Choosing a parcel shipping solution requires careful consideration
of today’s needs and tomorrow’s goals. In this 3 Minute Explainer we
look at the questions to ask when evaluating parcel shipping
solutions for enterprises.
Parcel shipping is growing at an exponential rate. More than 100
billion parcels were shipped in 2019, but forecasts suggest that this
than double by 2026.
E-commerce has dramatically changed a variety of industries. These
days, it is not just consumers buying retail goods online, but
businesses too. More companies are sending more small packages, to
more destinations, than ever before.
There are a number of different technological solutions that can help
businesses simplify and streamline their parcel shipping operations.
However, choosing the right solution is critical.
Question 1: How Complex Are Your Needs?
To the average person, parcel shipping means printing shipping
labels, sticking them on boxes, and sending the boxes out the door.
Logistics managers know that it is significantly more complicated than that.
In order to optimize parcel shipping, companies must research carrier
rates, routes, and service levels. They need real-time data to track
shipments and alerts if a package is likely to miss its delivery deadline.
It is possible to use manual processes or carrier-provided systems to
handle parcel shipping. However, rate shopping and carrier selection
is time-consuming and labor-intensive. As parcel volumes grow, this
can quickly become unmanageable.
In order to evaluate parcel
shipping solutions, ask yourself the following questions:
What kind of carrier network is available?
Will you need shipping options such as specialist or regional carriers?
Does the solution support consolidations?
Can the solution support automated, multi carrier parcel routing?
Is there a way of identifying delivery problems so that logistic
staff can take proactive measures to resolve this?
What kind of tracking and chain of custody controls are available?
Question 2: Will You Optimize Logistics ROI?
It is not practical for high volume shippers to manually research
carrier rates for every parcel. As a result, many organizations use a
single carrier to handle all of their shipments. This has the benefit
of allowing enterprises to negotiate volume discounts.
However, using a single carrier does not mean that your company is
getting the absolute best rate for every shipment. Multi carrier
parcel shipping solutions help reduce costs. The solution routes your
parcels to the lowest cost carrier and service level that can meet the
promised delivery date.
You’ll need the answer to these questions:
What carriers and services are available?
What modes of transportation are supported?
Does the solution support both outbound and inbound logistics?
Does the solution automate carrier invoice auditing?
Question 3: What are Your Growth Plans?
You could purchase a solution that suits your needs today. But how
will those needs change in three, five or ten years? If your growth
plans include expansion into new markets, your shipping solution must
be able to support that.
Cross-border shipments are more complex than domestic ones, by orders
of magnitude. Shippers will need to prepare customs documentation,
understand tariffs, screen shipments and customers against government
lists, and ensure all required licenses and permits are in place.
These are the key questions to ask:
Do we need access to new carriers in new markets?
What kind of export
management tools are available for international shipping?
Will you have access to accurate trade compliance content,
including government denied party lists, tariff books and so forth?
Will the solution be able to handle very high volumes?
Can the solution support multiple languages and currencies?
How will the solution support international returns and customer service?
Will we need 24/7, follow-the-sun support?
When choosing a solution you should not only consider your current
requirements, but consider future needs as much as is possible. The
best parcel shipping solution will offer scalability and flexibility
that aligns with your own business goals.
LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH
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MINUTE EXPLAINER: WHAT IS MULTI CARRIER SHIPPING SOFTWARE?
NECESSITY OF E-COMMERCE DELIVERY OPTIMIZATION
LAST MILE DELIVERY: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES