6 reasons office shipping is harder than it looks.
Any office worker who has ever been responsible for sending overnight envelopes or packages knows that this is not the simple task that others might think. Picking the right carrier for each shipment, with the best services, at the best price, is not always easy. Let’s take a closer look at the office shipping process — and the issues that you might not be aware of.
01. The process is complicated.
The components of a successful shipping process can make your head spin. Start with having three major carriers (USPS, FedEx and UPS) to choose from, each with different pricing and services, including cost options, convenience, reliability and tracking. Preparation for sending can involve packaging and weighing, evaluating multiple shipper options, verifying addresses, printing labels and getting it all done in time for various drop off or pickup deadlines.
02. The lowest cost option is not always obvious.
Many companies have negotiated favorable rates with one or more commercial carriers, with the USPS a third option. But the negotiated rate may not be the best rate for every shipment. Costs are determined by urgency, size and weight, handling needs, insurance and destination. Traditional methods such as preprinted forms and postage meters can make it even more difficult to capture final costs. Even when done online, comparing carriers is time consuming, requiring logging into separate websites — but not doing so can lead to significant and unnecessary over-spending.
03. It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance.
The human factor greatly influences the outcome of any process. It’s not always the veteran mailroom associate or designated staff person who handles daily office shipping. Contractors, temps, fill-ins and occasional users can all play a part in getting the stuff out. They are likely to choose a shipping method that’s familiar and easy, not necessarily the optimum one.
04. Addressing and labeling can derail delivery.
Traditionally, USPS, FedEx and UPS online applications use their own address books, making it difficult to locate, import or validate an address when switching among carriers. Following on the heels of verifying the correct address are the multiple options for creating labels, from printing out an online label to filling out a preprinted form by hand. Both steps can result in inconsistent, unprofessional letter and package labeling. Mistakes in addresses and in filling out carrier forms can occur. The result? Delayed and even mis-directed packages — and unhappy senders and receivers.
05. Tracking the delivery is time consuming.
In today’s online world, everyone is tracking the shipment. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a tracking inventory — that is follow the relevant carrier (in some case, multiple carriers) and tracking number. Further complicating the issue is that you may have initially shipped with FedEx or UPS, but the USPS — which has substantially updated its tracking system — may actually deliver the package the final distance. Having just one place to check enables you to track a package properly and more easily keep both sender and recipient informed.
06. Tracking spending is next to impossible.
Who’s sending what to whom? And how? And how often? Costs are scribbled on carrier forms, billed across multiple carriers, logged at the retail location drop-offs. Despite everyone’s best accounting intentions, keeping track of office shipping costs is daunting — requiring largely manual recordkeeping.
See how we can help make it easier to print labels, send, and track with our shipping solutions.