The most critical time of year for many ecommerce retailers is about to start — Holiday Season. So here are five things you can do right now to tune up your parcel supply chain to ensure your customers stay happy and your logistics costs are within budget this peak shipping season.
1 – Know your actual costs. For better or worse, since the beginning of the pandemic FedEx® and UPS® have gotten the marketplace used to a slow drip of new fees and surcharges. Many have come and gone, but most of these costs remain. The problem is it’s nearly impossible for the average company to keep track of them all, much less understand the impact on their bottom line. As a starting point, you can check out TransImpact’s easy-to-read log of all the latest carrier rate announcements — find it here.
2 – Diversify your carrier base. A lot of companies were cut off by their carrier last year when their volumes increased during peak season. You don’t want to be in that position this year, and a multi-carrier approach is a way to protect yourself. Having options is important when it comes to avoiding the extra fees and surcharges, too. Savvy companies have a process to ensure the best carrier and rate is chosen in each situation.
3 – Pay attention to your data. Fortunately, shipping creates a lot of really useful data. Knowing how to use it is not always easy, but having a dashboard view of your parcel spend that offers actionable insights is the first step to taking advantage of what your data offers below the surface. A tool like TransImpact’s Parcel Spend Intelligence makes using your data simple and can provide immediate benefits.
4 – Give customer options. Despite what many companies assume, customers are not always interested in the fastest possible delivery. Many would willingly opt for a slower delivery to save a few dollars on their order. A smart move to close more sales and reduce cart abandonment is to offer a variety of delivery speeds and costs so customers can decide for themselves. Having a multi-carrier strategy (see #2 above) makes this possible.
5 – Negotiate. Another lousy assumption companies make is that they cannot approach their carriers about a new parcel contract negotiation before the current agreement expires. First, it’s never too early to renegotiate a parcel agreement. And more importantly, now is a great time to secure a better contract with UPS and FedEx. Shipping rates are generally coming down, and leverage has moved back into shippers’ favor after a few tough years. Locking in new rates before the shipping season kicks off (and Peak Season Surcharges are implemented) will save you a lot of money.
Peak shipping season will be here soon. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about how TransImpact can offer the technology and expert advice to prepare your small package shipping operation for the most important time of year for your ecommerce business.