Quarterly Live Group Demo Watch Now

Sifted logo

5 Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for A Shipping Expense Optimization Software

by Sifted Team

Apr 7, 2022

5 min read

You know something’s not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Why are your shipping costs climbing? Is it surcharges? Dimensional weight? Your distribution network?

The truth is, it could be any of these, all of these, or something else entirely.

Like the savvy shipper you are, you know that you’ve got bigger fish to fry than diving in to investigate this yourself, so you set out to find the right shipping expense optimization service to help you get where you want to be.

But now you have a whole new problem — how do you find the right one? How can you be sure you’re going to get on the right path to shipping savings?

Ask yourself these 5 questions, and you’ll know you’re starting to work with software that’s going to guide you in the right direction.

 

1. What is your shipping problem in the first place?

Getting back to the beginning of this article, your biggest problem is likely that you’re paying too much, but you’re not sure why. You might have even discussed it with your carrier, but they’re not financially motivated to help you spend less money. So while they might provide you with some data, it will be difficult to interpret and act on.

The right shipping expense optimization service will look at your data and notice issues and trends in your costs that reveal the real problems that cause you to overspend on shipping. They’ll also provide the latest industry developments and help you proactively address challenges before they cost you too much.

The key to all of this is your data. The right software won’t use industry averages or general information to advise you. They’ll use your unique shipping profile — all your data about what you ship, how you ship it, where you ship to and from, and much more — because it’s crucial to the actions you take and the plans you put in place.

 

2. How will the software analyze your data?

Make sure any shipping expense optimization service you deal with is ready to gather and organize your data for you to deal with, analyze it for you, and provide specific KPIs that matter to your business. Too many services simply take your data and spit it back in a different format, leaving the heavy lifting of understanding how to apply it to your business to you.

But the right software will look at your data and help you separate the controllable costs — things you can address with a little operational tidying —  from uncontrollable costs. The latter is where heavy analysis is needed, and understanding how to conquer those costs is the mark of true shipping expense optimization.

 

3. How will they model carrier rate changes and other scenarios?

Can the software you’re considering create models around possible situations to help you make the best decisions about how you operate? Carrier rate changes are inevitable — and these days, frequent — so being able to see how various changes will affect your shipping profile is vital. Or maybe you’re considering a new distribution center. How will that change your shipping spend? Make sure your software is prepared to help you consider every angle of operational changes you might be thinking about.

 

4. Will they alert you when something changes that will affect you?

Alerts that your cost per package has jumped sharply or that your residential surcharges are skyrocketing can save you big money and big headaches. You don’t want to wait for your invoices to arrive to know that you have a problem. A service that offers alerts to changes in your shipping can save you time and money.

 

5. What is their commitment to customer service?

Are they there to simply direct you on how to use their tool, or do they offer expert insights and advice that take shipping expense optimization to the next level? You want a service that constantly monitors your data and the industry and proactively consults with you on it all.

Recent rate changes will affect shippers with higher volumes the most. And because you have a million other things to deal with every day, you might not be aware of when a change like that occurs or how it might affect you. Having experts who can help you understand these changes — and, more importantly, what you need to do about them — will help you optimize your operations.

 

See the forest and the trees at the same time

There are many options for reducing your shipping expenses available to you, but finding the right one is daunting. In addition to asking the questions above, make sure you find one that can help you see both the proverbial forest and its trees by doing two things: looking at the big picture and going deep into your data simultaneously.

Seeing how all the aspects of your shipping interact and affect each other is just as important as helping you analyze every detail for maximum savings and efficiency. The right software will do both seamlessly to help you meet your customers’ shipping expectations while keeping your shipping spend in check.

 

There are five things most shippers don’t know they’re doing to hurt their shipping spend. Find out what they are in our white paper!

Topics: Data Science, Shipping Data, Shipping Profile
Topics

Check out related resources at Sifted.

Network Optimization 101: The Impact of Carrier Diversification on Supply Chain Resilience

Network Optimization 101: The Impact of Carrier Diversification on Supply Chain Resilience

FedEx and UPS had the same GRI for 2024 at 5.9%. Down 1% from 2023’s 6.9% increase. American businesses are facing ...
Read More
How To Implement Artificial Intelligence To Boost Your Supply Chain Operations

How To Implement Artificial Intelligence To Boost Your Supply Chain Operations

By 2027, the global last-mile delivery market is expected to soar past $200 billion, up from $108.1 billion in ...
Read More
How Amazon Is Using AI To Become the Fastest Supply Chain in the World

How Amazon Is Using AI To Become the Fastest Supply Chain in the World

Did you know that Amazon has been using machine learning and AI for more than 25 years? Yes, 25 years! That’s ...
Read More
Survey: Consumer Home Delivery Preferences

Survey: Consumer Home Delivery Preferences

In the eCommerce landscape, the way brands interact with their customers is evolving. While optimized store ...
Read More
How to Evaluate Carrier Performance Across Diverse Networks

How to Evaluate Carrier Performance Across Diverse Networks

Carrier Diversification allows businesses to: 1.  Compare and choose the most cost-effective shipping rates. 2.  ...
Read More
How AI and Machine Learning are Transforming the Logistics and Supply Chain Industry

How AI and Machine Learning are Transforming the Logistics and Supply Chain Industry

Supply chains and logistics companies powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) are seeing a 20% reduction in ...
Read More
Sifted at Home Delivery World 2024 – What to Know

Sifted at Home Delivery World 2024 – What to Know

On June 5-6, experts in direct-to-consumer shipping will gather at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in ...
Read More
Parcel Carrier Diversification 101

Parcel Carrier Diversification 101

Last mile delivery has never been more important to businesses. In 2023, the global last mile delivery market was ...
Read More
RILA LINK 2024 Recap: The Cutting-Edge of Retail Supply Chains

RILA LINK 2024 Recap: The Cutting-Edge of Retail Supply Chains

At the end of February, supply chain leaders from the nation’s largest retailers converged in Dallas for the ...
Read More
Sifted’s Caleb Nelson Named 2024 “Pros to Know” Award Recipient

Sifted’s Caleb Nelson Named 2024 “Pros to Know” Award Recipient

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Sifted, the trailblazer in Logistics Intelligence™ is proud to announce that Caleb Nelson, ...
Read More
Meet Sifted at LINK 2024

Meet Sifted at LINK 2024

At the end of February, the top supply chain leaders from some of the nation’s largest retailers will converge in ...
Read More
Parcel Carrier Comparison Guide

Parcel Carrier Comparison Guide

In the intricate landscape of parcel shipping today, shippers navigate a complex web of carriers, each with its ...
Read More

Shipping Insights & Alerts
Get updates and track the things impacting your business most

Decision Support
See how supply chain adjustments pay off before you pay out

Carrier Management
Streamline how you manage your carrier operations and contracts

Business Automation
Let software do what it does better than people can

Blog
Discover news, tips, and industry best practices

DIM Weight Calculator
See how DIM is impacting you

Podcast
Hear from industry experts on LeaderShipping

Case Studies
Learn how other brands use
Logistics Intelligence

Carbon Calculator
Calculate your CO2 Emissions

Guides
Download free reports and
expert how-tos

Demo
Get a personalized tour of our software

About Sifted
Get to know Logistics Intelligence

Logistics Intelligence
For parcel shippers

Let's get you to the right place!

SIFTED DASHBOARDS
For parcel shippers

AMAZON
Redirect to Valence Intelligence Login

Not sure if you have an account? Email [email protected].