Peak season is well and truly here. This year promises to be a
shipping season like no other. In this QAD Precision Report we look
at how multi carrier parcel shipping software can help enterprises
effectively and efficiently navigate peak season.
Welcome to the holiday season. For many of us around the world,
December is a time for family, friends and good cheer. For shippers —
especially retailers — and their carrier shipping partners, the last
month of the year is a serious logistical challenge.
Single’s Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone.
But with in-store retail still curbed around large parts of the world,
many retailers have extended online shopping offers and discounts.
To win at peak season, retailers need to offer fantastic customer
service, ensure on-time delivery and contain shipping costs.
Sensormatic Solutions, a global retail solutions provider, found that
US consumers largely stayed away from physical stores this Black
Friday. In-person shopping declined
52.1 percent on Black Friday, compared to 2019. According to
Sensormatic Solutions, this was as a result consumers turning to
e-commerce, as well as social distancing requirements and fewer
doorbuster offers in stores.
The increased adoption of e-commerce saw consumers in the US spend a
billion online over Black Friday. This was an increase of 22
percent compared to 2019. Adobe Analytics forecasts that Cyber Monday
online sales will reach as much as $12.7
billion this year.
The holiday period is important for most retailers. Some make the
lion’s share of their profits at this time. This year, peak season
will be even more crucial than ever.
A number of retailers have fallen foul of the pandemic, with many big
names having gone into bankruptcy administration or having closed for
good. These include American staples such as J.
Crew and J.C. Penney, as well as TopShop
owner, Arcadia Group.
It is fair to say that a number of retailers were already facing
stiff competition from pure play e-commerce competitors. Many
responded by offering a great omnichannel experience for their
customers. Others failed to optimize their e-commerce operations.
These retailers simply could not offer the convenience and service
that their competitors used to lure away formerly loyal customers.
Every year carriers such as UPS, FedEx and DHL go on hiring blitzes
to manage peak season demand. This year is no different in that
regard. What is different is that carriers have been dealing with
peak-like volumes since March.
and UPS have warned shippers that there is little flexibility
for extra capacity this peak season. In order to meet their peak
season needs, DHL eCommerce told retailers that they need to diversify
In other words, the only way to successfully navigate peak season is
by using multiple carriers.
Having more than a single carrier to choose from makes good sense.
However, if you have multiple, separate workstations to process
shipments with each carrier, a shipper is missing out on significant benefits.
Firstly, carriers have different requirements. If warehouse staff are
manually switching between different carrier workstations, mistakes
can be easily made. The result? Delayed or lost shipments and angry customers.
If you are a high volume shipper, it is not feasible to manually
compare carriers for each shipment to get the best rate and transit
time. At peak season, this would be virtually impossible.
It also means that your parcel shipping data is divided across
different systems. As a result, you do not have a single view of
parcel spend, volumes, on-time deliveries and so forth.
carrier parcel shipping software is not only necessary for peak
season shipping. It helps shippers optimize e-commerce operations
throughout the year for cost effective and efficient parcel shipping.
Here are five important ways that multi carrier parcel shipping
software can help.
Shippers that leverage a comprehensive multi carrier solution are
able to seamlessly switch between carriers from a single system. This
means there is no need to manually compare carrier services and
With multi carrier shipping solutions you get the best rate, route,
service level and transit time for every parcel. Furthermore, a multi
carrier solution with automated routing does this automatically.
Automated routing follows your business rules about how a particular
kind of package is to be delivered.
Multi carrier solutions also print shipping labels and generate all
shipping documentation, for both domestic deliveries and international shipping.
Customers are individuals with different delivery needs. Some prefer
home delivery, while click and collect or curbside pick-up suit others
better. For some convenience is the most important factor; for others
it is cost.
Not all retailers can, or should, offer free shipping. However, the
2019 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper found that 41 percent of
shoppers had abandoned a shopping cart because they felt the delivery
costs were too high. Therefore, a retailer should offer a range of
delivery options so that customers can choose the option that best
fits their needs.
The vast majority of customers want to know the status of their
deliveries. A comprehensive multi carrier parcel shipping solution
will keep you, and your customers, informed with real-time delivery updates.
Ideally, parcel tracking should come with exception
alerts. If a parcel is at risk of missing its delivery deadline,
your staff will receive an alert so that they can take corrective
action. It is far better to let your customer know if there is a
problem and what is being done to rectify this, instead of waiting for
them to call with a complaint.
It is a fact of e-commerce that online shoppers return goods more
frequently than those who shop in store. Shoppers return around 10
percent of store purchases, compared to 30 percent of online
purchases. For clothes, returns are around 40 percent.
Multi carrier shipping solutions allow retailers to create a flexible
returns policy and ensure that unwanted items are returned at the
Carriers have strict requirements for labeling and electronic
communications. This is necessary to allow them to process high
volumes of parcels through their networks. Ensuring ongoing compliance
can be a challenge for shippers. However, if you use a multi carrier
parcel shipping solution, your provider is responsible for making sure
that you are up-to-date with the latest standards and requirements.
To subscribe to our blog, or to receive notifications about QAD
Precision events, webinars and news, please click here.
CUSTOMER DEMANDS WITH MULTI CARRIER SHIPPING SOFTWARE
TO CHOOSE E-COMMERCE SHIPPING SOFTWARE
MINUTE EXPLAINER: WHAT IS MULTI CARRIER SHIPPING SOFTWARE?