Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, you’ve heard of ChatGPT and how the tool brought generative AI technology to the masses, educating much of the populace on just what artificial intelligence (AI) can do.
Here at Reveel, we understand the power of data, analytics and AI – and how when applied correctly they can provide organizations with information that can improve their decision making and produce better outcomes, especially when it comes to a company’s bottom line.
We decided to ask ChatGPT a couple of questions about parcel shipping and contract negotiation and see how the responses stacked up – what it got right, what needs more context, and what might be missing. First, we asked it about parcel negotiation advice:
Q: Can you tell me the best way to negotiate my parcel shipping contracts?
A: Yes, I can certainly help with that. Here are some tips to negotiate your parcel shipping contracts:
- Gather information: Before negotiating your parcel shipping contracts, gather as much information as possible about your current shipping volumes, services, rates, and any other relevant data. This will help you better understand your shipping needs and identify areas where you can negotiate better rates or services.
- Compare rates: Shop around and compare shipping rates from different carriers. This will give you leverage when negotiating with your current carrier, as you’ll be able to show them competitive rates from other carriers.
- Consolidate shipments: If you have multiple shipments going to the same destination, try to consolidate them into one shipment. This will help you negotiate better rates with your carrier and save on shipping costs.
- Negotiate terms: Negotiate with your carrier on payment terms, delivery times, and other service levels that are important to your business. This can include discounts for early payment or guaranteed delivery times.
- Consider volume discounts: If you ship large volumes of packages, ask your carrier if they offer volume discounts. Many carriers offer discounts based on the volume of packages shipped.
- Monitor your shipping: Keep track of your shipping expenses and monitor your carrier’s performance. If you notice any issues, address them with your carrier and negotiate better terms if necessary.
- Review contracts regularly: Make sure to review your parcel shipping contracts regularly and negotiate better terms whenever possible. This will help you stay competitive and save on shipping costs over time.
Overall, negotiating parcel shipping contracts requires careful planning, research, and negotiation skills. By following these tips, you can negotiate better rates and terms with your carrier and save on shipping costs for your business.
Well, at first glance ChatGPT’s advice is not bad. The first bullet point they list – gather information – has been a tenet of what we do here at Reveel from the start. Companies need to know and understand their shipping profiles – what they’re shipping, where, and at what expense. Without this basic information it is impossible to make informed decisions. Information isn’t always easy to acquire and understand – sometimes it’s buried in a mountain of paperwork, often purposefully. But gathering and understanding shipping information is job number one when it comes to improving your ability to negotiate shipping contracts.
The advice on comparing rates is also sound – and gets at what the real piece of advice is here: be prepared to change your carrier if need be. Shippers and carrier representatives often make strong connections and have a good working relationship, but at the end of the day you have to remember that it’s their job to sign you to a contract at the highest price possible. Gathering information and getting better at negotiating also means that you need to compare and contrast plan offers – and be prepared to make a change.
Next, we decided to ask ChatGPT what it knew about optimizing parcel shipping expenses, to see if a different prompt produced some variation in answers. Here’s what it responded with:
Q: Can you give me advice on how to optimize my parcel shipping expenses?
A: Certainly! Here are some tips to optimize your parcel shipping expenses:
- Choose the right carrier: Research and compare shipping rates from different carriers to find the best value for your shipping needs. Consider factors such as transit times, service levels, and package size and weight restrictions.
- Use negotiated rates: Negotiate better shipping rates with your carrier based on your shipping volume and frequency. This can save you money on each shipment.
- Use the right packaging: Choose the right packaging for your shipments to avoid dimensional weight charges. Use packaging that is appropriate for the size and weight of your items.
- Automate shipping processes: Use shipping software or services that automate shipping processes to reduce errors and save time. This can also help you compare shipping rates across multiple carriers and choose the most cost-effective option.
- Optimize shipping routes: Optimize shipping routes to reduce transit times and transportation costs. This can be done by consolidating shipments, choosing the right carrier, and using multi-carrier solutions.
- Monitor and analyze shipping expenses: Monitor your shipping expenses regularly and analyze the data to identify areas where you can save money. Look for trends and patterns in your shipping data to identify areas for improvement.
- Consider shipping insurance: Consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect against loss or damage of your shipments. This can provide peace of mind and save you money in the long run.
Overall, optimizing your parcel shipping expenses requires careful planning, analysis, and ongoing monitoring. By following these tips, you can reduce your shipping costs and improve your bottom line.
As to be expected, this set of advice is somewhat similar to the above prompt. And this brings up our overall impression of ChatGPT’s AI-driven advice: it’s a nice overview, but it really doesn’t go into enough depth and detail to direct a user how to truly optimize their parcel shipping and improve the way they negotiate carrier contracts. There is a far greater deal of complexity to the situation than what is presented here.
In order to truly be successful with your parcel shipping you need more than just an AI chatbot. You need shipping intelligence at your fingertips – the data that makes it possible to understand what you’ve been spending on, what the industry is spending on, and how these decisions have impacted your bottom line. Information like this on your complex shipping data is what makes it possible to start making data-driven decisions – and start saving money.
Here at Reveel, we’re dedicated to helping you understand the intricacies and complexities of parcel shipping in a way that AI tools like ChatGPT cannot. The Reveel App uses AI and machine learning to provide an unparalleled look into what’s impacting your bottom line. Through invoice audits, peer comparisons, and rate modeling/simulations, you can see the health of your operation, assess pricing changes from parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS, and negotiate with confidence.
Sign up for a free Reveel account today to see how you can leverage our industry-tested AI and machine learning-based platform to synthesize your data, ship more for less, reduce the time needed to identify issues and action items – and leave the AI chatbots behind.