The growth of omnichannel retail is spurring a dramatic shift in how companies manage transportation. The need to ship small parcels directly to the consumer and demand for fast and/or free shipping and are the biggest drivers of this change.
In fact, shipping costs are the biggest consideration when buying online for 59 percent of consumers, according to a recent study by Forrester Consulting. In addition, 75 percent of consumers said that the availability of free, expedited (2 – 3 day) shipping would sway their purchase decision.
Facilitating Fast and Free Shipping
Savvy retailers are exploring a variety of strategies to improve transportation management:
- Optimizing distribution networks – A strategically located DC can help you to deliver product faster, reduce transportation costs and improve service. With multiple DCs in the right locations, you can reach more than 98 percent of the U.S. within two business days via ground service.
- State-of-the-art systems – Sophisticated transportation management systems (TMS), shipment planning tools with predictive modeling, and route optimization capabilities can help to ensure that your deliveries arrive when expected.
- Cross-docking – Moving material from the receiving dock straight to the shipping dock can reduce the amount of time it takes to process orders, route products, and deliver to customers, so you get to market faster.
- Established carrier network – Cultivating relationships with a variety of carriers gives you the flexibility to choose the optimal mode/level of service for each shipment at the best price.
Strategies like these can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive for many companies, but a third-party provider can help you to take advantage of their efficiencies without a major investment of time or money.
Ask your transportation provider how they can help to support your omnichannel supply chain. Can they deliver quickly, cost-effectively and seamlessly?
Need transportation management that can adapt to the needs of today’s marketplace? Learn more about Saddle Creek’s transportation services.