Parcel carriers hold much of the power in the shipping industry by controlling the rates we pay, changing the services they offer, and by contributing to your customer’s experience with you. So, it’s only safe to assume that they control our contracts with them, right? Not quite, but that’s not the only myth businesses hear about the parcel contract negotiation process. No matter the size of your business, you have more pull over your agreement than you think, and we’ll debunk the most common misconceptions here and tell you how.
You Can’t Renegotiate Until Your Contract Expires
In the parcel shipping industry, contracts aren’t actually a common practice–what you have is an agreement. While these documents may discuss an “end date,” neither you nor the carrier are stuck upholding the terms if either party is dissatisfied for any reason. When you read through your agreement, you’ll find that there’s no language making it a firm legal contract.
In reality, you can revisit your agreement and renegotiate the terms and rates at any time. While most companies pursue updated agreements every year because of the carriers’ annual rate increases, you have the freedom to negotiate better rates even just a few months into your agreement because of surcharge and fee rates, poor customer service, and numerous other reasons.
You Can’t Share Data with Anyone for Rate Verification
Whether this myth stems from carrier language or a general misunderstanding of the agreement negotiation process, third-party audits are legally allowed under the standard agreement and highly recommended. Parcel shipping carriers are expert negotiators, but it’s often because they have both an internal team and a roster of third-party contractors that help them do so.
On your side of the negotiation table, you’re outnumbered by the volume of people your carrier has to chip in with their efforts. So, when you share your shipping data with an expert consultant on the matter, you get the outside perspective you need to level the playing field.
Your Carrier Will Be Upfront About All Their Discounts
When you begin negotiating with your carrier, you may have some details regarding certain discounts you would like to discuss and areas of your shipping data you would like to evaluate, but it’s difficult to know everything. When you’re not already educated on what’s available to you, your carrier is likely to only tell you about certain discounts or promotions instead of everything you qualify for, especially their lesser known programs.
While no business owner has the time to research every carrier discount, you can always consult the third party you bring on board to look at your shipping data. Since this expert is familiar with business shipping costs and current carriers, they will have additional information about what you could qualify for and how to ask for it in negotiations.
Considering Another Carrier Can Jeopardize Your Current Relationship
If you’ve ever experienced anything negative during your time with your current carrier, you’ve likely considered looking around at other carriers and their rates. However, it’s just as easy to think about a scenario where your new carrier lets you down even worse, but your former carrier won’t take you back because of how you left before.
Consider this: when someone is looking for a job, they interview with multiple companies so they can find the best fit and have negotiating power. The same can be said for negotiating your carrier agreement; if you have terms from multiple carriers in hand, you have more data to use as leverage. No carrier will deny you an agreement simply for looking around.
You Can’t Have a Third Party Help with Parcel Contract
As we discussed before, carrier companies are so great at negotiating because they have an entire team to help them do so, while you are left to fend for yourself. However, sharing your shipping data is just the tip of the iceberg for the help a third party can provide.
You have all the legal power in the world to share your shipping data, current agreement terms, and wants for your next agreement with a consultant or company with experience in parcel contract negotiation. Once you have the resources and help you need, preparing for a conversation with your carrier is easy and your new agreement will finally work more to your advantage than the other way around.
In the end, agreement negotiation is much more accessible than parcel carriers make it seem. Keep in mind that, at any point, you have the power to request a renegotiation and you deserve an experienced service in your corner to help. Our platform gives you the resource you need to compare carrier agreements and the data you need to get the absolute best deal on your next agreement. Contact us to schedule a demo and learn more about how Reveel can help you manage your shipping and logistics today, or experience it firsthand by signing up for a free account.