Parcel volumes have skyrocketed in recent years. In this QAD Precision Report we look at choosing a multi carrier shipping solution to manage high volume parcel shipments.
There is no doubt that there has been a rapid increase in the number of parcel shipments. According to Parcelmonitor, 2021 peak season shipments increased 47 percent over the record setting volume in 2020. Consequently, shippers must find a way to access capacity while satisfying customer delivery requirements.
Due to the rising demand for parcel shipping, many shippers have moved away from the traditional single carrier strategy. Instead, many have to embrace a multiple carrier strategy. But simply adding extra carriers can add both costs and complexity. As a result, shippers are turning to multi carrier shipping software to help them manage volumes, customer requirements, and control costs. Here’s a look at how multi carrier shipping software helps shippers cope with rising parcel volumes.
Most carriers have their own dedicated shipping software and specific formats for paperwork. As the number of carriers the shipper uses increases, the burden on the shipping team increases exponentially. They have to toggle between multiple systems and processes. This slows down their ability to accomplish their tasks. Plus, switching between different systems increases the risk of human error, with the knock-on effect of affecting customer delivery schedules.
Multi carrier shipping software eliminates this problem. Users need to learn only one system and they stay logged in to a single system all day. Multi carrier shipping software understands each carrier’s unique requirements and, after choosing the best routing that meets customer needs, creates properly formatted paperwork for each parcel.
Since the process is always the same, the shipping team doesn’t need to analyze costs and routes across multiple carriers. The multi carrier software solution does that for them — in fractions of a second. As a result, the logistics department experiences increasing efficiency and eliminates potential bottlenecks while cost effectively meeting customer requirements.
In addition to the carrier specific paperwork requirements, there are also requirements associated with international shipments or the sale and transport of specific products across borders. Keeping track of the thousands of regulations and the continual changes in required paperwork formats is a full-time job. These requirements can slow deliveries, and increase the risk of errors that cause delays or fines.
Sometimes it is not where you ship, but what you ship. If you sell restricted or dual use products, you may need to identify your trading partners and validate that they are subject to sanctions or restrictions on commerce (denied parties laws). Furthermore, in the US, certain technologies and industrial goods may be subject to deemed export laws.
There are solutions that solely handle these compliance issues. However, using disparate and separate systems for compliance and shipping adds complexity. The shipping team must learn to use multiple systems, perhaps logging in and out many times per day—a waste of time and an extremely inefficient process. And because the systems aren’t integrated, information is siloed so it’s harder to catch errors, duplications, or omissions. This is particularly wasteful considering that the same details needed to screen a trading partner are used to complete a shipment.
Multi carrier shipping software handles compliance as easily as it handles routings and bills of lading requirements. Shipments are automatically checked against the latest restricted parties and sanctions lists and generates all compliance paperwork along with the shipping labels.
As a result, the shipping department can process more parcels per day with fewer errors, and at less cost than using multiple systems would incur.
If you are considering a multi carrier shipping solution, here are three questions to help you refine your requirements.
With the projected increase in parcel volume for the foreseeable future, shippers must ensure that any solution they select can scale to meet their future requirements. It is costly and disruptive to replace software frequently. Therefore, you should ask potential vendors about the scalability of their multi carrier shipping software.
The supply chain is increasingly global and many companies both source and ship internationally. This is why scalability concerns should also include new regions or geographies, as well as new potential product lines or shipping locations that may place demands on your multi carrier shipping software in the future.
Many lower-end multi carrier software solutions have only rudimentary compliance checking or omit it completely, forcing you to rely on a secondary system or manual methods. Even if your company has no compliance concerns today, are you certain that will remain the case in the future?
Your product line may change
Your geographical reach may change
Regulations may change
Your supply chain may chain
Your customer mix may change
Nobody can predict the future, so this list may not even include changes that arise and severely affect your ability to ship parcels quickly and inexpensively.
When evaluating multi carrier software, you should look for a solution that meets your current needs, but also ensure that it can meet future requirements. The answers to these questions will help you avoid additional hassle, disruption, and expenses in the future. To learn more about how to select the right multi carrier software solution for you, contact us today.
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