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.
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.