarely affected due to border crossings. So, based on the mileage, you can generally expect similar transit times as you would in the U.S. (i.e., <500 miles = 1-2 days, >500 miles = 2-3 days, >1,000 miles = 3-4 days, etc.)

What forms and documentation will I need for my cross-border shipment?

Getting your shipment across the border requires a bit more paperwork than your standard domestic shipping. Luckily, PartnerShip has compiled a list of documents you’ll need when shipping from the U.S. to Canada. Those forms can be accessed on PartnerShip.com by logging in and visiting PartnerShip.com/ShippingForms.

What is ACI?

Advance Commercial Information (ACI) is a project of the CBSA. ACI requires that all commercial cargo entering Canada be electronically registered with the Agency prior to arrival at the border. The project's aim is to improve Canada border security and efficiency.

What is ACE?

ACE is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that gives CBP and other participating government agencies the ability to access data throughout the international supply chain to anticipate, identify, track and intercept high-risk shipments at borders and ports. With ACE, carriers are able to file electronic manifests in advance of freight arrival at the customs check point for faster entry into the commerce of the U.S.

How much do I pay shipping cross-border?

As with shipping in the U.S., your actual freight charges will depend on many different variables, such as: commodity, weight, fuel, etc.

The importer of record is normally billed by his/her broker for duties and taxes. The customs broker determines duty (if applicable) along with the appropriate taxes and reports those taxes to Customs on the client's behalf.

Where can I get help to work out the details when shipping between the United States and Canada?

PartnerShip is your shipping connection for U.S. as well as cross-border U.S./Canada shipping. Simply request a free freight quote on PartnerShip.com (click the button below) and our shipping experts will fill in the blanks and get your shipment where it needs to go.

Get a FREE Quote!

Meet the PartnerShip Customer Service Staff


PartnerShip Customer Service Staff

The PartnerShip customer service representatives (or CSRs) play an important role for our company and our customers. Through telephone conversations, emails messages, and online live chats, they are responsible for helping our newest customers setup FedEx accounts, get LTL and truckload rate quotes, create online accounts, track shipments, and answer just about any and all types of questions you can imagine.

Once a new customer is fully on-board, they work closely with our sales staff to ensure each customer is personally introduced to the dedicated PartnerShip account representative with whom they'll receive the next level of support and consultation for their freight shipping needs. A few of our CSRs have worked so well with our customers and our sales staff that we moved them over to our sales department where they can build even deeper relationships with our customer contacts. As a result, PartnerShip has some new faces in our customer service area, and they are a terrific bunch! So terrific, in fact, that I'd like to personally introduce you to each one of them.

Nicole Hardman

You could say Nicole is the "veteran rookie" of the bunch. Nicole joined PartnerShip as a customer service representative a little under a year ago. However, she was not entirely unfamiliar with our company at the time - her husband Brian has been a part of the PartnerShip sales staff for the past six years. When she's not helping PartnerShip customers, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, reading, and watching movies.

Allison Passero

Allison joined PartnerShip nearly four months ago (on the same day as Julieann and Briana). Previously, Allison worked for Fifth Third Bank for five years where she held numerous customer service positions and was recognized for demonstrating Fifth Third Bank’s Core Values and driving customer service results. Allison graduated from The College of Wooster with a Bachelors of Psychology. She enjoys crafting, music, hiking, and knitting.

Julieann Fox

As mentioned above, Julieann joined PartnerShip nearly four months ago. Julieann recently worked at Green Circle Growers as an Orchid Classifier and before that worked for Equity Trust Company as a Client Relations Manager. She is a graduate of The University of Toledo. Her outside interests include Zumba, parenting, outdoor adventures, weight training, Cleveland sports, and traveling.

Briana Zajac

Briana also reported for duty nearly four months ago.  Briana previously worked for Teletech for past six years as a Customer Service Representative helping clients with T-Mobile and Geek Squad. She also worked as an Inventory Control Administrator at Bonne Bell where she processed orders. She enjoys her family and friends, watching movies, doing Zumba, and attending parks.

Shauntá Dennis

Shauntá is our newest customer service representative. She just started with PartnerShip last week, so we're very excited to have her joining our team. Shauntá has worked for Teletech for the past six years. She started as a Customer Service Representative answering incoming calls from customers and assisted with general technical troubleshooting. Most recently she was the Technical Support Supervisor where she led a team of 30 agents and handled escalated customer interactions.

Jennifer Hammersmith

Of course, all of these new CSRs are managed by Jennifer, our outwardly friendly, but very professional, customer service manager. Jennifer has been with PartnerShip for eight years. She absolutely enjoys helping our customers, she is a student of shipping practices, and she directly manages one of our important shipping programs for a major non-profit organization. When she's not managing, training, and motivating her customer service staff, she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, ironing (really?), and watching movies with her husband.

If you have a question for the PartnerShip customer service staff, they're ready and willing to do their best to help assist you any way they can. Just Contact Us and we'll take it from there.

Contact Us

By Scott Frederick


25 prizes in 25 weeks - results through week 20!


For the past 20 weeks we’ve been giving out prizes as a way to say thank you for helping us celebrate 25 years of helping businesses save money on their shipping. We’ve kept you updated the whole way – from week 1 through week 10 – and now we have 10 more lucky winners to share with you:*

Week 11: Masha from Avins USA, Inc.                   

Week 12: JoEllen from The College Store – SUNY Potsdam

Week 13: Kevin from Kent State University Bookstore

Week 14: Sheryl from Rose-Hulman Bookstore

Week 15: John from CSC Products Inc.

Week 16: Don from MCC - Maple Woods CC Campus Store

Week 17: Betsy from Northern Michigan University Bookstore

Week 18: Ed from AB Bookstore

Week 19: Jeff from OnHand

Week 20: Gary from B Street Music


Congratulations to all our winners who received a "PartnerShip 25th Anniversary Prize Pack," and thank you to those that provided us with some great pictures of their businesses (as shown to above).

With week 20 in the books, you still have five more weeks to take home a prize! All you have to do is enter your business into the contest by visiting PartnerShip.com/25th and filling out the entry form. There, you can also view our 25th anniversary thank you video, learn more about PartnerShip, and take a walk down memory lane!

Also, if you haven't already, be sure to check out PartnerShip Employees Reflect on 25th Anniversary for some insight on what this milestone means to our company and its employees!

*Winners will also be contacted directly.

Another Great Year at Summer NAMM!


NAMM ShowMemberCtrPPTOur very own Harry Centa, senior program manager for PartnerShiphad the pleasure of attending Summer NAMM 2014 in Nashville earlier this month. NAMM (one of over 120 associations that endorses PartnerShip for shipping services) supports businesses in the music products industry, and this annual show attracts some of the most fascinating and talented people around.

One of the biggest highlights of the show was the Top 100 Dealers Awards, which recognizes the industry’s very best music product retailers and shares their stores’ strategies for success. The “Dealer of the Year” and eight “best of” category winners are chosen from among NAMM’s Top 100 Dealers, named earlier this year. Congratulations to The Candyman Strings & Things of Santa Fe, New Mexico for winning the top award of “Dealer of the Year.”

This year’s Summer NAMM also proved to be another successful show for PartnerShip! It was a great opportunity for Harry to connect with NAMM members and educate them on the services and discounts available to them through PartnerShip. The NAMM Shipping Program provides members with discounts on their inbound and outbound, small and big package shipping, one of the many valuable benefits offered through the association. Harry also collected submissions for a drawing for a $100 Visa reward card. Congratulations to our lucky winner – Christie at Hell Creek Music & More!

Thank you to NAMM and all of the Summer NAMM attendees for helping us make it BIG in Nashville this year! Check out the slideshow below to see pictures from the show.

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