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Preparing Global Logistics for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

As several experimental COVID-19 vaccines approach late-stage testing, their manufacturers have begun working diligently with technology partners, carriers and others involved in the logistics of distributing a potential vaccine to populations around the globe to assemble the necessary processes, procedures and instruments to safely and effectively move and disseminate the eventual inoculations.

In addition to some of the early considerations for shippers, manufacturers and other industry professionals relating to the scale, distribution and shipping requirements of a potential vaccine, DHL and other carriers have started making adjustments to prepare. They’re adding cargo service routes, increasing flight schedules to provide crucial transport infrastructure and taking other steps to prepare in anticipation of the potential global delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine.

On top of having the transport infrastructure in place, many carriers and pharmaceutical companies have been shoring up equipment and technology that will meet the complex set of protective measures required for maintaining the efficacy of a vaccine during transport, including precise refrigeration and temperature settings. According to The New York Times, many of the vaccines under development will need to be kept at temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit).

Managing global distribution strategies for such a critical product on such a scale creates considerable operational challenges. That’s why many pharma companies and global carriers have turned to transportation management technology providers to help enhance their preparations to transport the highly temperature-sensitive COVID-19 doses.

Just as Logistyx was on the forefront to help Gilead move its investigational drug against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 to medical facilities in continental Europe, we’re helping another leading pharmaceutical manufacturer effectively execute its vaccine release. From rigorous temperature-controlled storage and transportation to uninterrupted logistics management information and real-time status updates, this pharma company has a unique set of carrier service requirements. Logistyx is working around the clock with the pharma leader and its carrier services network to ensure the uninterrupted availability of a quality vaccine by building a custom network of carriers capable of playing a role in this critical task.

ebook logistyx future-proofing-supply-chainPlanning now for the eventual availability and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine allows logistics experts, pharmaceutical distribution specialists and global carriers to prepare for any potential hiccups in the process. Likewise, cloud technology like Logistyx helps decrease supply chain risk, an incredibly important initiative when it comes to something as vital as the multifaceted distribution of an initially limited supply of a life-saving vaccine. Logistyx TME helps optimize parcel shipping by improving the speed, accuracy, and flexibility of the supply chain, and a digitized supply chain improves a company’s ability to anticipate risk, improve transparency and coordination across the supply chain, and manage any issues that arise from increasing complexity. When it comes to the global distribution of vaccines or parcels of any kind, TME helps shippers minimize disruptions and solve those that do arise more quickly.

For more information about how Logistyx’s cloud TMS for parcel shipping can help you effectively plan for and manage supply chain challenges, contact us today.

Three Delivery Trends Set for Growth: Ken Fleming Talks to Parcel and Postal Technology International

Driven by a shift in consumer expectations to a ‘delivery from anywhere, to anywhere, at any time’ mindset, Ken Fleming, President of Logistyx Technologies, discussed three trends that are set to offer increased convenience for customers, carriers, and companies with Parcel and Postal Technology.

Saturday delivery for no extra charge

In the summer, UPS announced it would launch a Saturday service across eight European countries at the same price as weekday delivery.  As its rationale, the company cited research from IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which said reported ecommerce sales in the UK grew by a third (33%) in May.

ebook logistyx future-proofing-supply-chainHowever, Ken sheds some additional light on why this is set to be a growing trend: “There are potential cost implications in offering a six-day standard service, but operationally it is not a massive burden. It will help flatten couriers’ weekly peak, whereby parcels from shippers that have a Saturday collection, but no delivery until Monday, stack up at the courier’s warehouse.  I would be very surprised if the trend doesn’t continue across the industry, especially due to the recent increase in e-commerce sales, which shows no sign of dropping off.  If carriers don’t start to add Saturday, or even Sunday delivery at a standard weekday rate, capacity in the industry may not keep up with demand.”

Increased on-demand changes to delivery

While it isn’t new in itself, it is significant the UK’s Royal Mail added in-flight options to its delivery service in July.  Due to the volumes it handles, this announcement represents a massive and challenging undertaking for the organisation.

Ken comments: “On-demand delivery changes tend to be more common with standard two to five-day services.  After all, if you want guaranteed next day delivery, you will likely pay for it and be happy to ensure you are available to receive the parcel on that day.  However, not many people want – or are able – to be available at any time over several days or to have to queue up to collect a non-delivered parcel from a depot, even at the best of times.  The huge spike in e-commerce means more carriers will have to give on-demand flexibility, or they will risk losing business to competitors who can offer it.”

Delivery from store

An increasing number of large and big-brand retailers are moving towards ship from store.  From the retailer’s point of view, it is both extremely efficient and – by reducing the movement of the stock – a greener option.  At the same time, it enables retailers to offer same day delivery via courier, particularly in urban areas.

“There are two key factors which must be in place to enable retailers to provide ship from store: accurate inventory systems, and a carrier management system which is intelligent enough to suggest delivery from store as an option when the order is placed.  From a customer perspective, they may not even realize their item has been sent from a store rather than an RDC,” comments Ken.

To facilitate same day delivery from store, it’s likely shippers will need to introduce new carrier contracts – including local couriers, who can deliver by moped, bike, or electric vehicle – or even potentially by drone or robot.  By shipping local to local there can be a significant reduction in miles traveled, reducing the environmental impact of the delivery.

The recent increase in e-commerce versus in-store transactions isn’t likely to go away any time soon and seems set to help the parcel shipping industry move from ‘fast and free’ towards transparent, customizable delivery options, putting the convenience of the customer at the heart of the service.

For more information on parcel shipping trends, check out the Logistyx Research Solutions.

 

FedEx Announces 2021 Rate Increases

Retailers can continue to expect rising prices for shipping parcels beyond peak season 2020, as FedEx recently unveiled rate increases and late fees set to take effect in 2021. Starting in January, FedEx will raise rates an average of 4.9% for its Ground, Express, and Home Delivery services, along with charging a 6% late fee to U.S. FedEx Express and FedEx Ground customers who don’t pay invoices within their agreed upon payment terms.

These latest rate increases come on the tail of FedEx and other major carriers levying surcharges in advance of the 2020 holiday shopping season. All together, these recurrent carrier rate increases point to the continued growth of e-commerce, propelled in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers’ shifting shopping behaviors. According to a consumer insights survey by Radial, for example, 66% of U.S. shoppers anticipate they will increase their online purchases during the 2020 holiday season, with 60% planning to shop less in-store this season due to fear of COVID-19 exposure.

As consumers increasingly turn to omnichannel shopping to safely buy goods during and beyond the pandemic, shipping volume has increased exponentially, putting increased demand on carriers and leading to the rollout of these surcharges and increased rates to offset costs.

As retailers continue to face these rate increases in tandem with higher levels of online orders, they’re challenged with the need to manage these volumes successfully and offer cost-effective ways to meet rapidly evolving customer demands. Growing their carrier network can help any merchant effectively tackle these challenges by introducing more options and capacity into the parcel delivery mix.

New call-to-actionImplementing and optimizing a multi-carrier parcel shipping strategy serves as a key component in cost control for retailers and their ability to quickly react to carrier surcharges and rate increases. By leveraging a cloud multi-carrier shipping system, retailers can provide a consistent level of service to customers despite the surging demand for carrier capacity by accessing and automatically comparing different carriers’ rates to select the optimal carrier service for each shipment.

To learn more about how a multi-carrier shipping system can help your business optimize parcel shipping to help control costs, contact us today.

Peak Season 2020: 6 Parcel Shipping Best Practices

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail landscape in 2020 barely resembles that of years past.  Supply chains worldwide have been disrupted and increases in e-commerce have limited shipping capacity and impacted delivery times. Many experts are also predicting a second wave of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter, creating uncertainty and unease everywhere.

Given this landscape, retailers are preparing for an unprecedented holiday shopping season, most of which may take place online.  According to May 2020 data from daVinci Payments, 71% of U.S. adults are planning to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year.  Should this prove true, retailers will be on the order fulfillment end of record levels of online orders, and to manage these volumes successfully, necessary extensions in operations, fulfillment capacity, and customer service should be soon underway (if they’re not already).

To help plan, we’ve pulled together six best practices for shipping parcels during the 2020 holiday season:

1. Plan for Earlier than Usual Holiday Shopping

Experts say the combination of retailers’ decisions to close stores on Thanksgiving, questions about the timing of Amazon’s Prime Day, and the tremendous opportunity for e-commerce sales this holiday season could create a new holiday shopping calendar, wherein sales occur earlier and big, in-store sales at the end of November play a much lesser role in holiday revenue – if at all.  In fact, some of the biggest retailers are planning for a surge as early as October:

  • Target announced it will launch its holiday sales in October. “Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn’t a year for crowds,” it said in a blog post.
  • Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said, “But when you think about a Black Friday, if you think about the 10 days before Christmas, what does that mean in terms of traffic if people are nervous about gathering with crowds?” He anticipates the holiday shopping season will begin after Halloween.

2. Use Regional Carriers

If you’re competing against retailers that offer one-day and same-day delivery, adding regional carrier options can help lessen their competitive advantage.  Regional carriers can be the key to faster, cheaper, and more flexible delivery services, usually offering next-day ground delivery within 400 miles of a shipment’s origin – often at a lower rate and with fewer surcharges than the national carriers. In comparison, the next-day footprint of the national carriers’ ground service is only 200 miles.

3. Leverage a Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management System

To manage high volumes of parcel deliveries while maintaining on-time delivery, retailers need to leverage multiple carrier services.  A cloud multi-carrier parcel management system will quickly access different carriers’ (including regional carriers’) shipping rates through a single system, enabling retailers to quickly compare rates and select the optimal carrier service for each shipment according to business rules.

Retailers can also integrate their multi-carrier parcel management system with their e-commerce platform to give online customers the ability to choose from various delivery/cost options at the point of check-out. This can decrease the workload for order fulfillment teams while improving the purchase and delivery experience for customers.

4. Offer Free Shipping

In a 2018 survey by Internet Retailer, shipping charges were cited as the most common reason shoppers abandon their carts. And similar findings were echoed in NRF’s quarterly Consumer View 2019 report, in which 75 percent of consumers reported they expect free shipping, including on orders less than $50.

For retailers looking to increase online sales this holiday season and recoup in-store losses caused by the pandemic, this is likely unwelcome news.  After all, absorbing shipping costs reduces margins.  And the alternative,  wherein a retailer simply embeds the shipping cost into the purchase price of the product, runs the risk that consumers will find the same product at a lower price elsewhere.

One way for retailers to give consumers the shipping offer they want while protecting the bottom line, is to secure the most cost-effective carrier service. Again, a multi-carrier parcel management system  ensures the best carrier service is used for every parcel, and it can also help retailers avoid unexpected custodial fees incurred by bad addresses and non-compliant labels.

5. Take Steps to Ensure On-Time Delivery

One of the easiest ways to mar an otherwise good online purchase experience occurs in the final mile. Whether the delivery is late, damaged, or lost, retailers can easily lose a customer and even sustain a reputation hit from poor online reviews and/or word-of-mouth when the delivery experience fails to – ahem – deliver.

New call-to-actionA sophisticated multi-carrier parcel management system will include a Control Tower, which means retailers can proactively manage against unwanted delivery events and provide shoppers with delivery transparency. Specifically, the system will send early warning signs when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” empowering customer service teams to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer in real time. For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker. Customers can even track and trace shipments on company websites without the need to visit carrier sites, reducing inbound calls about shipment status to customer service and increasing the customers’ browsing behavior on the retailer’s website, which (fingers crossed!) could lead to additional purchases. Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables retailers to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and better informing carrier contract negotiations.


6. Put a Returns Strategy in Place

Consumers will appreciate a fast, efficient returns process and will be more likely to generate repeat business if their returns experience is a good one. The key to winning this customer loyalty is to make the returns process simple.

Forward-thinking organizations who put the customer experience first employ a variety of creative methods for simplifying returns, including dual-use labels (labels that serve the purpose of both the outbound shipment and return), peel-off labels (where the outbound label easily peels off to expose a return label), and perhaps most notably, accepting returns of online orders in stores. This last approach is popular among omnichannel retailers that have both online and physical stores, but it was also adopted by Amazon, who has partnered with a large retail chain to accept, process, and ship returns at no cost to the customer – they simply initiate the return in the app and take the item to the store where it’s scanned, processed, and held until shipment.

The 2020 Holiday Shopping Season is Here

Looking ahead to October, retailers should have a parcel shipping strategy in place that delights customers and increases business.  To learn more about simplifying the complexity of high velocity parcel shipping, contact us today.

Carrier Surcharges in Advance of the Holidays: What You Need to Know

To say the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge is, at this point, likely a bit of an understatement. But one of the industries hit the hardest is also the one on which most people are now incredibly reliant: parcel shipping.

In early March, at the onset of the pandemic, FedEx actually suspended its 2020 profit outlook, citing the “significant impact” of the Coronavirus moving forward. As was true with so many carriers during this time, FedEx looked to cut costs in any way they could to remain profitable while shipping a record number of parcels, and they levied their fair share of surcharges as one way to boost the bottom line.

Unfortunately for carriers, these record shipping volumes show no signs of slowing.  The shipping landscape has yet to return to “normal” at this point, and industry experts predict it may not ever.  And with a record number of consumers now conditioned to – and comfortable with – e-commerce, all signs indicate this extraordinary year could very well be punctuated by an extraordinary peak season.  As a result, many carriers are planning ahead, and turning once again to surcharges as a way to protect their profits.  In fact, organizations like UPS, FedEx, and even the USPS have already announced they are adding a variety of holiday carrier surcharges to their prices.

Holiday Parcel Surcharges: Breaking Things Down

USPS

The United States Postal Service has made major headlines in the last few weeks, to the point where it can be easy to forget they were actually the first to announce proposed (and unprecedented) holiday surcharges. In anticipation of a massive holiday-driven demand for e-commerce parcel shipping, the proposed surcharges will go into effect from October 18, 2020 to December 27, 2020, and add anywhere from $0.24 to $1.50 more per package shipped, no exceptions.

It’s important to note this is a step the USPS has not actually taken before – in the past, it was limited mainly to carriers like UPS and FedEx. However, the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, said this was a direct result of higher-than-expected demand and would directly impact shippers sending more than 25,000 packages per week during the holiday season.  And while it’s absolutely true the USPS’s holiday surcharges are higher than expected, they’re not nearly as high as what FedEx and UPS are planning…

UPS

Also bracing for a historic peak holiday shipping season, UPS has announced they will be adding surcharges ranging from $1.00 to $3.00 per package, depending on the carrier service. This will begin with the onset of peak season on October 4 and will affect all customers shipping more than 25,000 packages per week.

Under these new rules, any customer with peak volumes exceeding more than 110% of their average weekly volume dating back to February of 2020 will pay $1.00 per package extra on all ground residential deliveries. If using residential air delivery, this number will increase to $2.00 per package in addition to what they were already paying. Likewise, an additional $1.00 will be added to the cost of SurePost – which is where UPS hands packages to the USPS for last-mile residential deliveries.

As was true in the case of the USPS, a spokesman for UPS said these surcharges were designed to “balance the company’s capacity needs and costs with projections for holiday demand.”

Note, UPS has also indicated there will be a new $5.00 surcharge on all packages requiring “unusual and labor-intensive processing.” Large packages typically requiring special handling are those with a length exceeding 96 inches, or a combined length and girth exceeding 130 inches. Shipments exceeding UPS’s own “maximum limits” will pay an additional $250 surcharge.  All UPS surcharges will run until January 16, 2020.

FedEx

Finally, FedEx indicated it will also implement similar surcharges in an effort to “continue providing our customers with the best possible service during this challenging time.” Their surcharges go into effect from November 2, 2020 to January 17, 2021, and customers must once again reach a certain volume threshold to be impacted.

New call-to-actionFedEx’s holiday carrier surcharges are actually a bit more forgiving than the others, only impacting customers who ship more than 35,000 packages on average per week in October and November. The total charge will vary depending on how much the shipper shipped during this period compared to how much they were shipping from February 3 to March 1, 2020 – prior to the onset of the pandemic.

According to FedEx’s own website, residential shipments could see a surcharge added to each package ranging from between $1.00 and $5.00 depending on the circumstances. FedEx SmartPost – which is where FedEx hands shipments to the United States Postal Service for last-mile delivery – will see an increase similar to UPS’s of an additional $1.00 per package from November 2 to November 29. At this point, the surcharge actually increases to $2.00 per package until December 6, before decreasing back to $1.00 until January 17, 2021.

Respond Now to Carrier Surcharges

If your current shipping capabilities don’t provide opportunities to optimize parcel shipping such as parcel consolidation and carrier invoice auditing, you’re likely missing potential savings and impeding your business’s ability to quickly react to carrier surcharges. To learn more about the latest parcel shipping tools and technology, contact us today.

What is a Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Solution?

The term “multi-carrier parcel management solution” has become more widespread as companies digitize their supply chains to successfully execute an omnichannel order fulfillment strategy and ship parcels competitively.  But what is a multi-carrier parcel management solution?

According to Gartner:

“Multicarrier parcel management solutions help companies select the appropriate (best) parcel carrier from among all contracted carriers. This selection is based on order characteristics (such as weight and dimensional properties), delivery rules (such as delivery time and delivery zone) and carrier performance, while considering the cost differentials of various carrier offerings. These tools also enable shippers to manage the creation of labels, create shipper manifests, provide status messages to customers or customer service representatives, and manage carrier rates.”

In addition, multi-carrier parcel management solutions often integrate with a company’s ERP system and/or a warehouse management system (WMS) to create a single, efficient, supply chain ecosystem. Orders flow seamlessly between the technologies in the ecosystem, creating organizational alignment, decreasing the time from order to delivery, and yielding benefits such as:

  • Decreased transportation spend and increased profits per parcel
  • Time savings
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Informed decision-making
  • Simplified collaboration with supply chain stakeholders
  • Cost-effective operational scale

Choosing the Right Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Solution

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingEvery shippers’ parcel shipping operations are unique.  And the truth is, so too are the multi-carrier parcel management solutions on the market.  Some offer basic rating, rate shopping, and labeling, while others offer more advanced functionality such as returns management and Business Intelligence. To reap the benefits listed above and quickly generate an ROI, it’s important to choose the solution that’s the best fit for your business.  The first step is to understand the direct impact of each feature within the technology and then determine whether it can improve your specific shipping environment.

According to Gartner, most multi-carrier parcel management solutions offer basic features that unlock potential for improved operational efficiencies and increased visibility throughout the supply chain.  These may include:

  • Parcel Contract Management
  • Carrier Compliance
  • Parcel Consolidation
  • Label and Document Creation
  • Parcel Execution
  • Real-Time Parcel Visibility
  • Reporting/Analytics

While a shipper’s top priorities are usually cost optimization and the ability to work within a large carrier services network, capabilities outside of the basics listed above can enhance the entire shipping process, deliver better customer service, and utilize data more effectively. These advanced features may include:

  • Parcel Optimization
  • Procurement and Bid Optimization
  • Automated Rate Shopping
  • Parcel Freight Payment
  • Mobile Solutions
  • Last-Mile Delivery
  • Returns and Claims Management

With so many features and functionality available in multi-carrier parcel management solutions, even the most seasoned industry expert can become confused when looking to implement a new solution.  Our best advice is to remember the right solution for your business will be the one that expands and contracts with your business, so you always have the features you need to execute your order fulfillment strategy.

The Difference Between a Cloud and an On-Premise Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Solution

Multi-carrier parcel management solutions can be installed and accessed in different ways. The traditional way, and the one used by many early adopters of transportation technology, was on-premise.

An on-premise multi-carrier parcel management solution delivery model is exactly that – the solution is hosted on your premises (aka your servers). This means the system is reliant on your network and your IT resources. While this can mean faster LAN speed and file access, it also means you need the right infrastructure in place to manage your system’s security, maintenance, IT, upgrades, and support.  Many companies find that as they scale (think e-commerce), they quickly become underwater.

In contrast, a cloud multi-carrier parcel management solution is accessible to users via the internet and is managed by a third-party vendor. Rather than installing and hosting the software locally on your servers, you basically “lease” it on a fee basis.

Gaining in popularity, a cloud delivery model improves scalability, accessibility, and security – seamlessly connecting people, processes, and third parties to your parcel shipping operations in real time, regardless of location and with minimal upfront costs and IT investment. All users can execute, track, and analyze parcel shipping in a single solution – improving reaction time, collaboration, and decision-making accuracy.

And since the solution provider hosts and maintains the cloud multi-carrier parcel management solution, the software doesn’t monopolize space on your servers or consume your IT resources. The solution provider is responsible for all upgrades, repairs, and support, which means the solution deploys faster and enables you to realize a return on investment quickly — without the hit of an initial investment and with the benefit of accelerated implementation and integration processes.

Also important to note: an additional benefit of a cloud model is security. A reputable cloud multi-carrier parcel management solution will potentially provide more robust data security than you could yourself – particularly if you lack deep IT resources, staff, controls, or expertise.

How Can a Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Solution Decrease Transportation Spend?

Whether your parcel shipments are crossing borders or arriving next day, a multi-carrier parcel management solution lowers shipping costs by:

  • Comparing Carrier Rates:Multi-carrier parcel management solutions enable shippers to automatically access all of their negotiated carrier rates in one system, choosing the optimal rate for each shipment according to the shipper’s business rules and ensuring every shipment is in compliance with each carrier’s labeling and communication standards, as well as with any applicable trade regulations.
  • Paying Carrier Invoices Correctly:Carrier invoice auditing is another way to save on total transportation spend.  For shippers shipping large parcel volumes, auditing carrier invoices is crucial. Mistakes can, and do, happen. For example, a carrier may bill for a service level promised, but not received, or a carrier may add an unexpected accessorial. These errors can add up quickly and can have a surprising impact on the bottom line.By leveraging a multi-carrier parcel management solution, shippers can automate carrier invoice auditing.  All transportation data, from carrier contracts… to delivery events… to carrier invoices, is captured and normalized in the multi-carrier parcel management solution, which then flags any discrepancies between expected costs and carrier invoices – giving shippers greater control over their transportation spend.And the savings don’t stop there.  In addition to the direct cost savings carrier invoice auditing achieves, shippers also benefit from “soft cost” savings by eliminating resource intensive tasks such as opening mail, sorting invoices, verifying rates, auditing and approving invoices, paying carriers, and performing cost accounting.  By removing these soft costs, accounting teams can focus their efforts on more strategic initiatives.Furthermore, carrier invoice auditing provides shippers with an overview of invoiced carrier costs versus carrier agreements, enabling them to ensure their carrier procurement is aligned with strategy and to verify they’re receiving the delivery outcomes for which they’ve paid.  A sophisticated multi-carrier parcel management solution will model and compare selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times. The solution can also reveal even more advanced optimization strategies, such as effective ways to position facilities and inventory around the globe.
  • Improving Visibility:Shippers leveraging a multi-carrier parcel management solution improve visibility into their supply chain operations.  All stakeholders use a single platform to see delivery status updates, receive alerts to delivery events, and make real-time adjustments to keep the supply chain running smoothly and customers happy.  For example, in the event of a delivery disruption, the shipper can take steps to send the product from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or the shipper can communicate with the customer: is he or she willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker to receive the product on time? Customers can even track and trace shipments on company websites without the need to visit carrier sites, reducing inbound calls about shipment status to customer service and increasing the customers’ browsing behavior on the shipper’s website – which (fingers crossed!) could lead to additional purchases. Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables shippers to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and better informing carrier contract negotiations.

Capitalize on Supply Chain Opportunities

Multi-carrier parcel management solutions like Logistyx TME help companies capitalize on supply chain opportunities by increasing end-to-end supply chain visibility, controlling transportation spend, and leveraging analytics to optimize order fulfillment strategies.  And since Logistyx TME is built on the latest cloud technology, it can be implemented quickly to yield a rapid ROI.

Contact one of our experts to learn more about Logistyx TME today.

3 Practical Tips to Eliminate Hidden Shipping Costs

Many companies have significantly reduced their parcel shipping costs by implementing multi-carrier shipping software that allows them to compare carrier rates and automate labels and document production.  However, you can realize even greater savings by ensuring your multi-carrier shipping software is configured to preempt many common issues that result in hidden shipping costs.

Here are three practical improvements to increase profits per parcel:

1. Correct Shipping Addresses

When is the last time you checked your carrier invoice to review charges related to incorrect shipping addresses?  Address inaccuracies rarely get the attention they deserve, and left unattended, the dollars can quickly add up.

Costs related to incorrect delivery addresses can be huge and accumulate in several ways:

  • Incorrect delivery addresses: Say, for example, a customer accidentally types an incorrect street address for his or her ship-to address. Generally, the carrier will fix the issue with the delivery address, but you’ll pay for this service.
  • Residential delivery erroneously classified as commercial: A common and costly error occurs when residential deliveries are erroneously classified as commercial deliveries. Again, the carrier may fix it, but at a cost per package.
  • Increased customer service costs: Besides carrier surcharges, you as the shipper bear additional internal labor costs every time your customer service and shipping department employees interrupt their daily routine to resolve address-related problems.
  • Unhappy customers and canceled orders: Delivery address problems also lead to frustrated customers, order cancellations, and even the loss of a customer. An interruption or delay makes it too easy for the impulse shopper to decide they don’t really need the product after all.

Solution: Ensure your Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Includes Address Verification Functionality

The easiest way to prevent additional charges and lost customers is to leverage the address verification functionality in multi-carrier shipping software.  A shipping system specialist can help you evaluate your current shipping system and determine which multi-carrier shipping software best fits your needs, asking questions such as:

  • Does your current shipping system allow you to designate shipments as residential or commercial?
  • Does your current shipping system validate addresses at the street level, city, and/or zip code level?
  • Does your current shipping system detect multiple or near duplicate address matches?
  • Does your current shipping system allow the user to view and/or choose address details?
  • What is the address validation source used by your current shipping system?
  • Does your current shipping system require Delivery Point Validation (DPV)? DPV enables you to verify an address actually exists.

The bottom line?  This seemingly small problem adds up to huge costs for many companies.  If you are absorbing extra shipping costs due to incorrect delivery addresses, the right multi-carrier shipping software can eliminate the problems.

2. Add the U.S. Postal Service to your Multi-Carrier Shipping System

As many shippers know, postal shipping via the U.S. Postal Service can be an extremely cost-effective solution for small parcel deliveries.  The U.S. Postal Service also offers several cost-cutting benefits for small parcel shippers:

  • Flat-rate products to simplify shipping: Priority Mail Flat Rate service can be a simple, timesaving alternative for both domestic and international shipments. Designed for shipments up to 70 pounds, there’s no weighing, no researching zones, and no calculating postage.  Multiple box sizes are available to accommodate a wide range of products.
  • No fuel surcharges: Given the volatility of fuel charges, business shippers have a strong interest in this USPS advantage.  The USPS does not add fuel surcharges.
  • Saturday and residential delivery at no extra charge: Currently, the USPS delivers packages on Saturday at no additional cost, giving you up to 52 extra surcharge-free delivery days a year.
  • The USPS doesn’t charge extra for residential delivery: Compared to carriers who charge extra per residential delivery, the savings can really add up.
  • Largest delivery network in the U.S.: The USPS has the largest delivery network in the U.S. and is the only carrier that delivers to P.O. Box and APO/FPO military addresses.
  • Comprehensive delivery tracking: The USPS has significantly enhanced its delivery tracking capabilities for postal shipping. Shipments are now scanned more frequently to track package movements, providing a high level of visibility to the shipper and their customer.

Solution: Add the USPS to your Multi-Carrier System

Your shipping system vendor should be able to help you assess the cost savings you may achieve.  The U.S. Postal Service also provides consulting services for shippers.

3. Leverage Regional Carriers to Reduce Parcel Shipping Costs

Consider using regional carriers to handle some of your deliveries.  This can be extremely cost-effective for companies with a concentration of customers in certain geographic areas.

Regional carriers can be categorized in a number of ways.  Some focus on small parcel delivery, while others offer less-than-truckload (LTL) services for heavier shipping.

Certain regional carriers provide multi-state solutions, while others are couriers or “micro-regionals” that cover smaller geographic regions such as cities or a partial state.  There are hundreds of regional carriers operating in the U.S., providing shippers with plenty of opportunities to find those who offer the right rates, services, and technology.  Regional carriers offer numerous benefits:

  • Lower shipping rates: As a result of lower operating costs, regionals can often pass significant savings to customers compared to some of the major carriers’ pricing. How?  Most regional carriers transport packages via truck hubs instead of airlines, and trucking can be as little as 10% of airline costs.
  • Fewer surcharges: Many regional carriers don’t assess the same delivery surcharges that national carriers do.
  • Negotiating power: Adding regional carriers places shippers in a better negotiating position with their national carriers.
  • Responsive service: Regional carriers may be willing to take on special shipping requirements and have more flexibility in terms of the kinds of services they can offer.

Comparing and Choosing Regional Carriers

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingIt’s important to make sure your multi-carrier shipping system will accommodate the addition of regional carriers.  Some vendors already include a wide range of regional carrier integrations.  Perform a carrier cost/service analysis to determine if/where it makes sense to add regionals to your delivery network.  It’s important to assess the carrier’s financial stability, service territory, rate structure, etc.  Your shipping solution vendor should have the expertise to help you with this analysis.

Take Advantage of the Benefits of Multi-Carrier Shipping Software to Address Hidden Shipping Costs

By taking advantage of the benefits of multi-carrier shipping software, you can take advantage of tremendous opportunities to reduce shipping costs.  Of course, you achieve the greatest benefit by 1) ensuring all of the data input into your shipping process is accurately maintained and 2) optimizing your carrier portfolio to include the most cost-effective rates/service to accommodate your customers.

Contact us today to learn more about how multi-carrier shipping software is designed to manage a wide range of shipping scenarios.

As Market Conditions Evolve, UPS Reduces its Peak Surcharge for Shipments from China

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and changing patterns have resulted in a UPS peak surcharge reduction on shipments from China to several countries.  A few months ago, we posted an initial update about temporary peak surcharges from all of the major shipping firms, including FedEx, DHL, and UPS. Because shipping as a whole is experiencing a surge thanks to the pandemic (and because the process of shipping has become more complicated thanks to the pandemic), carriers have added these surcharges to maintain operations.

We expected these surcharges could change over time, and a surcharge reduction is what we’re currently seeing from UPS. In today’s blog post, we’ll dive into what this peak surcharge reduction looks like, as well as the ramifications it could have for your business.

UPS Peak Surcharge Reduction: China Mainland to U.S. Shipments

As of June 28, 2020, UPS reduced the peak surcharge rate on shipments originating in China Mainland and arriving in the U.S. Surcharges apply to the same categories of service now as they did previously:

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express
  • UPS Worldwide Saver
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday

As before, the peak surcharge rates vary by service level and are assigned as a rate in U.S. dollars per pound of billable weight.  The only change at this present time is the rate per pound.

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Saver — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited — lowered from $0.75 per pound to $0.52 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight — lowered from $1.81 per pound to $1.36 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday — lowered from $1.81 per pound to $1.36 per pound

As a point of clarification, these surcharges and surcharge reductions apply to shipments that originate in Mainland China but are paid for in the U.S. Shipments paid for in other countries (regardless of origin or destination) may be subject to surcharges as priced in the country where payment occurs.

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingAs of June 28, 2020, all other temporary peak surcharges already in effect remain unchanged from previous updates. This includes the peak surcharge on shipments from Hong Kong SAR to the U.S., where the May 24 rates match the newly revised rates for China Mainland exactly.

All other international shipments remain under the surcharge set on April 12: $0.34 per pound on UPS Worldwide Express Freight and UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday, and $0.11 per pound on all other service levels.

You can find even more details about these changes in this UPS Peak Surcharge Reduction fact sheet.

UPS Peak Surcharge Reduction: China Mainland to Canada Shipments

As it did with China Mainland to U.S. shipments, UPS announced a peak surcharge reduction on China Mainland to Canada shipments, also effective June 28, 2020, until further notice. The UPS peak surcharge reduction for Canada covers the same categories and follows the same model. It’s a surcharge per pound (or kilogram) levied on all relevant shipments paid for in Canada.

Here’s how the peak surcharge reduction breaks down for China Mainland to Canada shipments. Measured in U.S. dollars and pounds, the reductions match exactly:

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Saver — lowered from $0.79 per pound to $0.57 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited — lowered from $0.75 per pound to $0.52 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight — lowered from $1.81 per pound to $1.36 per pound
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday — lowered from $1.81 per pound to $1.36 per pound

The Canadian dollar equivalents are as follows:

  • Express Plus, Express, Saver — CAD $1.05 per pound to CAD $0.76 per pound
  • Expedited — CAD $1.00 per pound to CAD $0.69 per pound
  • Express Freight, Express Freight Midday — CAD $2.41 per pound to CAD $1.81 per pound.

If you prefer to see rates displayed by kilogram, UPS has provided those in a chart here.

Once again mirroring the temporary peak surcharges in the U.S., UPS has set surcharge rates from Hong Kong SAR to Canada and for all other international shipments at the same rates as in the U.S. These remain unchanged since the previous update.

What the UPS Peak Surcharge Reduction Means for Your Business

The UPS peak surcharge reduction on shipments from China Mainland to the U.S. and Canada will have ramifications for your business if you ship in this direction. First, you’ll continue to incur greater shipping costs with UPS than you did a year ago, and depending on your shipping volume and margin, this cost could have a significant effect on your bottom line. However, the reduction narrows the gap considerably and should come as welcome relief.

Another aspect to consider is that the major carriers are not making changes in lockstep. Now that UPS has announced a reduction of this magnitude, a business that’s savvy and agile will evaluate its shipping needs. Consider whether, at this lower surcharge, working with UPS will save you money compared to working with another service.

Of course, we understand that not every business can consider switching parcel carriers at the drop of a hat. But if you’re in a position to reevaluate, now is a good time to do so.

Wrapping Up

Between COVID-19 and the economic fallout it’s causing, this is an unusual point in modern history to have to navigate international shipping. It seems like there are hurdles at every turn. You need a trusted, established logistics partner to help you navigate these complexities, and Logistyx Technologies is here for you.  Our multi-carrier shipping software enables you to meet your customers’ shipping requirements from within a single system.  It automatically determines the carrier in your transportation network that can provide the best rates to a particular region, accounting for surcharges and according to your business rules, ensuring every shipment is in compliance with each carrier’s labeling and communication standards, as well as with any applicable trade regulations.

Ready to learn more about how we can help? Get in touch today.

Shippers Can’t Afford to Overlook the USPS

As the COVID-19 global health crisis lead to widespread store closures and stay-at-home orders, consumers quickly turned to online shopping to buy household items and other necessities. This surge in e-commerce over the past few months has pushed parcel volumes up to near peak season levels.

According to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, e-commerce sales  grew 49% year-to-date, with electronics sales increasing 58% and online grocery sales going up 110%. This rapid shift to e-commerce created many challenges for shippers, carriers, and consumers alike. With no end in sight on the e-commerce rush, many carriers have felt the strain of increased parcel volumes, implementing temporary peak surcharges and putting caps on the number of items retailers can ship. To navigate some of these changes, shippers looked for ways to remain flexible and expand their carrier networks to locate the best value for each shipment during a time when parcel deliveries are in flux.

Like many others, one Logistyx customer, a large regional department store chain, experienced a noticeable and sustained uptick in online orders since the outbreak. With limitations put in place by their current carrier, the department store chain sought other carrier options to meet demand. After comparing alternative carrier rates and services via Logistyx, the department store chain found a successful carrier partner in the United States Postal Service (USPS), that was capable of immediately handling the increased volume of parcel deliveries. The chain quickly shifted its entire parcel shipping operation to the USPS.

The USPS has proven itself essential for shippers looking to meet consumers’ expanding e-commerce shipping expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many regions, the USPS often serves as the best option for last-mile delivery, with the ability to deliver more quickly to customers than other well-known carriers at very competitive rates. The USPS Priority Mail service delivers most domestic packages in under two days with no hidden fees or surcharges and includes tracking capabilities.

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingWeek to week, USPS package deliveries increased 20-50% in April compared to the previous year, and 60-80% in May. The USPS improved select service measures after extending delivery windows in April due to COVID-19, adding an additional day to two- and three-day priority mail and first-class package service, according to ShipMatrix. Between April 19 and May 23, USPS delivered 89.5% of priority mail packages on time, compared with 87.4% between March 1 and April 18. For first-class packages, 92.8% were delivered on time between April 19 and May 23, compared with 92.9% in the earlier period.

While the future of the USPS remains a question, there’s no doubt it functions as an affordable and reliable carrier service for many shippers who find themselves at an unprecedented apex of e-commerce orders.

As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to effect e-commerce shipping, a TMS for parcel shipping can provide shippers with the advanced tools to handle increased parcel shipping volumes while giving them access to an unmatched number of multi-carrier integrations and automated selection of carriers based on preferences for cost, capacity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Learn how Logistyx’s global carrier network of more than 8,500 carrier service integrations can empower your business to ship smarter and spend less.

Ken Fleming Shares How to Fuel Supply Chain Resilience with Multi-Carrier Software in Business Chief

With e-commerce demand increasing significantly in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations have sought ways to improve the agility of their supply chains. Logistyx President Ken Fleming recently shared insights with Business Chief on improving supply chain resilience through the use of multi-carrier software. A few key benefits to this approach include:

  • Flexibility – The ability to access multiple carriers centralized within one software database makes pivoting easy, whether that means switching carriers when needed, tapping into a broader last-mile delivery network or streamlining cross-border execution.
  • Customization – The recent spike in e-commerce has increased customers’ ability to select their desired shipping scenario, whether through home delivery; buy online, pick-up in store; drop ship, etc. Multi-carrier shipping software enables shippers to work with multiple carriers’ labeling and communications requirements to meet customers’ delivery demands from within the shipper’s own system.
  • Cost savings – Providing access to a wider variety of carriers and more affordable delivery options can help keep costs in check.
  • Increased trust – By building relationships with reliable carriers, companies can ensure consistent parcel delivery fulfillment leveraging multi-carrier shipping software to provide greater transparency through data used to uncover opportunities to improve performance and reduce costs.

In Ken’s words, “A cloud-based multi-carrier shipping system can give shippers the ability to quickly onboard and optimize new carrier services. This is a game changer in a crisis that requires a retail shipper to suddenly increase capacity, or pivot to a ship-from-store model, for example – or even pull local courier services into the transportation mix to maintain on-time delivery rates.”

Read Ken’s full article on Business Chief: “Multi-carrier: One way to improve supply chain resilience” and drop us a line to learn how you can respond to, and recover more quickly from, unforeseen disruptions by optimizing supply chain operations.

How to Control Parcel Shipping Costs Despite Carrier Surcharges

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted millions of people worldwide. With all but essential stores closed, e-commerce sales have increased, particularly for items people can use in their homes, such as toys and games, sports and fitness equipment, and cooking and gardening tools.

While carriers are providing an essential service keeping supply chains moving and ensuring these products make it to their final destinations, social distancing guidelines can make processing orders–and delivering them–more difficult.  For example, a large percentage of commercial passenger flights are grounded, which means carriers no longer have air transport as a ready means of distribution. (Under normal circumstances, approximately half of all air cargo is carried in the holds of passenger planes.) While a number of airlines are piling cargo into the passenger seats of their planes, the capacity is nowhere near normal levels. And in order to manage this high demand and limited capacity, many carriers have added surcharges to their services.

Carrier Surcharge Updates

DHL

Beginning April 1, DHL Express added a temporary Emergency Situation Surcharge to all Time Definite International (TDI) shipments, though the surcharge does not apply to Day Definite International (DDI–road) or Time Definite Domestic (TDD) shipments. Of note: DHL Express is not adding this emergency surcharge to life science and healthcare customers or to any company using DHL Medical Express (WMX).

DHL Express noted these charges reflect the sharp decline in available commercial air cargo capacity and the significant reduction in the number of destinations. As a result, the carrier has had to fly via indirect routes and purchase extra cargo aircraft lift, which, the company states, has increased costs to “unsustainable levels.”

FedEx

FedEx has also added Covid-19 surcharges and echoed DHL Express, citing limited air cargo capacity. Beginning April 6, FedEx added a temporary surcharge on all FedEx Express and TNT international parcel and freight shipments.

UPS

Similarly, UPS also announced temporary surcharges. Beginning April 5, UPS introduced a surcharge on UPS Worldwide Express, UPS Worldwide Express Freight, and UPS Expedited shipments originating in China, including Hong Kong, and destined for both North America as well as a number of European countries.

In addition, on April 12, the carrier increased the peak surcharge, which applies to more ship-from and ship-to origins and destinations for international shipments.

Carriers Fighting Covid-19 Globally

Although the surcharges highlighted above are unwelcome, it’s notable carriers have also been making their networks available to help governments globally respond to the Covid-19 outbreak.  Examples include:

Controlling Parcel Shipping Costs in the Wake of Carrier Surcharges

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingControlling transportation costs is important at any time, but at a time when capacity is tight and surcharges apply, it’s even more critical. While most large enterprises understand the importance of tracking and auditing freight costs, a number of organizations don’t apply the same level of scrutiny to their parcel shipping costs.  In our experience, this is usually because parcel shipments comprise a small percentage of overall distribution operations.  However, this is no longer the case.  In fact, for many shippers and logistics service providers, parcel shipments are now an integral part of their transportation mix.

A couple of examples where shippers and logistics service providers can achieve savings in parcel shipping during the pandemic:

Parcel Consolidation

While it’s unlikely shippers and logistics service providers shipping internationally can avoid surcharges altogether, a cloud multi-carrier shipping system will enable “zone skipping” and consolidate parcels, using one carrier to move a consolidated shipment cross-border, and a local carrier for the last mile delivery–reducing total shipping spend.  Added benefit: by using zone skipping, parcels no longer have to travel to multiple sorting facilities to reach their final destination. Instead, shipments to local carriers are faster, which in turn creates quicker deliveries for customers.

Carrier Invoice Auditing and Business Intelligence

For shippers and logistics service providers shipping large parcel volumes, auditing carrier invoices is crucial. Mistakes can, and do, happen. For example, a carrier may bill for a service level promised, but not received, or a carrier may add an unexpected accessorial. These errors can add up quickly and can have a surprising impact on the bottom line.

By leveraging cloud multi-carrier shipping software, shippers and logistics service providers can automate carrier invoice auditing.  All transportation data, from carrier contracts… to delivery events… to carrier invoices, is captured and normalized in the multi-carrier shipping system, which then flags any discrepancies between expected costs and carrier invoices–giving shippers and logistics service providers greater control over their transportation spend.

And the savings don’t stop there.  In addition to the direct cost savings carrier invoice auditing achieves, shippers and logistics service providers also benefit from “soft cost” savings, such as the elimination of time-consuming tasks that include receiving and opening mail, sorting invoices, looking up rates, auditing and approving invoices, paying carriers, and even assigning a general ledger code.  By removing these soft costs, accounting teams can redirect their resources to more critical initiatives.

Furthermore, carrier invoice auditing provides shippers and logistics service providers with an overview of invoiced carrier costs versus carrier agreements, enabling them to ensure their carrier procurement is aligned with strategy and verifying they’re receiving the delivery outcomes for which they’ve paid.  Sophisticated multi-carrier shipping software will also include Business Intelligence to model and compare selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times. Business Intelligence can also reveal even more advanced optimization strategies, such as effective ways to position facilities and inventory around the globe.

Respond Now to Carrier Surcharges

If your current shipping capabilities don’t provide opportunities to optimize parcel shipping such as parcel consolidation and carrier invoice auditing, you’re likely missing potential savings and impeding your business’s ability to quickly react to carrier surcharges. To learn more about the latest parcel shipping tools and technology, contact us today.

UPS, FedEx, and DHL Announce Temporary Peak Surcharges in Response to Coronavirus

As the world economy reels from the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, industries are feeling the effects. For many companies and even entire industries, the pandemic has resulted in closures and work stoppages. But for others, business is more intense than ever before. The latter is certainly the case for the global shipping industry, including UPS, FedEx, and DHL, which have all announced temporary peak surcharges related to the coronavirus.

If your business utilizes any or all of these global carriers, it’s important to understand what these operational changes related to temporary peak surcharges mean. In some cases, you may need to adjust your own fees or promised shipping times to accommodate these changes.

Below, we’ll outline the temporary peak surcharges as well as any other significant operational changes being made by the big three: UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Note the information below is accurate as of publishing time, but all three companies have reserved the right to adjust their temporary peak surcharges as the situation develops.

UPS Temporary Peak Surcharges

Effective April 5, 2020, UPS has instituted temporary peak surcharges on shipments originating in China Mainland and Hong Kong SAR and terminating in North America and Europe. Surcharges apply to these shipping categories and sub-categories:

  • UPS Worldwide Express
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited

Temporary peak surcharge rates are as follows. For Worldwide Express (including Express Plus and Express Saver), the surcharge is $0.34 per pound. For Worldwide Expedited, it’s $.029 per pound. And for Worldwide Express Freight (including Midday), the temporary peak surcharge is $1.13 per pound of freight.

All these rates are effective April 5, 2020, until further notice.

One additional change worthy of note: UPS has instituted a suspension of the UPS Service Guarantee due to the Coronavirus. This suspension applies to all shipments everywhere, including domestic US shipments.

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel Shipping

FedEx Temporary Peak Surcharges

FedEx has also instituted temporary peak surcharges, but theirs work more or less in reverse of the ones issued by UPS. As of February 14, 2020, FedEx instituted a temporary surcharge on most International Priority Freight and International Economy Freight shipments originating in the US or Puerto Rico and terminating in China. Here are the rate details:

  • 30 Yuan per kilogram
  • A minimum surcharge of 2,200 Yuan per shipment

FedEx notes these fees can be waived by your sales representative if you’re shipping “medical and epidemic prevention supplies or aid.”

In addition to the temporary peak surcharge on US/Puerto Rico shipments to China, FedEx has implemented numerous other service changes. Their money-back guarantee is currently suspended globally for these service classes:

  • FedEx Express
  • FedEx Ground
  • FedEx Freight
  • FedEx Office

Signature requirements have also been suspended for the health and safety of delivery staff and customers alike.

In addition, FedEx has instituted a wide range of global temporary service suspensions and transit time extensions thanks to the challenges created by COVID-19 (excepting shipments for relief efforts, of course.) The most notable:

  • No shipments to Mongolia, Tonga, French Polynesia, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, and American Samoa
  • No freight shipments to the Philippines
  • No shipments from American Samoa, Mongolia, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna
  • Transit time delays to and from most countries in Asia

The full list of specific shipping suspensions and delays is quite detailed and is available here.

DHL Temporary Peak Surcharges

DHL’s approach to the stresses of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic echoes those of the above two companies. Effective April 1, 2020, DHL is instituting what it calls an Emergency Situation Surcharge on all Time Definite International (TDI) shipments (with exceptions — see below). The surcharge applies to all relevant shipments regardless of origin or destination.

In a departure from the approach taken by the above two companies, DHL is not charging a per-pound or per-kilogram rate. DHL has opted for a five-tiered fixed charge rate schedule. Rates are as follows.

  • 2.5 kg or less: no surcharge added
  • 2.51 – 30 kg: € 2.50
  • 30.1 – 70 kg: € 15
  • 70.1 – 300 kg: € 50
  • Greater than 300.1 kg: € 200

Again, these surcharges apply to any shipments in the Time Definite International category. At this time, DHL is not applying temporary peak surcharges to Day Definite International (DDI – road) or Time Definite Domestic shipments, life science and healthcare customers, or shipments designated DHL Medical Express.

Like FedEx, DHL is experiencing service disruptions and delays in certain locations, but it declines to publish a list online. DHL’s customers are advised to contact either their account manager or a customer service representative to verify DHL’s real-time operational details in a given country.

How to Navigate These Challenges

The global shipping industry is operating at peak capacity and simultaneously grappling with the effects of a pandemic: reduced staffing numbers, border closings, and unusual patterns of shipping activity, just to name a few. The information above is a helpful place to start, but it’s far from a comprehensive shipping strategy for your business.

In times like these, you need a partner in the logistics space on whom you can count – one who has the capacity to stay abreast of the ever-changing adjustments caused by COVID-19 and can make actionable recommendations on how to cost-effectively ship parcels while maintaining on-time delivery rates. Ready to find that partner? Talk to a Logistyx expert today.