Where’s My Package?

March 8, 2021


As consumers, we're asking about our packages' status more and more as we shift our purchasing power to online retail. However, it's been a struggle for the consumer, the retailer, and the last-mile delivery provider to provide an accurate, real-time delivery status.

Last year, on-time delivery of many packages fell as last-mile delivery providers struggled to keep up with increased volume. While much of the delays have been attributed to COVID-19 related shifts towards online purchasing, we've recently seen that the weather plays a huge, disruptive role as well.

Last month's storms wreaked havoc across the U.S. and, in particular, in the Midwest. Texas, home to many warehouses and distribution facilities, was hit especially hard as businesses, including all transportation modes, shut down for several days.

FedEx's main hub in Memphis was impacted and had to add additional shifts and staff to catch up with the backlog. According to ShipMatrix data, FedEx Express had an on-time delivery of about 76% for the week of Feb. 21 to Feb. 27, a week after the storms hit. In comparison, on-time delivery for UPS was 96%. ShipMatrix noted that FedEx Ground service was less disrupted.

"UPS and FedEx both are really, really dependent on Louisville and Memphis. Obviously, they got other air locations and facilities. They may both need to have a larger secondary backup hub to divert (volume) from a risk-management standpoint," John Haber, CEO, and founder of Spend Management Experts, told The Commercial Appeal.

FedEx did divert some volumes to its second-largest hub located in Indianapolis, but apparently, it was not enough.

Disruptions such as weather are difficult to mitigate but having access to real-time package tracking helps all involved to understand precisely where the packages are within a delivery network.

For example, throughout the holiday season, because of the volumes, there were many complaints on social media concerning the lack of scanning of packages while en route by delivery companies. A package may be scanned at pickup but would not be scanned again until it was delivered, and as a result, tracking became useless for many consumers and shippers and therefore caused a great deal of frustration.

As we embrace e-commerce more and more, last-mile delivery providers need to step up their game and start providing meaningful, real-time tracking for their customers as well as their customers' customers.

A 2017 study found that 97% of customers expect to monitor their orders throughout every step of the shipping process. It's likely that now, that percentage is 100%.

 


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered.

Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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Where’s My Package?

March 8, 2021


As consumers, we're asking about our packages' status more and more as we shift our purchasing power to online retail. However, it's been a struggle for the consumer, the retailer, and the last-mile delivery provider to provide an accurate, real-time delivery status. Last year, on-time delivery of many packages fell as last-mile delivery providers struggled to keep up with increased volume. While much of the delays have been attributed to COVID-19 related shifts towards online purchasing, we've recently seen that the weather plays a huge, disruptive role as well. Last month's storms wreaked havoc across the U.S. and, in particular, in the Midwest. Texas, home to many warehouses and distribution facilities, was hit especially hard as businesses, including all transportation modes, shut down for several days. FedEx's main hub in Memphis was impacted and had to add additional shifts and staff to catch up with the backlog. According to ShipMatrix data, FedEx Express had an on-time delivery of about 76% for the week of Feb. 21 to Feb. 27, a week after the storms hit. In comparison, on-time delivery for UPS was 96%. ShipMatrix noted that FedEx Ground service was less disrupted. "UPS and FedEx both are really, really dependent on Louisville and Memphis. Obviously, they got other air locations and facilities. They may both need to have a larger secondary backup hub to divert (volume) from a risk-management standpoint," John Haber, CEO, and founder of Spend Management Experts, told The Commercial Appeal. FedEx did divert some volumes to its second-largest hub located in Indianapolis, but apparently, it was not enough. Disruptions such as weather are difficult to mitigate but having access to real-time package tracking helps all involved to understand precisely where the packages are within a delivery network. For example, throughout the holiday season, because of the volumes, there were many complaints on social media concerning the lack of scanning of packages while en route by delivery companies. A package may be scanned at pickup but would not be scanned again until it was delivered, and as a result, tracking became useless for many consumers and shippers and therefore caused a great deal of frustration. As we embrace e-commerce more and more, last-mile delivery providers need to step up their game and start providing meaningful, real-time tracking for their customers as well as their customers' customers. A 2017 study found that 97% of customers expect to monitor their orders throughout every step of the shipping process. It's likely that now, that percentage is 100%.  


ABOUT SPEND MANAGEMENT EXPERTS

Spend Management Experts provides strategic guidance to optimize your supply chain. Using cost modeling technology and market intelligence, we help companies with their transportation, distribution and fulfillment spend. Often large shippers can reduce their spend across the supply chain by 20% or more. We specialize in reducing distribution costs, increasing efficiencies, dynamic reporting, greater budgeting and forecasting accuracy and optimizing supply chain execution. We leverage our proprietary models to identify savings and build negotiation strategies based on data and business cases. As industry experts, our fresh approach provides clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. Spend Management Experts is your competitive edge, delivered. Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedIn, and the Spend Management Experts blog.

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