Managing omnichannel order fulfillment and delivery is one of the most complex challenges you face as an organization. Typically, this is because there is a vast amount of information managed across fragmented silos and systems. But it doesn’t have to be this way! The right multi-carrier shipping software can help you manage carrier contracts, rating, rate shopping, carrier compliance, delivery event track-and-trace, and more – all in one solution. And it can seamlessly integrate with other solutions in your supply chain technology stack, which will enable you to swiftly initiate:
- Ship-from-store to support rising e-commerce sales
- Ship-to-store from distribution centers or other stores
- Online order pickup in stores or curbside
- Advanced parcel management, including:
Multi-carrier shipping systems are also elastic – they scale quickly to accommodate surges in shipping volumes, and a cloud-based system enables fast on-boarding of new carriers with little impact on internal IT departments.
The bottom line: you can ship more efficiently while creating first-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.
The Parcel Shipping Landscape is Challenging
As e-commerce surges and supply chain bottlenecks increase, carriers across the board are increasing rates and implementing fees and surcharges. This barrage of fees adds up for shippers, threatening their own profit margins. And the complexity and changeability of these fees makes it difficult to meaningfully plan shipments.
Additionally, shipment volume restrictions have become more rigid and are being strongly enforced, which means shippers not only have to worry about skyrocketing fees, but also about carriers not picking up their freight. Furthermore, these limits can be vague and erratic, leading to last-minute confusion and headaches. Suffice it to say, it’s now almost impossible for large shippers to rely on a single carrier to move all or most of their freight, complicating planning and introducing more room for error and overlooked shipments, especially for shippers that have previously relied heavily on a single carrier partner.
But wait, there’s more!
Sadly, the recent onslaught of carrier restrictions is not the only factor complicating parcel shipping today. Warehouse space is difficult to come by, consumer expectations are higher than ever, and manufacturing has slowed due to various shortages.
Shippers Have More to Gain than Ever from Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software
Shippers now have more to gain than ever by optimizing their parcel deliveries and returns, and they’re turning to multi-carrier shipping systems to get the most value from their transportation networks – automating carrier service rate shopping according to their business rules and within their own contracted carrier network to ensure the right carrier and service is selected to meet customer expectations for the best cost.
Utilizing this advanced technology not only allows shippers to compare millions of different shipping scenarios simultaneously to ensure they are choosing the best option each time, but it also enables them to combine these services with other high-value offerings, including business intelligence. Business intelligence, and particularly advanced data analytics, can provide shippers with a road map for future success. It aggregates, normalizes, and reports transportation data while also offering insights to help contain costs and improve operations by:
- Eliminating silos and connecting people, processes, data, and technology so teams can make decisions with context and tie parcel shipping operations to company strategy.
- Identifying inefficiencies and empowering shippers to increase on-time delivery rates, shipping velocity, and order volume.
- Demonstrating the impact of carrier capacity limitations and order demand, providing managers with the ability to pivot carriers and transportation budgets to match customer expectations.
- Surfacing insights, giving leaders a source of truth and telemetry to steer, predict, and report on the business of parcel shipping with confidence.
As Bart De Muynck, VP Analyst for Transportation Technology with research firm Gartner Inc., recently explained to DC Velocity, “The dramatic growth of parcel volumes, and the increasing complexity and breadth of delivery networks” has driven the need for more advanced multi-carrier parcel management technologies. “What people are looking for is analytics and more intelligence in their systems,” De Muynck said, noting the highest demand is for real-time visibility, distributed order management, and multi-carrier parcel management—all connected and supportive of overall goals for lowest-cost, best-service delivery.
Mike Eisner, Vice President of Business Intelligence at Logistyx, also emphasizes that having a single source of truth is more critical than ever when shipping parcels in a post-pandemic world. “Having access to good data, metrics, and reporting can make or break shippers in the current parcel environment. With carriers operating at capacity, shippers are being hit with everything from peak surcharges, to lesser on time performance capabilities, to client ‘assumptions’ of same day or next day service expectations, to shifts in contract negotiation strength to carriers due to market demands. To offset these challenges, shippers need alternatives and options or risk being at the mercy of their carriers’ shipment thresholds and disappointing their own customers.”
Shippers Shouldn’t Under-Estimate the Value of their Shipping Data
The long-term value of shipping data when it comes to carrier contract negotiations can’t be underestimated. Shippers and carriers communicate with each other daily. While many of these conversations revolve around numbers, most revolve around real-time insights with little to no regard for longer-term trend lines. While shippers undoubtedly feel the strain during peak season, they typically walk away with nothing more than anecdotal evidence to bring to the contract bidding table. Shippers tend to spend most of their energy during peak season focused on finding the lowest cost shipping and getting shipments to customers. They do not typically have time to think about data collection in the moment – making a multi-carrier shipping system with business intelligence invaluable.
Until recently, most solutions were too immature to provide data insights strong enough to influence contract negotiations, but this is beginning to change. As solutions with this capability – including those from Logistyx – continue to enter the market, shippers that adapt quickly will have an undeniable advantage over their more hesitant peers.
Looking for the right multi-carrier shipping system for you?
Multi-carrier shipping is the smart combination of a multi-carrier transportation network, cloud-based multi-carrier shipping technology with business intelligence, and supply chain technology integrations. The ideal recipe for you will make it possible to reduce transportation costs, achieve on-time delivery rates, and create best-in-class omnichannel customer delivery experiences.
And now that you know what multi-carrier shipping technology in particular can do for your business, it’s time to winnow down your options. One way to make sure you get the most out of your solution? Download our Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping Solution today and explore the different features and functionality available in modern technology.