When you hear the word “hazmat,” you probably picture people in yellow bodysuits cleaning up after some horrific industrial accident.
That’s not what it’s about.
“Hazmat” is short for “hazardous material,” also known as dangerous goods. The terms refer to any material for which a government body regulates handling and transport. Gasoline is hazmat. Many paints are hazmats. The lithium batteries that power your cell phones and laptops are hazmats.
E-commerce is driving the demand for last-mile delivery, causing parcel shipping costs to increase at twice the rate of inflation. This effect is magnified as Amazon further establishes the expectation for low cost or free shipping and expanded delivery services. Since this trend isn’t likely to change soon, shippers who can contain the cost of shipping by maximizing efficiency and optimization throughout their shipping network will be on firm ground heading into the future.
The rapid surge of e-commerce and the rise of direct-to-consumer last-mile delivery have brought a myriad of challenges, pushing logistics providers, shippers, and retailers to think creatively with a keen eye toward the future. It’s an exciting time, with new technology and novel approaches to business being developed and implemented.
Take warehousing. As e-commerce has grown, so has the need to build warehouses and distribution centers closer to customers to deliver orders quickly and cheaply. Problem is that in urban areas, any available land to build modern facilities is either non-existent, wildly expensive, located too far from customers, or situated in rusted-out industrial areas with neglected infrastructure.
Logistics is nothing new for Amazon. In fact, it’s a prime reason behind the company’s success and why it has been able to disrupt the entire retail industry. For years the e-tailer has invested in its logistics infrastructure to find faster and better ways to deliver packages - and it’s paying big dividends for both the company and its customers.
It’s gone so well for Amazon that the company is pushing further into the logistics space with a focus squarely on last-mile delivery. And, it’s getting a lot of attention within the industry.
Labelmaster, the leading provider of labels, packaging and technology for the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods and hazardous materials (hazmat), announced that it has integrated its Dangerous Goods Information System (DGIS) with Pierbridge’s Transtream parcel transportation management system(TMS). The combined solution enables Pierbridge customers to streamline the shipping process of dangerous goods while ensuring compliance with the latest Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
Pierbridge’s parcel TMS platform, Transtream, helps retailers, manufacturers and distributors automate supply chain processes across their enterprise, control shipping costs and improve delivery. Transtream supports hazmat rating, labeling and shipping for parcel carriers such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and regional carriers. In addition to carrier compliance, DGIS web services will now enable Transtream shipping app users to comply with mandated DOT labeling and paperwork.
Pierbridge, a leading enterprise transportation management software provider, in partnership with North American third-party logistics (3PL) company, Cerasis, announces the addition of its multi-carrier parcel shipping solution to the Cerasis Rater, a web-based transportation management system (TMS). The addition of multi-carrier shipping options for the parcel mode now empowers shippers to manage all over-the-road transportation modes within one web-based portal.
The new multi-carrier parcel shipping solution within the Cerasis Rater is powered by Pierbridge’s Transtream enterprise parcel shipping technology. Transtream automates cartonization, rating, routing, shipping, tracking, and returns for hundreds of carrier services.
Online travel site Priceline.com has made a name for itself through its Priceline Negotiator marketing message, as seen in ads featuring William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco. But trying to get the cheapest flight or hotel isn’t the only time a negotiator comes in handy.
One of the most effective ways to lower shipping costs is by negotiating better rates with your carriers. Easier said than done and it's not simply a matter of just being “tough” with suppliers. Carriers have a distinct advantage over you as a customer when it comes to negotiating because they are almost always operating with more information. They know what market rates are for shippers like you, as well as the exact pricing levels they need to maintain a proper margin and keep their business profitable.
The competition among online retailers to provide the best shopping experience has gotten fierce – and it’s the consumer who is benefitting the most. Even Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery is not always the best and quickest option to buying something online anymore as customers look for their orders even quicker than that.
Despite that, improving on what Amazon already offers is no small task. Equaling Prime has proven hard enough. This means that exceeding what Amazon can provide consistently (such as with same-day delivery) will take a new way of doing business for e-tailers, retailers, and the carriers doing the work.
Negotiations are heating up between global freight services company UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) labor union. The current contract, which is the largest labor agreement in the U.S., is set to expire on July 31. There are several sticking points that the two are disputing, including the use of technology.
A lot has changed in the logistics industry since the last agreement was signed five years ago, which will no doubt affect the outcome of this negotiation. Market dynamics like the extreme growth in e-commerce shipping, as well as the ongoing disruption of new delivery technology, are significant for both parties.
Equally significant for UPS customers and the company’s competitors is the work stoppage that occurred in 1997 when an agreement could not be reached. The entire industry is watching closely.
“eCommerce is the biggest driver of change and growth in the transportation industry. We have never seen a market more chaotic and challenging than the one we are in now.” - FedEx Ground’s CEO Henry Maier, 2015 Keynote Speech, University of Rhode Island’s Supply Chain Management Forum
What business today is not an eCommerce business? At some level, every business uses the Internet to buy or sell something. However, if you are in the business of delivering goods via parcel, you are increasingly challenged to do it cheaper, better, and faster. Analytics deliver actionable shipping insights that can be realized through tight enterprise controls.
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.