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3 Reasons Multiple Shipping Carriers are Essential in 2021

Save money, save time, and ensure delivery: multiple shipping carriers are essential in 2021.

When you purchase something online, what’s the first thing you do after you place the order? You track the package. Even though it can’t possibly be in transit to your home mere minutes after you click “buy,” excitement builds, and you probably memorize the estimated delivery date and time.

With the date and time in mind, you anxiously await your package’s arrival, which could manifest in three ways:

  1. Your package is early, and you’re elated. You make a note in your head to buy from the retailer again when you need fast shipping.
  2. Your package is on time, and you’re satisfied.
  3. Your package is late, and you’re frustrated.

Companies that sell online are probably hoping for outcomes one and two. But shipping delays can occur for any number of reasons, be it a global pandemic or a carrier strike, and that delay can turn what started as a great buying experience into a lost customer.

Adding to the threat: eCommerce sales accounted for more than 20% of total retail in 2020, up from 15% in 2019, which means many large carriers are now at capacity and turning away shipments from smaller retailers with very little notice.

Thankfully, there’s a solution. Multi-carrier shipping software makes it easy to leverage regional and last-mile carriers and choose the service that makes the most sense for each shipment, based on origin-destination, delivery timeframe, and any applicable business rules.

Three big reasons to invest in a multi-carrier solution are:

  • To save money with regional carriers
  • To save time with last-mile carriers
  • To ensure on-time delivery when strikes, overcapacity, and peak seasons occur

By broadening your carrier network, packages are delivered on time, satisfying your customers and building brand loyalty.

Save Money with Regional Carriers

Partnering with regional carriers is a great way to save some extra money in shipping. Unlike giants in the industry, regional carriers don’t have to pay for the extras that come with being a nationwide or global company.

Some of these costs include:

  • Overhead
  • Truck fleet
  • Global footprint
  • Marketing initiatives

While you may not see these line items in your shipping costs, your rates may be higher because you’re funding a larger business.

In contrast, regional carriers are smaller businesses and local, which means they have fewer “extras.” For instance, regional carriers can usually offer next-day ground delivery within 400 miles of a shipment’s origin – often at a lower rate and with fewer surcharges than national carriers. In comparison, the next-day footprint of most national carriers’ ground service is only 200 miles.  Other advantages include:

  • Lower freight rates: Most regional carriers transport packages via truck hubs, which can be operated at a much lower cost than airfreight operations. As a result, regional carriers can often save customers 10% to 40% vs. UPS and FedEx pricing.
  • Fewer surcharges: Many regional carriers do not assess the same delivery surcharges and fees charged by national carriers. Regional carriers may not charge for rural deliveries, for example, while national carrier charges can vary based on rural ZIP codes. Other regional carriers may not add a surcharge for weekend deliveries. Calculated over a year’s worth of shipments, the elimination of such surcharges can add up to thousands of dollars in savings.
  • Improved negotiating power: Adding regional carriers to the mix places shippers in a better position to negotiate more competitive contracts with their national carriers. Regional carriers are likely to be more flexible to compete with the massive volume of business that national carriers draw from the market. Whether the volume of packages shipped is low or high, rates can still be negotiated, as some carriers seek to fill capacity in specific lanes and regions. Data on a shipper’s historical volumes will provide the carrier an idea of annual or seasonal volume, and rates can be adjusted accordingly.Similarly, fuel surcharges, general rate increase (GRI) caps, accessorial charges, and other fees can all be up for negotiation. In some cases, utilizing regional carriers can easily save large companies 30% on shipments.

Save Time with Last-Mile Carriers

Since COVID-19, it’s become evident that anything can be done online, including shipping most items to your doorstep. Companies are capitalizing on this e-commerce trend by presenting same-day or next-day delivery options for products such as groceries, toiletries, and other household items, along with their larger product offerings.  Not surprising, large carriers on the receiving end of this surge are struggling to keep up, and shipments are delayed.

Fortunately, last-mile carriers can save the day (literally!) when it comes to on-time shipping, often delivering in a day what might take a national carrier two or more.  This can be a huge advantage for shippers with many customers in certain geographic regions. For example, an online retailer in California with a high density of customers in metropolitan New York can save time and cut costs by using a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier or airline to deliver its orders to a NY-based regional carrier – who then makes the last leg of customer deliveries. Efficiencies like this can help companies grow revenues by wooing new customers away from their competitors.

The good news is that with a multi-carrier solution, you can leverage both national and last-mile carriers, and the solution will advise you on when it’s more efficient to use each.

Ensure Delivery Even When Supply Chain Disruptions Occur

By this point, you may be realizing that relying on one shipping carrier isn’t the best way to streamline your processes. When you’re only using a single carrier, labor strikes, staffing shortages, and capacity challenges can all jeopardize your on-time shipping KPIs – not to mention the impact of peak seasons such as the holidays and back-to-school shopping.

When supply chain disruptions occur, a multi-carrier solution is a lifeline to logistics professionals seeking to rapidly increase their available shipping options to manage any issues that arise and deliver products to customers on time. The use of an advanced multi-carrier solution will increase agility and transcend supply chain boundaries during a supply chain disruption by providing shippers with the ability to quickly onboard, leverage, and optimize multiple carrier services, including regional and last mile providers, while producing the data and analytics necessary to understand where logistics performance is sub-par and uncover opportunities to increase savings and on-time delivery performance.

Multi-Carrier Shipping is Here to Stay

With customers’ need and want for convenience, the most important thing about the shipping process is timeliness. Fortunately, you can improve shipping efficiency and create delivery consistency by implementing a multi-carrier solution.

If you’re looking to learn more on how you can use multi-carrier shipping to increase efficiency, download our eCommerce Checklist for Peak Season.

Use Business Intelligence to Rethink your Parcel Shipping Strategy

The truth is parcel shipping is complex, which is why you need to optimize your transportation strategy to maximize your profits per parcel. And the best way to do this is to get business intelligence visibility. 

Is it just us, or is it starting to feel like Groundhog Day? After spending most of Q4 2020 digesting headline after headline alerting shippers and consumers worldwide of a carrier capacity shortage and consequently carrier surcharges, here we are again in Q2 2021, waking up to similar headlines.

Why all the drama? Well for one thing, we’re all shopping online. Digital Commerce 360 estimates approximately $1 of every $5 spent on retail purchases during Q1 2021 came from online orders. This surge has created an influx in parcel shipping demand, and carriers have increased rates accordingly. For shippers looking to retain their margins and even transform their shipping operations into a profit center for the business, it’s more critical than ever to optimize transportation strategies.

Improve Profits per Parcel with Business Intelligence

On the surface, parcel shipping seems easy. A shipper creates and affixes a label to a box, and carriers deliver the package to its destination. But what happens when you’re processing 300,000 orders a day out of a single distribution center? What happens when some of your packages contain hazardous goods? What happens when you’re shipping packages across borders? What happens when you’re moving inventory from a distribution center to a store, or from store to store?

And what happens when those shipments come back?

The truth is parcel shipping is complex, which is why you need to optimize your transportation strategy to maximize your profits per parcel. And the best way to do this is to get visibility into your parcel shipping data. The data will analyze your parcel shipping operations across hundreds of carrier services, dimensional weight factors, accessorial charges, shipping zones, pricing structures, and SKUs and tell you whether – and where – you’re leaving money on the table. Even better, it will provide a blueprint for how to increase savings.

Leverage BI Technology and Start Small

The good news is a multi-carrier parcel shipping system with Business Intelligence provides shippers with an easy way to aggregate, normalize, and report transportation data. This will:

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

However, the enormity of shipping data available once the technology is implemented can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned shippers. Therefore, we often recommend shippers initially focus on “high-impact-easy-change” areas.

For example, how many of your parcels are shipping via express services unnecessarily? In the age of Amazon, most shippers are offering next-day and two-day delivery, and they frequently use an express service. However, most of all ground packages are delivered in two days or less, and ground is also a guaranteed service. In our experience, the savings from a simple pivot from express to ground often yields an ROI on the Business Intelligence technology investment within the first year.

Prioritize Visibility

Make 2021 the year in which you look for more analytics and intelligence in your systems. Real-time visibility, distributed order management, and multicarrier parcel management—all connected and supportive of overall goals for lowest-cost, best-service delivery – will give you a competitive edge.

To learn how Logistyx can help you optimize parcel shipping, watch Find your True Parcel Shipping Data.

Logistyx Business Intelligence Powers Parcel Shipping Transformation

Logistyx’s cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system with Business Intelligence aggregates and normalizes shipping data across carriers, so shippers have unprecedented reporting capabilities and a system of record for shipping.

When it comes to parcel shipping, companies can’t afford to lose a single minute or dollar to inefficiencies. But as shippers scale operations to meet increasing demand, they often find themselves juggling applications that don’t play well together. They may work in silos without clear visibility on overall parcel shipping performance. As a result, transportation teams overspend, miss parcel delivery deadlines, and ultimately disappoint customer expectations.

But adding more tools to already sprawling supply chain technology stacks just makes the problem worse. Instead, shippers must adopt a new, more systematic approach to parcel shipping management and measurement.

A System of Record for Parcel Shipping

Unlike other strategic business functions such as finance and human resources, parcel shipping usually lacks a “system of record” that connects and automates the essential data necessary to effectively run and scale the business.

Logistyx’s cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system with Business Intelligence aggregates and normalizes shipping data across carriers, so shippers have unprecedented reporting capabilities and a system of record for shipping – a source of truth that visualizes the full shipping lifecycle across SKUs, geographies, and more, so supply chain teams can optimize transportation strategies.

Logistyx Business Intelligence:

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

Parcel Shipping Data at Scale

According to Ken Fleming, president of Logistyx, “With Logistyx Business Intelligence, we’ve achieved what we set out to do: build a reporting engine capable of aggregating and normalizing shipping data across multiple carriers at scale, and our customers are increasingly utilizing the technology.  We’ve both automated reporting and made transportation simulations possible in a single, connected source of truth.  As a result, shippers achieve a new level of operational veracity within the business, capable of predicting, sharing, and delivering on KPIs across complex distribution scenarios.”

Mike Eisner, V.P. of Business Intelligence, agrees, and points out 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 over-capacity right now, shippers are being hit with everything from peak surcharges to lesser capabilities to unfavorable contract terms.  To offset these challenges, shippers need alternatives and options or risk being at the mercy of their carriers’ shipment thresholds and, subsequently, disappointing their own customers.”

Keeping Order Fulfillment on Track

Logistyx features a carrier library of more than 550 carriers, and Logistyx solutions seamlessly integrate with Manhattan, BlueYonder, Oracle, SAP, HighJump, Microsoft, VAI, IFS, and other business applications.  Shippers often choose Logistyx because they can build a complete, connected supply chain ecosystem in the cloud.  And when shippers go from wrestling with disparate, on-premises, and even manual transportation management systems to a single, cloud-based multi-carrier parcel management solution with Business Intelligence and integrated with their supply chain and business technology stacks, they start to see the results quickly.  States Eisner, “Often, shippers find new ways to get their products from point A to point B to save money and gain supply chain efficiencies. I’ve seen several examples where shippers put our system in place and quickly find new carrier options to satisfy the tens of millions of shipments they process every year, sometimes tracking hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings. By extending the concept of transportation execution to include Business Intelligence, Logistyx drives the inefficiency out of parcel shipping processes; that’s where the real ROI is achieved.”

Get the Most out of your Parcel Shipping Operations 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.  Watch our video: Find your True Parcel Shipping Data to learn more.

Is Logistyx Parcel Shipping Software the Right Choice for your Company?

A Logistyx client is basically any retailer, e-commerce business, manufacturer, or logistics provider that ships products via parcel and/or LTL carrier services – including hazmat, inbound, and cross-border – and is looking to automate carrier compliance and shipment execution, track parcel delivery movements, decrease shipping spend, and optimize transportation strategies.  While many of our customers primarily use UPS, FedEx, DHL, and the USPS, of late we’ve had a significant percentage expand their transportation networks to include regional carriers and couriers.

What Percentage of your Shipping Volume is Parcel?

Before a company embarks on a search for a multi-carrier shipping system, we like to stress that it’s important to first analyze shipping volumes by modality and then consider whether a traditional Transportation Management System (TMS), a multi-carrier shipping system, or both, solve the problems a shipper is looking to address.  For example, if 20% of a shipper’s volume is FTL, and 60% is parcel, then with both systems in place, the business optimizes 80% of shipments.  Of course, some shippers only want to invest in technology that addresses the largest percentage of their shipments, creating instances where a business uses only one or the other.

But for those businesses where parcel makes up the largest part of its shipping volume, foregoing a traditional TMS in favor of a multi-carrier shipping system is the obvious choice. The biggest differentiator: carrier compliance for a massive global carrier network. With a traditional TMS, the shipper is responsible for compliance with an ever-expanding field of parcel carriers; a multi-carrier shipping system takes care of this cumbersome process automatically.

Is Parcel Shipping your Core Competency?

To be honest, in our 2,500 years of collective experience, we’ve learned parcel shipping is rarely a core competency of most companies.  For smaller companies, this isn’t surprising.  Young companies undergoing rapid growth most often lack in-house expertise in logistics.  However, we’ve found many large companies also lack the necessary expertise – through no fault of their own.

Whether you’re an experienced logistics manager, VP of Supply Chain, VP of E-Commerce, COO, or CFO, trying to understand the impact of carriers’ pricing models can send you down a rabbit hole.  The variables within these pricing models are complex, and understanding carrier rate changes, which are happening with increasing frequency, is complicated.

For example, carriers tend to release generalizations about the percent increase in rates at the beginning of the year, but these are just an average of the increases levied to various portions of the calculation.  Shippers tend to react quickly to carriers’ published “average rate increases” by simply budgeting an extra matching average percentage for each carrier, but this is the wrong approach. The devil is in the details about where those changes take effect and the percentage increase applied. Speed to delivery, weight, distance, and package count are just some of the factors shippers need to consider to understand their true rate increase. Without examining the details closely, shippers’ rates could exceed the “average rate increase” and end up with a budget shortfall.

We understand how this happens.  Most logistics stakeholders already have their hands full running day-to-day operations and lack time and resources to calculate the true consequences of carrier rate increases and other market changes that impact their operating costs. So, when scaling shipping volumes, navigating a supply chain disruption, or pursuing an enterprise-wide digital transformation, it’s wise to turn to the experts.

Here at Logistyx, parcel shipping is all we do.  Sure, our technology helps our clients streamline their parcel shipping execution – getting the right label on the right box, so to speak.  But importantly, we help our clients access their parcel shipping data, analyze it to identify trends, run “what if” scenarios, and optimize their transportation strategies.  We enable them to measure carrier performance and properly position themselves to negotiate with their carriers.  Importantly, we highlight major opportunities to reduce transportation costs and improve customer service, of which companies were previously unaware.

Logistyx Simplifies the Complexity of Global, Omnichannel Parcel Shipping

Logistyx, at its core, is an innovative company, and we have always approached the market with a “the more complex your shipping landscape, the better” mindset.  This means that Logistyx parcel shipping software is built for the future, with a cloud architecture and features such as a Control Tower and Business Intelligence that don’t just drive savings in multi-carrier parcel shipping execution, but in parcel shipping strategies.  And innovation is what Logistyx’s employees primarily focus on, whether its onboarding new carriers, forging new integrations with our software partners, or developing advanced parcel shipping technology tools to address new shipping dynamics.

What does this mean for you? Working with Logistyx means you will deliver your products on time, in full, and at the lowest possible cost to your customers. It means you can expand and contract your shipping operations to dynamically respond to market conditions.  It means you can on-board new carriers when necessary. It means you can seamlessly integrate to critical software in your supply chain technology stack and have not only good visibility over global inventory, but a way to quickly reposition it.  It means you can execute ship-from-store.  It means you can enjoy all the benefits of cloud technology: best-in-class security, connectivity, and scalability.  And so much more…

This may not seem like a big deal, but you’d be surprised how many top companies consider Logistyx their “secret sauce” to successfully competing with industry giants like Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart.  Learn more about the breadth of our capabilities and why we’re the right fit for you in today’s same-day/next-day economy in our e-book: Logistyx Quadrant: Choosing a TMS for Parcel Shipping.

 

 

Logistyx Again Recognized Among Representative Vendors in Annual Gartner Report

For the third straight year, Logistyx Technologies was among the “representative vendors” profiled in the Gartner Market Guide for Multicarrier Parcel Management (Gartner subscription required). The 2020 edition of the report notes the important role that multi-carrier parcel shipping plays for shippers in the face of multichannel and omnichannel commerce growth propelled forward by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Logistyx’s regular inclusion in the report serves as continued validation of our cloud-based approach to helping manufacturers, retailers and logistics providers ship millions of parcels worldwide at the lowest possible cost. TME, Logistyx’s Parcel TMS, lowers shipping costs, streamlines the journey from label to delivery, and prepares clients for a faster and more global future through parcel shipping execution, documentation, consolidation, control tower visibility, and business intelligence.

Matching Gartner’s analysis, we’ve written extensively about COVID-19’s impact on the global supply chain and how shippers can “React, Recover, and Prepare” as they future-proof supply chains to avoid further disruptions.

As Logistyx President Ken Fleming recently wrote in Logistics Viewpoints, 2020’s challenges will have a sustained impact on the industry:

“Fundamental shifts of e-commerce and consumer behavior took shape in 2020 and presented new and unprecedented challenges. Parcel shipping volume skyrocketed. Retailers, manufacturers, and others welcomed new e-commerce customers, sold new types of products, and fulfilled more direct and online orders. These shifts led more fulfillment teams to identify and embrace emerging best practices as part of their 2021 planning.”

If you’re ready to explore how a multi-carrier parcel management solution can solve for these challenges and keep you ahead of the curve, be sure to review the Gartner Market Guide for Multicarrier Parcel Management or explore the Logistyx Shipping Quadrant: Choosing a TMS for Parcel Shipping.

Gartner “Market Guide for Multicarrier Parcel Management Solutions,” Simon Tunstall, et al, 2 February 2021

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

How Implementing Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Can Save Even More than You Think

Recurring savings is the grand prize for shippers. Finding those savings, however, can feel downright impossible. Customers want the world and then some, including fast, free, intelligent shipping, and this often comes at a significant cost. Fortunately, shippers can better understand their savings roadblocks by applying the sophisticated Business Intelligence available in a TMS for parcel shipping. Of course, other benefits also come with implementing multi-carrier parcel shipping software, including automated carrier selection, parcel consolidation, enhanced visibility, and more.

Where Do “Cost Parasites” Exist in the Modern Supply Chain?

High transportation costs have become routine in the modern supply chain. As customers increasingly demand free and same-day/next-day shipping, supply chains must respond with faster, more dependable services. These services come at a cost, which eats away at profitability.  Before making any changes, however, supply chain leaders need to understand where – and why – they’re sustaining financial hits and how these hits drag an organization down.

1. Poor Visibility into Carrier Performance

Shippers without the ability to track carriers’ on-time-delivery rates risk increasing their transportation spend.  They lack the necessary data to truly evaluate carrier performance, and therefore carrier selection is uninformed and they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to carrier negotiations.

Poor visibility also means the shipper has no way of communicating transportation updates to the customer – including delays – and uninformed customers are often unhappy customers, demanding a full refund for shipping costs or even a full refund for the purchase price.  Perhaps even worse: according to a study from OSM Worldwide, two-thirds of online shoppers will express frustration to friends and family when a package doesn’t arrive as expected.

Finally, according to a report from project44, 85% of marketers claimed delivery is moderately to very important to their customer experience and brand. This means for retail shippers, working on the customer experience post-checkout is essential for repeat purchases.  An unfortunate byproduct of the poor customer communication described above: when a customer is disappointed, his or her loyalty to the shipper will also decline — leading them to consider competitors’ products.


2. Inability to Leverage Shipping Data

Shippers without the ability to analyze real time shipping data in a Business Intelligence platform fail to understand how factors such as distance, speed to delivery, package size, and density affect spend within their transportation carrier landscape.  They can’t visualize how and where changes are planning to (or should) occur, and this means they’re on their back foot when it comes to carrier negotiations. For instance, if a shipper is implementing changes in fulfillment to increase ship-from-store or locate a new DC, understanding how these changes impact zone and carrier service-level downgrade options are critical.

In addition, shippers without real-time data and the Business Intelligence to put this data to work can’t answer questions, such as:

  • What is the impact of a proposed carrier rate change on spend?
  • What are the available transportation savings with newly proposed carrier options?
  • How will ship-from-store or new DC placement affect spend?

By harnessing this data and using proper Business Intelligence tools, shippers can extrapolate transportation spend impacts across significant data sets and visualize the effects across variables such as weight breaks, zones, regions, service levels, etc.  This visualization will allow shippers to easily identify areas ripe for further negotiation and empower them to make cost-savvy supply chain decisions that align with business strategy.

Finally, leveraging data to perform predictive analytics in logistics can help shippers reduce costs by making real-time procurement a real-life possibility. Identifying the ideal combination of carriers requires simulation analysis. If all carriers delivered to all regions with all services 100% on time, this would be a simpler exercise. But carriers don’t always perform at 100%, and by understanding where carriers perform well (and not) and leveraging this information within procurement simulations, shippers can rapidly evaluate predicted delivery performance and cost impacts, identifying the optimal carrier service combination based on factors such as service, price, capacity, and quality.

3. Failure to Take Advantage of Parcel Consolidation

Parcel consolidation is critical to keeping parcel shipping spend in check, especially in lieu of recent rate hikes by UPS, FedEx, and DHL.  If a shipper is shipping large amounts of orders to the same corner of the world, there’s no need to pay the highest price for every parcel. Shippers can save on shipping costs by consolidating parcel shipments and finding the best rate across carriers for any destination.  For example, paying for several parcel shipments for multiple orders may be more costly than combining those orders into one larger shipment and sending it via LTL.

Another benefit of lower shipment volume can be a decrease in the amount of time spent processing orders in the warehouse and managing back-end finance and administrative operations, which ultimately helps to lower costs as well.

Using Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Unlocks Parcel Shipping Savings

Today’s high transportation costs are the result of putting new processes in place to give customers what they want— fast and free shipping. In the age of Amazon and Alibaba, this is non-negotiable, and shippers are left holding the proverbial bag.

At the same time, rate hikes occur. Shipping volumes increase. Cross-border challenges arise.  There’s massive uncertainty. Fortunately, using multi-carrier parcel shipping software can unlock significant savings, provided shippers understand how to maximize its value.

How to Maximize ROI and Savings with a TMS for Parcel Shipping

get the ebook: critical capabilities of a tms for parcel shippingMaximizing the value of multi-carrier software may sound simple, but as we know all too well, to squeeze the most profit out of every shipment, shippers have to go beyond just printing the right label – integrating the software with business-critical systems to leverage business intelligence cross-functionally, measure performance, and react quickly.  And this is more challenging.

With that said, there are three ingredients — integrations and Professional Services, technology, and Business Intelligence  — that are foundational to any successful multi-carrier solution implementation. Here’s what goes into this winning trifecta:

1. Integrations and Professional Services

Despite the impressive functionality in most parcel shipping technology solutions, critical to a shipper’s success will be how well the technology integrates with both the carriers’ systems as well as the ERP, WMS, OMS and/or e-commerce systems. Shippers need a solution provider with significant integration experience across a broad network of global carriers and world-leading enterprise, e-commerce, and supply chain software providers – in either a blackbox or attended environment.

Shippers also need a Professional Services team capable of evolving the multi-carrier technology instance as their shipping strategy becomes more complex, willing to coach and train their people. Shippers require folks who have their back and on whom they can rely to spearhead the conversation that moves their shipping strategy forward. And they need people that know how to leverage and inform the implementation and integration processes and technologies that streamline shipping workflows and make distributing and managing shipping data easier. The list goes on and on, but you get the gist — Professional Services are key.

2. Technology

As an organization matures, distribution scenarios will likely become more complex. This means there will be more shipments, more carrier services, more warehouses, and more data to manage. Technology can help streamline every stage from carrier services procurement to carrier invoice reconciliation and reporting.  For example, the right multi-carrier parcel shipping technology:

  • Gives Customer Service teams 24/7, on-demand access to critical delivery event details, and dashboards display KPIs such as Total Shipments, Exceptions, Packages In-Transit, Delivered, Late, and Lost so these teams can proactively communicate with customers and protect the customer relationship.
  • Automates carrier selection, produces all necessary labels and documentation, and helps organizations scale and improve their shipping efforts – even across borders.
  • Performs mode shopping within the contracted carrier network to determine whether packages – both domestic and international – should go LTL vs. parcel and compares carriers and services to find the best rate.  It helps optimize volume discounts and zone skipping and avoid accessorial charges – cutting costs and increasing resource efficiency almost immediately.
  • Automatically compares carrier invoices against expected transportation costs and automates claims filing and payment and reports on spend according to geography, business unit, accruals, and GL Coding, to name a few.

3. Business Intelligence

A huge part of achieving cost-effective parcel shipping has to do with the creation, distribution, and management of data. While it’s a somewhat vague term, “data” includes everything from delivery event alerts and carrier service scorecards to rate simulations, cost accounting, and more. Without accurate data and the proper management of it, shippers will have a harder time securing favorable contracts with carriers. Multi-carrier technology with a Business Intelligence platform will understand how factors such as distance, speed to delivery, density, and package size affect spend within the transportation carrier landscape, and analyze shipping data in real-time to visualize how and where changes should occur for the shipper to yield greater returns.

Recapture Costs through Better Logistics Management and Robust Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Now

Robust multi-carrier parcel shipping software will empower shippers to recapture expenses and keep parcel shipping spend under control. While literally thousands of modern systems exist, it is equally important to look for a system and vendor with a well-established reputation and deployment model. Logistyx has this reputation and model and can help your company achieve strong ROI and significant savings.

Contact us today.

4 Signs you Need a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System

The results are in: Amazon shipped five billion Prime items in 2018.  Five billion!  And that’s just one e-commerce retailer.  Add to this figure the thousands of manufacturers, omnichannel retailers and 3PLs who all ship parcels, and the number of packages in transit across the world at any given moment is staggering.

Transportation teams worldwide face a unique challenge.  Multi-carrier shipping is complicated, and organizations often describe their parcel delivery processes as “expensive,” “time consuming,” and “frustrating.” Why? Managing parcel shipping typically includes a wide range of departments inside the organization: procurement, fulfillment operations, customer service and finance.  It can also include hundreds of global carriers, each of which have different shipping systems, pricing schemes, terminology and compliance rules.  With so many moving parts, the end-to-end process from procure to pay can be chaotic, and data can easily be siloed.

Overcome Parcel Shipping Challenges with a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping System

get the ebook: critical capabilities of a tms for parcel shipping

Now, there is a solution for reducing shipping costs and streamlining the end-to-end parcel shipping process without compromising on-time delivery percentages: a dedicated multi-carrier parcel shipping system. With a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, you can reduce shipping costs while still meeting customers’ delivery expectations by boosting efficiency, choice and visibility for the entire delivery process.  By managing multiple carriers in a single platform, you power your transportation booking with real-time rate shopping and simulation data. And by automating transport booking according to your business rules, you eliminate manual steps in the fulfillment process. Despite these benefits, we understand you may be unsure whether you really need a multi-carrier parcel shipping system. You might not think your current process is all that bad, or you might think now isn’t the right time.  It’s easy to postpone purchase decisions until the next budget cycle… until the next hiring cycle… or after the next earnings call.  But every day you wait to implement a TMS for parcel shipping could result in thousands of dollars of missed opportunities for savings. Translation: lower profit margins.

Here are four signs you’re ready for a multi-carrier parcel shipping system today:

1. You worry you’re leaving savings on the table during carrier negotiations.

If you’re heading into carrier contract negotiations with manually crunched spreadsheets and outdated forecasts, there’s a good chance your worries are well-founded and it’s time to evaluate a multi-carrier parcel shipping system.  With a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, all carrier rates and performance data are housed in a single platform.  This means transportation procurement teams have access to real time data to negotiate contracts based on actual usage and performance and manage costs effectively.  Decisions become proactive instead of reactive, and the number of dollars spent off budget is drastically reduced. Added bonus: Closed User Group (CUG) tendering ensures “best value” carriers are optimized to improve performance KPIs such as On Time Delivery (OTD) percentages and customer satisfaction.

2. You need more staff to handle increasing shipment volumes.

If you’re manually booking transport on multiple carrier-specific workstations, then it makes sense you’ll need more staff to handle increasing shipment volumes.  However, with a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, all carriers are managed in a single platform and shipments are automatically booked with “best fit” carriers according to your specific business rules – reducing the number of stations on your warehouse floor and allowing volumes to scale without additional resources.  The right multi-carrier parcel shipping system will also integrate with your existing enterprise systems (ERP, WMS, and OMS), enabling your team to fine-tune your transportation strategy based on “big picture” data.

3. Increasing Number of Calls into Customer Service.

If your customer service team is fielding a high number of customer inquiries regarding late and/or inaccurate shipments, it’s time to evaluate a multi-carrier parcel shipping system. With a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, your customer service representatives have easy access to parcel delivery information in a single platform, which naturally improves the customer experience.  Gone are the days of accessing multiple carrier websites to retrieve shipment data. Instead, your customer service representatives can quickly pull necessary information from a single dashboard, resulting in quick problem resolution and accurate customer communication.  Even better: you can put your customer service team on offense.  Instead of reacting to a customer complaint regarding a late or inaccurate shipment, with a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, your team can easily flag delivery “exceptions” and proactively resolve shipment errors and delays before they occur.  You can even create smart exception workflows to enable automatic responses to “exception” events, reducing the need for customer service intervention altogether.

4. You struggle to accurately allocate shipping costs.

If your Finance teams lack the necessary data to allocate shipping costs per department, per product, per SKU, etc., or can’t expend the effort to compile the data from different sources, then it’s time to consider implementing a multi-carrier parcel shipping system. With a multi-carrier parcel shipping system, Finance teams have access to real-time, accurate shipping data down to the SKU level, improving reporting and forecasting and enabling them to create better disciplines around shipping spend.  In addition, Finance teams will be able to automate self-billing when budgeted carrier costs match actual, reducing the Accounts Payable workload and freeing Finance resources to spend time on other initiatives.

The Right Time Is Now

If even one of the challenges described above feels familiar, now might be the right time to learn more about how a multi-carrier parcel shipping system can improve your shipping processes from procurement to pay. Download our white paper: The Other Half of your Net Landed Cost of Goods to learn more about how you can improve parcel shipping while controlling your costs.