In the old days, it used to be pretty simple to calculate rates. Weigh a package, look up a zone on a zip to zone chart, and then find the cost of shipping associated with the weight and destination zone. Not anymore. Calculating shipping costs has become a lot more complicated, especially with the explosion of new carrier services, dynamic pricing incentives, and of course, surcharges. Reconciling expected costs against actual invoice charges amounts to a game of "truth or dare." With shipping costs increasing at twice the rate of inflation, shippers need to ship smarter and implement cost controls to ensure they are not paying more than they need to.
Today, there is a movement toward shopping locally, and it’s a great way to boost regional economies and help small businesses. However, once consumers use their PCs, tablets, and phones to shop, the location of the retailer and product becomes far less important. In fact, studies show that 40 percent of online shoppers are willing to buy from merchants in other countries, and merchants are extending omnichannel shipping strategies to ship directly to consumers from offshore supplier inventories—a phenomenon called the “endless aisle.”
This has led to a logistical maze for many shippers to make their way through as they look to deliver items to shoppers around the globe, while keeping costs in line and customers happy.
Global eCommerce is growing quickly. No longer are consumers contained by borders when purchasing goods as they search for the perfect gift or item for their house. This has led to a surging wave of cross-border shipping throughout the world.
The wave does not look to be cresting anytime soon. In fact, it is building to a tsunami.
eCommerce is at the eye of this storm as consumers increasingly shop without borders looking for not only the best deals but products that may not be available locally. While cross-border activity adds an additional level of revenue, it also exacerbates complexity compared to domestic shipping processes on which most shippers have built their businesses.
Today parcel shipping is a global phenomenon. But international shipping brings its own set of difficulties including product-specific cross-border regulations, landed cost calculations, and tracking. Still, many ship international parcels one at a time as if they were going across town, impacting delivery times and costs.
There is no end in sight for international parcel shipping growth. Online shoppers continue to look for the best products at the best prices regardless of where they live. As a result, global parcel volumes grew 17 percent in 2017 to 74.4 billion parcels, up from 63.6 billion in 2016, according to The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index. As the report stated, “On average, there were 22 parcels shipped per person globally, and 2,300 parcels shipped every second.” That’s a lot of international packages to manage. It has contributed to a parcel tsunami at the ports.
2019 Will See Carriers Expand LTL, Parcel, and Local Delivery
The outlook for LTL freight and parcel in 2019 shows some significant changes in the shipping industry. Across the board, carriers’ general rate increases are resulting in higher transportation spend for shippers of all sizes. To help manage costs and increase customer satisfaction, shippers are coming to the realization that the days of using either LTL or parcel exclusively are over. They are moving beyond a multi-carrier shipping strategy to a multi-modal strategy. In the age of eCommerce, the size of today's shipments can vary greatly; shippers need to understand where the market stands concerning LTL vs. parcel for 2019 and how the top trends affecting these modes will influence decision-making processes.
Consumers don’t care about global parcel logistics in the same way they don’t care about septic systems, until they don’t work.
eCommerce is driving unprecedented parcel shipping volumes around the globe. It has created a virtual parcel tsunami at the borders that affects everyone in the retail supply chain including suppliers, freight forwarders, customs agents, carriers, and customers. The complexity of global parcel shipping is increasing, but so is the consumer demand for on-time delivery. The race is on to streamline this process.
Whether it’s ship from store or ship from supplier, retailers are implementing omnichannel shipping strategies to get closer to their customers to reduce delivery times and transportation costs. And customers expect more from delivery services than a package left on a doorstep. Increasingly, they want white glove services, especially for appliances, furniture, and other heavy items. These are services that retailers have provided with their own fleet or locally sourced carriers. This has left shippers with the challenge of managing a complex network of local delivery services providers. Multi-carrier is giving way to omni-carrier.
In today’s dynamic logistics environment, technology partnerships can create synergies that will provide shippers with the tools they need to stay ahead of the competition by improving delivery performance. All while saving money.
As reported in DC Velocity earlier this month, Pierbridge has partnered with Banyan Technology to help third-party logistics (3PL) companies greatly expand their transportation management capabilities.
A company is only as strong as its people. As Pierbridge continues to grow, we need to rapidly expand our team in both North America and Europe to meet the demand for our industry-leading parcel transportation management platform, Transtream.
Our software is a key component of our parent company WiseTech Global’s eCommerce strategy, which enables 8,000 logistics companies around the world to execute across the global supply chain. We are looking for the industry’s best people to help us continue our rapid growth path.
By Brian Beetz Manager, Regulatory Affairs & Corporate Responsibility Labelmaster
2018 was a relatively quiet year in the Dangerous Goods (DG) galaxy, with few major new regulatory changes and no unexpected surprises from domestic or international regulatory bodies. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t important changes you need to take into account.
As Labelmaster’s manager of regulatory affairs and corporate responsibility, I hear all the questions from our customers and partners about how best to comply with regulations. This gives me a firsthand look at which new regulations are making the biggest impact over the course of the year. Here are the most important regulatory developments for 2019:
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.