With all the time and energy it takes to pick, pack, and stage hundreds of shipments for carrier pickup, it's easy to forget that those piles of boxes or skids on the dock are also piles of cash for carriers.
If you have been using Pacejet for a few years or are just starting out, now would be a great time to update your implementation to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or provide better customer service. Cloud-based shipping software like Pacejet is designed to help you change your shipping process as your needs change, prove out the cost savings of your adjustments, and then scale-up the positive impact.
Done right, this type of continuous shipping improvement can feel like "printing money" since the savings become an annuity that returns cash to your business with every new shipment.
Read on for some ideas on where to start ...
You Might Not Be Using Some of the Best New Features
1. Quote More Accurately
Freight quoting is a hot topic lately, especially as major 5%-10% price increases rolled out from parcel and LTL carriers in late 2014 and early 2015. We'd recommend taking a fresh look at your freight quoting process (see our post improve freight quoting in sales) to see if tools like auto packing, special service controls, or new ERP integration points in quotes, transfers, or purchase orders might make sense for your business.
As you consider use of new or enhanced tools, keep in mind that freight quoting is "not just for shippers anymore"; consider how your sales team or even your e-commerce websites might generate savings with more accurate freight quotes (see our post demo of freight quoting for a video demo and suggestions).
2. Get Your Dims On
News of dim weight pricing rules and the "largest price increase in parcel history" is old news at this point, but many shippers still haven't figured out the best way to minimize the impact of these changes. If that sounds like you, take a closer look at our post discussion of new dim weight, look over improved packing options in the post how to improve packing, and even consider using the latest shipment summary report to see how often dim weights impact your pricing.
It's the rare shipper that has not been significantly affected by these price increases, so it could be worth a closer look for your business.
3. Check the Charge-backs
Charge-back service fees continue to be one of the "best kept obvious secrets" in shipping; we're continuously surprised at how many shippers ignore them, are confused by them, or just have given up and tolerate them. If you haven't looked closely in awhile, we'd recommend reviewing your carrier invoices for new, changed, or increases in charge-back fees.
Our post on six shipping fees to improve profitability would be a good place to start. You might also want to take a look at using automatic address validation as a way to drive significant cost savings for the right shipping scenarios.
4. Try a New Carrier or Service
An interesting phenomena we've noticed across a diverse range of shippers is a tendency to either have very strong loyalties to carriers or very little loyalty to carriers without a whole lot of "in between". No matter which camp you fall in, we'd recommend taking a look at carrier or service changes that might help you save some money.
Consider regional parcel carriers for dramatic price savings in certain regions or if you are impacted by a lot of special service fees from major parcel carriers (see our post on the competitive advantage of regional carriers). Even if you remain 100% committed to the major parcel carriers, it could be to your advantage to review the services you are using for lower priced options such as SmartPost or SurePost (e.g. see our post on tuning up your UPS shipping services for one example).
It doesn't take much to spend $10,000 in shipping services in a day, which rolls up to $200,000 in a month, or $2.4M per year. Move the cost-saving needle just 1% on $2.4M in shipping fees and you've saved $24,000 per year.
If that seems too aggressive, consider that eliminating just a single $5 accessorial fee that impacts only 1% of your shipments on a volume as low as 100 shipments per day adds up to over $1,200 in shipment savings over a year. Whatever your shipping pattern, customers, or products, there is a mix of strategies that can help and today is the best day to start --- since tomorrow is the first day you should be saving.