To keep up with consumer demands for fast and free shipping, as well as a personalized experience with premium services ranging from Sunday delivery to white glove service, retailers are shipping from an endless aisle made up of fulfillment centers, stores, 3PL warehouses, and suppliers to achieve faster delivery at reduced shipping costs. And increasingly they are using alternative delivery services, including local carriers, to do it.
This has led to a jigsaw puzzle of sorts as shippers access this expanding global network of local carrier services in a way that will enable retailers, eCommerce merchants, and 3PLs to meet rising consumer expectations.
Shipping isn’t free. At least not for shippers. For them, it’s about carefully managing transportation costs at all points in the order delivery cycle.
Even as parcel demand continues to push shipping costs up at twice the rate of inflation, consumers increasingly expect free shipping, as well as fast and on-time delivery. For eCommerce players, costs are measured in shopping cart abandonment, customer attrition, and margins. By using multi-carrier shipping APIs across the enterprise, merchants can realize the best of both worlds: customer loyalty and reduced costs.
Efficiency, leanness, cost-cutting. These are all mantras of businesses in today’s highly competitive markets. When it comes to packing shipments, these terms carry even more weight—especially when it comes to dimensional (DIM) weight rating.
Carriers use DIM weight rating to determine shipping costs based on weight, distance, and carton size, instead of just weight and distance. DIM weight is figured by multiplying the carton’s length, width, and height, and then dividing that result by a special number, called a "dimensional weight divisor," "DIM divisor," or "DIM factor." And we have seen the divisor drop steadily over the past few years. Each time carriers reduce the divisor, poorly packed cartons are more likely to yield a higher dimensional weight than being billed for the actual weight, adding costs for what amounts to shipping air.
Pierbridge has achieved certification from the British Standards Institution (BSI) for the world's most recognized quality management standard— ISO 9001:2015.
Pierbridge's achievement demonstrates not only the presence of a robust quality management system (QMS) operating across the organization but is an indicator of how committed the organization is to meeting, and wherever possible, exceeding our customers’ expectations.
In some ways, picking a shipping technology partner is like picking any business partner. Pick correctly, and you have a smooth and happy relationship. Make the wrong choice and you not only can lose time and money, but you are also guaranteeing yourself added stress and headaches.
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.
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.