Service Guarantees Are Back—What Does That Mean for Your Business?

A man and woman meeting in a warehouse

To many businesses’ relief, FedEx and UPS reinstated their service guarantees for some services after a year-long hiatus.

The open-ended service guarantee suspensions were instituted due to disruption to the carriers’ networks in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  When the world was told to stay home, shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx scrambled to increase capacity to meet new ecommerce demands. Coupled with the new safety precautions, service levels dipped.

In addition to early surcharge increases—most that are still in place today—both FedEx and UPS suspended their service guarantees indefinitely back in March 2020.  Not only were businesses concerned with slower delivery to their customers, but they could no longer recoup costs that they were accustomed to recouping by taking advantage of these guarantees.

Why Now?

Both FedEx and UPS have continued to pressure the market with increased pricing and surcharges, well beyond the normal rate increases.  They’ve been criticized for putting more pressure on small businesses during a time of economic uncertainty.  Without the service guarantees—and outside of contract negotiations—businesses couldn’t do much about their ballooning shipping budgets. 

Although ecommerce shows no signs of stopping, safety regulations are easing in some states.  With added infrastructure and fewer roadblocks, the shipping carriers are likely eager to honor their core principles: guaranteed service.

And it couldn’t come soon enough.

What Does this Mean for Businesses?

For small and large businesses alike, this means invoice auditing is back in a big way. If you weren’t already scanning your invoices to identify late packages, now’s the time to start.

While both companies hit their targets at a rate of about 98%, that 1–2% could mean big refunds for high-volume businesses—money that could offset increasingly high shipping costs.

The biggest catch? You must spot the late deliveries on notoriously difficult-to-understand invoices and request the refund.

“If you’ve never audited your carrier invoices for late deliveries and overcharges, then you’ve been leaving money on the table” says Nick Nowaczyk (VP of Operations at Reveel). 

The best way to manage this tedious process? Partner with a shipping intelligence company to do it for you.

What to Look for in an Audit Partner

Hiring a shipping intelligence partner to help you audit invoices may seem daunting at first, but there are a few qualifiers you can use to help you decide.  Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Reveel, Josh Dunham emphasizes the importance of working with a partner who both monitors your invoices and advises on next steps: “A robust platform will notify you of problems in your shipping and how to fix the issues.”

 A Robust Platform: What does their platform look like?  Does it do more than audit invoices?  Beyond essential audit capabilities, look for a company that provides more intelligence.  It should monitor your shipping problems and tell you how to fix them, and even monitor your shipping agreement.  A barebones platform may meet your immediate needs but won’t enable you to take your business further.

An Active Partner: It’s easy for subpar shipping intelligence businesses to take a passive role in your shipping operations.  But in an industry that’s constantly changing, you need a partner that’s always innovating.

Matching Values: Values matter, no matter what industry you’re in.  Working with a partner that has a stake in your success and values that align with yours ensures you’ll get the best outcome, every time.

Choose Your Audit Partner

Now that FedEx and UPS have reinstated their service guarantees, it’s time to turn to a shipping intelligence partner to save your shipping budget.

But shipping invoice audits are just the start. More data intelligence means better business decisions.  And now, Reveel is launching a free version of our shipping intelligence platform.

Schedule time to explore the platform and see what you can do with shipping data at your fingertips.  Get early access and you’ll keep 100% of your invoice audit savings. Plus, no subscription fees or share of savings.

Schedule a call today.

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