Resolving Common Shipping Bottlenecks
by Jillian Voege
August 28, 2017
Bottlenecks occur in logistics, especially when operations get exponentially more complex with every step a brand takes forward. What worked before rarely works as you grow. Your operations has to be focused on finding ways to introduce reliable automation and smoothing out inefficiencies.
In shipping, we’re actually surprised to see how many people rely on manual processes to get their packages out the door. A lot of it has to do with the integrations that most eCommerce companies are forced to deal with. Carrier endpoints don’t play nice with many eCommerce technology stacks, so it’s tough to introduce the kind of automation that can make operations hum.
One common bottleneck we see is in tracking. Unless you have a robust integration with a carrier, getting tracking information can be tough. Some companies even have to resort to manually entering tracking codes into their system so that they can pass on tracking updates to their customers. Ideally, carriers would make it easier for companies like yours to pull tracking updates en masse. But since they usually don’t, it’s up to carriers like ours to make that a possibility.
Another common bottleneck is manual label purchasing. When you’re dealing with 10 or 20 packages a day, it’s not a big deal to punch in individual order information to get a label. But when that number grows into the hundreds and thousands, manually printing and purchasing labels can be a hassle. When you’re dealing with high order volume, you should be able to purchase and print a label in three seconds or less. Unless you have an integration with your carrier, it’s unlikely that you’ll hit those numbers.
One underrated bottleneck is carrier downtime. As you might know, your carrier can shut down at the most inopportune times, like the holiday season for instance. Since it takes so much time and a lot of resources to integrate directly with a carrier, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a backup carrier on hand that can support the automated processes you’ve built with your primary carrier. APIs like EasyPost provide an escape valve for companies like yours, which make it easy to create shipping accounts and connect with secondary carriers to keep packages running out the door.
Bottlenecks like these is why we have a business to begin with. We make it easy to connect to carriers and build robust workflows that can keep packages running out of the door. The biggest inhibitor to your business growth is the lack of scalability to your business operations. When you remove common bottlenecks like these, you’ll be able to handle the growth that your brand deserves.