Scalable Parcel Shipping Practices to Succeed

Cloud-based TMS software provides tools needed to achieve transportation optimization

What defines scalability in More Than Shipping modern shipping? There are many ways to approach the topic of scalability. In truth, scalability includes the cost-effective movement of goods, but it also infers a need to create operations that can accommodate changing business needs. Unfortunately, parcel is an area of much debate in both scalability discussions. 

According to ReveelGroup, parcel shipping remains an area of logistics subject to misconceptions and higher costs per shipment or costs per hundredweight. Shippers and logistics service providers need to understand how a robust parcel strategy can make the difference between failure and success.

What Do Supply Chain Leaders Misunderstand About Parcel Shipping Strategies?

Parcel shipping, despite the average size per shipment, is still a significant business. And, it is growing exponentially with the rise of e-Commerce and growing customer demands for faster and more cost-effective shipping. 

This is the fundamental problem of parcel strategies. They are often defined by their smaller size, compared to traditional, palletized freight. Reality reveals parcel is much larger, but obviously not in its physical size. The fact that parcel comprises the majority of e-commerce purchases shows that parcel shipping is not a mode to be ignored. Shippers need renewed strategies to rein in soaring costs. Parcel shipping has grown to the point where the major carriers, including USPS and UPS, are having trouble keeping up with demand. So, any strategy for improving parcel must start with recognizing its actual volume.

Scalable Parcel Shipping Depends on Data

Scalable parcel shipping will continue to grow in direct relation to the growth of e-commerce. Walmart and Target have managed to create competitive online marketplaces that can rival Amazon. To attract Amazon’s customers, retailers and shippers must develop scalable parcel practices. They need flexible solutions that can accommodate the rapid fluctuations in demand and enact changes in advance of such volatility. And, while shippers do not have a crystal ball into the future, utilizing a transportation management system (TMS) provides forward-thinking abilities, using data to make educated, informed predictions and decisions.

Best Practices to Achieve and Maintain Scalable Parcel Logistics

Data is meaningless in its raw form. Entire professions have grown to accommodate managing data, including data scientists and analysts. And, while the use and impact of meaningful data is widely recognized today, unfortunately, the surging demand for more information and analysis has created additional problems. There is too much data to handle manually. Therefore, advanced systems, including big data analytics, have taken center stage. Now, computers and algorithms process data, including scrubbing it to ensure validity and identifying trends that allude to potential outcomes. While this may not seem like significant advances, it amounts to considerable gains in insights across terabytes upon terabytes of data. Of course, moving to scalable parcel shipping must go beyond merely applying data, and the following tips can help shippers succeed.
  • Move to dimensional pricing models.
  • Eliminate waste in packaging.
  • Differentiate online versus in-store fulfillment parcel packaging processes.
  • Integrate your TMS with brick-and-mortar POS systems, notes Digital Commerce 360.
  • Improve compliance and transparency regarding regulations and public perception.

Implement a New TMS to Improve All-Mode Strategies

Upgrading the TMS is among the best ways to develop and encourage positive parcel shipping strategies. Get the right data, and follow the best practices to building scalable parcel strategies. It’s also important to select a TMS that includes native parcel capabilities, instead of having to use another system to manage your parcel needs.

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Phil Melton

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