7 Logistics Trends That Will Radically Change the Shipping Landscape in 2022 Read Now

OfficeTeam Group Hits the Ground Running with Logistyx After Major Purchase

Logistyx’s extensive experience made for both a smooth and efficient implementation.

Business Challenge

OfficeTeam Group [OTG] purchased Office Depot’s contracts business, which included a U.K. warehouse, inventory, and fulfillment systems, as well as legacy ERP, WMS, and label printing – all of which needed to be integrated into OTG’s workflow solution. And since OTG supports both B2C and B2B customers, it was also essential the legacy systems seamlessly integrate with a parcel shipping solution.

Solution

OTG had a 12-week timetable to complete the integration and go live. Following strong recommendations from Office Depot, OTG determined very quickly that Logistyx Technologies was the best solution provider to support this project. The Logistyx team configured its enterprise multi-carrier shipping software, Logistyx TME, to plug into the existing API and onboarded OTG’s carrier network. Logistyx’s extensive experience in these areas made for both a smooth and efficient implementation, allowing each legacy system to fulfill its role in sending critical information to carriers for the efficient shipping and tracking of every parcel.

Results

Within three months of the implementation start, Logistyx had OTG’s parcel shipping system up and running, with no hiccups or delays. OTG now relies on Logistyx TME to handle the shipping processes for approximately 10,000 parcels per day and provide full visibility into shipping status from purchase through delivery to the customer. States Mark Fletcher, Group Operations Director, “Without the professionalism and experience of the Logistyx team, we would never have achieved such a successful go live in such a short timeframe.”

Following the success of the initial project, OTG are engaging with Logistyx to add additional carriers and functionality to the existing solution.

Cloud Shipping Software: Key Features that Create Efficiency

Cloud shipping software provides agility and real-time visibility across your entire order fulfillment ecosystem with these key features.

The surge in e-commerce sales has continued to rise thanks to the pandemic, and there’s no stopping in sight. But while this trend may be good news for retailers’ revenue goals, digital-only purchasing can put a significant amount of pressure on warehouse operations and extended carrier networks, as end-to-end fulfillment teams strive to deliver products faster than ever before.

One of the byproducts of this immense strain is that retailers with traditional on-premise shipping software are finding they can no longer keep up with the demand.  As a result, many businesses are shifting to cloud shipping technology.

The shift certainly isn’t unexpected, as there are many disadvantages of on-premise software systems. For example, an on-premise system requires an in-house IT team, and when you change your carriers and/or shipping workflows, your IT team must drop their other tasks and attend to your system.  This reduces your agility and delays other enterprise projects.  In addition, on-premise software requires IT to manage software upgrades, general maintenance, and security compliance – not to mention the challenge of remaining compliant with multiple, ongoing carrier updates.

In this environment, a surge in demand or a supply chain disruption can quickly cause bottlenecks. And when your orders don’t make it out the door in time, customer satisfaction becomes near impossible.

In contrast, using cloud shipping software lets you:

  • Install software updates automatically
  • Easily maintain carrier compliance
  • Scale and contract shipment volumes without manual intervention
  • Quickly on-board new carriers to increase the agility of your workflows
  • Monitor shipment volumes across multiple warehouse locations
  • Manage carrier capacity across your entire distribution network
  • Seamlessly integrate with other solutions in your supply chain technology stack, paving the way to robust Business Intelligence

Through the cloud, you gain agility and real-time visibility across your entire order fulfillment ecosystem. Let’s take a deeper look into some of the benefits that cloud shipping software can give you.

Easy Accessibility and Flexibility

The cloud connects people, processes, and third parties in shipping operations in real-time. For example, by storing all order fulfillment and shipping data in the cloud, you create a centrally accessible “system of record” that multiple supply chain stakeholders can use to inform their operations.

Furthermore, there’s no limit to how many carrier service integrations it can manage or specialty software solutions with which it can integrate – and the implementation time for both is drastically reduced.  This increases your ability to quickly address new business requirements, such as adding regional carriers (or couriers!), moving inventory to ship from store, offering customers a BOPIS delivery option, or setting up new micro-distribution centers.

Scalability

Shipping is a dynamic industry. It needs to weather anticipated and unanticipated shocks — think of peak shipping season around the holidays or global health supply chain challenges during COVID-19.

For on-premise customers running their own servers, there can be serious pressure to stand up new carrier integrations, new shipping workflows, and new distribution centers or warehouses in the face of these shocks or peaks.  Beyond IT, it can also be hard to think about the cost, equipment, and personnel necessary to scale an on-premise technology stack to meet rising e-commerce demand.

Cloud-based shipping software grants you scale.  The right solution will dynamically manage your growth, so you never feel pain when surges in demand occur. As you expand into new markets or simply take on peak season, the cloud-based technology can seamlessly scale your volumes from, say, 300,000 to 500,000 parcel shipments per day.

Cloud-based shipping software means your system doesn’t crash. It also isn’t a partial or seasonal solution designed to only manage peaks or rushes. Its technical capabilities handle parcel shipping from start to finish in any shipping landscape, no matter whether your needs are basic labeling and execution or worldwide omnichannel order fulfillment analytics.

Webinar - Take Control of Your Parcel Shipping Network

Data-Driven Planning

Cloud-based software lets you aggregate your data across your entire distribution network, and even better: it normalizes the data. This in turn enables key stakeholders in your organization to leverage actionable reports and dashboards within the shipping system and run analyses across all your channels so you can better understand and manage order volumes, shipping costs, capacity utilization, on-time delivery performance, and more.  These analytics can then be used to identify opportunities to save money, improve customer service, or both.

Reliability

By using a cloud shipping software system, you can guarantee your supply chain stakeholders all have access to accurate information 100% of the time. If you operate out of an area often affected by power outages, weather-related disruptions, or other disasters, shippers can still access their data through the cloud, ensuring on-time delivery and company KPIs remain within sight.

Partnering with Logistyx

Looking for the perfect pioneering, cloud-based parcel shipping technology? You’ll find it in Logistyx. Our team is fully equipped with the right tools and knowledge to build cloud-based parcel management strategies that are perfect for global retailers, manufacturers, and logistics providers.

Reach out to our team today to talk to a cloud expert to get started.

Five Ways to Encourage Holiday Gift Sales from Customers in other Countries

Logistyx-commissioned survey shows purchase influences in cross-border e-commerce on consumers’ holiday shopping behavior this year.

Not only has the pandemic accelerated e-commerce, but it has also encouraged people to consider making online purchases from retailers they’ve never ordered from before – and even experiment with shopping online with companies in other countries.

At Logistyx, we wanted to explore the impact of the growing interest in cross-border e-commerce on consumers’ holiday shopping behavior this year. How likely are festive shoppers to order gifts from abroad and what’s likely to determine whether they do or don’t place that order?

Our new research reveals that in fact 55% of online shoppers from around the world would be open to buying holiday gifts from countries other than their own, but almost half (48%) are concerned their cross-border purchases will not arrive in time.  This is based on a survey we commissioned of 2,035 online shoppers based in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia.

The findings point to five key learnings for retailers and e-commerce brands looking to take advantage of cross-border sales in the run up to the festive season.

1. Offer online tracking.

69% of online shoppers surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that having access to online tracking would have an impact on whether they made a gift purchase from abroad.

2. Give an estimated delivery time – and stick to it!

The estimated delivery time would be a factor in the gift-purchasing decision of 69% of respondents, helping to overcome worries about purchases not arriving in time.

­­­3. Make returns easy – no matter where the customer is based.

Similarly, having an easy returns process for holiday gifts, would also make 69% of those surveyed more confident purchasing from abroad.

4. Be clear and upfront about delivery costs and any taxes or duties that are payable.

No one wants a nasty surprise when ordering holiday gifts.  61% agreed or strongly agreed that additional duties or taxes would impact their decision to purchase from another country.

5. Implement Christmas/holiday sales promotions.

60% of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that holiday gift sales or promotions would impact their decision to make a festive gift purchase from a company overseas.

What influences online shoppers’ cross-border festive purchases?

To what extent do you agree or disagree that these factors would impact your decision to make a Christmas/ festive holiday gift purchase from a company in another country? Agree/Strongly Agree
Ability to easily track the order online 69%
Estimated delivery time 69%
Easy returns processes 69%
Delivery charges 66%
Additional duties or taxes on cross border purchases 61%
Christmas/ festive holiday gift sales and promotions 60%

Quick Guide - Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution

Many of the world’s top retailers – representing more than $75 billion in combined annual web sales – already trust Logistyx to provide the necessary control and visibility to exceed their customers’ expectations and ensure cost-effective parcel shipments, no matter where in the world they are ordering from.  With proactive alerts about problems and options to resolve them, including carrier swaps and automatic customer notifications, keeping purchasers up to date with their delivery status is made easy.  And with more than 550 carrier integrations globally, no matter which country customers are ordering holiday gifts from, Logistyx can help.

When it comes to returns, Logistyx can help reduce shippers’ costs, by:

  • Determining the best carrier service for return shipping
  • Automatically printing return shipping labels in advance and placing them in the outbound parcel
  • Helping retailers factor returns into the cost of shipping

“With online purchasing growing exponentially since the start of the pandemic last year, we have seen an increased willingness among shoppers to buy from other countries.  However, for retailers and direct-to-consumer companies to realise the true potential of overseas gift sales during the festive shopping season, there are some clear issues to address. Ensuring they have reliable online shipment tracking, dependable estimated delivery times, clear policies on returns, as well as transparency regarding delivery costs and potential additional charges can all help to open up the potential to grow sales from other parts of the world during peak,” said Geoffrey Finlay, CEO, Logistyx Technologies.

About the Survey

Logistyx Technologies commissioned international market research consultancy Censuswide to conduct an online survey of 2,035 online shoppers (512 in the UK, 500 in the US, 507 in Australia, and 516 in Germany). The survey was conducted in August 2021.

Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software at a Glance

Managing omnichannel order fulfillment and delivery is one of the most complex challenges you face as an organization. Typically, this is because there is a vast amount of information managed across fragmented silos and systems.  But it doesn’t have to be this way! The right multi-carrier shipping software can help you manage carrier contracts, rating, rate shopping, carrier compliance, delivery event track-and-trace, and more – all in one solution.  And it can seamlessly integrate with other solutions in your supply chain technology stack, which will enable you to swiftly initiate:

Multi-carrier shipping systems are also elastic – they scale quickly to accommodate surges in shipping volumes, and a cloud-based system enables fast on-boarding of new carriers with little impact on internal IT departments.

The bottom line: you can ship more efficiently while creating first-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.

The Parcel Shipping Landscape is Challenging

As e-commerce surges and supply chain bottlenecks increase, carriers across the board are increasing rates and implementing fees and surcharges.  This barrage of fees adds up for shippers, threatening their own profit margins.  And the complexity and changeability of these fees makes it difficult to meaningfully plan shipments.

Additionally, shipment volume restrictions have become more rigid and are being strongly enforced, which means shippers not only have to worry about skyrocketing fees, but also about carriers not picking up their freight. Furthermore, these limits can be vague and erratic, leading to last-minute confusion and headaches. Suffice it to say, it’s now almost impossible for large shippers to rely on a single carrier to move all or most of their freight, complicating planning and introducing more room for error and overlooked shipments, especially for shippers that have previously relied heavily on a single carrier partner.

But wait, there’s more!

Sadly, the recent onslaught of carrier restrictions is not the only factor complicating parcel shipping today. Warehouse space is difficult to come by, consumer expectations are higher than ever, and manufacturing has slowed due to various shortages.

Quick Guide - Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution

Shippers Have More to Gain than Ever from Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

Shippers now have more to gain than ever by optimizing their parcel deliveries and returns, and they’re turning to multi-carrier shipping systems to get the most value from their transportation networks – automating carrier service rate shopping according to their business rules and within their own contracted carrier network to ensure the right carrier and service is selected to meet customer expectations for the best cost.

Utilizing this advanced technology not only allows shippers to compare millions of different shipping scenarios simultaneously to ensure they are choosing the best option each time, but it also enables them to combine these services with other high-value offerings, including business intelligence. Business intelligence, and particularly advanced data analytics, can provide shippers with a road map for future success.  It aggregates, normalizes, and reports transportation data while also offering insights to help contain costs and improve operations by:

  • Eliminating silos and connecting people, processes, data, and technology so teams can make decisions with context and tie parcel shipping operations to company strategy.
  • Identifying inefficiencies and empowering shippers to increase on-time delivery rates, shipping velocity, and order volume.
  • Demonstrating the impact of carrier capacity limitations and order demand, providing managers with the ability to pivot carriers and transportation budgets to match customer expectations.
  • Surfacing insights, giving leaders a source of truth and telemetry to steer, predict, and report on the business of parcel shipping with confidence.

As Bart De Muynck, VP Analyst for Transportation Technology with research firm Gartner Inc., recently explained to DC Velocity, “The dramatic growth of parcel volumes, and the increasing complexity and breadth of delivery networks” has driven the need for more advanced multi-carrier parcel management technologies. “What people are looking for is analytics and more intelligence in their systems,” De Muynck said, noting the highest demand is for real-time visibility, distributed order management, and multi-carrier parcel management—all connected and supportive of overall goals for lowest-cost, best-service delivery.

Mike Eisner, Vice President of Business Intelligence at Logistyx, also emphasizes that having a single source of truth is more critical than ever when shipping parcels in a post-pandemic world. “Having access to good data, metrics, and reporting can make or break shippers in the current parcel environment. With carriers operating at capacity, shippers are being hit with everything from peak surcharges, to lesser on time performance capabilities, to client ‘assumptions’ of same day or next day service expectations, to shifts in contract negotiation strength to carriers due to market demands. To offset these challenges, shippers need alternatives and options or risk being at the mercy of their carriers’ shipment thresholds and disappointing their own customers.”

Shippers Shouldn’t Under-Estimate the Value of their Shipping Data

The long-term value of shipping data when it comes to carrier contract negotiations can’t be underestimated.  Shippers and carriers communicate with each other daily.  While many of these conversations revolve around numbers, most revolve around real-time insights with little to no regard for longer-term trend lines. While shippers undoubtedly feel the strain during peak season, they typically walk away with nothing more than anecdotal evidence to bring to the contract bidding table. Shippers tend to spend most of their energy during peak season focused on finding the lowest cost shipping and getting shipments to customers. They do not typically have time to think about data collection in the moment – making a multi-carrier shipping system with business intelligence invaluable.

Until recently, most solutions were too immature to provide data insights strong enough to influence contract negotiations, but this is beginning to change. As solutions with this capability – including those from Logistyx – continue to enter the market, shippers that adapt quickly will have an undeniable advantage over their more hesitant peers.

Looking for the right multi-carrier shipping system for you?

Multi-carrier shipping is the smart combination of a multi-carrier transportation network, cloud-based multi-carrier shipping technology with business intelligence, and supply chain technology integrations. The ideal recipe for you will make it possible to reduce transportation costs, achieve on-time delivery rates, and create best-in-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.

And now that you know what multi-carrier shipping technology in particular can do for your business, it’s time to winnow down your options.  One way to make sure you get the most out of your solution? Download our Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution today and explore the different features and functionality available in modern technology.

Logistyx Technologies Shortlisted for 2021 SaaS Awards

Logistyx was recently named a finalist in the 2021 Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Awards program in the Best SaaS Product for Shipping, Inventory, or Vehicle Logistics category. Now in its sixth year, the international SaaS Awards program focuses on recognizing excellence and innovation in software solutions and accepts entries worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, Australasia, U.K., and EMEA.

“Just as SaaS technologies have been vital in pivoting organizational functions to respond to global crises, they will be essential as we look forward to returning to normal levels of productivity,” said Head of Operations for the SaaS Awards, James Williams. “We’ve seen remarkably innovative solutions across all conceivable areas of industry. The shortlisted candidates represent truly innovative thinkers in the SaaS industry, whether they’re freshly-funded disruptors or established names.”

Logistyx TME, a SaaS-based multi-carrier shipping system, provides shippers and logistics service providers the ability to quickly onboard, leverage, and optimize multiple carrier services – critical functionality when inevitable supply chain disruptions (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) occur. Moreover, Logistyx TME provides the data and analytics necessary to understand where logistics performance is sub-par and uncover opportunities to increase performance and savings.

As demand for carrier services surged along with e-commerce order volume in the past year and carrier rates, surcharges, and capacity warnings gained steam, Logistyx significantly increased the number of specialty and last-mile carrier integrations in its library. As carriers contend with growing capacity issues, shippers increasingly deploy alternate, last-mile and specialty carriers to meet customer delivery expectations and ensure profitable order fulfillment.

With 550+ global carrier integrations, Logistyx’s software provides shippers an unmatched global multi-carrier network, predictive analytics, and full visibility into deliveries. Utilizing Logistyx TME increases agility and transcends supply chain boundaries, especially during current and future supply chain disruptions, providing an additional return on investment.

All these capabilities combined offer an advanced SaaS-based solution to effectively address the complex challenges shippers face today to help clients provide optimal service and enhance the customer experience.

The final winners for the 2021 SaaS Awards will be announced August 31. To learn more about this awards program and view the full shortlist, please visit: https://www.cloud-awards.com/2021-software-awards-shortlist/

Congratulations to the entire Logistyx team for this achievement!

FedEx and UPS Increase Surcharges Again as Pandemic Continues to Impact Shipping

The significant growth of online shopping propelled by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem to be letting up. While some aspects of life have returned to pre-pandemic levels, the impact of the virus continues to put a strain on shipping, generating elevated volumes, high demand for capacity, and increased operating costs for carriers. As such, both FedEx and UPS have announced additional peak surcharges due to the pandemic’s continued disruption of the shipping industry.

Effective June 21, 2021, FedEx will implement percentage increases to three delivery surcharges, including an additional handling surcharge, a residential delivery surcharge, and a peak surcharge on Ground Economy.

Recently started on May 23, the UPS surcharge increase now applies to certain international shipments originating from Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand to the U.S. UPS increased prices for UPS Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Saver, UPS Worldwide Expedited, and UPS Worldwide Express Freight, from these countries.

The changes from both carriers were classified as “peak” surcharges, which, as Modern Shipper notes, “underscores that in the unprecedented environment for package deliveries during the post-COVID-19 era, peak season is no longer associated with the Christmastime holidays but has become a year-round phenomenon. The sellers’ market for parcel-delivery services has never been hotter than it is today, and all carriers have as much traffic as they can handle.”

Control Costs with a More Diverse Transportation Network

For shippers looking to find a workaround, diversifying transportation networks serves as a valuable tactic to combat the peak surcharges. The persistent delivery capacity shortage and unrelenting e-commerce volumes continue to raise the stakes for many businesses. Companies that can invest in a cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system that creates flexibility and diversity in fulfillment stand a better chance of keeping costs in check. To gain that flexibility and diversity, companies need greater access to more carriers.

Growing their carrier network can help any business effectively tackle these challenges by introducing more options and capacity into the parcel delivery mix. Implementing a multi-carrier shipping strategy can help businesses increase stability to quickly react to carrier surcharges and rate increases and effectively control costs.

Consider Regional and Last-Mile Carriers

Shippers should consider including last-mile and regional carriers in the mix for more flexibility to compete with the massive volume of business that national carriers draw from the market. In some zones, these regional carriers offer cheaper rates and perform better than UPS, FedEx, and other major carriers. Incorporating these carriers into rate shopping initiatives can decrease parcel delivery costs and transit times by providing greater flexibility to allow shippers to select local carriers in different regions that have optimal delivery networks for serving their customers.

When tied to just one or two carriers, on the other hand, shippers cannot reduce costs or supplement capacity. Having access to more and different types of carrier services can help retailers keep customers happy while minimizing the impact of surcharges during peak season and obtaining the best value for every destination, delivery date, and product shipped. To succeed in keeping costs low, shippers should aim to choose the best fit carrier and service for each fulfilled order and leveraging regional and last-mile carriers can significantly expand carrier service options to help achieve that goal.

Logistyx offers an extensive carrier network that includes dozens of regional carriers – including LaserShip, OnTrac, and Speedee Delivery – making it easier and faster to add and maintain carriers’ rates and services in a shipper’s carrier network. Our cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system allows shippers to access and automatically compare different carriers’ rates to select the optimal carrier service for each shipment based on unique business rules, despite the continued demand for carrier capacity.

Contact us today to learn how Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping software can help your business manage a wide range of shipping scenarios and optimize parcel shipping to help control costs.

Tournament Sports increases order fulfillment flexibility

Logistyx’s software system has increased order fulfillment flexibility and speed for Tournament Sports.

Business Challenge

Canadian-based sporting goods company, Tournament Sports, is a manufacturer and distributor of brands such as Jackson Ultima Figure Skates and Atom Roller Skates. Tournament Sports ships nearly 50,000 cartons of products across the U.S. and Canada annually, with 20% of parcels shipped directly to consumers.

Winter is one of Tournament Sports’ busiest seasons, when shipping volume increases following heightened demand for customized ice skates and other specialized winter sports products. To improve order fulfillment efficiency, Tournament Sports sought better access and visibility into its shipping data to unlock insights and streamline processes.

Solution

Tournament Sports chose Logistyx Technologies’ multi-carrier parcel shipping software to optimize operations. The software removes the manual, redundant processes that decrease shipping line speed and create errors, enabling fast, accurate, and efficient shipment processing.

By integrating with Logistyx’s cloud-based solution, Tournament Sports removed the onus from its IT staff to maintain servers, data integrity, and disaster recovery, handing those responsibilities to Logistyx’s support team.

Logistyx’s software gives Tournament Sports access to a flexible library of carrier-compliant routing and rating tools for small parcel, less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload (TL), and regional parcel carriers. These tools help Tournament Sports automate carrier selection decisions for routing, rating, time-in-transit, and much more. Logistyx’s software also provides full visibility into Tournament Sports’ shipping data and auditing capabilities for better carrier rate negotiations and to unlock new efficiencies.

Results

Shortly after migrating to Logistyx’s software system in early Q4 2020 ahead of its peak season, Tournament Sports realized immediate performance enhancements to capitalize on order efficiency for its busiest season, thanks to Logistyx’s ongoing carrier-centric updates and increased agility.

Leveraging Logistyx’s automated shipping tools, Tournament Sports instantly gained access to regularly updated and accurate information on carrier requirements, rating, and reporting, helping increase efficiency in completing the cycle of tagging packages ready for shipping, including labeling, freight recording, and more.

Logistyx’s software system has increased order fulfillment flexibility and speed for Tournament Sports. With the enhanced capabilities and automation using Logistyx, Tournament Sports feels confident in Logistyx’s ability to handle increased volume due to business expansion such as new locations and growth of its product base in the future.

Retail Success: What Does a Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution Have to Do with it?

A Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution for Retail Sets You Up for Success

If you want to achieve success as a retailer in this day and age, it’s time to fully embrace the reality that you’re in the experience business. Transactions are no longer a simple exchange of money for goods or services; consumers demand more. They expect you to win their affection and loyalty by delivering their purchases when they want them, where they want them.

Because of this, the parcel delivery experience is more important than ever. And to thrive and grow in the experience economy, more and more successful retailers turn to a cloud-based multi-carrier parcel shipping solution.

A Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution for Retail Sets You Up for Success

Retailers such as Belk, Foot Locker, and Home Depot all use our cloud software for parcel shipping, Logistyx TME, to:

This enables their global teams to reduce transportation spend, improve on-time delivery rates, fuel agility in their shipping workflows, and gain a competitive edge in their markets.

Here’s a closer look at some of the ways our cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping software can set you up for success in the experience economy.

Expand your Transportation Network

A multi-carrier parcel shipping solution allows a retailer to easily deploy a multi-carrier strategy, which means the retailer then has more delivery options to please customers. Logistyx TME, for example, includes multiple global, regional, domestic, and international carriers in our carrier library, allowing retailers to easily build a unique transportation network to serve their customers. Then, our system rate shops across this network, switching between carriers to continually optimize each shipment to achieve on time delivery at the lowest cost based on point of origin, point of destination, delivery timeframe, parcel weight, parcel dimension, and any applicable business rules.

And though each carrier has unique requirements for labeling and electronic communications compliance, Logistyx TME simplifies the complexity of this compliance. The system ensures each shipment, regardless of whether it is shipping domestically or internationally or contains hazardous goods, adheres to all carriers’ requirements, including accounting for import tariffs, packaging specifications, and customs rules and regulations – helping retailers avoid additional fees and delivery delays.

States the IT director of one Logistyx customer, “Logistyx gave us the flexibility to add new UPS services and bring FedEx into the fold. With multicarrier options, including Mail Innovations and SmartPost, we’re saving money and providing customers better delivery options.”

Improve the Customer Experience

A retailer is, in a sense, the whole of the experiences it delivers to its customers. And since these experiences are now largely taking place online, retailers have to create memorable customer experiences without traditional in-store tactics such as music, aromatic displays, and sample stations.  The answer: flawless, personalized shipping execution. Free or discounted shipping, on-time delivery, and proactive delivery event communication can go a long way toward winning customer loyalty.

Retailers can start by satisfying their customers’ needs for instant gratification. Shipping behemoths such as Amazon have made two-day product delivery the industry standard, and to keep pace, it’s critical for retailers to decrease lead times by fulfilling orders quickly and working with reliable carriers to maintain on time delivery rates. It’s important to note here that 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. Logistyx TME includes these carriers in its carrier library and can help retailers quickly connect to their services to create efficiencies in the last mile and improve on-time delivery rates.

Next, satisfy consumers’ demands for a personalized shopping experience. Modern day buyers want more than just easy product selection and ultra-fast or same-day delivery; they also want to choose when, where, and how they receive their order. By allowing customers to pick the delivery timeframe, location (doorstep, curbside pick-up, BOPIS, etc.) and rate, retailers can give their customers additional flexibility. To this end, Logistyx TME helps retailers better serve customers by not only expanding their carrier service options, but also by seamlessly integrating with supply chain technology stacks to provide retailers with the necessary agility to manage shifts in consumer shopping patterns, such as cost-effectively moving in-store inventory and shifting more e-commerce delivery origins from distribution centers to stores.

Beware: offering Amazon-like delivery speeds and flexible delivery options may still not be enough to win those repeat purchases. Delivery accuracy is also crucial. A recent study from BigCommerce states that if an order is delivered incorrectly, late, or not at all, 29% of end customers won’t order again from the same retailer. And the lost sales opportunities don’t stop there. Consumers today share their negative experiences with the world on various social media channels and review sites, which means a bad experience with parcel delivery can quickly lead to the further loss of potential customers. Not surprising, customers want to be confident their product will arrive at its destination on time, and they are now demanding real-time delivery tracking.

While Logistyx TME provides this tracking, we also recommend our customers go one step further and use the Logistyx Control Tower to receive real-time alerts when unwanted delivery events occur, giving retailers the opportunity to troubleshoot. 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. Providing updates when there has been a delivery disruption reassures customers everything possible is being done to meet the original delivery promise and ultimately demonstrates to customers their business is valued.

Beat the Competition

As discussed, a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution for retail fuels shipping workflow efficiency and improves the customer experience, which ultimately gives retailers a competitive edge. But the right solution for parcel shipping will also have other capabilities that can help beat the competition.

For starters, it will enable better decision-making with crystal-clear Business Intelligence and data analytics. So, rather than putting time and money toward shipping strategies that may decrease transportation spend and improve on-time delivery rates, retailers can invest in strategies that they know will work. With Logistyx TME’s Business Intelligence, for example, retailers can run transportation simulations to identify where significant savings opportunities exist, challenging the norm and comparing “what if” to current performance. They have a “sandbox” to approach transportation scenarios with a creative mindset and verify and measure the impact of various scenarios on the bottom line.

Logistyx TME customers also use our Business Intelligence technology to identify carrier delivery performance improvements and cost saving opportunities. This may come in the form of identifying and adjusting improperly invoiced items relating to contractual rates, accessories, guaranteed service rebates, claims management, address correction validations, or even manifested but not shipped transactions, or it may come in the form of modeling and comparing selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times.

Achieve Success with your Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution

Retailers are faced with the same overwhelming challenge: to create a memorable and consistent experience across an increasingly complicated map of fulfillment touchpoints. But don’t worry, it’s not an impossible feat.

For example, Belk wanted to execute store-level shipping to better serve customers and stand out from other regional department stores. To achieve this, they integrated Logistyx with Manhattan Associates’ order management software to provide their stores with inventory visibility and instant access to carriers and services offering the best rates for each particular location.  Ken Fleming, President, Logistyx Technologies explains, “While simple in theory, executing store-level shipping presents considerable challenges for some retailers, including limited carrier selection and complex rate shopping. Our software is able to address these issues, providing retailers with the ability to move inventory from all locations whether in distribution centers, warehouses, or stores and optimize delivery cost and efficiency to improve the customer experience.”

You can get an inside look at the same tool Belk uses to achieve this success. Sign up for a demo today and see what it’s like to simplify the complexity of high volume, omnichannel parcel shipping.

4 Strategies to Create Shipping Offers that Make Customers Happy

Based on Baymard Institute’s 2019 research, the average e-commerce cart abandonment rate is approximately 70 percent, and one of the key drivers behind cart abandonment is the “sticker shock” that occurs when extra charges associated with shipping are presented at checkout. A December 2020 survey by RetailMeNot reinforces these findings, reporting 82 percent of survey respondents prefer free shipping to paying a fee to have their shipments expedited, and 70 percent prefer a lower price than waiting longer to receive their order.

Though Amazon has clearly normalized free same-day and next-day delivery, e-commerce retailers are often unable to absorb shipping costs, which typically account for up to 5% of the total cost, without significantly sacrificing their margins. RetailMeNot’s research also found that 63% of merchants have trouble matching or beating shipping deals offered by their rivals.

Minimize Parcel Shipping Costs

The key to offering free shipping is to find the sweet spot between costs and increased sales. How? Many companies are embracing free or expedited shipping to gain a competitive advantage, but also using the following four strategies to increase the profit per item shipped:

1. Implement Cloud Parcel Shipping Software

With consumer expectations mounting, many retailers turn to cloud parcel shipping software to keep shipping costs palatable while improving delivery speeds. Long used by retailers such as Belk and Men’s Wearhouse, cloud parcel shipping software can yield a number of benefits for companies hoping to compete by enabling them to automatically compare carrier rates, print carrier compliant shipping labels and documentation, track delivery, and simplify the complexity of returns.

2. Find the Pricing Model that Works Best

Retailers should be sure to choose the right pricing model. While any merchant can benefit from Cost of Distribution (CoD) reductions, cost savings will vary depending on the answer to one question: does my CoD represent a significant portion of my net landed cost of goods? In general, free shipping offers are better suited to high-margin items and/or low-shipping-cost items. Possible strategies to balance costs with profits include:

  • Requiring a minimum purchase to qualify for free shipping
  • Offering flat rate shipping for commodity items of a similar size and shape
  • Integrating cloud parcel shipping software with e-commerce technology to present real-time shipping quotes to customers for oversized or heavy orders

3. Leverage Less than Truckload (LTL) Rates for Bulk and Oversized Shipments

For buyers with large orders and longer delivery windows, retailers can save upwards of 50 percent by choosing to ship using LTL services instead of parcel.

4. Consider Hybrid Mail Shipping

When delivery speed isn’t a priority, hybrid mail services such as UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost can cost substantially less than standard UPS and FedEx services, assuming package dimensions and size requirements are met.  In hybrid mail shipping, packages originate with UPS or FedEx, but go to a United States Postal Service (USPS) sorting facility for final mile delivery. It’s important to note: hybrid mail shipping often leads to delays and parcel tracking may be unavailable, which means merchants who offer this carrier service for customer orders must position the option clearly as a niche choice for those who don’t care when their order arrives. Some merchants retain this as a delivery option primarily to give customers an alternative to premium charges for faster, traceable deliveries. In this context, merchants give a sense of control to customers, who decide if they want to spend extra to receive it faster.

Logistyx Can Help

Logistyx helps e-commerce and omnichannel retailers keep customers happy and costs in line. To learn more about how Logistyx streamlines and simplifies parcel shipping, download this Insider Q&A with our President, Ken Fleming.

From Rate Shopping to Returns: How Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Decreases Transportation Spend

With surging e-commerce volumes and under increasing pressure to pivot to an omnichannel distribution strategy that includes ship-from-store, ship-to-store, courier delivery, and more, supply chain leaders have a full plate these days. Yet despite all the changes that have taken place within supply chains of late, one of supply chain leaders’ biggest priorities remains: managing transportation costs. The good news is that technology, and in particular a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System, has given supply chain leaders the capabilities they need to not only infuse order fulfillment strategies with some much-needed agility, but also to better control transportation spend.

How?

Leveraging Multi-Carrier Rate Shopping

A TMS for parcel shipping allows a shipper to deploy a multi-carrier strategy. The shipper can contract with multiple global, regional, domestic, and international carriers to build a transportation network.  Then, the system rate shops across this network, switching between carriers to continually optimize each shipment to achieve the lowest cost delivery based on point of origin, point of destination, delivery timeframe, parcel weight, parcel dimension, and any applicable business rules.

Negotiating Carrier Contracts

With a multi-carrier transportation network in place, shippers are better prepared to negotiate with their carriers. Because the shipper always has access to the best carrier rates for any given shipment, carriers have to work harder to earn the shipper’s business and are therefore incentivized to offer better rates.

Consolidating Parcels

Shippers can augment cost savings by using a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution to consolidate shipments heading to the same region or country and leveraging LTL rates rather than parcel rates. Referred to as “zone skipping” or “zone jumping,” companies can save as much as 30-50%. In addition to the cost savings, shippers distributing products internationally also benefit from fewer regulatory headaches, since a consolidated shipment requires only one customs declaration.

Managing Returns

Shippers engaged in e-commerce know consumers return online purchases at much higher rates than in-store purchases. And high returns volumes can be challenging, especially for shippers using a single carrier. It’s important to remember that just because a carrier’s core strength is outbound shipping does not mean its reverse logistics are equally strong, nor does it imply the carrier offers the most cost-effective rates. To secure the best rates for both outbound and reverse shipping, it is recommended shippers deploy a multi-carrier strategy, and the number of carriers in the network may grow significantly for shippers executing outbound and inbound shipping to multiple locations internationally.

In addition to managing multiple carriers, it’s important to note that multi-carrier parcel shipping software also enables shippers to use data analytics and Business Intelligence to optimize inbound distribution strategies, making sure products are returned as quickly as possible to the right distribution center, warehouse, or store to achieve a quick turnaround time for resale.

Maintaining Carrier Compliance

Each carrier has unique requirements for labeling and electronic communications, which they must strictly enforce in order to successfully process high volumes of parcels.  Remaining compliant with multiple carriers’ requirements can be complicated, particularly for shippers shipping from numerous distribution centers, warehouses, and/or stores. However, a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution ensures each shipment, regardless of whether it is shipping domestically or internationally, is compliant with the designated carrier’s requirements, including accounting for import tariffs, packaging specifications, and customs rules and regulations – helping shippers avoid additional fees and delivery delays.

Improving Customer Service

Some shippers, particularly those shipping B2B, may have to adhere to their customers’ requirements for carrier selection. For example, a B2B customer may ask their supplier to ship parcels on their account. Shippers that only use a single carrier will be unable to accommodate this request, but shippers with a multi-carrier shipping strategy and a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution can easily meet this need.

In addition, multi-carrier parcel shipping software empowers shippers to proactively address errors to maintain customer loyalty. It stands to reason that in a high-volume shipping environment, there’s a higher potential for mistakes. This is bad news in a competitive retail environment in particular, where the smallest slip in service can lose a customer forever. Parcel shipping solutions, however, can change this equation. With a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution that includes a Control Tower, shippers can automatically identify errors such as a shipment delay and respond to the error. Customer Service teams are armed with alerts and information to proactively communicate with a customer regarding their shipment status, reinforcing brand value, protecting the customer relationship, and earning those repeat purchase dollars.

Reduce Transportation Spend With The Right Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software

2020 reinforced for everyone how wide-spread the implications of an unexpected supply chain disruption can be. Savvy supply chain leaders will use their takeaways from 2020 to create more flexible and cost-resilient parcel shipping operations by partnering with a sophisticated parcel TMS provider. To learn more about how Logistyx reduces transportation spend for some of the world’s biggest manufacturers, retailers, and 3PLs, watch our expert video: The Logistyx Shipping Quadrant.

3 Ways to Maximize the Power of your Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution with Business Intelligence

A Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System with Business Intelligence provides shippers with an easy way to aggregate and report transportation data.

According to an American Shipper report, 53% of companies aren’t using Business Intelligence to collect and analyze their supply chain data. This poor adoption rate implies companies are still performing manual data analyses (translation: excel spreadsheets). And there’s no way companies using excel spread sheets have quick reaction times when their shipping landscape changes. What they do have: delayed reactions to shipping events and hence an over-abundance of risk in the form of shipping cost increases and delivery delays.

A Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System with Business Intelligence provides shippers with an easy way to aggregate and report transportation data; however, companies can miss savings opportunities if they don’t put enough thought into how they want to use this shipping data once they have it. Optimizing a multi-carrier system with Business Intelligence technology requires companies to thoughtfully define how they will apply the technology and how they will set benchmarks and measure against them. These three tips can help:

1. Think ahead.

A common question our prospects ask is, “How much can a multi-carrier parcel shipping system with Business Intelligence save?” We always respond with a range (i.e., 10% – 30%). One of the reasons for providing a range is the degree of change the shipper is willing to consider with regard to its transportation optimization strategies. For example, if for some reason a shipper cannot add another carrier to its transportation mix, then the shipper is working within a fixed set of variables, and savings might be on the low end of the range. In contrast, the high end of the range occurs when shippers have the flexibility to look at the existing transportation landscape and question what could be done differently, such as adding a new carrier or even a new distribution center. For those willing, Business Intelligence is an opportunity to reexamine distribution strategies and consider all possibilities, asking the question, “What if?”

2. Define KPIs.

Without KPIs, transportation management becomes subjective. For example, it’s not uncommon for supply chain leaders to tell us they’re worried about how carrier rate increases could “shake out.” What does “shake out” mean? If the shipper has reduced parcel shipping costs by 8% and increased on-time delivery rates, then it is likely meeting objectives despite the carrier rate increases. If the opposite is true, however, the shipper will have to roll up its sleeves, identify alternatives such as expanding the transportation network beyond familiar carriers, and use Business Intelligence to run simulations to identify optimal strategies.  Shippers that set a KPI up front will be amazed by how quickly they can prove the ROI on a TMS for parcel shipping with Business Intelligence.

3. Run simulations.

There are usually myriad opinions within an organization’s supply chain team when it comes to reducing transportation costs, and one way to transition from opinion to fact is to use Business Intelligence to demonstrate the value of different shipping scenarios. Running transportation simulations can identify where significant savings opportunities exist, challenging the norm and comparing “what if” to current performance. Shippers have a “sandbox” to approach transportation scenarios with a creative mindset and verify and measure the impact of various scenarios on the bottom line.

Get the Most out of your Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System with Business Intelligence

A multi-carrier parcel shipping system with Business Intelligence can unveil opportunities to increase throughput, decrease transportation spend, and improve customer service. However, it’s only as effective as the deployment strategy behind it.

Are you optimizing your supply chain software investments? Contact us today for a free shipping data analysis.

 

7 Benefits of Integrating your Multi-Carrier Parcel Solution with your Business Systems

At Logistyx, we continuously deepen our ties with complementary solution partners to deliver the flexibility, security, and speed our customers need to accelerate their success. We know from experience that when the shipping execution process is seamlessly integrated with the total fulfillment workflow, new automation opportunities appear that bear substantial cost savings to the shipping function. Here are 7 benefits of integrating your multi-carrier parcel solution with your business systems:

1. Reduce Handling Costs

Shippers reduce fulfillment costs by reducing the number of times a product is manually handled throughout the fulfillment process.  By integrating a multi-carrier parcel solution with other supply chain systems, the final pack, inspection, weigh, and release are accomplished with only one bar code scan.

2. Centralize All Shipping Functions

A multi-carrier parcel system will execute shipments throughout an enterprise regardless of multiple shipping origins and/or multiple modes of transportation.  With a single database and single-user interface, the system enables rating and routing rules to be set for all locations.  In addition, shippers gain efficiencies through managing all transactions in one system.

3. Improve Automation by Using Business Rules

Most shipping systems today have the ability to “filter” requests through business rules of some kind, whether it be a 4GL or an open language like Java.  These rules can be turned on or off with a single click, thus giving the shipper more control over the automated shipping methods for controlling process flow or customer transit preferences – ultimately reducing the cost of the transaction.

4. Instill Multiple Location Control

Even though enterprise-class parcel shipping software achieves cost savings through centralization, local control must be available to each shipping origin within the enterprise.  Shipping origins affect rating, unique customer preferences, and manifest control.  The multi-carrier parcel solution will give the shipper the best of both worlds: centralized control with local personalization.

5. Integrate with Material Handling

One of the more common uses of multi-carrier in a high-volume operation is the integration with material-handling servers to automate a “print and apply” operation.  This process utilizes robotics with conveyor sorting functionality, wherein packed containers can be weighed, rated, labeled with a packing list, and automatically affixed with a carrier label.  One of the key advantages of the software in this environment is higher performance.  It is, in some cases, the determining factor between applying 10 labels per minute or 60 labels per minute.

6. Improve Transportation Planning

The particular mix of transportation modes used by the shipper will determine the overall benefit of pre-planning.  If freight loads can be identified or if parcel carriers can be selected based on lowest cost prior to fulfillment, bottlenecks and constraints can be removed at the shipping execution point of the fulfillment process.  Pre-processing of the shipment can also lend itself to printing of the shipping label with the pick ticket before the order is picked, which can replace any in-house LPN labeling, in addition to removing any label printing constraints at the end of the line.

7. Leverage Sophisticated Reporting

Now that the multi-carrier parcel software has collected all of the shipping origins, transportation modes, shipping transactions, and business rules in ONE database, through the use of simple report-writers, the enterprise shipping information can be more readily accessible for business intelligence reporting.  In most cases, this will be the first time the shipper is able to compare and contrast historical information of multiple-mode shipping transactions occurring across multi-location shipping origins.

Make Life Easier by Integrating your Multi-Carrier Parcel Solution with your Business Systems

Shippers that integrate their business systems with a multi-carrier parcel solution like Logistyx TME will rapidly realize time and money savings. To learn more about how the business system integration process with Logistyx is managed, contact one of our experts today.