There are many areas that companies can look at to reduce small parcel shipping costs and improve their shipping process. Yet, many businesses still struggle to keep their small parcel shipping costs under control, especially with so few carriers to choose from.
At the same time, market leaders find technology to be a way to make the shipping process more efficient and cheaper. The tech available to companies nowadays does a lot more than just print shipping labels, which may be the most that a lot of shippers think it does. Logistics technology offers companies the ability to oversee every step of the delivery process and even helps to respond to hiccups along the way. At the same time, customers gain benefits through tools that allow them to do things like track their shipments and have access to more real-time information.
Parcel TMS (Transportation Management System)
A Parcel Transportation Management System is an automation tool that helps with the execution of small parcel shipments, providing the main benefits of optimizing spend and improving the delivery process. Leveraging a TMS, any shipper can coordinate and make shipping decisions based on quotes, items being shipped, transit time, and available carriers. A TMS also enables a shipper to track their packages and easily note any delays. And not only does it serve as a central location for all shipping information, it can produce customized reports for analysis — vital in this age of big data.
Here are some more specific benefits of a Parcel TMS:
Optimize Mode Selection
Systems like a TMS can help a company determine what mode to select for shipments from a cost and service perspective. For example, a company may choose a “2 Day Air” shipping option by default, but in some lanes Ground shipping will get the package there in the same time for a lower cost. A TMS will proactively identify these situations and help the shipper choose the best routing. These are decisions often made by routine, but the proper rate and service information should be evaluated for every shipment to cut down on expense.
Using only one carrier might be the convenient choice; however, that one carrier might not have the best prices for every shipping lane. Depending on location and type of shipment, another carrier might be able to offer both cost and service advantages. A TMS will provide cost and service information to choose the best route and carrier.
Technology enables every package a company ships to be tracked from the warehouse all the way through to the customer’s front door. Not only does this provide the customer with better service, it also serves as a safeguard for companies. In the past, when a customer reported a lost or damaged product, there were few ways to validate the claim. Companies can now use real-time scanning and tracking to see exactly where a package is throughout the entire supply chain, as well as get signatures and delivery receipts in real time.
TMS technology will provide a quick ROI for most any high-volume shipper. Shippers who move past the mindset of technology in the shipping process only being good for printing labels will find there are great process improvements and cost savings that come from it.