Are you fully aware of the Four Parcel Package Myths? Learn these secrets and you can start saving up to 420% of your freight costs.
Slashing costs is a constant for business owners � always has been, always will be. You analyze processes, renegotiate with your suppliers, scrutinize marketing, monitor costs and budget capital. All in the name of savings!
The one area often overlooked is the shipping department �specifically, the freight expense incurred every day. Usually we ship �pre-pay and add� so our logic tells us the customer�s paying the freight, and it doesn�t make a difference. But it does! Managers are frustrated by ongoing carrier rate increases and feel helpless in their ability to take effective action. But you can! Combined, these beliefs enhance the Four Parcel Shipping Myths and prevent your company from saving � in many cases � from saving BIG!
Myth #1 � �I can�t save any money on my freight!� Most shippers utilize �free� software provided by their parcel carriers to process packages. While this software does make it convenient to ship, it has an inherent drawback: It only works with that specific carrier. In other words, if an organization ships with UPS, its software (UPS WorldShip) only processes packages for UPS. FedEx offers Ship Manager, which only processes packages for FedEx. DHL has DHL Libra. The carriers provide this software because they know it will increase their volume and revenue. They know it�s more convenient for shippers to use their software than to try and compare rates with another carrier. The problem is this: Like anything else, if you don�t shop around, you end up paying too much.
Let�s provide a specific example. FedEx, UPS and DHL charge an additional $1 for commercial shipments and $1.75 for residential shipments for packages shipped to �remote� areas. This surcharge is applicable in 55% of the ZIP Codes in the US with rates of $7.41 for one-pound packages shipped to zone 8! Compare this to sending the exact same package via the U.S. Postal Service for $3.85; that is a savings of over $3.50 or 92%!
So why wouldn�t a shipper make this choice? The reason is that in most companies, the person doing the shipping is just trying to get packages out the door; it�s not money out of their pocket, and it�s too much work to compare rates on every package. Well, not anymore!
A new technology had been developed that works with your carrier-provided software that can pop up on your PC screen and display an instant comparison between the parcel carrier�s cost and the Postal Service�s cost on every package. Both rates are visible and obvious when a significant cost savings can be achieved. Savings on Priority Mail can be up to 92%. And with Media Mail, a cost efficient way to mail books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes, printed music, CDs, DVDs and diskettes, savings is over 420%! Ninety percent of the solution is the awareness of an alternative. This technology brings that awareness to the shipping department.
Myth #2 � �It is inconvenient to use the post office!� � Especially when an address label has to be manually created, the right amount of postage calculated, meter tape generated and an untimely trip to the post office taken. Today, new technology virtually eliminates the inconvenience of shipping with the Postal Service; it is a �click-and-ship� solution requiring one keystroke to deliver a post office-approved label with complete address and postage. Furthermore, this technology can be integrated into an organization�s business or accounting system. In addition, a ready-to-run middleware solution is available, which enables your shipping software to exchange information with your accounting software. By eliminating the chore of typing information manually, it can help you realize dramatic gains in productivity and accuracy.
For example, it can transfer address information from your accounting system to your shipping system and return the resulting freight charges and tracking numbers. Customer information, invoices and sales orders can be updated simultaneously with shipment processing. This streamlines your shipping operations by dramatically reducing the time and effort needed to process each shipment.
So, what is this new technology? It is called PC Postage and you can find out more at PC Postage technology does not require any minimums like Mail Manifesting. (For Postal Service shippers to qualify for manifesting, they must ship 50 pounds or 200 pieces of mail, get certified, purchase permits, submit daily reports and get audited.) Best of all, it doesn�t even require a postage meter. PC Postage makes it so simple � any shipper can qualify.
Myth #3 � �The post office doesn�t have tracking capabilities!� Some shippers complain the post office does not have tracking. Normally, it is an extra service (and hassle) to get Delivery Confirmation... not anymore. Now, with PC Postage, the printed label has your Delivery Confirmation barcode printed right on it. And it is free with Priority Mail! PC Postage vendors offer a log of all the packages that you ship, which can be accessed online. To track any package sent with Delivery Confirmation, simply select the item from the Postage Log and click the status button. It will retrieve and display the status of your package. Even better, you can send an email directly to the recipient with the tracking number and the Web site to track the package. No more customer service calls wondering where the package is or if it has even been shipped.
Myth #4 � �With the post office, unlike other small parcel carriers, my customers actually see how much I paid for postage!� Ever get those customers asking, �Why are you charging $10.95 shipping and handling when my shipping label only shows $3.95?� Not anymore! With PC Postage, you have an optional Stealth Indicia, which prints shipping labels with hidden postage amounts. Your customers will never see the amount of postage paid. Stealth postage lets you charge a different fee for shipping and handling � without raising your customers� eyebrows. This feature allows you to use shipping and handling as a profit center; to average out your shipping and handling costs across your product line; or perhaps to cover other costs like labor, packing material and insurance.
The bottom line is this innovative technology significantly cuts costs in the shipping department and makes utilizing the Postal Service simpler, easier and more functional. Check it out for your organization.
Professor Mark Taylor is CEO of TAYLOR Systems Engineering Corporation, a technology and consulting firm that helps organizations save money in their shipping and warehouse operations. He is the author of two books; his latest is Computerized Shipping Systems: Increasing Profit & Productivity Through Technology. In addition, Taylor is a professor at Rushmore University, a professional business speaker and a business coach. He can be reached at 734-420-7447 or or by visiting online at