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

How does Logistyx make sure you’re taking advantage of the best shipping rates?

For shippers, providing your customers with a fast and high-quality delivery experience is one of the most crucial components to business success. Not only does it encourage repeat purchases, but it also fosters company loyalty and even brand advocacy, ultimately bringing in new customers. However, customers increasingly expect two-day or even next-day shipping when they order products online, and the often steep prices of these delivery speeds can be an expensive barrier for many businesses.

As worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to boom to an estimated $5 trillion this year, the high demand and costly shipping rates will continue to be a heavy burden for companies that lack a robust omni-channel distribution strategy. Perhaps the most significant challenge for shippers is managing transportation costs with delivery schedules. Fortunately, with the right multi-carrier parcel shipping system, it's easy to find the best shipping rates with the fastest delivery speeds to ensure your customers receive their parcel on time and at the lowest cost to your business.

What are shipping rates and how are they calculated?

Shipping rates are the direct expenses involved in shipping parcels from origin to destination. This cost is determined by a variety of factors, including obvious things like size, weight, delivery time and transportation mode. However, there are a variety of other costs associated, such as the shipping materials, labor and potential import and export fees involved with international shipping.

Calculations for shipping rates are highly complex, especially for long-distance parcel shipping. This is because the process of moving parcels through the supply chain is often complicated. Once you receive an order, you must first locate the product and determine the best shipping rates among your contracted carriers. Then you need to organize the parcel's transportation and print carrier-compliant shipping labels. These labels allow you to track the shipments from distribution centers to the last mile, ensuring a timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

Why is rate shopping critical to your bottom line?

Rate shopping is the ability to compare shipping rates between your network of contracted carriers. Whether you're looking for the cheapest transportation mode, the fastest delivery speed or a happy medium between the two, rate shopping allows you to sort through your network of contracted carriers to find the best parcel shipping option according to your business rules. This practice can illuminate savings opportunities for your business, enabling you to optimize your shipping strategy for cost-efficiency. Ultimately, this practice can save your business up to 25% on parcel shipping costs.

Despite the benefits of rate shopping, it's traditionally been a tedious, time-consuming process involving an employee manually gathering data from carrier websites. However, modern tools can streamline this process by consolidating your multi-carrier network into a single platform solution. Now you can easily switch between contracted carriers to optimize each shipment individually and consistently achieve the best shipping rates based on your business practices.

How to take advantage of the best shipping rates

As a retailer shipping parcels, it's critical to rate shop for the best prices available in the shortest amount of time. This not only benefits your customers by reducing shipping costs and expediting delivery, but it also benefits your bottom line by cutting your costs and boosting your business's operational efficiency. However, this often means managing shipping costs across a diverse network of contracted carriers, each with its own website, compliance standards and shipping rates. To optimize this process, streamline order fulfillment workflows and manage transportation spend, you need a robust multi-carrier parcel shipping system.

What is a multi-carrier parcel shipping system?

A multi-carrier parcel shipping system is a software solution that saves businesses time, money and resources throughout the entire shipping process by allowing them to rate shop between multiple contracted carriers, monitor shipping activity, track packages, streamline parcel shipping operations and automate carrier compliance. Shippers also have options when it comes to parcel delivery, whether they want to go with the cheapest, fastest or high-end option. Every day, retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers worldwide utilize multi-carrier shipping technology to ship millions of parcels at the lowest possible costs.

How does it differ from a transportation management system?

While a transportation management system (TMS) sounds like a general shipping solution, this type of software was primarily developed for planning freight movements. Shippers often choose a TMS expecting it to solve all of their shipping issues, however, the rise of e-commerce is increasing the necessity of more optimal shipping solutions. Unlike a multi-carrier system, which provides the technological infrastructure to support and optimize parcel shipping workflows, a TMS can create problems in parcel shipping, complicating critical tasks and causing shippers to overspend.

What does Logtistyx TME offer?

Logistyx TME is a cloud-based multi-carrier shipping software solution designed for any business shipping parcels. With this all-in-one solution, you can monitor parcel movements and delivery, streamline transportation processes, guarantee carrier compliance and identify opportunities for cost savings — all in a single, convenient platform. With more than 550 global carrier integrations, it's easy to expand your contracted carrier network to find the best shipping rates for your business rules. Whether you're shipping domestically or internationally, using a single carrier or a diverse network of hundreds, Logistyx TME can help you deliver the best shipping experience to your customers without sacrificing time or cost-efficiency.

After an easy, seamless integration with your business's existing systems and contracted carrier network, you're ready to start rate shopping for your next shipment. Once you've selected a service, the software prints the labels and any other documentation needed. If your business uses multiple contracted carriers, Logistyx TME will automatically communicate with the label printer for accurate labeling along the assembly line. Once a parcel is shipped, you can monitor its journey to the customer's door, ensuring a timely delivery and customer satisfaction. You can also leverage Business Intelligence to glean valuable insights into the shipping process, forecast fulfillment scenarios and identify cost-savings opportunities.

Want to learn more about how Logistyx can help your business take advantage of the best shipping rates? Contact us today.

How can your business guarantee it’s using the fastest shipping method?

In the wake of the pandemic, e-commerce has experienced accelerated growth, changing the game of parcel transportation and delivery. According to forecasts from Insider Intelligence, this year, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $1.06 trillion in the U.S. alone. As online retail giants like Amazon continue to set the standard for customer expectations of delivery times, parcel shippers have had to adapt their operations to match these competitive delivery speeds. This can be prohibitively expensive for many shippers, however, with the right tools and resources, any business can guarantee the fastest delivery method at the best shipping rates.

Is having the fastest delivery time the best strategy for your business?

Before you spend hours researching different carriers trying to find the fastest delivery method for your parcels, it's important to determine whether prioritizing speed aligns with your business strategy. For example, one carrier might have two-day shipping but at an exorbitant cost compared to a different service that can deliver your parcel by the end of the week at a much lower rate. Whether it's you or the customer who wants to cut costs, the fastest option might not always be the best for the budget.

If, however, you're shipping priority parcels and you need the fastest delivery method possible, you'll likely want to compare shipping rates between carrier services. This requires managing compliance requirements and rate shopping across your contracted carrier network — a labor-intensive and time-consuming process in and of itself. That's why many businesses opt for a multi-carrier parcel shipping solution with automatic rate shopping and carrier network management capabilities.

Breaking down shipping costs

Whether you're manually rate shopping or using parcel shipping software, it's critical to understand how shipping costs are calculated. While shipping rates vary between carriers and the calculations require a comprehensive knowledge of logistics, there are several factors that are key in determining the final charges. These include:

  • Size and weight: The dimensions and weight of your package have a significant impact on the final shipping cost. Contrary to what you may think, heavier shipments don't always mean higher prices. Smaller, heavier parcels ship at a lower rate than large, light packages.
  • Destination and delivery time: Depending on the distance to its final destination and the delivery timeline, parcel shipping rates can vary wildly. Longer-distance shipments tend to be more expensive, especially for faster delivery times.
  • Mode of transportation: The method of transportation is often based on where you need to ship your parcel, but it still has a big influence on the shipping rate. For example, ground shipments are often more cost-effective for shorter distances. However, it's usually cheaper to ship parcels by airplane for longer distances.
  • International shipping fees: For businesses shipping parcels internationally, shipping costs will also include any potential import and export fees incurred by crossing borders.

What's the fastest shipping method?

Ultimately, finding the fastest shipping method comes down to the parcel's destination and your contracted carrier network. If you're shipping across oceans and international borders, you'll likely want to utilize different methods than if you were sending a package to the next town. This is because shipping rates vary by transportation mode.

Ground vs. air shipping

Ground shipping is most useful when it comes to transporting goods across shorter distances. This can either be within a country or across neighboring borders. When traveling over land, carriers typically use trucks to transport your parcels to the last-mile delivery carrier.

Air shipping, on the other hand, uses cargo aircraft specifically designed for transporting goods. Unlike ground or sea travel, air shipping is convenient in that it's easier to overcome natural geographical barriers. While it is extremely useful and undoubtedly the fastest mode of transport currently available, air travel also comes with much higher shipping rates.

Whether you choose ground or air travel to transport your parcels will likely depend on the cost and distance to ship to the final destination. If your parcel has to cross oceans or borders, it will likely take a mix of both transportation modes.

Domestic vs. international shipping

Domestic shipments are usually cheaper and faster than those that have to cross borders. This is because the laws and regulations between states are easier to navigate, and the shorter distance between shipper and customer allows for ground shipping, reducing the price by both distance and transportation mode.

In the same vein, international shipping is often slower and more expensive. This is because parcel shipments that have to cross borders are subject to more handling and processing through customs. Additionally, there are fewer choices when it comes to shipping internationally, limiting your options for rate shopping.

Optimize your parcel shipping strategy with Logistyx

To ensure your business is choosing the fastest delivery method at the best possible rate, you'll want to implement a parcel shipping system. Logistyx TME is an all-in-one cloud-based software solution for all your multi-carrier parcel shipping needs. It consolidates your entire contracted carrier network into a single platform, enabling easy rate shopping for the fastest delivery times.

Once you select your desired carrier service, it automatically prints the shipping label. Throughout the entire process, Logistyx TME guarantees carrier compliance and can help you monitor all your parcel movements from shipping to delivery.

How Logistyx helps businesses ship faster

Logistyx has a long track record of helping businesses ship faster with the right carrier for their specific rules and practices. Recently, the multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer used Logistyx for parcel shipping optimization. With Logistyx TME, Pfizer was able to accelerate the international shipping process for life-saving parcel shipments while increasing the speed and flexibility of their supply chain. To hear more about how Logistyx's multi-carrier shipping software benefits businesses of all sizes, read case studies directly from our customers.

Ready to find the best shipping rates for the fastest delivery times? Contact us today to get started.

4 Considerations for Parcel Shipping in Europe

Europe is comprised of more than 40 countries, and 27 are members of the European Union (EU) post-Brexit. Although the geographic footprint of the EU is less than half that of the United States, what the EU lacks in square footage it more than makes up for in diversity.  Consider: the EU’s population is 50% larger than that of the United States and speaks 23 different languages.  And though the EU has somewhat standardized the economics, trade, and politics of its member countries, when it comes to parcel shipping, the landscape is anything but standard.  Parcel shippers are still faced with different regulations, infrastructure, rating methods, and carrier networks from one country to the next, and these differences create a significant amount of logistics complexity.

Here are four key elements to consider when shipping parcels in Europe.

1. Fragmented Parcel Shipping Carrier Market

Despite many mergers, the European carrier market is still populated by a number of small country- and region-specific carriers. And even when a large carrier is the result of multiple acquisitions, it’s commonplace for the domestic country network to continue to operate as it did prior to the acquisition. As a result, a shipper may contract with a “single carrier,” but navigate the complexity of multiple carrier entities to actually execute shipments – complying with multiple label, documentation, and tracking number formats and integrating with multiple systems for electronic exchange.

2. Regulations

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingAs a result of regulations in each individual country, shippers in Europe are usually required to produce additional documentation and reporting.  While shippers can transport goods (in free circulation) with minimal documentation (a Delivery Note or Packing List), shipments leaving the EU must be reported to customs electronically.  Unlike the United States, where shippers use a single Automated Export System, also known as AES, many EU member states use unique e-customs systems and reporting. Furthermore, shipments must have paperwork to travel, which can not only differ by country of export and country of import, but also by the countries through which the goods pass while en route to the final destination. Thus, if a shipper is leveraging a multi-carrier parcel management system to execute shipments, the system must have strong cross-border label and documentation capabilities.

3. Carrier Rating Differences between European Countries

There are myriad rate calculation methods European carriers can use. Unlike the United States, there isn’t a uniform postal code system across Europe, and therefore rate-zone definitions differ by country, carrier, and service. These rate zones may even be a combination of country postal codes, regions, cities, etc.  Furthermore, although approximately 75% of European freight is transported by road, there are no European-wide tariff structures. Therefore, rating is done on a per-carrier basis, typically based on zones, weight, volume, and distance, but also accounting for factors such as load meters and pack quantity. These variables, in conjunction with different currencies, further complicate rating and rate shopping.

4. Internationalization

Shippers must ensure their supply chain technology stack accounts for Internationalization (known as I18N), defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as:

“Internationalization is the design and development of a product, application, or document content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language.”

If a shipper is leveraging technology to execute parcel shipments, the user interface, documentation output, and external integrations need to be localized:

  • Languages
  • Number, date, and time formats
  • Currencies
  • Units of measure

Complicating matters further: the technology must be able to share and present information among different parties in their preferred format and language.

Manage Cross-Border Shipping with a Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management System

In summary, shippers moving parcels across borders in Europe should consider using a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system to ensure they can simplify the complexity of carrier connectivity, label and documentation requirements, regulations, and rating.

To learn more about how Logistyx TME can provide the necessary flexibility to successfully execute cross-border parcel shipping, contact an expert today.

Peak Season 2020: 5 Ways to Improve The Customer Experience

In holiday seasons past, retailers were able to use brick-and-mortar stores to provide a positive – and often memorable – customer experience. From the moment a customer entered a physical store, he or she could be courted (Festive decorations!  Holiday music!  Free gift-wrapping services!) into making any number of purchases – all of which he or she could take home the very same day.  Assuming the customer was satisfied with his/her purchases once at home, in-store holiday shopping was the ultimate in customer experience.

In the midst of a global pandemic, however, customers will likely forego in-store shopping and make the majority of their holiday purchases online.  And absent the live music, aromatic displays, and sample stations, how can a retailer create a memorable customer experience this holiday season?

The good news is that there is an opportunity to create a positive customer experience in supply chain execution.  Free or discounted shipping, on-time delivery, and proactive delivery event communication can go a long way toward winning customer loyalty.  The bad news is that in this year’s online shopping landscape, where carrier capacity is tight and shipping rates are high, supply chain execution is not without its obstacles.

Recognizing the unique construct of this year’s peak season, smart retailers are planning now to get supply chain and logistics operations right to improve the customer experience.

5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience During Peak Season 2020

1. Improve delivery speed

Customers want instant gratification, and shipping behemoths such as Amazon have made two-day product delivery the industry standard. To keep pace, it’s therefore critical for retailers to decrease their lead times by fulfilling orders quickly and working with reliable carriers to maintain on time delivery rates.  It’s important to note here that regional carriers can be the key to faster, cheaper, and more flexible delivery services, usually offering next-day ground delivery within 400 miles of a shipment’s origin – often at a lower rate and with fewer surcharges than the national carriers.

2. Provide delivery flexibility

Conditioned by large, online providers’ innovative services, modern consumers now have high expectations of their shopping experience.  They expect more than just easy product selection and ultra-fast or same-day delivery; they also want to choose when, where, and how they receive their order. By allowing customers to pick the delivery timeframe, location (doorstep, curbside pick-up, BOPIS, etc.) and rate, retailers can give their customers additional flexibility.

3. Offer free shipping

In a 2018 survey by Internet Retailer, shipping charges were cited as the most common reason shoppers abandon their carts. And similar findings were echoed in NRF’s quarterly Consumer View 2019 report, in which 75 percent of consumers reported they expect free shipping, including on orders less than $50.  For retailers looking to increase online sales this holiday season and recoup in-store losses caused by the pandemic, this is likely unwelcome news.  After all, absorbing shipping costs reduces margins.  However, to reduce costs, retailers can design free shipping offers so they are only available for longer lead times or minimum order amounts or offer free shipping for a limited time as a holiday promotion.

4. Provide shipment tracking

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

5. Send delivery alerts

In addition to delivery tracking, real-time alerts manage customers’ expectations when unwanted delivery events occur and give them the opportunity to troubleshoot.  For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker. Providing updates when there has been a delivery disruption reassures customers everything possible is being done to meet the original delivery promise and ultimately demonstrates to customers their business is valued.

Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Technology Keeps Online Customers Coming Back

eCommerce checklist for peak season

To successfully execute this holiday season and keep customers coming back, retailers need cloud multi-carrier parcel management technology.  With the effective use of cloud multi-carrier shipping solutions, companies are able to efficiently ship goods worldwide at the lowest possible price and gain a competitive advantage by:

  • Maximizing the customer experience by offering fast and flexible services, increased delivery transparency, and proactive responses to their individual needs
  • Managing carriers to ensure compliance and avoid delivery delays due to incorrect labels and documentation
  • Rate shopping with contractual partners to select the best carrier service for each shipment according to customer preferences and business rules
  • Identifying and quickly on-boarding new carriers to better leverage last mile services and expand into international markets
  • Eliminating labor intensive tasks such as invoice reconciliation
  • Leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) tools to uncover savings opportunities

Improve the Customer Experience for Peak Season Today

This year’s peak season will be different, and to help you improve the customer experience you’ll need the help of a best-of-breed system such as Logistyx TME to provide your customers with a flexible, efficient, and transparent customer experience. To learn more about Logistyx TME, contact an expert today.