Amazon has transformed retail by changing what it means to buy online. And, it's not just about their vast website and buying algorithms. It’s the expectation they’ve created for consumers about delivery times and cost. Free 2-day shipping is the new normal – but even that’s not enough anymore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The trend that’s seen the small parcel market move towards DIM-based pricing is starting to happen with LTL shipping. And, with many of the major LTL carriers moving in this direction already, it seems the industry has reached a tipping point. It’s a matter of when, not if, a space-based model for LTL pricing is the norm.
It’s that time of year again when parcel carriers make General Rate Increases (GRI) announcements. And again, rates will increase at double the inflation rate, which in the U.S. is running at around 2.2%. Both UPS and FedEx announced ‘average’ general rate increases of 4.9%, while the USPS increased rates by 3.9%.
But, as most shippers understand by now, GRIs represent average increases, which are not necessarily indicative of what shippers will actually pay. The impact of the rate changes will differ based on service, zones, weights, volumes, and other details of the individual company’s contracts (like surcharges). So to say everyone will realize a flat 4.9% increase in costs is not accurate, and may even be optimistic.
Consumers from all over the world visit websites and order goods without much thought about how they will be delivered. Now, Pierbridge's parcel TMS platform, Transtream, makes it easy for merchants to fulfill orders by automating regulatory customs compliance, and reduces cost by integrating FedEx international consolidation services.
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