Modern analytics solutions can save shippers thousands of pounds each year

Shipping analytics and savings explainedshipping and carrier rates

By some estimates, nearly 60 percent of parcel carrier invoices contain at least one significant error, and you can rest assured that your carrier catches most of the errors in your favour before the invoice goes out. What remains can represent a huge expense each year that you don’t actually have to pay. As margins dip ever lower for merchants of all kinds, this kind of overspend can be catastrophic. Shipping analytics and auditing software solutions are now available which can improve carrier accountability, process visibility, and centralised control. Whichwarehouse explain how this improved intelligence is vital to catching these errors and reducing inappropriate payments.

There are many solutions on the market now, both traditional and cloud-based, and they all do much the same thing. The point isn’t which software you use or which process you implement, the point is that you need to scrutinise your carrier contracts and shipping processes closely in order to reduce unnecessary costs.

The latest generation of analytics and auditing software isn’t anything radically new, but does represent a noticeable refinement of earlier solutions. In the end, they offer improved optimisation and the kind of business intelligence you need to negotiate your next contract to be better for you, and to better reflect your actual use of carriage.

Carriers and your contract agreement

The agreement you have in practice with your carrier may in fact be quite different than the one you have on paper. Contracts with carriers are getting more complicated, vague and conditional every day. Shippers in many markets report having difficulty understanding all of the ins and outs of their contracts now. Many contain several different sets of list rates, multiple kinds of fuel surcharge, revenue based incentives of ever-increasing complexity, several kinds of minimum charge, and complex discount schemes with multiple exclusions. A crack team of lawyers and accountants could probably help plot your course through these murky waters, but analytical software will probably cost you a lot less, and leaves the analysis power in your hands, rather than someone else’s.

The real story can only be found by analysing historical shipping data for what you’ve actually shipped and what you’ve actually paid.

In fact, contract negotiation is the stage where a firm understanding of your historical use of parcel carriage and what you’ve actually been paying will really pay off for you. You are probably spending more on properly invoiced inefficient arrangements than you are on erroneous invoices, by a wide margin.


 


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