Parcel shipping historically focused on packages that could reasonably be lifted without assistance by an average person. In other words, packages of less than 150 pounds incurred lower shipping charges due to maneuverability. Yet, pricing models for the parcel are evolving to help small package carriers maintain a competitive advantage, and software-as-a-service providers are continuing to create a parcel-dominated industry.
In general, several criteria can be identified for when to consider at least parcel shipping, which includes the following:
• Packages are calculated on gross weight/volume as standard practice followed by the Industry.
• Packages that weigh more in a smaller space,these packages are denser than others, but the package that may require more space will be volumetric. A high-density parcel could end up being cheaper when sent as a small package than the volumetric package.
The key to reaping the most significant return from using parcel shipping depends on each package. Still, if you can compare the drawbacks to the benefits, such as faster delivery schedules or reduced costs, you can identify if parcel shipping is more cost-efficient.
Package delivery companies are usually more personal, flexible, and responsive than national carriers and offer shipping advantages within a targeted geographic area. Besides improving your bottom-line, regional parcel carriers can provide a variety of other benefits. These usually break into four core areas; service, speed, flexibility, and cost reduction.
The old 150-pound rule of thumb is no longer a model cast in stone, but when it comes to choosing a shipping method, it is still important to consider weight, among other characteristics. Some shipments might be small and compact, while other packages might be large and bulky.
Large, overweight, and unwieldy packages would be better handled by an LTL shipping company, while a parcel carrier best handles light and standard individual packages. The end to end process is typically automated as it requires machinery such as forklifts, conveyor belts to load and unload.
Can your company combine a group of similar packages and ship them to distribution centers where they can be broken down and delivered as individual parcel shipments? Or do you have a limited amount of shipments that leave your facility on a weekly or daily basis?
Limited shipments are typically sent out individually via a common parcel carrier. Sending larger consolidated shipments often save your company on operational costs. Shipping consultants can analyze your shipping profile and give keen, detailed insight into your past and current activities to help you make more informed business decisions.
Another item that needs to be taken into consideration is accessibility. Parcel carriers will offer direct door-to-door delivery. Is your recipient located on the 13th floor of an office building with no service elevator? If so, you may see an extra fee on your carrier invoice to accommodate your physical and operational needs. Parcel carriers, however, generally have a more flexible schedule and can offer services such as saturday express and overnight delivery. Parcel carriers are also more likely to deliver to residential addresses.
In most cases, parcel carriers have the capability of guaranteeing delivery by a certain time and day. Many companies and individuals find this useful for time-sensitive documents such as bid proposals and contracts. When you want items on-site at a specific time and location, parcel carriers have the direct advantage to meet your needs. Their reliability, over time, has proven to be more consistent.
Parcel carriers instituted online shipment tracking, many LTL carriers adopting it later. Both types of carriers offer services that enable users to track shipments online, including an estimated arrival time and live updates throughout the delivery process. Many shippers provide instant proof of delivery and signature confirmation.
We leave you with the last, and most likely the most important facto cost. It's no secret that both parcel and LTL carriers have their share of service fees. Evaluating your current shipping profile can help you determine which option is best.
Ultimately, your shipping strategy should be the one that best meets your company and customers' needs. Even the best product in the world will lose favor with your customers if it is not delivered safely and on time. For overall customer service, parcel carriers typically have the flexibility that meets customers' needs.