The small parcel shipping industry has become a much more complex issue than it used to be. Billions of packages are sent every day, shipping all over the world, and they’re tracked in real-time as they go. Ecommerce shipping and online shopping have changed the way small parcel shipping works. It’s an omnichannel industry, incorporating mobile shopping, ship to and ship from store needs, as well as international shipping. These are small parcel shipping issues which didn’t exist just a few years back. The globalization of parcel shipping and ecommerce shipping has vastly increased parcel shipping volume, which has driven a lot of changes in the shipping industry.
There are of course challenges to the changes that have come to the parcel shipping world. The increased package shipping demand around the world has increased service options from parcel carriers like FedEx, DHL, and UPS, but also from smaller regional carriers. Managing multiple carriers, however, presents more complications and challenges for international shipping. There are additional factors influencing the shipping industry, like an increase and expansion into various shipping technologies. Deliveries by autonomous trucks, drones, etc. is becoming a reality, which adds an extra layer of complication. Finally, consumers are driving a more competitive market, because of what is commonly known as the Amazon effect: consumers are demanding faster delivery times and cheap shipping rates than ever before.
When it comes to what customers care most about, well, it’s mostly shipping rates. They want to know how much parcel shipping will cost them, they want free shipping if they reach a certain purchase amount, free returns, cost calculators, and so on. Consumers want to save money shipping just as much as the shippers do. Of course, someone is going to have to pay for shipping, but there are ways you can optimize small parcel shipping supply chain management to reduce shipping costs and better manage consumer expectations. Another important thing to note is that consumers not only want cheap shipping rates, but they want to pay less for faster delivery.
Amazon has again altered the consumer’s mind. Amazon Prime customers receive free two day shipping, and this expectation of fast shipping has now become a major consideration for online shoppers when it comes to parcel shipping and ecommerce purchases. Parcel shipping times are enough to leave one site and look for another ecommerce shipper who can meet their fast delivery demands, so slow logistics processes can be extraordinarily harmful to an ecommerce shipping company’s sales. There is shipping technology that can improve parcel shipping speeds, however. Shipping technology can enable you to improve parcel shipping speed and track packages as they’re in transit. This shipping technology and shipping software can also help to save money shipping with parcel shipping data analytics.
Cheap shipping rates and fast delivery are among the most important concerns for customers, but good logistics management requires extra attention to consumer needs. Making sure there are simple and effective returns processes is an important part of your logistics solutions. In order to increase return shoppers, should any issues arise, it’s important they’re handled properly.
So, what can parcel shippers do to improve their ecommerce business? First of all, utilize shipping software like transportation management systems to optimize your supply chain management practices. The data and analytics your TMS will provide you will help improve some of these main consumer concerns. TMS can help you get cheap shipping rates and provide data to show you which carriers are performing faster deliveries. Increasing parcel shipping volumes means shippers must take closer looks at the consumer, your supply chain, and logistics management strategies to find success. The industry has changed, and shippers have to keep up with the times to stay competitive.