Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Using Your Shipping System to Get the Lowest Shipping Rates

You've negotiated a great rate with your package carriers. You also want to use the USPS since they have new commercial rates and great rates for lighter packages shipped to residences. You know you have good rates, but what's the next step so you can use all of these carriers and make sure you pay the best price for every package you ship? There, as they say, is the rub.

It's easy in concept. For each package you ship, check each carrier's rate, and then choose the least expensive. The problem is making that work efficiently. Looking up rates in two or three different systems can add 5 minutes processing time to every package. Also, to shop for the best carrier and service in your order system, you need the exact shipping weight of the items in the order, including the packaging. In a number of order systems, this final shipping weight can be difficult to obtain.

There is one more wrinkle. If you use a carrier provided shipping system, it may only give published rates, not the rates you worked so hard to negotiate. This is when 3rd party shipping systems can really earn their keep. Here is how it works in our CPS™ shipping software.

With CPS, you can use your company's UPS and FedEx contract rates, plus CPS supports the new USPS commercial rates. This means you can quickly see at a glance, on just one screen, a rate comparison and select the best from just one list.

And there's more. CPS also lets you set up automatic rate comparison codes that we call RateBots™. For example, set up a RateBot to get the best price for ground delivery service, and then use that RateBot for your ground packages. CPS even optionally determines if the address is commercial and residential, so the entire "best rate" process is hands-off and automatic. You can set up as many RateBots as you need, such as one for ground service, another for best next day service, etc.

Look for these features like these in your shipping system and really start putting those competitive rate bids to work for you.

No comments: