Shipping VitalFactors

Do you know your Shipping VitalFactors™?

We talked to hundreds of shippers just like you and identified six VitalFactors™ of shipping that you told us were most important and presented them to you in easy-to-read dashboards so you get clarity into the things that will affect your business. These VitalFactors™ are the six things that all shippers must pay attention to. Using our advanced data science they highlight opportunities for new savings that guide you to lower spending.

Vital Factors
Vital Factors Ebook cover

What Are VitalFactors™?

It’s hard to pick out the crucial details for running your shipping operations. And it’s nearly impossible to use that information to manage carrier contracts on your own.

Here are the six VitalFactors™ most important for your shipping operations and future contract negotiations. After hundreds of interviews with shippers, these six VitalFactors™ emerged as the most important to manage shipping costs.

The total amount you spend on shipping


This includes discounts, surcharges, and everything else factored into your costs. Here’s where simple changes can make a big difference. With an overhead look at actual costs, you can get answers to questions like “same-day or ground?” or “how competitive are my discounts?”

The total amounts spent on surcharges


Surcharges are an unfortunate but expected component of the shipping industry. Some are expected, like an oversized charge on an exceptionally large package, but others can come as a shock. For many businesses, surcharges can equal 30-35% of total shipping costs. For example, it's difficult to prepare for first-time address correction charges. But if you're charged multiple times for the same correction, the platform will catch it. We'll alert you to the problem so you can correct the address internally and prevent any further charges.

Your actual cost per shipment, all weight / zone considerations, and surcharges


Many businesses have a handle on their expected shipping costs, but the actual numbers are a little more complicated. In our VitalFactors™ dashboard, this number is based on data coming directly from the carriers. With the actual numbers in hand, you have a more accurate baseline for your shipping costs. You'll be able to predict prices better and make more meaningful operational decisions.

We break this down into two categories...


The average billed weight of your packages. Keeping an eye on your average weight gives you several insights into your shipping operations and future contract negotiations. Are you mainly shipping heavy items? Then you can stop arguing for a high DIM divisor in favor of lesser oversized sucharges.
The percentage of packages billed at their DIM weight. Dive into the details to see which packages are changing weight with the formula and the average increase in pounds from actual weight to DIM weight, whichever is greater.

The percentage of shipments that hit the carrier's established minimum charges.


Minimums are the smallest amount shipping carriers will charge you for a shipment — no matter what. This means efficient shipping, expert negotiating, or top-tier discounts won't lower the costs any further.
If you see a high percentage of shipments that hit the minimum, it's a signal to take a closer look during the next round of contract negotiations.

Which shipping zone(s) you ship to most


As expected, the farther you ship something, the more expensive it is for your business. Knowing your most frequented shipping zones will help you plan your costs better and even give you insights for future expansion.

See Your VitalFactors™ Now