Reflections on the 2017 Holiday Parcel Shipping Rush

Posted on January 17, 2018
Pierbridge Reflections on 2017 Holiday Parcel Shipping Rush

More consumers were expected to go online to make their holiday purchases this year, and they did not disappoint. Small parcel carriers, having learned their lesson from past years, prepared for the season with more staff, expanded delivery hours, and additional resources - and in some cases, new Peak Season Surcharges.

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Parcel Shipping Trends to Watch for in 2018

Posted on January 12, 2018
Pierbridge parcel shipping trends

If necessity was the mother of invention, desperation was the father. And desperation is currently driving a lot of change within the eCommerce space as businesses struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for faster and cheaper delivery. Heading into 2018, the focus for most online retailers is to find and implement ways to remain competitive against their biggest threat – Amazon. The successful ones will do so by taking advantage of new market opportunities and delivery technologies that help protect already thin margins.

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How to Better Control Parcel Shipping Costs and Avoid Unnecessary Expenditures

Posted on January 03, 2018
Control Parcel Shipping Costs

Parcel shipping is getting expensive. The recent announcements by UPS and FedEx that rates will increase an average of 4.9% in 2018 came as no surprise to anyone, even with the current rate of inflation at 2.2%. That means rates are outpacing inflation by … well you can do the arithmetic.

eCommerce continues to drive the demand for parcel delivery services to new heights. It has become a critical issue for many businesses to reduce the cost of “free” parcel shipping without sacrificing service. This is hard to do when there is a margin-agnostic elephant in the room – Amazon. In 2016, the company’s shipping revenue amounted to $8.98 billion whereas its outbound shipping costs were $16.17 billion. That’s a loss of over $7 billion. And it continues to raise the free shipping bar with premium last-mile delivery services, including 2-day, same-day, and Sunday delivery in urban areas.

Clearly, most companies cannot directly compete with that. To keep up, eCommerce businesses need to focus on how they can protect their margins and control shipping costs. Here are 5 things shippers can and should be doing to keep costs in check.

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5 Reasons Blockchain Will Transform the Parcel Shipping Industry

Posted on December 27, 2017

Blockchain technology seems destined to become the next big thing in supply chain management. According to a November 2017 research report from Morgan Stanley, the industry will see blockchain-based smart contracts in use starting in 2018, with “sophisticated applications available by 2020.” The report also notes the market revenue potential for blockchain to be approximately $500B. Those involved in the parcel industry are paying attention because it’s a technology that could streamline complex parts of the last-mile parcel delivery process.

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Avoid The Boomerang Effect of eCommerce Sales and Turn Returns into a Positive

Posted on December 12, 2017
Boomerang Returns

eCommerce returns are a pain, but something all online retailers must deal with.  Returns are about making the best of an unpleasant situation because in reality a return is, at best, a lost sale.  At worst, a return is a lost customer, or even a lost potential customer.  Shopping cart abandonment due to an unfavorable returns policy is a huge problem for the industry – 77% according to Listrak.

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Scott Moore joins Pierbridge as VP Marketing

Posted on December 10, 2017
Pierbridge VP Marketing Scott Moore

Pierbridge announced today the appointment of Scott Moore as VP Marketing. 

 Moore is a marketing executive with vision and many years of experience building world-class digital marketing practices and technologies that drive brand awareness, competitive differentiation, and lead generation.

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Healthcare Logistics: How Parcel TMS Technology Can Help Facilitate Critical Care Deliveries

Posted on December 04, 2017
Healthcare Logistics

Today, the parcel TMS industry tends to focus on automating eCommerce logistics processes, because that’s where the growth is.  But increasingly, the healthcare industry is going through its own logistics transformation, with more frequent and smaller shipments going to and from consumers, including patients and doctors.  To automate these processes, parcel TMS vendors are automating shipping processes in the warehouse, while also facilitating alternative delivery options.

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You Can’t Afford to Guesstimate Shipping Costs

Posted on November 27, 2017

With eCommerce driving more parcel service choices, routing and rating calculations have become inherently more complex. The result is that shippers are forced to “guesstimate” shipping costs in sales, order entry, shopping carts, purchasing, and fulfillment, leaving a widening gap between what shippers expect to pay vs. what they are actually invoiced by their carriers. Closing this gap is a real challenge.  

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To Paraphrase James Carville, “It’s Shipping Costs, Stupid!”

Posted on November 20, 2017

In 2016, eCommerce in the U.S. grew 15% to $395b. During the same period, parcel spend grew 10% in the U.S., according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). LTL only grew by .5%, which reflects the continued shift to smaller more frequent shipments. eCommerce and parcel shipping are in lockstep and their pace is quickening.  But with Amazon establishing free shipping as the new normal (now for premium services like same-day and Sunday delivery), eCommerce businesses are scrambling to protect their margins, even as the market continues to heat up.

With Amazon’s shipping costs running at around 12% of sales, logistics professionals are starting to look at how they can reduce shipping costs as a percentage of revenue.  It’s now a critical issue. 

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