How does your shipping strategy stack up against your competition?
In 2017, if you don’t have a good shipping strategy, competitors will eat your lunch. Amazon continues to invest in their fulfillment strategy and it is crushing its rivals. Delivery expectations are going up, but cost control is more important than ever. Where do you start? Can you leverage shipping automation to improve your ability to scale? There are so many factors to consider such as pricing strategy, fulfillment locations, shipping software and technology, personnel, customer experience, and more.
To determine how you stack up in key strategic areas, use our simple calculator that diagnoses your process maturity and identifies the key areas where you can improve.
As we gather more data we’ll be able to give you comparisons against other companies similar to you in size and freight profile.
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Ever since 2015, the process of weighing your best shipping options for ground delivery no longer included taking into account a package’s actual weight. Why do businesses no longer factor in actual item weight when shipping anymore? This change occurred two years ago when major carriers, such as UPS Ground and FedEx Ground, stated that packages were no longer charged based on item weight but rather off of dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is defined as the amount of space a package takes up, not the actual weight of the item. You can calculate your package’s dimensional weight by multiplying the length x width x height and dividing it by your carrier’s specific dimensional divisor. Always make sure to round up to the next whole number as well.
Ex. Dim weight (1,728 cubic inches)/166 (UPS Dimensional Divisor) = 10.40 → 10lbs . Based off of dimensional pricing, you would then pay to ship a 10lb package.
Seems like a pretty simple formula. Package your item in the smallest possible space to avoid spending the maximum amount of money. However, even though your item’s metrics will never change, that doesn’t mean that carriers can’t change their dimensional divisor sizes. In fact, as of January 2017, FedEx decreased the size of their dimensional divisor, thus increasing overall shipping prices. As a result, no matter how you package your items, because of the lower dimensional divisor size, packages will begin to be weighted as “heavier”, and therefore be more expensive to ship. With leading shipping companies increasing shipping prices, it is only a matter of time before additional companies follow their suit.
There are many options for small businesses when it comes to shipping. It depends on the type of shipping needed, but if parcel, LTL, and blanket wrap are all needed, or any combination of the three, the best shipping options for small businesses will be through an online platform that allows for comparing rates. A small business usually doesn’t have the bandwidth or funds to invest in accounts and relationships with many different carriers. However, if the business is in need of freight and blanket wrap options, a free platform like ShipHawk is a great option to compare rates with multiple carriers, increase operational efficiency and save money.
Small businesses who only need to ship small parcel can get by with a ShipStation account. When it comes to blanket wrap and LTL freight shipments though, shipping can become much more complicated. A dashboard like ShipHawk’s, which utilizes tracking updates for all shipment types to manage shipments and keep up with orders, can help simplify complex shipments. ShipHawk’s dashboard also allows for exception management, so that all problem shipments can be viewed and managed in one place, and can be resolved by only needing to contact one company versus multiple carriers. Furthermore, ShipHawk also gives the option to work with home delivery carriers such as Pilot and XPO, and gives small businesses access to inside delivery and unpacking of crated and palletized shipments with such carriers. This can help ease the often complicated process of shipping LTL successfully to a residential delivery.
The ShipHawk team is excited to be attending Retail’s Digital Summit 2016! This digital commerce showcase is going to be held on September 26-28 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, TX.
Today we’re announcing some exciting upgrades to the ShipHawk product line. We originally launched these offerings for two reasons: 1) to give enterprise customers an easy way to try our products out before purchasing and 2) to give small-to-midsized companies with lower complexity a way to access the magic of ShipHawk. With today’s changes, that access now includes support for a wider range of services—parcel, large goods (LTL), home delivery as well as blanket wrap—in all SKUs, even our free starter product. We’ve also packaged a custom SKU for those of you looking to manage your current parcel and freight tariffs in a single place.