5 Steps to Build a Better Parcel Shipping Plan

5 Steps To Better Parcel Shipping Plan
Shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) face massive uncertainty going into the 2020 peak shopping season. That is due in part to changing customer expectations. As explained by Andrea Obston in Parcel Magazine, “When it comes to same-day delivery, the expectations of consumers have dramatically changed within the last few years. As a result, those in the customized logistics and delivery industry have had to embrace some big changes. Retailers, too, have had to find ways to adapt.” Now, delivery in a few days is no longer acceptable. Customers want delivery today. The only way to speed delivery from this point lies in building a better parcel shipping plan based on comprehensive transportation optimization with these steps.

1. Benchmark Your Current Parcel Shipping Plan

The first step to a better parcel shipping plan is recognizing your current strengths and weaknesses. As with any strategy to improve supply chain management, you cannot improve what you do not measure. Shippers and LSPs need to start collecting data on activity and demands now. Then, data requires processing through analytics to derive insights into the supply chain’s actual state. That’s the only way to see the problems that still occur despite the existing technologies and innovative resources.

2. Use Automation to Streamline Management

Automation enables success in supply chain management. Automation is an ideal way to connect disparate supply chains with modern systems. Think about it: automation in parcel management can be applied to any process that’s redundant and easy to replicate. This includes using robotic process automation to route parcels, consolidate shipments, and much more. Furthermore and as reported by Inbound Logistics, “Automation in parcel sorting can bring four distinct advantages that not only help shippers process an increasing load of parcels more quickly but can also provide company executives data they need to improve efficiencies and lower costs.”

3. Share Worldwide Data to Leverage Freight Forecasting Resources

Remember that knowledge is power in parcel management. With parcel volume growing more as peak season approaches, the opportunities to share and collect parcel data expand. Applying parcel data from a global treasure trove will also help companies better consider the impact of tariffs and political changes that may result in delays or added costs throughout peak season. Sharing data is further necessary to ensure the appropriate use of multimodal rating and routing options that combine parcel with other modes to derive the best rates.

4. Allocate Resources Based on Data, Not Assumption

The next key to a better parcel shipping plan is applying data to allocate resources based on demand. That has a different meaning for each segment as well. Shippers may want to offer better rates to attract drivers to high-volume areas. Brokers will need to ensure rates are competitive with local and regional carriers. Carriers and LSPs will want to maximize the movements of the most lucrative loads. It’s an ongoing process of allocating supply chain resources based on data.

5. Be Accountable to Your Freight Management Partners

Sharing holds another benefit to refining the parcel shipping plan. It allows companies to hold each other accountable. Shared data is useful to ensure invoices are accurate and reflect originally quoted prices. Not all costs can be exact at the onset of a parcel shipment—particularly accessorials, including residential area surcharges, which are newer in the wake of COVID-19. Regardless, using data to hold others accountable leads directly to the ability to provide clear, concise feedback to trading partners, diversify the supply chain network, and unlock the secrets to continuous improvement.

Future Proof Your Parcel Shipping Plan Now

From order routing through freight settlement, the right parcel shipping plan uses technology through and through. Technology is the lifeforce of the modern, profitable supply chain. And using data empowers supply chain leaders to make meaningful decisions that prioritize profitability and customer service.

Find out how your company can maximize value and retool its parcel shipping plan in anticipation of the 2020 peak season.

Doug Groover
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