Inbound Logistics | January 2022


Parcel Is a Crucial Value-Add in the Evolution of the TMS

providers—have becomemuch easier to work with. Most parcel providers are willing to work within API connectivity in lieu of third- party providers who are still working with EDI or XML. As a result, TMS software providers with robust, underlying datamodels can offer extended functionality such as rate shopping, real-time tracking, and reporting and analytics. Q How is effective parcel management a critical advantage? A Today, communication between parcel providers and clients can bemuchmore thorough, not only froma visibility perspective, but also enabling greater cost control. Using amulti-modal TMS that incorporates parcel, organizations can now assess the true cost of a shipment, including services requested and accessorial requirements, and get real-time tracking and accurate rating. Whenmanagers have to enter their param- eters and rate shop for each and every carrier across dozens of websites, then han- dle processes like pickup, track and trace, and invoicing via carrier portals or even by phone or email, these inefficiencies rack up a lot of time andmoney—especially when invoices don’t match the initial quote. That’s why parcel via TMS is becoming a real game-changer. Teams can rate shop, execute, track and trace, audit, and pay all within one platform regardless of themode, leg, or part- ner they’re dealing with. The transportation management systemwill also flag unexpected charges (detention charges, inside delivery, beyond charges, sort and segregate, etc.) and create detailed line items that make it easy for finance to audit, saving valuable time and money.

The growing requirements and demands placed on shippers and logistics service provid- ers have pushed transportationmanagement systems to becomemore agile and able to sup- port greater service levels and cover multiple modes—especially parcel. Q Why is parcel gaining attentionnow? A Shippers and LSPs want to streamline connectivity and communications with their parcel providers. Accurate rating is one of their greatest challenges. Throughout my conversations with logistics executives, they regularly cite carrier invoices returning with a higher fee than what was quoted. The inability to recoup these costs amid already thinning margins is detrimental to the bottom line. The driver shortage is also driving interest in parcel. With numbers exceeding 80,000 from61,000 in three years, securing carriers for bulk orders is proving to bemore diffi- cult. Organizations are deconsolidating larger orders to pull enough product andmeet their customers’ demands and delivery require- ments to avoid losing the whole order—or worse, losing the client due to limited capacity. Because this workaround is expensive, it’s crucial for teams to save on efficiencies and logistics costs where they can, such as through seamless rate shopping and ratemanagement. Q Has it gotten easier to work with parcel providers—and why? A Parcel providers—both tier 1 players like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, as well as the surging regional and super regional

Christine Taylor Sr. Director, BD for US, Canada & LATAM MPO 813-777-5060

62 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

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