What do Parcel Shippers LOVE and HATE? by Dick Metzler, CEO
In my thirty-plus year’s experience in the logistics industry, including holding executive positions with industry giants such as FedEx and DHL, I think I have a good idea about what parcel shippers need, as well as what they love and what they hate.
Parcel shippers make decisions based on emotions, like most of us do. First of all, I’m convinced what shippers hate the most is the excessive surcharges added to the shipping charges. These extra fees account for a large portion of the shipping costs, and they also make up half of the revenue of the national carriers.
One way shippers can save money is to select a regional carrier like LSO, many of who minimize or don’t charge extra fees at all for certain services. These fees are real money, but the “gotcha” feeling they create in having to pay the extra charge is even worse. Another thing that shippers hate is that they feel they don’t have many choices… it’s either Fed Ex or UPS, the old duopoly story. Again, here’s where regional carries like LSO come to the rescue and provide equal or better service, more flexibility, and at less cost.
We in the delivery industry need to do a better job of educating shippers about their choices. To satisfy our customers, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. Give then choices, besides the two obvious ones. Deliver cost-effective solutions, and remember, at the end of the day, decision making is ultimately often emotional. Do the things that USPS, UPS, and FedEx don’t do, but more importantly, do it in ways they won’t and make a point if it. And one last thing. We have to keep our promises to our customers every day. Let’s be crystal clear: Missed pickups are a killer. On-time service is critically important. Even with on-time service staying in the high nineties percentage-wise, with as many packages as are shipped every day, that extra two percent that doesn’t get their package on time is still A LOT of disappointed people.