Parcel management — the shipping and delivery of packages — has long been perceived as a “necessary evil and not an opportunity to lower costs or even create opportunities for profit,” Brian C. Gibbs, president and founder of Refund Retriever, a parcel audit recovery and parcel management company, recently told me. Gibbs explained that “too often businesses overlook both the value and the need for a strong shipping strategy, something that is actually much easier to implement than businesses often realize.”
There are a variety of reasons why parcel management is so important for businesses to strengthen, but among the most important is that customers nowadays expect their shipping needs to be met with ease, satisfaction and minimal to zero investment. This includes the demand for on-time deliveries and flexible shipping options, something that can be perceived as either a challenge or an opportunity for businesses.
But, to Gibbs’ point, these situations don’t have to be difficult to overcome. Instead, they should be managed with efficiency while also introducing opportunity for businesses to enhance not only their operations but also their profit. Fortunately, in today’s rapidly growing marketplace these opportunities are becoming easier and easier for businesses large and small to implement into their parcel operations thanks to automated solutions, more streamlined shipping services and parcel tracking that can help businesses not only save time, but also save money.
Opportunities and demands of shipping
Pitney Bowes, a global technology company, recently unveiled its second-ever Parcel Shipping Index, revealing a 48 percent growth in parcel volume over the past two years and estimating annual growth to continue to rise at a rate of 17 percent to 28 percent year-over-year between now and 2021. This brisk growth is significantly attributed to the increase in ecommerce activity, with study results suggesting that rising consumer expectations surrounding online shopping are putting pressure on retailers to deliver on convenience, price and the availability of products from around the world. When you factor in the importance of consumer expectations on a retailer’s success — or failure — it’s critical to factor in the realities of parcel management, as well.