Global enterprises are sending more parcel shipments to more
locations than ever before. At a time when transportation costs are
rising and capacity is being squeezed, organizations need
comprehensive multi carrier shipping software to control costs and
meet customer expectations. Here we outline 4 crucial questions to
help you choose the best multi carrier shipping software for your needs.
The parcels market is growing — the market was worth around US$350
billion in 2017, up by $40 billion from 2016. This has been largely
driven by the growth of e-commerce and increased cross-border
shipping. This growth has also brought an influx of global, national,
and regional carriers to meet demand. Each of these have different
service levels, cost structures and delivery options.
All this has made global parcel shipping a far more complex and
challenging task. However, as smaller more regular parcel shipments
have become the norm for many enterprises, managing this aspect of
logistics is a critical driver of profitability and customer satisfaction.
If your organization is evaluating multi carrier shipping software,
here are four critical questions you should be asking.
How complex are your parcel shipping needs? Do you just need to print
labels? Minimize costs? Comply with cross border regulations? Offer
faster delivery? All of the above?
Most organizations — but especially high volume shippers — want to
control parcel shipping costs. To do so you need to research rates,
routes and service levels. For cross-border shipments, you also need
to prepare customs documentation, research tariffs and verify that the
shipment is in compliance with any applicable regulations.
It is possible to handle each of these steps separately. Some
organizations use stand alone applications provided by their carrier;
others do so manually. Both of these make parcel shipping a time- and
labor-intensive process. If you use different carriers — and different
carrier systems — as many organizations do, you have separate data
silos. This limits your visibility into your entire logistics
operations. It is impossible to improve what you don’t measure.
End-to-end multi carrier shipping software supports carrier selection
and document preparation from one system, in the warehouse or from the
desktop. It offers visibility into rates, routes and service options.
This gives you the ability to seamlessly switch between carriers while
maintaining enterprise-wide standards.
What are your parcel volumes today? How many will you’ll be handling
next year? Three years from now?
Not that long ago, shippers preferred LTL over parcel. That’s
changing. The shift towards e-commerce means a higher volume of small
shipments being sent to more customers — and in more locations.
Furthermore, parcel carriers have expanded the definition of what
qualifies as a parcel. They have also improved their package handling
to lower risk and changed their pricing structure to compete with LTL
carriers. As a result, parcel shipping as a portion of your logistics
is likely to grow over the next few years. Your parcel shipping
solution needs to be able to scale alongside your needs. It should
also be easy extendable to new regions and business units.
Is it possible to reduce costs while improving customer satisfaction
with each delivery? Better, faster and cheaper is the aim of every
global shipper, and yes, this is possible with the right multi carrier
When you ship freight, shopping on price and service for each
shipment is a common practice. However, many organizations use a
single, trusted carrier to handle parcel shipping. This makes sense —
at least initially. Nobody wants to spend time researching delivery
options for each shipment. But it also means that organizations are
missing opportunities to get better rates and faster service.
Another missed opportunity is non-production parcel shipping. In
production shipping environments, staff follow established procedures
to reduce shipping costs. This is generally not the case for employees
based outside warehouse operations. They are less experienced with
shipping and less likely to comply with rules about carrier and
Administrative and non-production staff often ship parcels on an ad
hoc basis. This adds up — especially for large enterprises,
multinationals or organizations working across different sites.
Different sites may also have their own procedures. In addition, the
parcel shipping data is often fragmented across a number of carrier
systems. Furthermore, various departments do not track non-production
shipping costs and pay carrier invoices as they arrive. This result in
lack of visibility across your transportation operations as well as
excessively high charges. Poor management of small package shipments
can hike up costs for your enterprise — by at least 20 percent annually.
Your multi carrier shipping software should support both warehouse
shipping. This allows you to set procedures across your entire
enterprise, ensuring all staff are empowered to make the best delivery decisions.
The most important question to ask when evaluating shipping solutions
has to do with your business goals. Where is your business headed in
the next few years — and how will a shipping solution support those goals?
By choosing a solution you should not only consider your current
needs but try to cater for future requirements as much as possible.
This could be, for example, expanding into new markets or implementing
an omni-channel strategy. New markets require new capabilities. Let’s
say your organization only ships across the United States but is
looking to expand into Europe in the future. There are 50 countries in
Europe, of which 28 are members of the European Union — although this
will change after the UK leaves the bloc in 2019 — as well as 24
official languages and 11 currencies. That means your multi carrier
solution will need multilingual and multi-currency capabilities.
The complexity does not end there. When it comes to freight rating
there is an assortment of rate calculation methods that European
carriers can use. There is also no uniform postal code across Europe.
Rate-zone definitions differ by carrier, service and country. These
rate zones may be based on a combination of country postal codes,
cities, regions, countries and so forth. Your solution therefore must
have the flexibility to handle this diverse landscape.
Multi Carrier Shipping software is a complete end-to-end
solution for parcel shipping. It supports carrier selection and
document preparation in the warehouse or from the desktop. With
visibility into rates, routes and service options, you can reduce your
dependence on a single carrier. Our Desktop Shipping solution means
that workers outside the warehouse can also access rates, routes, and
service options for multiple carriers, and satisfy customer delivery
requirements without excess cost. The solution standardizes your
logistics operations so you get the best service at the best price,
whether you’re shipping from an office in Chicago or a warehouse in Mumbai.
With PRECISION Multi Carrier Shipping, you can scale up to handle
higher volumes while streamlining workflow and gathering meaningful
data about your shipping operations. PRECISION’s cloud-based solution
grows with your business — whether you’re adding employees in a single
location or across the globe.
With PRECISION you also have real time access to published guidance
and documentation from regulatory and customs agencies across the
globe. That means you’re positioned to adapt to political and
regulatory change with less disruption to your business.
PRECISION captures shipment status messages for all your shipments
with all your carriers. These include real-time
updates, alerts and proof of delivery notifications. PRECISION
alerts you when there are deviations from the expected shipping plan,
such as customs delays, damaged packages and other complications. This
allows you to proactively manage problem shipments.
Precision Software, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading
global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier
shipping software solutions from a single, integrated platform.
Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world rely on our
global support centers to leverage thousands of carriers and manage
millions of shipping transactions every day. The PRECISION solution’s
open architecture allows for easy integration with leading Enterprise
Resource Planning (ERP), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and
existing legacy solutions. An ISO-certified company, Precision
Software assists companies around the world to minimize shipping
costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, avoid compliance
delays and mitigate the risks associated with dynamic trading
environments. Precision Software’s customers span multiple industries
including banking and finance, life sciences, high technology, retail,
industrial, automotive, higher education and public sector as well as
logistics providers. For more information about Precision Software,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.