Lakeland, Fla.-based 3PL Saddle Creek Logistics Services recently announced it has rolled out a parcel analytics tool that it said is designed to drive supply chain efficiencies and significant savings for high-volume parcel shipper customers.
The company said that this cloud-based offering, which is available for free to Saddle Creek clients that ship a high volume of parcel orders on the company’s account and new high-volume parcel clients, facilitates freight bill auditing, streamlines invoicing for parcel shipments, and provides dashboards for client billing through a Web-based interface. And it added that the new tool provides users with visibility to parcel spend, including accessorial charges and shipping across time and the ability to monitor proof of delivery and billing, with activity able to be viewed by week, month, quarter, or year.
Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman caught up with Jennifer Doles, Saddle Creek senior manager, Transportation, to learn more about the new offering. A transcript of the interview follows below.
LM: What drove the need for this new parcel tool?
Doles: With the growth of ecommerce, there’s record demand for parcel deliveries, but shipping costs are a major pain point for retailers and ecommerce companies. They struggle with rate increases from major carriers, changes in dimensional weight rates, and surcharges for fuel, residential, delivery, etc. In fact, surcharges can make up 10 to 40 percent of their total parcel spend. We wanted to give our high-volume parcel clients greater visibility into their parcel activity across multiple carriers in order to help them increase efficiency and better manage costs.
LM: What are the biggest benefits of it for customers i.e. shippers?
Doles: Our new parcel analytics tool allows shippers to view a database showing all parcel shipments, monitor proof of delivery and billing, and gain insight into factors impacting their parcel costs. The intuitive, web-based dashboard can help users to identify trends based upon service (i.e., how switching from Smartpost to Ground impacts their price per package) or recognize factors that might increase accessorial charges. It can also help them understand how peak periods drive carrier selection and volumes. Because it provides cross-carrier data, the tool is particularly valuable for companies interested in establishing a multi-carrier strategy.
LM: How long has it been available? was there a pilot program?/if so, when was it and for how long?
Doles: We implemented the software this summer, and, in November, we went live with a select group of Saddle Creek clients who ship a high volume of parcel shipments on our account. The parcel analytics tool is now available to new high-volume parcel clients.