Understanding your company’s shipping data is key to keeping your shipping costs down. That’s intuitive for most business leaders. You can’t reduce spending on overweight packages or long-distance shipments if you don’t know how much you spend in the first place.
But actually gathering that data is much harder than it sounds.
Detailed business analytics about zone distribution, weight distribution, carrier performance and surcharges are available in carrier invoices. But invoices aren’t designed for in-depth big data analytics. They typically include hundreds of columns and rows and hardly any formatting. Analyzing these documents in real time can take up hours of employee time.
But at Reveel, we believe all companies should be able to harness this data to effectively plan their shipping budgets using actionable insights.
Our consultants including experts with backgrounds at DHL, FedEx and UPS provide a real-time reporting service to help business leaders understand their companies’ shipping data. We can wade through those invoices, calculate the details of your shipping spend and identify opportunities for savings.
We can jump through the frustrating hoops required to file claims with your carrier and make sure you get the refunds you’re owed. And when you decide to renegotiate your contract, we can help you identify the best parts of your agreement to target: specific surcharges, price floors or other accessorial fees. We routinely help companies reduce their shipping spend by 15 to 20 percent.
Understanding How Existing Contracts Work — and Where They Fall Short
Shipping costs can be difficult to predict. Sure, rates rise every year and it’s easy enough to increase your budget by 5 percent accordingly.
However, surcharges and accessorial fees can eat up 25 percent or more of your shipping budget and they rise and change every year, too. If you don’t have a detailed breakdown of your parcels by size, weight, zone, and proximity to holidays, it can be difficult to ascertain how those changes will impact your shipping spend.
Your company’s shipping profile is the basis for all data-driven decisions. The more detailed it is, the better those decisions can be.
A full shipping profile should include data analytics about:
- Weight distribution
- Zone distribution
- Number of parcels shipped per day
- Delivery density
- Spending on surcharges and accessorial fees
- The accuracy of your carrier’s bills
Tracking these data sources in real time over several months will create a detailed portrait of your company’s shipping habits. You likely already have a sense of this. Data will fill in the gaps.
Reveel’s reporting and analytics tools give companies business intelligence about things like average cost per shipment. This offers leaders unprecedented visibility into their supply chain operations.
More importantly, these tools can help lift the veil on your carrier’s pricing strategies. In 2018, UPS spiked its large package surcharge from $10 to $80 (it will rise to $90 this July). That’s an eightfold increase in price. It may affect a small number of packages, but take a disproportionate bite out of your shipping budget.
Building a robust shipping profile will reveal which aspects of your contract aren’t working for your company. Those are your targets for your next negotiation.
Collecting the Refunds and Rebates You’re Owed
Most contracts include language about refunds and rebates. If your carrier delivers a package late, fails to deliver it or allows it to be damaged, you are likely owed a refund on the shipment.
However, claiming those refunds is challenging. First, someone has to have the time to review invoices in detail. Second, claims must be filed in a narrow window of time often less than two weeks. Few companies have the personnel to make time for such audits.
But businesses that don’t collect these refunds might be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Regularly auditing invoices and filing claims is an important part of making your existing contract work for you. If your internal resources are limited, Reveel can help with these tasks too. We offer all potential clients a free invoice audit so they can see how much they could be saving.
Identifying Opportunities to Save Money on Shipping
The better a company knows its shipping profile, the better it can plan for shipping costs for both the near term (next quarter) and the long term (every time carriers announce rate increases). Companies armed with shipping data sets can also understand how the introduction of new products or markets will impact their shipping spend.
At Reveel, we’ve noticed that companies who collect thorough shipping data are seldom caught off guard. They can quickly spot differences in their invoices after carriers add surcharges or change dimensional divisors.
Beyond that, company leaders who understand how to analyze this data can negotiate much more favorable contracts. They can identify the accessorial charges and price floors that impact their unique shipping profile most significantly and target those for negotiation. Often carriers are willing to make those narrow, focused changes that can make a big difference.
Reveel has the tools to help companies of all sizes collect shipping data, analyze it, prepare for negotiations, audit invoices and file claims.
We specialize in helping business leaders understand their shipping data, spot inefficiencies and trends and zero in on money-saving solutions. Reach out today to get started.