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Shipping Industry News

Feb 21, 2019

New Rail Parcel Delivery Service in UK

Britain’s RAIL Operations Group, a train operations company, wants to start offering its clients the ability to ship parcels by train. Porterbrook, which leases train cars, will rent two Flex bi-mode trains to the RAIL Operations Group beginning in early 2020, the company says. Instead of carrying passengers, they will solely move packages. According to Porterbrook, roads in the United Kingdom are getting more and more congested. Further, like the U.S., the U.K. is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers. That pushes labor costs up and could result in package delivery delays. But the U.K. has the benefit of an expansive, well-connected rail system. If railcar manufacturers and operators can figure out how to design parcel delivery vehicles, rail shipping may become a viable alternative to traditional ground shipping — […]

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Feb 20, 2019

What Consumers Expect About Packaging

Shipping-based businesses spend a lot of time thinking about how to make shipping more efficient and cost-effective. They have to, in order to protect their business bottom line. But the end-line consumer doesn’t see any of that. They don’t feel the impact of a supply chain modification — or at least they don’t know that they do. They probably wouldn’t even notice if you began using a new third-party shipping carrier. Consumers pay attention to just a few aspects of the shipping experience: how much shipping costs, whether packages arrive on time, and the aesthetic experience of opening the parcel. Brands face three key challenges in designing packaging. First, they need to be environmentally responsible by using reusable packaging materials or less packaging in general. Second, their packaging design should […]

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Feb 19, 2019

Why Shippers Should Be Listening to Generation Z

We’ve heard a lot about millennials in the last decade. That generation now makes up a larger part of the workforce than any other. Despite some delays, they’re buying homes and getting married — but still not eating at many chain restaurants. Millennial consumers are all grown up. Now it’s time to look at the generation coming after them. Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2010, which means its oldest members are starting to enter the workforce. They are digital natives who have likely had access to the internet for their entire lives. They know how to process huge amounts of information quickly, and have an innate understanding of how data is likely to be organized — if they don’t know the answer to a question, they know how […]

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Feb 13, 2019

Amazon Now Direct Competitor to FedEx and UPS

In its annual filing this year, Amazon made it official: It’s now a player in “transportation and logistics services.” For years, Amazon has claimed that its in-house shipping and delivery services will “supplement” FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service, on which it has relied for more than a decade for its vast network of deliveries in the U.S. But in its 2019 filing, the company wrote: “Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, web and infrastructure computing services, and transportation and logistics services…” That last clause is new, and it suggests that Amazon now believes that its shipping and delivery services are not just supplementary anymore. The […]

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Feb 12, 2019

What Refunds Shippers Should Look Out For

Shippers pay carriers a lot of money for their services. But carriers don’t perform perfectly — in fact, far from it. On any given day, three to five percent of shipments arrive late. Often, carriers promise shippers compensation when they mess up. But they don’t make it easy for shippers to understand how much compensation they’re owed or when refund policies do and don’t apply. Carriers usually don’t announce when a shipper is owed money. And refunds are notoriously difficult to claim. Refund policies look good when carriers are trying to woo shippers into contracts, but typically, carriers don’t actually want to pay out those refunds. If shippers want to collect the refunds they’re owed, they need to take responsibility for it themselves. That starts with understanding the terms of […]

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Feb 07, 2019

How Carriers Interpret Your Shipping Profile

Every shipper in 2019 should have an understanding of their shipping profile. Depending on how much data shippers have and their disposal, these outlines can range from rudimentary to enormously detailed. And generally, the more detailed, the better: Shipping profiles are essential to companies’ ability to operate effectively and increase efficiencies on an ongoing basis. But shippers aren’t the only ones watching their profiles. Carriers look at them too. Carriers want to understand how well a potential new shipper will align with their existing package network. Under the surface, however, they also want to use shipping profiles to their advantage. Carriers can use data-driven analytics to offer certain companies perfectly tailored “unique” discounts — ones that don’t eat into their profit margins, but still look like bargains to shippers. Understanding […]

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