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The 2018 Parcel Landscape: What to Expect

By November 1, 2017

Looking ahead to 2018, it’s becoming increasingly clear how vital data is to a shipper’s business. Through data, you can identify how much you ship, when you ship and what your costs are for shipping in addition to identifying where opportunities are to save money on your parcel overhead – including ways to strengthen your shipping efficiencies and how to leverage the parcel market to your unique company’s benefit. Keeping these factors in mind, it’s critical to lean on data to help you drive efficiency, strengthen accuracy and increase revenue for your business. To help? It’s also important to understand what to expect in the parcel industry as we quickly approach 2018.

To help prepare for the new year, consider how each of the below factors will not only influence parcel at-large, but also your specific strategies in managing your own shipping efforts.

Increased Multi-Carrier Strategies

Over the past few years there has been an increase in multi-carrier shipping strategies, ultimately helping to strengthen the operations of businesses large and small. As we look ahead to 2018, this strategy remains relevant – although executing a multi-carrier strategy is not easy for the naked eye alone to manage. Using data, however, shippers are better positioned to strengthen their shipping efficiencies while decreasing their shipping overhead. Through data, shippers can identify their most favorable carriers based on transit time, pickup locations and data identified that may include unexpected fees beyond the base rate, dimensional pricing and pickup options. Collectively, these details can help shippers maximize their efforts and ultimately improve their parcel savings in 2018.

Additional or Unexpected Surcharges

From a shipper’s perspective, surcharges can be perceived as a way to save money on deliveries since many shipments don’t need extra fees attached to them – yet at the same time, surcharges are often applied unexpectedly and as a result go unnoticed if not managed by a parcel auditing company such as Refund Retriever. From the recent UPS peak season surcharge announcement to the yearly residential delivery surcharge increases that FedEx has applied since 2009, it’s important for shippers to confidently understand what surcharges may be applied throughout 2018 – as well as when any new surcharges may impact their shipping. And while it’s unclear what new surcharges may be introduced in 2018, it’s a certainty that they will emerge. As a result, shippers should implement a parcel auditing process to ensure they are monitoring these surcharges and gaining refunds when deserved from UPS and FedEx.

Stronger Demand for Same-Day Deliveries

Consumer expectations for deliveries are increasingly becoming less and less and patient – which can be both a good and bad thing for businesses. Customers want what they want, when they want it… yet delivery options aren’t always ideal for their budget or patience. Customers want hassle-free shipping with zero to minimal cost applied to them – meanwhile, businesses want efficient, low-cost shipping strategies that help to retain customer loyalty and inventory sell-thru. In 2018, these demands are likely to increase, and as a result, shippers must adapt to more real-time delivery options that cater to consumer expectations. Like all other factors that influence smart shipping strategies, data will be among the top factors influencing the management of same-day deliveries – as well as monitoring where companies can retain refunds based on late deliveries, unexpected surcharges or other factors that may qualify them for a refund. To review what these factors may include, click here.

In Conclusion

From the recent FedEx ground price increases to the announcement of holiday surcharges from both UPS and FedEx, data has undoubtedly been a factor in carrier changes and should be a factor in your parcel planning, as well. As 2018 approaches, allow data to help you in strengthening your parcel management by supporting your business with reduced parcel overhead and a more streamlined shipping strategy. Finally, remember that data alone cannot make changes to your business – but data combined with the right analytics and right support can help you reach your parcel goals.

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at www.refundretriever.com or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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