It was a busy time in Denver last week as Pierbridge and Microlistics teamed up at the Gartner Supply Chain Planning Summit to showcase their “Pick, Pack, Parcel” solution.
Well, as 3PLs grapple with the challenge of booming eCommerce shipping, they have increasingly turned to omnichannel shipping strategies across the supply chain. One strategy gaining a hold is to create a warehouse-in-a-warehouse.
Retailers looking to capitalize on the booming growth of online shopping are increasingly taking an omnichannel approach to their supply chains. Perhaps, the one place they have the biggest edge over pure-play eCommerce businesses is the ability to leverage their brick-and-mortar footprint for quicker and cheaper shipping options using a ship-from-store strategy.
While retail sales are still strong, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) anticipating the number to top $3.8 trillion this year, most traditional brick-and-mortar locations are trying to adapt their square footage as the cost of space adds up while shoppers continue to split time between making a trip to the store and shopping via the internet – increasingly while on the go. In fact, eMarketer forecasts that mobile commerce will account for 72.9 percent of global retail eCommerce sales by 2021.
If you start the countdown for the all-important holiday shopping season from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, it can last anywhere between 25 and 31 days in the United States. The moving target of Thanksgiving each year is the variable that can shorten or lengthen the shopping season, since the fourth Thursday of November can be anywhere from November 22 to November 28.
This year, it's November 28, the latest it can be, so the shopping season is six days shorter than last year, and is the shortest since 2013. That has retailers starting sales a bit later than usual, with less time to fulfill orders. But customers will still expect shipments to arrive on time.
From overseas manufacturers to the warehouse to the customer’s front door, just about every inch of the global parcel cargo chain is represented at next week’s PARCEL Forum '19 in Dallas, Texas, reflecting the growing interest in omnichannel shipping strategies.
Well, you know, with all that action going on, Pierbridge sure wasn’t going to be missing out on the fun.
[**UPDATE** According to a Shopify report released in February 2019, the trend of shopping outside of the consumer’s home country is, in fact, a global trend. As the expected cross-border holiday parcel tsunami ramps up, we thought it was a good time to once again remind shippers of tips to keep in mind when shipping internationally this holiday season.
Additionally, as we wrote about earlier this year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has implemented system changes this quarter that will streamline clearance processes while improving data collection, visibility, and border protection. This change is enabling global logistics companies to electronically file more detailed Section 321 information using the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) into the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system, eliminating manual and duplicate data entry.]
Crisper mornings and falling leaves in many parts of the world (not to mention summer coming in the Southern Hemisphere) can only mean one thing: the holiday shopping and shipping season is rapidly approaching.
This year’s holiday shopping season is set to be another record-setter as early projections anticipate retail growth somewhere between 4.5 and 5 percent in 2019, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast.
Overall, Deloitte anticipates that holiday sales will exceed $1.1 trillion during the November–January timeframe.
Recently, Bob Liva, who handles Pierbridge’s alliances and partnerships, had the opportunity to speak at Labelmaster’s Dangerous Goods Symposium about the growing convergence of hazardous material and omnichannel shipping.
With a record 2.5 billion packages estimated to have been shipped last year during the holidays, and with growing eCommerce and retail sales expected this season adding even more parcels to the mix, it isn’t a stretch to think that plenty of employees will be shipping a gift or two on their own as well.
“Rogue shipping” reaches its peak in the holiday season when employees absolutely positively have to get personal shipments to their loved ones. The lines are way too long at post offices and retail shipping rates are too expensive, especially to residences. So the natural thing to do is to simply add personal shipments to the avalanche of parcels going through shipping departments or mail centers that time of year. Who will notice?
At some point, everyone realizes that work gets in the way. Well, not really (I, for one, love my job). However, there are some things that have to be done during business hours — be it a trip to the DMV, meeting with your kid’s teacher, or standing in line at a parcel drop-off location to ship a personal package with a gift for a friend, important paperwork, or even an item sold on an online auction site — that can’t be done other times of the day.
While a trip to the motor vehicle registry or school may be unavoidable, there are ways that companies can help their employees take care of cutting down on errands to ship a parcel. However, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. Do it the wrong way, and it can cost you both in dollars and time. Do it the right way and you can not only cut costs, but help recruit and retain staff while keeping them more engaged and productive at the same time.
Employees sending personal shipments are costing companies whether they realize it or not.
Sometimes the losses come from allowing employees to ship their personal parcels on corporate accounts with the hope of recovering the costs from payroll deduction or other methods. Sometimes the losses come from employees taking time away from their desks to stand in seemingly endless lines at a drop-off location—and those lines aren’t going to get any shorter as the holidays approach. Sometimes, the losses are even more direct as employees slip their package into the company’s shipments or use the corporate account to send a package anywhere in the world, a problem we call “rogue shipping.”
Become a better parcel shipper to reduce costs, increase margins, improve customer service, and stay competitive. Stay informed on the latest trends in shipping and parcel transportation management. Delivered regularly by email and through social media.