53% of North American buyers said that moving forward, the pandemic will change the way they will shop1. One of the biggest changes made by consumers is their shift to e-commerce, due to being uncomfortable with in-store shopping and the fact that many brick and mortar sites were closed and may remain as such. This new shopping pattern is creating long-term transformations for retailers. They find themselves re-evaluating and taking significant steps to streamline their shipping and delivery processes by leveraging technology.
Changes to shipping strategies that have already been adopted include adding alternative delivery methods, such as BOPIS, (buy online, pick up in-store), and setting up additional warehouses to improve fulfillment. While these are just a start, more innovation needs to be integrated in order to successfully fulfill online orders.
UPS, FedEx, and DHL use electronic data interchange (EDI) to transmit information to shippers, while most logistics departments employ Transportation Management Systems (TMS) to execute complex shipments. Prior to the pandemic, implementing technology such as TMS into the shipping process was a long-term goal. It is now considered a necessity to meet today’s consumers’ delivery expectations successfully and cost-efficiently.
Below are reasons why investing in new parcel shipping technology should be done now2.
Technology Must Catch up to Demand
Technology should never be in last place. Yet due to the pandemic, the e-commerce industry is now operating years ahead of schedule and resembles where it was projected to be in 2025. Propelled mostly by this unforeseen upset, parcel shipping has set the logistics industry off into a tailspin. The result is that technology has no choice but to catch up. As it stands now, technology is chasing demand, as opposed to supporting it, which is critically necessary now more than ever, considering this unpredictable upsurge. In order to remain in the game, and planning to always be one step ahead, all efforts now require your technology to take back the lead.
Parcel Shipping Systems are Increasingly Smart
Advancements in parcel shipping systems allow shippers to take more control and strategically implement new approaches to meet goals. This technology provides easy integrations to business-critical systems such as an ERP or WMS, state-of-the-art Business Intelligence tools for accurate data capture and reporting, and the ability to flag invoice issues.
Parcel Shipping Systems are Cloud-based
Companies of all sizes are benefitting from the minimal upfront costs and IT investment of cloud-based systems. Using a web-based parcel shipping system will enable companies to realize a return on investment quickly — without the hit of an initial investment, and with the benefit of accelerated implementation and integration processes.
Parcel Shipping Systems are Invaluable
Companies that use a parcel shipping system have shown significant savings on shipping spend. While successfully meeting delivery commitments, their time-to-value on the parcel shipping system itself is often six months or less. Companies are also leveraging parcel shipping technology to automate manual work and scale their business without adding resources.
As manufacturers and retailers strive to meet shipping demands by implementing new technologies, they will need a partner to help them understand their shipping spend. Complementing TMS, integrated or cloud-based customized dashboards provide opportunities for easy analysis of all those miscellaneous accessorial fees charged from the Carriers after delivery. They ensure actual shipping costs reflect what their customers pay. Additionally, LJM Group’s Logistics Advisory Services offer in-depth features and reporting mechanisms that will positively impact your financial performance.