E2open Acquires Global Multi-Carrier E-Commerce Shipping Software Platform, Logistyx Technologies. Read More

Total Retail Highlights Importance of Omnichannel

While we know the importance of omnichannel retail, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch, so retailers need a comprehensive approach.

Dolly CEO Jay Sackos recently wrote an article for Total Retail titled “2022 Delivery and Retail Trends,” exploring how various aspects of the retail experience have changed in recent years from sourcing and supply chain to order fulfillment and everything in between. Among Mr. Sackos’ insightful takes on these trends, he cites many industry experts, including Logistyx on defining omnichannel:

Logistyx Technologies perhaps says it best, explaining how within an omnichannel approach ‘the merchant can fulfill an order directly from a store … or from a distribution center … or by moving inventory from a distribution center to a store and then fulfilling the order from the store. In doing so, the merchant is better positioned to meet customer expectations for delivery timelines and accuracy.’”

Omnichannel is a topic we’ve written about extensively and helped many retailers successfully implement. While we’re big fans of omnichannel retail, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch, which is why we have an omnichannel resource hub for retailers interested in exploring, adopting, or optimizing the approach.

Contact Logistyx today to see how we can help you with your omnichannel efforts.

Micro-fulfillment Centers Only Half of the Equation

DC Velocity recently ran an article on the growing trend of micro-fulfillment (placing popular products in small fulfillment centers centrally located within population centers), noting the value of the approach as a response to e-commerce growth, warehousing shortages and carrier capacity constraints.

“If industrial real estate were widely available in key markets, perhaps that would put a damper on the popularity of micro-fulfillment. But warehouse vacancy remains at record lows, while industrial real estate demand remains at all-time highs. As a result, even conservative estimates place any sort of balance of supply and demand in warehousing about two years out. This factor should give micro-fulfillment plenty of time to normalize itself in fulfillment networks.

Research and Markets estimate that micro-fulfillment center installations will grow more than 20 times by 2030, with more than 80% of those installations deployed in North America. This data suggests that micro-fulfillment will become a staple of e-commerce fulfillment practices within the next few years.”

Among the benefits cited are faster shipping and lower transportation costs. But these are only true if retailers have the necessary tools to capitalize, including:

Webinar - Take Control of Your Parcel Shipping Network

The benefits of micro-fulfillment are negated if retailers’ carrier networks lack the capacity to handle the increased shipment volume or are locked into single carriers with increasing prices. If retailers lack the ability to quickly analyze fulfillment data from every angle, they’re leaving money on the table by not understanding how and where to optimize their processes, including carrier and service selection.

The critical nature of last-mile delivery for customer satisfaction heightens both the opportunity and risk for retailers employing micro-fulfillment. Contact us today to see how we can help you optimize your micro-fulfillment capabilities.

Anyline Research: Last-Mile is Critical for Customer Retention

StreetFight published a new article highlighting research from Anyline which verifies the importance of last-mile delivery in customer retention. One particularly alarming trend for retailers:

“Younger consumers, in particular, say they have less patience for poor delivery experiences. Seventy-two percent of Baby Boomers say they would reconsider shopping with a company again after a poor delivery experience, compared to 76% of Generation Xers, 81% of millennials, and 86% of consumers in Generation Z.”

Yet the research shows last-mile delivery problems are on the rise:

  • 44% of consumers say delivery timeframes have become slower since the start of the pandemic
  • 68% have encountered delivery delays
  • Anecdotally, consumers report “receiving damaged packages or falling victim to porch piracy”

With e-commerce volumes exploding, cross-border e-commerce on the rise, and companies scrambling to meet customer expectations for same-day delivery, retailers are in a precarious position. They’ve got one chance to ensure a smooth last-mile experience or risk losing their customers to a competitor.

Luckily, Logistyx can help with its cloud-based multi-carrier parcel shipping solution. Here are nine benefits:

  1. Add carriers
  2. Automate rating, rate shopping, and carrier compliance
  3. Consolidate parcel shipments
  4. Integrate enterprise supply chain systems and carriers in the cloud
  5. Manage carrier capacity
  6. Ensure on-time delivery consistency
  7. Execute cross-border shipments
  8. Leverage data analytics and business intelligence
  9. Audit carrier invoices

Each plays a role in the last-mile delivery equation and ensures a positive customer experience. This is why Logistyx has been named  Digital Commerce 360’s #1 Fulfillment Software Provider for the third consecutive year.

eBook - eBook Peak Season Parcel Shipping Thrival Guide

Contact us today to see how we can help put the last mile first and keep your customers happy.

Logistyx President Ken Fleming Explains the Necessary Give and Take of Parcel Shipping Tech in Logistics Viewpoints

In his latest article for Logistics Viewpoints, “The Give and Take of Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Technology,” Logistyx President Ken Fleming discussed the role multi-carrier parcel shipping technology plays in informing and optimizing different aspects of entire organizations. One example:

“As growth strategists plan to expand a retail footprint or add a distribution center or two, parcel shipping data can provide valuable insights to either direct or double-check these efforts. What an organization knows about its customers based on troves of parcel shipping and e-commerce fulfillment data can strengthen confidence in these plans and ensure investments pan out by more accurately forecasting the value of new stores, warehouses, and distribution centers.”

Ken also notes the need of those departments to share critically important information with the technology. Another example:

“Procurement teams play an incredibly important role. Problems can arise when procurement teams negotiate carrier rates but fail to share rate updates with fulfillment teams. Everything may seem just fine to the procurement team when the negotiated rate matches the billed rate on a carrier invoice, but if refreshed rates were never input into the multi-carrier shipping technology, then the technology makes decisions based on incorrect information. This can lead to poor carrier service selection and damage the bottom line. Beyond rates, procurement should also be sure to share carrier capacity limits; location variables for warehouses, distribution centers, and stores; and other pricing factors. Keeping this information updated in the multi-carrier parcel shipping technology ensures decisions are made based on correct, up-to-date information for optimal results.”

When an organization both gives to and takes from its multi-carrier parcel shipping technology, it creates a symbiotic relationship. Read Ken’s full article at Logistics Viewpoints for insight into the benefits of such an approach.

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

To learn how Logistyx can help you make the most of your multi-carrier parcel shipping, contact us today.

McKinsey Projects Cross-border E-commerce to Exceed $1 Trillion by 2030

McKinsey and Company published new cross-border e-commerce projections in its recent article “Signed, sealed, and delivered: Unpacking the cross-border parcel market’s promise,” quantifying the growth tied to a shopping trend we explored last year in our cross-border survey “Embracing the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity.” McKinsey’s numbers verify what we expected: cross-border e-commerce offers a significant opportunity for retailers prepared to capitalize.

Graph: Cross border e commerce will grow to a $1 tr market in by 2030 with potential of double that size in a bold scenario

According to McKinsey:

“Even conservative estimates project that cross-border e-commerce in goods—the fulfilment and parcel dispatch of an order taking place in a country different from the customer’s final delivery destination—will expand to around $1 trillion in merchandise value by 2030, from its current value of approximately $300 billion (Exhibit 1). In a bolder scenario, e-commerce penetration of the total world retail market would approach today’s levels in China: more than 30 percent. If the cross-border share of e-commerce came close to 20 percent, the overall cross-border e-commerce market could total $2 trillion in merchandise value. We also expect cross-border supply chains to change significantly.”

This aligns with the results of our cross-border survey, which found:

  • 57% of online shoppers around the world made at least one online purchase from a company in another country in the last 12 months – while a further 22% considered doing so.
  • 43% agree or strongly agree that doing more online shopping in general during the pandemic means they are now more willing to consider cross-border e-commerce purchases.

While this presents a great opportunity for retailers, it’s not without its challenges. Again, from our survey:

  • 59% of online shoppers agree (24% strongly) they are less likely to give a company in another country a second chance if they make a mistake with their order.
  • 66% of respondents believe cross-border purchases will arrive later than promised.
  • 47% believe purchases are more likely to be damaged in transit.
  • 69% believe delivery charges will be higher for international orders.
  • 59% believe they will have to pay additional fees or duties which have not been made clear at checkout.

Meeting consumer expectations to provide a positive experience is paramount for sustained success. Luckily, we also identified seven factors likely to do just that:

Factors that would encourage cross-border purchases: Free returns (72%), online tracking (71%), no additional fees (70%), on-time delivery or money off (67%), local service/repair (64%), free support in native language (60%), buy now, pay later (54%)

Download “Embracing the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity” to learn more about opportunities and overcoming challenges in cross-border e-commerce. Contact Logistyx to see how we can help.

Why Peak Season Planning Needs to be a Year-Round Endeavor

Order fulfillment and logistics teams should be looking at peak season planning year-round to keep their operations prepared.

As the world continues to grapple with the ripple effects of a global pandemic, retailers and manufacturers are working overtime to reimagine their parcel shipping and order fulfillment operations. While it’s nice to imagine a future in which things return to some semblance of normal, the reality is that today’s landscape may just be the new normal.

A whopping 75% of supply-chain leaders have faced issues producing and distributing goods since the pandemic began — and believe those issues will significantly change how they operate in the near future. The question is, how do organizations rework their logistics operations in a way that’s both cost-efficient and highly effective in meeting consumer expectations?

First, let’s take a closer look at why order fulfillment and logistics teams should be adopting a 12-month peak season plan that keeps their operations prepared for whatever the future may hold.

Supply Chain Disruptions are Unpredictable

Historically, retailers and manufacturers have minimized their supply chain risks by accounting for future events that could cause trouble. Disruptions like poor supplier performance or transportation breakdowns were common enough that shippers could determine the likelihood of these occurrences and estimate their impact on supply chain performance.

But in today’s world, supply chain disruptions occur with little to no warning, leaving order fulfillment teams scrambling to keep operations running smoothly. In 2021 and already in 2022, disruptions have come in many shapes and sizes.

Weather

The consequences of 2021 weather events including Hurricane Ida, a typhoon near Chinese ports, the Texas freeze, British Columbia flooding, and December tornadoes across the U.S. make it clear there is more than a health crisis challenging supply chains.

In a 2020 article from the McKinsey Global Institute, “…questions about supply-chain risks and resilience are now being raised in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as acute weather events. As climate change makes extreme weather more frequent and/or severe, it increases the annual probability of events that are more intense…increasing the likelihood of supply-chain disruptions.” For example, McKinsey estimates the likelihood of a hurricane to disrupt leading-edge chip production, and therefore electronics supply chains, may grow two to four times by 2040.

Suffice to say, weather-related supply chain disruptions will continue to wreak havoc in the coming years, and order fulfillment teams need to be proactive when it comes to getting ahead of the problem. According to Olivia Rockeman in Bloomberg, a good first step for companies looking to fortify order fulfillment operations against weather events is to “…map their supply chains to better understand exactly where risks lie, whether that’s a supplier on the Gulf Coast subject to hurricanes or a transport hub susceptible to flooding.” In addition, retailers and manufacturers should forge strong supplier relationships to ensure consistent and clear communication during a climate crisis.

Overseas Conflicts

Global conflicts between far-off countries may not seem like a pressing concern to your onshore operations, but overseas disputes can have very real-world implications on supply chains in the U.S. For example, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to spike prices for a wide range of commodities, from gas and oil to wheat and barley. As hard as you may try, predicting these global conflicts and how they’ll impact supply chains in the United States is almost impossible. However, the experts at Gartner recommend supply chain leaders gain visibility into all tiers of their network, especially tier-1 suppliers.  Gartner also recommends diversifying sources and routes where possible and preparing risk response plans.

Labor Shortage

Despite recent wage increases, warehouses and carriers still struggle to hire and retain frontline employees. There’s also been an uptick in absenteeism and strikes, further fueling the supply chain shortage fire. And even as we get a firmer grip on the pandemic, evidence suggests warehouses will still face worker-retention issues. In a recent article in LaborNotes, Kim Moody writes, “According to the American Trucking Association there’s a ‘historic high’ shortage of 80,000 drivers. This isn’t just truckers down with the virus. Nor is this ‘shortage’ due to a lack of people who could drive trucks. As any Teamster can tell you, it’s stagnant pay, long hours, high stress, and health issues that drive workers from the industry and keep job seekers away. And that was the case well before the pandemic struck.

Warehouse workers, who also saw stagnant wages and poor conditions over this period, were also in relatively short supply for the same reasons. The recent wage increases—which resulted from these labor shortages and high ‘quit’ levels—are too little, too late.”

To combat labor challenges, supply chain managers and logistics experts may want to consider migrating from a “Just in Time” (JIT) order fulfillment approach to a “Just in Case” (JIC) model. Brands are now keen to hold a larger buffer stock and plan for longer fulfillment lifecycles. Many are investing in more extensive storage and distribution centers to create self-mandated insurance policies that will help protect their operations — and their customers — against supply chain disruptions such as labor shortages. Rather than keeping their inventory as lean as possible to minimize extra costs, manufacturers and retailers are planning for the unexpected and making upfront investments in more stock to secure their operations in the long term.

However, transitioning to a Just in Case (JIC) supply chain strategy doesn’t mean companies should take their best guess at inventory needs or buy out suppliers at every opportunity. On the contrary, companies should lean heavily on their data, including e-commerce data, logistics data, and inventory performance data. This data can help companies adjust their inventory management processes to optimize lead times without putting themselves at risk. Increased data visibility will enable brands to make informed decisions and deliver optimal results for their end consumers and their bottom line while still accounting for potential disruption in the months or years ahead.

Fuel Prices

As previously mentioned, gas and oil prices can spike unexpectedly. And when they do, it can have severe implications on retailers’ and manufacturers’ ability to move goods quickly and efficiently. An increase in fuel costs inevitably leads to a rise in transportation costs. On top of this, shippers will have to deal with surcharges passed down by suppliers, further increasing the cost of producing and delivering items to customers. The trickle-down effect from surging fuel prices can be brutal for unprepared shippers, which is why you should work today to prepare for the worst.

For shippers looking to find a workaround, diversifying transportation networks serves as a valuable tactic to combat surcharges. Companies that can create greater access to more carriers and invest in a cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system will have flexibility and diversity in fulfillment and stand a better chance of keeping costs in check. Effective multi-carrier parcel shipping software allows you to quickly onboard new carriers – including regional and last-mile carriers – and automatically rate, rate shop, and identify the best carrier service for each parcel shipment given the shipment’s origin, destination, delivery timeframe, delivery cost, and any applicable business rules. From there, the software can consolidate shipments at the time of order to reduce your transportation costs further and print carrier compliant labels or other necessary documentation.

Consumer Expectations Have Raised the Bar

In the wake of the pandemic, the world changed in a lot of ways, particularly in the emergence of e-commerce as consumers’ preferred shopping method. McKinsey recently reported that, when looking at historical data, the e-commerce industry saw 10 years of growth in just 3 months.

In addition to high order volumes, the uptick in e-commerce spending has also heightened consumer expectations for fast delivery. Thanks to brands like Amazon, 41% of consumers are desirous enough of same-day delivery to pay a charge for the service, meaning the pressure is on your order fulfillment teams to get products out the door and onto the doorstep – fast.

Considering how e-commerce is forcing retailers to speed up their operations and handle more order volume on a consistent basis, it makes sense for order fulfillment teams to treat every month as if it were the traditional peak season. Building out your carrier network with multiple options from which you can source transportation is a good way to remain competitive in the modern supply chain landscape.

Also key is adopting and promoting omnichannel distribution strategies that allow you to pull multiple e-commerce order fulfillment levers – such as ship from distribution center or warehouse; ship from store; buy online pickup in store (BOPIS); buy online pickup curbside (BOPIC); and buy online, return in-store. But to pull these various levers, shippers must have a distribution infrastructure in place that includes a cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system. A cloud multi-carrier parcel shipping system seamlessly integrates with a retailer’s WMS, OMS, e-commerce, and ERP solutions to automate high volume, multi-carrier, omnichannel shipping. Regardless of which delivery option a customer chooses, the system automatically selects the right carrier service for each order according to parcel origin, parcel destination, carrier contracts, and business rules; and creates or acquires the tracking, labels, and documents. Therefore, retailers can satisfy customers’ delivery requirements and drive down the cost of shipping while transforming logistics into a profit center within the business.

Logistyx: Be Ready for Whatever Tomorrow Holds

Navigating an uncertain future may seem like a lofty endeavor. Operating in peak-season mode year-round is no easy feat and requires proactive action and hard work on your end. But lightening the supply chain load is made much easier with the right tools at your disposal.

At Logistyx, we empower manufacturers, retailers, and logistics providers to ship millions of parcels worldwide at the lowest possible cost. Our platform is designed with the future of multi-carrier parcel shipping in mind and works to help you thrive in our same-day delivery economy while handling unforeseen disruptions in stride.

To learn more about the need for year-round peak season planning, listen to our very own Ken Fleming, President of Logistyx, speak on SupplyChain 24/7’s podcast here.

For those interested in learning more about Logistyx’s parcel shipping solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

4 Ways your Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Software Can Leverage your Data

Optimizing your parcel shipping operations is now more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a domino effect on the supply chain, causing a surge in e-commerce orders, delays in manufacturing equipment, a backlog of supply orders, a lack of carrier capacity, and more. Staying on top of your inventory, order fulfillment, and parcel shipping data is vital to surviving – and thriving – in this landscape.

The right multi-carrier parcel shipping technology will have Business Intelligence to help you optimize your outbound parcel deliveries and returns and provide the visibility into delivery events, carrier performance, carrier capacity utilization, and transportation spend you need. With this technology, you can compare millions of different shipping scenarios simultaneously to ensure you’re executing the right order fulfillment and logistics strategy for your organization.

But with so many software options out there, it can be easy to get lost when deciding which multi-carrier parcel shipping software will best serve you. Let’s look at how the right software will utilize data to drive your growth.

1. Diversify your Parcel Shipping Carrier Network and Order Fulfillment Workflows

With modern day order fulfillment complexities such as high e-commerce shipment volumes and global parcel shipping, relying on a single carrier isn’t wise. You’re running the risk of lacking carrier capacity at crucial times and putting yourself at the mercy of carrier surcharges and rate increases.

Effective multi-carrier parcel shipping software allows you to quickly onboard new carriers – including regional and last-mile carriers – and automatically rate, rate shop, and identify the best carrier service for each parcel shipment given the shipment’s origin, destination, delivery timeframe, delivery cost, and any applicable business rules. From there, the software can consolidate shipments at the time of order to reduce your transportation costs and print carrier compliant labels or other necessary documentation.

And when your parcel shipping software includes Business Intelligence, you’ll quickly understand where carriers perform well (and not). You can evaluate delivery performance and performance cost impacts to create the optimal transportation network based on factors such as service, price, capacity, and quality. Furthermore, Business Intelligence can help you understand how a surcharge or rate increase with one carrier will affect overall spend within your transportation landscape, and you can visualize how and where changes should occur to offset these costs.

Business Intelligence can also help you evaluate the impact of changes in your order fulfillment workflows. For instance, if you’re implementing changes in fulfillment to increase ship-from-store or locate a new DC, understanding how these adjustments impact zone and carrier service-level downgrade options is critical.

Webinar - Take Control of Your Parcel Shipping Network

2. Ensure On-Time Parcel Delivery

Quickly processing and shipping orders out of your warehouse is only half the delivery journey. To ensure your products reach your customers on time, you need visibility into each delivery milestone along the shipment route.

A sophisticated multi-carrier parcel shipping solution will be equipped with a Control Tower that gives your customer service teams visibility into package deliveries. A Control Tower for parcel is unique because it “reacts” to the data it receives. Much like an airport control tower, which receives signal, GPS, location, and speed data that enables good decision-making, the Control Tower for parcel knows that when an order is placed, the warehouse is stocked and ready to ship the goods to a customer. It also knows the order is ready for parcel carrier pick-up – the point at which it appears on the customer’s radar (usually in the form of a tracking number). In the event of a delivery delay, the Control Tower can flag the event, which gives your customer service teams the opportunity to communicate with the customer and make good. 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. Or perhaps you’re willing to offer a discount on the customer’s next order. Customers will pay attention to how you handle mishaps and communicating clearly and openly about any delivery delays will affirm their trust in your brand.

3. Comply with Global Parcel Shipping Standards

Shipping across borders comes with its own set of challenges, for most of which your multi-carrier parcel shipping software can help you prepare. Your technology can automatically prep carrier compliant labels and any cross-border documentation your shipments need, totally alleviating customs anxiety. Additionally, this technology can use your shipping data to help you identify where you have opportunities to save money on cross-border transportation costs by consolidating your shipments.

4. Audit Parcel Shipping Invoices for Accuracy

Inaccurate carrier invoices can lead to higher than necessary transportation spend – throwing your entire budget out of whack. Most of the time, these mistakes are made involuntarily (we are only human, after all), and it takes a keen eye to catch any discrepancies.

Multi-carrier parcel shipping software with audit and analytics tools will streamline the financial management of shipping costs by automatically matching the carrier invoice to the shipping performance data and flagging discrepancies. The software will also enable advanced cost accounting down to the SKU level to help you truly understand your transportation spend and assist in your budget planning.

Get Data-Driven Results

Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping software is here streamline your parcels’ journeys from point A to B. From assistance in data capture, to data monitoring, to data analysis, our software will give you full visibility into your shipping operations. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Parcel Shipping Surcharges: What Hidden Fees Can Mean for your Overhead Costs

While individual parcel shipping surcharges may seem small, they can easily add up and have a large impact on your bottom line.

More goes into the number on your shipping invoice than just the cost of freight, handling, and gas. Often, there’s an extra fee added to the shipment cost, known as a surcharge. These surcharges account for a wide array of shipment services and scenarios, such as shipping during peak season, shipping above volume thresholds, rush shipping, an immediate shipment pickup, or shipping an oversized package. These surcharges change every year, and sometimes even multiple times per year, depending on peak season.

While individual surcharges may seem small, they can easily add up and have a large impact on your bottom line. And due to the fluctuating nature of the carrier market, it can be difficult to appropriately budget for these surcharges.

The Parcel Shipping Market is Volatile

In November of 2021, we saw a hike in surcharges from major carriers. For example, UPS raised its fuel surcharge by 1% on all U.S. air and ground services.

While this sounds like a simple update, there was also a general rate increase of 5.9% in 2022 for any UPS and/or FedEx shipment, a reaction to the impact of peak season, during which the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a large wave of e-commerce purchases amidst unprecedented supply chain disruptions. Sure, these rate hikes are implemented to help carriers protect their bottom lines by managing capacity and keeping deliveries on time in a period of growing demand, but they also put a strain on your budget, especially when occurring in tandem with surcharges.

Typical surcharges fall into categories such as:

  • Transportation – Because of rising fuel costs and the surge of e-commerce orders, surcharges may apply to certain ground deliveries.
  • Global shipping – Delays due to COVID-19 impacted many global carriers, making high-turnaround deliveries more expensive.
  • Bulky, odd-sized items – Additional handling costs for oversized or bulky packages can incur a surcharge.
  • Peak seasonCarriers usually announce new peak season surcharges to ensure they have enough capacity to deliver their orders.

Staying up to date with surcharge announcements and communicating with your carriers is the best way to monitor any changes that may affect your shipping operations.

Webinar - Take Control of Your Parcel Shipping Network

Manage your Parcel Shipping Costs

While carrier surcharges are often a cost of doing business, you’re not entirely at the mercy of the market. There are steps you can take to fortify your bottom line against any rate changes and/or surcharges that may occur.

  • Consolidate your parcels – Often, the same customer/recipient places multiple orders in your order management system within minutes of each other. Without adequate planning to take advantage of packing those orders into one container, you’re paying for multiple, individual parcel movements when perhaps you could pay for one LTL movement. Using a cloud multi-carrier shipping solution to automatically consolidate parcel shipments can help you save, especially on international shipping costs. A parcel shipping solution can perform these consolidations either at the time of order or at the end of the day to reduce your transportation costs.
  • Establish an invoice audit process – Auditing your carrier invoices is crucial to ensure the service levels for which you’re paying are being delivered. Invoice errors can add up quickly and have a major impact on your bottom line. Multi-carrier shipping software can automate these audits, flagging discrepancies between expected costs and carrier invoices to give you greater control over your transportation spend.
  • Invest in Business Intelligence – The right multi-carrier shipping software will include Business Intelligence (BI) to help you extrapolate the impact of various transportation scenarios across significant data sets. These analyses will enable your carrier negotiations and transportation budgets to take shape, empowering you to make cost-savvy supply chain decisions that align with your business strategy.
  • Plan now – Waiting to adjust your shipping operations after a surcharge is announced will only hurt your organization. Make sure you’re partnering with a parcel shipping system provider that has an expansive library of carrier integrations. This will automatically enable you to deploy a multi-carrier shipping strategy and offset surcharges. Furthermore, it will help you manage your contracted capacity so that you don’t exceed your volume thresholds and incur unwanted surcharges. For example, good warehouse management software, integrated with multi-carrier parcel shipping software, will measure shipment volumes against carrier capacity thresholds automatically to help you optimize your shipping strategies – essentially maximizing capacity utilization to minimize transportation spend. And by understanding how much product can ship with each contracted carrier at one time, you can also communicate accurate lead times and manage shipping expectations with your customers.

Find your Remedy to Parcel Shipping Surcharges with Logistyx

Logistyx’s expert parcel shipping solutions can help your organization manage any surcharge fluctuations and audit your carrier invoices to keep overhead costs low. Reach out to us today to learn more about our latest parcel shipping tools and technology.

 

5 Telltale Signs You Need a Parcel Shipping System

Deciding to invest in a parcel shipping system is a big decision. If you’re running single-carrier operations and a carrier-provided workstation does the trick, that may be a cost-effective way to go. But as your organization and shipping needs evolve, you’ll likely need a more robust solution. So, how do you know when it’s time for a parcel shipping system? While the answer is different for every organization, here are a few telltale signs.

1. Your shipping costs have skyrocketed.

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 – which don’t come cheap. To combat the stress on their networks, carriers are increasing rates and introducing surcharges.  Rate shopping for the lowest cost carrier service therefore becomes critical, but businesses soon discover rating shipments and comparing rates using individual carrier workstations can be labor intensive.

Therefore, businesses are turning to parcel shipping software and integrating it with their Order Management Systems (OMS) to automatically import real-time order data, compare rates from their contracted network of carriers, and determine the ideal carrier service for each parcel based on point of origin, point of destination, delivery speed, cost, and any custom business rules. The software then automatically produces the carrier label and any necessary documentation, so every parcel shipped from the warehouse, distribution center, or store is in compliance with carrier requirements.

2. You don’t have the carrier capacity you need.

Given the incredible surge in e-commerce, carriers’ shipping quotas are higher than ever, and they therefore tighten capacity limits. Acquiring more carrier capacity during high-demand periods requires you to pay higher rates, usually in the form of surcharges. And if you’re shipping across borders or shipping same-day, the price increases further. Perhaps even worse, parcel shippers learned in 2021 that even the biggest carriers including FedEx, UPS, and DHL can reach capacity thresholds and turn business away altogether.

Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent these obstacles. A parcel shipping system automatically enables you to ship parcels with more than one carrier and manage capacity, regardless of whether you’re shipping globally or domestically. Good warehouse management software, integrated with multi-carrier parcel shipping software, will measure shipment volumes against carrier capacity thresholds automatically to help you optimize your shipping strategies – essentially maximizing capacity utilization to minimize transportation spend. And by understanding how much product can ship with each contracted carrier at one time, you can also communicate accurate lead times and manage shipping expectations with your customers.

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

3. Your shipping volumes have become unmanageable.

If you’re manually booking transport on carrier-specific workstation(s), then 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 the “best fit” carrier service according to your unique business rules – reducing (and even eliminating) carrier stations on your warehouse floor and allowing you to easily scale shipment volumes 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.

4. Your on-time delivery rates are declining.

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. Rather than react to a customer complaint regarding a late or inaccurate shipment, with a sophisticated multi-carrier parcel shipping system that includes a Control Tower, 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.

5. Your parcel delivery landscape has changed.

Let’s face it. It’s really the customer, not your friendly UPS/FedEx/USPS driver behind the wheel when it comes to parcel delivery. Your customers want their purchases when they want them and where they want them, and this may not be on their doorstep. Some may want to pick their parcels up in the store closest to their home or office, and others – especially in Europe and Asia – may prefer to pick them up from a locker. This means you need flexible order fulfillment workflows. To this end, parcel shipping software 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.

Ready to take a new approach to parcel shipping?

If these telltale signs sound familiar to you, it may be time to consider investing in a parcel shipping solution. Resources like our Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Shipping Solution will give you tips to guide you through your unique parcel shipping system selection process. And if you’re interested in exploring how Logistyx’s functionality maps to your order fulfillment workflows, request a demo today to learn more!

Logistyx President Ken Fleming Shares the Keys for Keeping up with Food and Beverage E-commerce for Food Logistics

Two years into the global pandemic, consumers have grown accustomed to shopping online. Food and beverage retail e-commerce revenue in the United States hit $34.2 billion in 2021, up nearly 97% from $17.4 billion in 2019. The pandemic-driven change in the way customers shop is expected to remain long-term, meaning e-commerce growth is projected to persist.

In an article for Food Logistics, “Keeping Pace with Surging E-Commerce Requires Modern Fulfillment Strategies,” Logistyx President Ken Fleming shares the keys for food and beverage retailers to handle the increased volume while keeping customers happy and costs down:

  • Employ an omnichannel approach
  • Expand transportation networks
  • Tap into shipping data
  • Leverage automated shipping technology

Read Ken’s full article for full details on what each key unlocks.

9 Parcel Shipping Software Benefits in 2022

Providing your customers with a high-quality delivery experience is a powerful market differentiator. It can strengthen your brand perception and drive repeat revenue. Therefore, it’s no surprise demand for parcel shipping software with sophisticated functionality is at an all-time high. Parcel shipping software can help you bring velocity to your order fulfillment workflows and improve on-time delivery rates. It integrates with your other enterprise supply chain systems to automate and streamline shipment execution, monitor parcel delivery movements, and provide you with powerful data analytics to manage carrier capacity and optimize transportation strategies.

The benefits of parcel shipping technology can differ based on the use case, and you can read about how some of Logistyx’s customers use our parcel shipping system in our case studies. But across the broad spectrum of parcel shipping system implementations, we’ve found these nine benefits to be universal.

Nine Universal Benefits of Parcel Shipping Systems

1. Add Carriers

Given the modern-day complexity of high volume, global parcel shipping, relying on a single carrier is risky. During the 2020 and 2021 peak season, many single-carrier shippers had to rely on the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a backup plan to deliver their products on time, and retailers and manufacturers alike are now scrambling to build a diverse network of carriers to maximize their capacity and avoid future disruptions. Fortunately, parcel shipping software easily executes this goal, helping you ship high volumes of parcels while decreasing transportation costs by making it easy to quickly onboard new carrier services, including regional and last-mile providers.

2. Automate Rating, Rate Shopping, and Carrier Compliance

Parcel shipping systems eliminate the need to navigate through multiple carrier systems to determine the ideal carrier service for each parcel based on point of origin, point of destination, delivery timeframe, cost, and any applicable business rules. The system automatically obtains the rates for each shipment from each carrier and selects the optimal service. It then automatically produces the carrier label and any necessary documentation so every parcel leaving your warehouse, distribution center, or store complies with the carrier’s requirements.

3. Consolidate Parcel Shipments

Often, the same customer/recipient places multiple orders in your order management system within minutes of each other. Without adequate planning to take advantage of packing those orders into one container, you’re paying for multiple, individual parcel movements when perhaps you could pay for one LTL movement. A parcel shipping solution can perform these consolidations either at the time of order or at the end of the day to reduce your transportation costs.

Webinar - Take Control of Your Parcel Shipping Network

4. Integrate Enterprise Supply Chain Systems and Carriers in the Cloud

Sophisticated parcel shipping software will be hosted – not managed – in the cloud and easily integrate with your specific order fulfillment workflows, whether they include Inventory Management Systems (IMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Transportation Management Systems (TMS), or eCommerce Systems – and any combination thereof.

Furthermore, the system will be solution provider agnostic, which means the integrations will still be seamless regardless of whether you partner with SAP, Oracle, BlueYonder, Manhattan, and/or other solutions providers.

And finally, the integrations will be straightforward no matter whether you have two or 20 carriers in your transportation network, and irrespective of which carriers those are.

Essentially, the software enables you to create an order fulfillment and shipping ecosystem that is unique to you, where all technology syncs, all data is connected, and there is one source of “truth.”  You’ll immediately decrease fulfillment costs by reducing the number of times a product is manually handled, as the final pack, inspection, weigh, and release are accomplished with only one bar code scan. And an integrated order fulfillment and shipping ecosystem means shipments can be executed throughout an enterprise regardless of multiple shipping origins. With a single database and single-user interface, the system enables rating and routing rules to be set for all locations.

One last selling point: with a cloud-based order fulfillment and shipping ecosystem in place, you can increase the speed of information flows within the organization, making it easy to set and measure corporate KPIs, compare historical information of multi-carrier shipping transactions occurring across multi-location shipping origins, and identify efficiencies and opportunities to optimize order fulfillment and transportation strategies.

5. Manage Carrier Capacity

When parcel shipping software is integrated with a sophisticated WMS, it can measure shipment volumes against carrier capacity thresholds and automatically manage your carrier capacity and optimize your shipping strategies – essentially maximizing capacity utilization to minimize transportation spend. Furthermore, with insight into how much product can ship with each contracted carrier at one time, you can communicate accurate shipping lead times and manage expectations with your customers.

6. Ensure On-Time Delivery Consistency

The right parcel shipping solution will have a Control Tower that enables you to provide your customers with visibility into their parcel’s delivery journey, including in the last mile. The system will send alerts when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” empowering your customer service teams to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer in real time. For example, perhaps the product can be re-routed and sent to a work address instead of a home address, or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store.

And when the parcel shipping system is integrated with your e-commerce system, a Control Tower makes it possible for you to provide customers with the ability to track and trace shipments on your own (not the carrier’s) website – reducing inbound calls about delivery status to customer service and potentially increasing the customers’ browsing behavior while on your website.

7. Execute cross-border shipments.

Due to regulations, tariffs, and documentation, cross-border commerce used to be one of the most intimidating aspects of parcel shipping. Thankfully, this is in the past. Parcel shipping technology, with an integrated process for cross-border shipping, alleviates customs anxiety by automatically identifying and providing the appropriate documentation for any shipment. The system also allows you to analyze cross-border operations and find opportunities for consolidation, mode shifting, and cost efficiencies as parcels move from point A to point B around the world.

8. Access Business Intelligence

Once the parcel shipping software has collected all the shipping origins, carrier data, shipping transactions, and business rules in ONE database, your enterprise shipping information can be more readily accessible for Business Intelligence reporting.

9. Audit Carrier Invoices

Carriers aren’t always perfect, and neither are the numbers on their invoices. While shippers have grown to expect the inaccurate application of carrier surcharges and other fees, they’re almost impossible to catch through manual invoice auditing. However, you can easily uncover these discrepancies when you implement a parcel shipping solution with carrier invoice audit and analytics tools. Carrier invoice audit and analytics tools streamline the financial management of shipping costs by automating carrier invoice matching to identify invoice discrepancies. Plus, if the system has a deep ERP integration, it will enable advanced account allocation and cost accruals.​

Find the Best Parcel Shipping Software for your Organization

At Logistyx, we call these benefits desired customer outcomes. And by selecting the ones that align with your business needs, you can better define your business case — and the return on your parcel shipping technology investment.

If you’re just starting to explore solutions on the market, we know there can be a lot to consider.  Download this checklist for tips to consider during your selection process.

And when you’re ready, we’ll be here for you. Request a demo of Logistyx’s parcel shipping solutions to learn how we can support your unique business needs.

E-commerce Continues to be a Key Driver for Logistyx Clients

Over the last two years, consumer intent to purchase goods through e-commerce channels has increased significantly and this trend promises to stick over the long term as people become more accustomed to purchasing online. According to recent research from McKinsey, more than 50% of consumers expect to continue their online shopping habits after the pandemic subsides, a pattern that will fuel the growth of online sales, which forecasts suggest could account for nearly half of all retail revenues by 2024.

Retailers increasingly respond to these shifts in consumer shopping behaviors by adopting more innovative approaches to successfully navigate e-commerce order fulfillment. For instance, the following Logistyx clients recently made the news for the success they achieved in implementing creative solutions to help improve e-commerce results.

Home Depot

Thanks in part to the uptick in home improvements during the pandemic, Home Depot has been an essential retailer over the last couple of years. With growing online orders and a strong buy-online-pickup-in-store model, Home Depot has churned out strong results on virtually all measures: earnings, revenue, margins, and e-commerce. In fact, Home Depot’s stock soared 56% in 2021 and this momentum is expected to continue into 2022 as the robust housing market remains strong. With 90% of the U.S. population residing within 10 miles of a Home Depot, it’s no wonder 55% of online orders were fulfilled through a store.

Oxford (Owner of Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, and Southern Tide)

Leading apparel retailer, Oxford Industries, had a record Q3, with full price retail sales rising 13% and full-price e-commerce sales growing 100% compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2019. The results continue strong e-commerce sales over the last year.

Webinar - How to Drive your Carrier Network to Success

Walgreens

Walgreens exited first-quarter fiscal 2022 with better-than-expected earnings and revenues, with the continued acceleration of Walgreens’ omnichannel offerings a notable upside. The leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retail company also recently shared how it’s leveraging artificial intelligence-based digital search capabilities to help customers find relevant items available locally using omnichannel shopping and fulfillment features, such as same-day delivery and curbside pickup.

We applaud these retailers for their advanced approach to e-commerce. Logistyx proudly works with innovative companies on their e-commerce fulfillment capabilities to ensure superior service, enhanced customer experiences, and significant cost-savings.

To learn how you can elevate your e-commerce fulfillment strategy and successfully meet increasing demand, contact Logistyx today.