The Importance of Carrier Compliance in Parcel Shipping

Compliancy in Shipping: Shippers that are certified by their parcel carriers and continually comply with ongoing rules and requirements for rating, labeling and manifest reporting

Due to the rapid growth of e-commerce, parcel is becoming a more important transportation mode for retailers and manufacturers. Consequently, gone are the days when a shipper works with just one carrier. Leveraging multiple carriers and services is crucial to providing the best options and offering the most competitive shipping costs. This is where carrier compliance can become tricky.

Carriers are constantly updating zip codes, rating labels or other data and need to work with a provider who takes compliance seriously. If a carrier does not receive the right document in the right format, it may hold a shipment until there is time to call you back. At that point, the carrier is not moving your goods, which can result in fulfillment deadlines not being met. Part of compliance involves communicating with carriers and providing carrier-approved shipping labels or tracking numbers. For example, if a retailer is shipping from a local store, the software will notify the carrier the shipment is ready and the carrier will then dispatch a pick up. At the end of the day, compliance is based on exchanging data in a seamless and streamlined way.

Criteria for Choosing a Carrier

There are always two parties involved, those who send packages and those who receive them. It is important to choose a carrier that is capable of making sure that both sides of this equation are optimized. A premium carrier will be able to offer convenient technology and impeccable tracking ability, providing a high-end customer experience.

Choosing a carrier

Choosing the right carrier can be a challenge!

  1. Excellent service: This is important for both buyers and shippers. The shipper may be a retailer, a dealer or a third party. Both shippers and buyers are looking for streamlined processes within the supply chain.
  2. Global reach: With the growth of e-commerce, it is necessary to choose a reliable carrier with global reach, in terms of logistics. Finding the best transportation partner is crucial for retailers seeking to serve different needs across different geographies.
  3. Customer experience: Companies need to ask themselves, “How good is the fulfillment experience for my customer?” when examining different carriers.
  4. Convenience: Another element is convenience. The question to ask is, “How convenient is the fulfillment experience for myself as well as for my customer?”
  5. Technology: It is important to choose a carrier that invests in technology in order to enhance operations and customer service. This in turn enables retailers to differentiate their business from the competition.

A challenge that retailers are facing is how to handle different carriers available at separate geographical locations. For example, if a retailer has stores in Paris, Los Angeles and Chicago, the carriers are going to be different in each of these locations. This means compliance is crucial. A number of retailers outsource global shipments to a freight forwarder or a third party logistics company. Other companies prefer to collaborate with software partners that offer the proper applications to produce international documentation such as commercial invoices or certificates of origin.

Carrier compliance is also a key success factor for companies who have tapped into the international market. However, it’s a complex process that involves knowledge of import tariffs, packaging specifications, customs rules and regulations. If these aspects of the shipping process are not handled properly, this could lead to incurring additional fees, major delays in your deliveries or possibly even having the deliveries returned.

The right multi-carrier shipping software can completely handle carrier compliance. It enables carrier selection based on time and transit, and also other intangibles such as service level. The biggest challenge carriers currently face is the ability to handle short-term peaks in volume during the holiday season. The right shipping software will provide flexibility and enable companies to leverage multiple carriers and services in an automated manner.

Interested in learning more? Download our shipping software white paper and see how multi-carrier shipping software can streamline and ease carrier compliance for your company!

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