Is Your Retail Packaging Ready for its Close-Up?
September 4, 2013

With "likes" and "favorites" taking center stage in retail, trends like "retail hauling" (i.e., the YouTube version of calling a friend to brag about a recent shopping spree) are creating a market environment in which posting to Instagram, Facebook and other social sites is now a natural follow-up to making a purchase.

Confused About FedEx SmartPost, UPS SurePost and Other Deferred Residential Parcel Options?
September 3, 2013

Google FedEx SmartPost or UPS SurePost and plenty of hits show up in the search results. Some reviews are positive, extolling benefits that include cost effectiveness and fewer surcharges over air/ground alternatives, end-to-end package visibility, free Saturday delivery, and more. However, your search results will include complaints ranging from transit times that were too lengthy to crushed/damaged packages. One thing is for sure: With the meteoric growth of e-commerce and consumers’ demand for free or low cost shipping, these services are here to stay.

Working With Lord & Taylor: Collaborative Lessons Learned in Fulfillment
July 15, 2013

 

The best business partners do more than just act as vendors or clients; they go the extra mile to collaborate and achieve targeted goals. Within the third-party fulfillment space, that's not always easy, and sometimes collaboration means the distribution partner is literally working itself out of a job. But in the end, the collaborative process can result in key wins for both the brand and the fulfillment partner.

 

5 Steps Toward Omnichannel Success
June 12, 2013

“Omnichannel” is one of the hottest buzzwords in the retail industry. Yet while everyone is talking omnichannel, relatively few brands

Will UPS Go On Strike?
March 25, 2013

As the calendar inches closer to a July 31 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the parcel industry is beginning to ask the question, will UPS go on strike?

Parcel Rate Increases for 2013 That Retailers Need to Know
December 5, 2012

UPS announced 6.5 percent air increases partially offset by a 2 percent fuel surcharge reduction, and 5.9 percent average ground increase offset by a 1 percent fuel surcharge reduction. Rate increases will take effect Dec. 31, 2012. Similarly, FedEx announced average rate increases of 5.9 percent for express and international services, offset by a 2 percent reduction in fuel surcharges. FedEx hasn't yet announced 2013 increases for FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery or FedEx SmartPost, although it's expected to match the UPS ground increases highlighted above. FedEx's rate increases take effect Jan. 6, 2013. For most shippers the impact is much higher than the "average" increases announced by the carriers, however

Parcel Rate Increases for 2012
December 19, 2011

UPS has announced 6.9 percent air increases, partially offset by a 2 percent fuel surcharge reduction. It's also announced a 5.9 percent average ground increase, offset somewhat by a 1 percent fuel surcharge reduction. Net increases for both UPS Air and UPS Ground are 4.9 percent effective Jan. 2, 2012.

Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Next Shipping Carrier Contract
November 9, 2011

There are many pitfalls to avoid when negotiating your carrier agreements. Take the time to develop a valuable relationship with your current carrier, but be sure to invite nonincumbent carriers to participate in annual bids — and give them a real shot! To maximize savings, do your homework, including meaningful benchmarking, and direct carrier negotiations through a formal bid. Take the time to understand and negotiate terms in addition to discounts.

Parcel Shippers’ Court Battle Continues to Take Shape
July 6, 2011

AFMS, a parcel consulting firm, filed an amended complaint against defendants UPS and FedEx, stating violations of Sherman Acts 1 and 2. AFMS claims that UPS and FedEx have violated federal antitrust laws. Furthermore, it alleges the parcel carriers are engaged in monopolistic and collusive actions. The lawsuit is the result of UPS and FedEx’s 2010 policies to not participate in bids or rate negotiations that involve third-party negotiators (3PNs) like AFMS.

You Too Can Offer Free Shipping
June 2, 2011

Consumers and carriers are squeezing e-tailers: customers expect free shipping and carriers keep raising prices. Residential shipping costs are skyrocketing out of control. What’s a shipper to do?