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Fully Connected Shipping

New Shipment Savings Report Highlights Cost-Impact Choices

Part of our ongoing research with shippers is to keep working on ways to use shipping data to help users make better decisions in managing costs. One topic we talk about quite a lot is when and how shippers make the trade-off between choosing the lowest cost carrier+service or choosing a specific carrier+service for a business reason. Typically shippers go with the lowest cost if they are paying, will use whatever the customer wants if they'll pay, and make override decisions based on interactions with customers. With hundreds or thousands of shipments happening per day, however, it can be difficult to answer the question "Are we making these decisions the right way to optimize our costs with the service levels we want?"

In the latest Pacejet release, we added some new data management plumbing to improve how users can see the impact of their carrier and service choices on total shipping costs. To actually make the analytics support available for use, we're now releasing a new tool called the "shipment savings" report. We're excited about the new visibility this tool provides, so thought we'd tell you a bit more about how it might help your business.

Read on to learn more about the new shipment savings report ...

Making decisions during shipping execution

The first part of the shipment savings report functionality really starts with the standard rate and ship processing options. In a typical setup and use-case, shipments flow into Pacejet from your ERP system with either a carrier and service "preset" (perhaps from a customer rule or maybe because you ran a freight quote) or they can be left unassigned to indicate "find the best option".

Ignoring the shipping workbench, batch, and other uses-cases to keep things simple for this explanation, users will at some point a) use Pacejet rate shopping to find the lowest-cost option and ship, b) use rate-shopping and then override and choose a different option, or c) just process a shipment that was already preset to a specific carrier and class of service.

Tracking the decision you make and available options

With the latest version of Pacejet we now keep a short-term record of the decision you make and the choices you had available at the time that decision was made. The new "shipment savings" report allows users to search your completed shipments for a period of time, tie in the other options available at that time, and provide some comparative benchmarks for better insight. The idea is to let you see when rate shopping saved you money, when you explicitly decided to use a more expensive carrier and service, and when you "just shipped it" without really making a decision.

Closer look at the shipment savings report

The snapshot below shows a simple example of the shipment savings report from a date range search with a few shipments (44 in total for $19,091.05 in cost). At the top of the report is a summary where the first "Recommended" column shows that Pacejet saved $250.93 or 6.9% where you shipped via the recommended option. The next column over "Override" indicates $4,346.75 in additional costs that were incurred because the recommended option was not chosen. And the last column "Single Quote" shows where $10,295.40 in shipping costs or 53.9% of your shipments were processed without making any attempt to find a lowest cost option.

Detail breakout for each category of shipment savings

Although the screenshot above only shows two sections, the report also includes a detailed listing of each category of shipment savings so you can review the types of shipments and details of the decisions. For example, the shipment labeled 156075 in the "Recommended" detail section shows that Pitt Ohio Ground was recommended and used as the lowest cost carrier and service which saved $16.04 compared to the next lowest cost of services available. In the "Override" section we can see that in shipment 156220 a user selected to use FedEx Ground even though Pitt Ohio Ground was recommended, incurring an additional cost of $32.71 for that shipment. The "Single Quote" detail section simply shows the list of shipments along with actual carriers and services used and the costs.

Drill-down to see the actual freight quote results

The initial release of the report will allow users to search for date ranges as wide as 120 days but no wider or older. After a platform update (15.1) that will occur in January, a new feature will be added to support a hyperlink on the shipment itself so users can drill-down and see the actual freight quote that was displayed on the screen at the time the decision was made. We think this level of visibility will make it easier to see why users may have made choices they did in processing and/or consider what other choices they might have made instead.

Not perfect but continuously improving

The primary goal here is not to solve every problem in shipment decision making or provide a definitive guide to changing behaviors. For example, shipments in the "Override" category could have very valid business reasons for using specific carriers (e.g. an expedite for a customer emergency). But what we hope we can accomplish is start to give you some tools for better monitoring of how much cost is flowing through your operations, the choices users are making, and the level and type of financial impact you might realize by making changes. We're excited about the potential of this new visibility and looking forward to getting more feedback from more users working with this new tool.

When and how can you get access

If you're interested in deploying the report to your environment, the first step is to get upgraded to the latest Pacejet version (contact support to get in the queue). Once you are on the latest version, we can activate the report in your environment for testing. We are currently finalizing testing and managing access to the shipment savings report with "limited availability" to gather feedback from customers in groups, priority access will be provided for users who want to try it out, give us some feedback, and help us improve the final version.

Interested in Learning More?

Have more questions, want to get going on your upgrade, interested in this new feature? Call Pacejet at 877-722-3538, email info@pacejet.com, or visit Pacejet.com.

Topics: Pacejet - Tips and Tricks, Pacejet - Articles, Pacejet - New Features