PrePass® System Gains Traction Nationwide
The PrePass system is an automatic vehicle identification system that allows vehicles equipped with a special transponder to be pre-screened at designated weigh stations, ports-of-entry and other facilities nationwide. This eliminates the need for vehicles to stop and allows them to pass the facility and continue traveling at highway speed.
This elimination of fuel-wasting stops and idling is possible because the transponder identifies the vehicle to a computer at each facility that verifies state-required safety and registration credentials. By allowing truckers with vehicles in good standing to bypass weigh stations and ports-of-entry, thousands of tons of air pollution are prevented from being released by idling trucks and millions of gallons of fuel are saved.
PrePass is currently available at nearly 300 facilities in nearly 30 states. To obtain more information on this money- and time-saving system, visit www.prepass.com.
Estes Becomes One of First Major LTL Carriers to Become TSA-security Compliant
Estes Express Lines, one of Unishippers’ freight carrier partners, recently announced that it is one of the first major LTL carriers to meet the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) requirements for air cargo transportation. All Estes drivers and other key personnel who have access to freight being transported to commercial and cargo aircraft have been trained according to the TSA’s rigorous specifications.
To maintain security compliance, the company must retrain and retest at scheduled intervals. The actual compliance practices themselves include detailed visual cargo inspections, locked and monitored vehicles from pickup until delivery to the air carrier and a verification process that ensures freight is tendered at a designated shipper site directly from an authorized representative of the shipper. To enforce compliance, the TSA performs random audits to monitor procedures and testing.
The Benefits of TMS
Transportation Management Software Makes Shipping Quicker and Easier
No matter what your particular shipping needs are, you can save time and money by making use of Transportation Management Software (TMS). These systems are designed to allow customers the utmost control and level of information as they set up and manage their shipments.
Unishippers customers benefit from having access to the one of the best TMS systems in the industry: Freight Manager. This invaluable tool, which is available on www.unishippers.com, provides a myriad of benefits for its users.
Unishippers' Freight Manager online tool enables freight customers to quickly and easily manage and process their shipments. Freight Manager offers significant value, and is a fast and easy solution to distribution and supply chain management needs. After entering minimal information, customers are able to view a list of available carriers indicating cost and delivery time. The customer can then select the desired carrier or Freight Manager can automatically assign it based on business rules or routing guides based on the configuration established for their individual account.
Freight Manager is easy to learn, simple to use, and efficient. There’s just no other TMS system like it in the industry. The benefits of Freight Manager include:
- You can obtain rate quotes and transit times from multiple carriers
- Easy Bill of Lading preparation
- Online address book
- Shipment tracking
- Capability for handling outbound, inbound and 3rd party freight shipments
- You have the ability to generate your own customized shipping reports
- You have the option to provide login information to suppliers to allow blind/drop shipping
For your freight shipping needs, Unishippers offers you a TMS solution to make your shipping experience more convenient, accurate and cost-effective. For more information on Unishippers’ powerful TMS tool, visit www.unishippers.com or contact your local Unishippers office.
International Veterinary Sciences Helps Keep Pets Healthy
International Veterinary Sciences is in the business of promoting the health and wellbeing of man’s best friend — the family pet. Since dogs and cats are important members of nearly 63% of all U.S. households (equating to approximately 73 million dogs and 90 million cats), International Veterinary Sciences is committed to supplying a complete line of pet supplement and grooming products for this ever-growing market.
Ken O’Brien, president of International Veterinary Sciences, says that providing high-quality products to pet owners is the key to success in his business. Millions of consumers throughout the country are looking for ways to improve their pets’ health and hygiene, and his company fills that need very well.
Established in 1989, International Veterinary Sciences is a division of Micelle Products, Inc., an organization that manufactures nutritional supplements and animal health products. According to the company’s website, studies supervised by veterinarians show that key nutrients are inadequate in many animal diets. For example, omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce joint pain and stiffness and increase joint mobility, are virtually non-existent in a typical pet’s daily regimen. International Veterinary Sciences creates and distributes its pet nutritional products to help correct these deficiencies. The company’s food supplements can also aid in digestion, help with relaxation and improve the health of joints, hips and bones for cats and dogs. In addition, it offers a wide variety of other products for pets including shampoo, skin and coat treatments and tasty treats.
As a distributor of pet products with no company-owned retail store, Ken says that shipping is essential. “We ship to a large number of distributors who distribute our product nationwide, as well as to large retailers like Petco and PetSmart,” Ken says. He explains that before switching to Unishippers, the company was having problems with damaged shipments, which create hassles for his clients and cut into his profit margins. Since he began shipping through Unishippers, Ken reports that the number of damaged shipments is much lower.
Ken says that the ability to quickly ship out orders is another important part of his success. “We try to ship the orders we get on the same day that they come in. I’ve found that Unishippers’ carriers can often get our product there sooner, which our distributors appreciate.”
Pricing is also important, and Ken believes Unishippers is very competitive, explaining that he initially agreed to ship with Unishippers in an effort to reduce his freight rates. Unishippers has not only helped Ken realize significant cost savings, but has given the company much greater convenience in the shipping process through powerful technology tools like Unishippers' Freight Manager.
“Using the Freight Manager system has cut down on dozens of phone calls a day,” Ken asserts, explaining that his shipping employees can just log on, get a quote and lead time for a shipment, pick a carrier, call for a pick-up and the shipment is ready to go. “Instead of calling four or five different LTL carriers for the best rates and shipping times, we can now do it with a couple of points and clicks. It’s all pretty streamlined and we love it.”
Did U Know?
UPS Freight Implements Programs to Reduce Carbon Emissions
The environmental cost of moving goods can be significant. A growing focus on climate and energy has brought the shipping industry’s environmental impact to the forefront. More and more companies are beginning to take action, and many have embraced the “green” principle of “reduce-reuse-recycle.”
One example of a company that is taking steps to lessen its environmental impact is UPS Freight. This company is working to develop future generations of delivery vehicles that reduce dependence on fossil fuels, significantly reduce fuel consumption and create a vehicle platform to bridge to the hydrogen economy. Some of these efforts include:
21st Century Truck Partnership – In this government-industry partnership, federal agencies and the transportation/trucking industry are working together on technologies to make vehicles safer, cleaner and more efficient, while maintaining fleet safety and cost-effectiveness.
EPA SmartWay Transportation Program – This voluntary partnership with leading members of America’s truck and rail transport sectors aims to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ground freight carriers. The goal of this initiative by 2012 is to reduce 18 million tons of carbon and 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxides annually. These reductions will create fuel savings of up to 150 million barrels of oil annually.
UPS is also an active member of Business for Social Responsibility’s Green Freight working group. Together with the Clean Cargo group, Green Freight is developing voluntary environmental guidelines to enhance fleets’ performances while spurring a broader movement toward a sustainable transportation future.
More and more shipping companies are understanding the importance of saving the environment (and improving their bottom line) by using alternative measures for delivery purposes. Many companies have invested millions of dollars over the past few years and are using trucks that are either hybrid or alternative fueled systems. Over the next few years, industry experts say we will see companies doing more and more to ensure their vehicles and systems are as eco-friendly as possible. The future is looking cleaner and greener.
Saving U Time, Trouble and Money
Save Time and Money with Correct NMFC Codes
In order to avoid delays and extra charges, it is essential that freight shipments are properly classified. As there are many different types of products shipped every day; each must be defined according to their makeup by classification. There are 18 classes total; what class a product falls into is determined by its density, loadability and stowability. These classes are determined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), which is a nonprofit organization comprised of over 1,100 motor carriers.
The NMFTA puts the rules, descriptions and ratings of all shipped commodities in a publication called the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). This is a superb reference book for shippers of all levels of experience. The NMFC includes the following:
- A list of participating NMFC carriers
- Packaging requirements
- Rules for freight loss and damage claims
- Descriptions of each item or commodity
- Rules specifically for shippers
In addition to defining classes of shipping commodities, the NMFC assigns item numbers to each type of commodity. It is absolutely vital to always include the correct NMFC number on each bill of lading in order to accurately declare the identity of the shipped products. Failure to do so can result in re-classification, fees and a delay in transit time. An incorrect NMFC number can also cost money in the event of a damaged or lost shipment, as carriers look at the commodity description when determining claims payout liability.
In the event that you have several classes of items going to the same destination, Unishippers’ Freight Manager can be an invaluable resource to ensure that you have the most accurate and cost-efficient shipment possible.
As your trusted shipping advisor, Unishippers stands ready to assist you in determining freight classification and correct NMFC numbers.
Quick Start Guide Makes Freight Manager even Simpler to Use
Unishippers’ Freight Manager tool is as easy to use as it is powerful and it’s even easier to navigate as a beginning user with our new Freight Manager Quick Start Guide.
While not meant to be a complete training manual, this two-sided single-page document contains useful instructions for inexperienced Freight Manger users. You can keep at your desk as a reference to guide you through the most basic steps involved in preparing a freight quote or shipment:
- Get a Quote: One side gives the basic steps to complete a quote.
- Prepare a Shipment: The other side helps to complete a simple freight shipment.
Please contact your local Unishippers office for a hard copy or electronic version of this valuable guide.