With yearly rate increases and recurring surcharges, the cost of shipping can quickly add up. That, coupled with inflation, can cut into your revenue more than ever. With these new challenges in shipping, it’s time to consider a practice that will save you on time and shipping costs: zone skipping.
Zone Skipping: What It Is & When to Consider It
The traditional, most widely accepted practice among companies is to ship packages individually; it’s something we’ve all done. Once sent out, these packages head to their carrier’s destination center to be individually sorted and flown to the carrier site nearest their final destination before last-mile delivery. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this process, zone skipping is a way to streamline shipping to save money.
This process works by grouping packages going to the same destination or region on a pallet, so less sorting work is needed on the carrier’s end and the shipper gets charged for a FTL (a full truckload) or for less-than-truckload (LTL) costs before paying the regional rates. Typically, you would expect to pay for multi-zone rates on each individual package, so implementing zone skipping when possible will cut down on costs and give you savings you can predict and volume data you can use when forecasting or negotiating your agreement.
While zone skipping is a great practice for saving time and money, it’s not for everyone. Before you include the process in your shipping management practices, first consider a few factors to decide if it’s the solution for you. Initially, you need to make sure that you have the volume necessary to warrant freight shipping to the various regions your customers are in. Once you have that, consider the persona of your target audience. With zone skipping, the same clear visibility won’t be available when it comes to tracking. Depending upon your customer base, this may be a deal-breaker, so keep it in mind.
How Zone Skipping Saves You Time & Money
With the process of zone skipping, you as the shipper may be paying twice, once for freight and once for last-mile delivery, but because of the lower sorting needs of each shipment, your parcel carrier will charge you less. When done properly, it can also save your shipments time by avoiding all the unnecessary stops along the way. Rather than stopping at each hub between you and the destination, packages will stay on one truck and pass through each zone, only stopping at the necessary regional hub.
Other Ways to Save on Your Shipping Logistics
Now that you know about zone skipping and how to integrate it into your shipping management, let’s look at a few other methods that will save you time and money you’ll see year over year.
Implement Parcel Auditing
When your parcel carrier promises to have a delivery to your customer by a certain time/date and misses that window, or when they overcharge on a shipment, you’re owed credits with that carrier. This happens often to shippers without their knowledge because, for their parcel carriers, it’s additional revenue and sometimes a signal that they’re not upholding their end of the carrier agreement. When you implement regular parcel audits, you can find those credits and their types so you can save money and have the data you need for your next agreement negotiation.
Negotiate Your Parcel Carrier Agreements
When large operations ship enough product throughout the year, they can enter into an agreement with their preferred parcel shipping carrier to get better rates and volume discounts, among other things. While these agreements are often mislabeled as contracts, they don’t come with the same strict expiration dates and their terms can be renegotiated at any time to get additional discounts and savings. If you want to learn more about how and when to negotiate your next agreement with your parcel carrier, check out our recent articles on both subjects.
Use a Shipping & Logistics Platform
While you could manage your shipping logistics on your own, whether that’s with pen and paper or your own spreadsheets, you can always make the upgrade to an intelligent platform like Reveel. Unlike other shipping solutions, our platform uses machine learning to take your complex logistics and turn it into easy-to-understand data with actionable insights on how you could save more money. As a shipping intelligence platform that empowers you to ship smarter, you can gain access to everything you need to make sense of your analytics and optimize your shipping moving forward.
Find new ways to save your time and your budget on your shipping management and daily costs with Reveel’s business intelligence platform. Our easy-to-use software and intuitive features will break down your unique data to show you what you’re doing right and the best areas of opportunity for saving money. Contact our team of industry experts today to learn more about our platform and to schedule your demo.