Preferred Shipping signs re-seller agreement with Lone Star Overnight

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http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/preferred_shipping_signs_re_seller_agreement_with_lone_star_overnight

Originally Published in Logistics Management

Earlier this week, Preferred Shipping, a Sugar Land, Texas-based multi-carrier shipping partner for small and medium businesses, announced that it inked a reseller agreement with Lone Star Overnight (LSO), a regional shipping services provider in based in Austin, Texas, serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, eastern New Mexico and the country of Mexico.Under the terms of this agreement, the companies said that Preferred will sell LSO’s services, including same-day, next-day, scheduled, and day-definite guaranteed deliveries up to 150 pounds.  Preferred and LSO officials said that the growth in e-commerce, coupled with the expectation for two-day delivery, is demanding changes throughout the supply chain, adding that customers are making their voices heard and want an alternative to the national carriers.“Our strategic partnership with Preferred Shipping enables us expand our reach so that more shippers benefit from LSO,” said LSO CEO Richard Metzler in a statement. “By offering better service than FedEx and UPS, up to 40% lower rates, more flexibility, and far fewer hassles, we ensure customers that choose LSO will see significant cost and operational advantages.”When asked what drove the need for Preferred and LSO to team up for this pre-seller agreement, a Preferred spokeswoman said that the company kept hearing from its customers across its services that they wanted an alternative to the national carriers for shipping.“Preferred Shipping is a proven shipping re-seller/3pl and we have a significant customer base in and around Houston Texas,” she said. “LSO is a premier regional carrier with Texas roots looking to grow its customer base.  The cultures of both companies are very similar as both companies are approximately 25 years old, extremely customer centric and value all of their stakeholder relationships. The agreement made business sense for both parties and gave Preferred Shipping access to great rates to offer to all of our customers and new prospects.”And an LSO spokeswoman said that Preferred Shipping is already a shipping partner with LSO, so it made sense to expand the relationship further and allow their customers the advantages that LSO, as a regional shipper, has over the national shipping companies.“It gives Preferred more value to sell to their customers and gives LSO more selling opportunities in the marketplace by the introduction to Preferred customers,” she said.As for the benefits this partnership offers up for customers, the Preferred spokeswoman explained that Preferred Shipping can offer a larger sales force to support spreading the benefits of LSO, adding that Preferred Shipping is also very focused on SMBs getting the best shipping solutions possible.“This means customers can have a hands-on, personal sales representative to help them more effectively understand how to best use LSO’s service,” she said. “Preferred Shipping also provide other shipping and freight options so by working with Preferred Shipping to use LSO’s services, customers can purchase multiple shipping solutions through one company. Additionally, because of our volume-buying, we can offer discounted rates.”On the LSO side, the LSO spokeswoman said that Preferred can offer their customers a better choice in regional package delivery with LSO. “We have the same or better service than FedEx or UPS, and we’re less expensive and easier to do business with,” she said. “As a good example, both FedEx & UPS have imposed holiday peak season pricing surcharges. LSO has not and will not. Also, LSO has fewer accessorial fees, and those that we do have are at lower rates. We also boast less package damage.”Looking at the next steps of this partnership, the LSO spokeswoman stated that it plans on immediate implementation and will look for additional business opportunities through the partnership.And the Preferred spokeswoman said that effective immediately, Preferred will begin offering LSO services in and around the greater Houston area, adding that LSO has begun supporting Preferred’s shipping, marketing, sales and technology efforts to grow LSO’s business.As the logistics sector continues to change rapidly, in tandem with growth stemming from Amazon and other e-commerce players, it has led to a push for all stakeholders to deliver products faster and cheaper, the Preferred spokeswoman explained.“Because of the growing demand, national carrier rates keep going up,” she said. “And they keep introducing fees. This greatly impacts smaller shippers who can’t compete with the volume of the major companies. Additionally, to support faster delivery, it’s becoming increasingly important to have distribution closer to your customer. LSO is perfectly positioned to provide quality last mile services to meet this growing need at an affordable rate.”The key last-mile drivers for regional players cited by the LSO spokeswoman were the growth of e-commerce and the customers’ expectations that go along with it.“Regionals can be more flexible and are less hassle to deal with, and that’s a big plus for the customers,” she said. “Customers’ expectations will continue to increase, so regional shippers have to keep up with those expectations to be competitive. Technology improvements that impact services will be a big part of this in the future.”