A Sound Shipping Strategy and a Dependable Partner Can Set You Up for Success

Posted on Jan 11, 2018 10:03:25 AM

Today’s consumers choose who to buy from based on their overall customer experience. As an eCommerce company, having the lowest price or best product no longer guarantees a sale. Consumers thoroughly research and compare a variety of products, retailers, reviews, shipping services and delivery options before they buy. 

Strategy and Partner_PHOTO.png

Many eCommerce store owners either dismiss shipping as unimportant, don’t spend enough time thinking through their strategy, or willfully avoid it altogether due to its complexity. Yet, without a good shipping strategy, you could end up with an unprofitable business. Even once you have a good strategy, choosing the wrong shipping partner could affect you negatively in a number of ways.

According to an eCommerce survey by MetaPack, 96% of shoppers said a positive delivery experience would encourage them to shop with a retailer again. In addition, over half (59%) of consumers have not completed an order because delivery was too expensive, and 86% of the same shoppers want a fast delivery.

Selecting a sound shipping strategy and a dependable partner can improve your business. Incorporating a regional carrier into your existing shipping workflow can save you time and money, which is exactly what consumers are looking at retailers for.

A Third Party Logistics Company, Cerasis, refers to regional carriers in a recent article as “package delivery companies that are usually more personal, flexible, and responsive than national carriers and offer shipping advantages within a targeted geographic area.”

Regional carriers, like OnTrac, can oftentimes offer more flexible and competitive options, which address specific customer needs that the National Carriers might not be able to accommodate. Also, with lower operating costs and the shipping advantages of targeting a specific geographic region, regional carriers can pass that savings on to you.

Additionally Cerasis includes that these savings can add up to as much as 10% to 40% lower than the base rates of the National Carriers. Also, with lower fees and fewer surcharges than National Carriers, OnTrac can boost your bottom line.

For a customized rate quote, click here.

Topics: shipping companies, shipping rates, shipping strategy, partnership, eCommerce, lower rates, fewer fees

Reduce Transit Time and Shipping Spending with OnTrac

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 2:06:00 PM

As eCommerce sales continue to rise, OnTrac remains in a position to save its customers time in transit and boost their bottom line.

It’s no secret that faster time in transit is the key to keeping businesses competitive – the largest online retailers are able to get products delivered quickly, setting an industry standard and giving customers high expectations for their online shopping experience. They want their ecommerce orders delivered as fast as possible, for as cheap as possible.

According to a recent comScore study, at least 42% of online shoppers reported abandoning their shopping carts because of delivery timing estimates. Two-thirds of shoppers choose the most inexpensive shipping option, more than 40% expect to see the availability of 2-to-3 day delivery and nearly a third want the option to choose overnight shipping. A third of shoppers said they most often choose to pay a fee for faster delivery.

In that same study, 48% of online shoppers said they are not willing to wait more than 5 days for packages to be delivered.

With OnTrac, consumers notice a reduction in both transit time and shipping expenses. As a regional carrier, the company utilizes its regional hub-and-spoke model to provide next-day delivery at Ground rates to more than 60 million consumers in the eight Western States.

In the more than 20 years OnTrac has been in the business, the company has come to know just how important the need for speed is, but they also recognize the need for a great customer experience, as well.

That’s why we provide all the same characteristics people have come to expect of their delivery companies – tracking, software integration, live help and an intuitive, easy-to-use website.

If you have any questions about our service, or are looking to get started with OnTrac, simply call our Customer Service number at 800.334.5000 or visit our Welcome Center at ontrac.com.

 

 

Topics: competitive advantages, online delivery, ground rates, online shopping, fees, eCommerce, comScore, free shipping, faster time in transit, Time in Transit, save a transit day, OnTrac Shipping, deliveries, lowest cost shipping, fewer fees

OnTrac and the Supply Chain (Pt 1)

Posted on Jun 25, 2013 12:27:00 PM

Saving time and money is the pinnacle of Supply Chain Management (SCM). It is the very goal of this profession and the prevailing paradigm of this case study. Through innovation and excellence, regional parcel delivery companies have developed win-win solutions to strengthen the Supply Chain and deliver advantages to companies that distribute parcels business to business and business to consumer. This case study will focus on OnTrac, the fifth largest parcel delivery company in North America, and the largest regional parcel delivery company in the United States. Originating from consumer demands for overnight delivery at less-than-ground service costs, and the OnTrac mission to be the leader in regional overnight delivery, the company has exceeded customer expectations, provided unsurpassed service, quality, flexibility and innovation to the Supply Chain. 

Throughout its 22 year history, OnTrac has provided shippers an alternative to the high cost of the National Carriers, by offering a service that not only operates faster and more affordably, but also with the flexibility to provide shippers more options. The global one-stop solution to shipping has become outdated, and as shippers look for ways to save money, they have found solutions in regional carriers. By integrating multicarrier shipping software, and including regional carriers into their shipping mix, shippers are able to diversify their shipping portfolio, streamline their efforts and save time in transit.

OnTrac Line Haul

Synchronizing Supply and Demand

            It all started with shippers. When free shipping was not enough to be competitive in the ever-changing eCommerce world, the largest eCommerce companies, medical and dental supply distributors began searching for new ways to surpass their competition. They found solutions in regional parcel carriers. Not only would the implementation of a regional parcel carrier provide shippers with an alternative to the high cost of national carriers, but it would also save them time in transit and give their customers a reason to keep coming back. The strength and innovation of the regional parcel carrier lies in its ability to operate with a 100 percent customer solution focused business plan. 

OnTrac understands that Business to Business customers want to keep very little inventory on hand. Both B2B and Business to Consumer customers want overnight delivery, and every customer demands the lowest possible price. Everything OnTrac does, as a company, is to meet the needs of its customers —to fill the niches that are left open by the national carriers, and to do it in a way that is cost effective and helps shippers exceed their customer’s expectations. The regional hub-and-spoke model OnTrac operates with keeps all its business on the Ground, therefore strategically aligning its facilities and transport lanes throughout the 8 Western United States. This enables OnTrac to provide a one-day Time in Transit (TNT) advantage to major markets where the United Parcel Service and FedEx Ground are only capable of offering customers two or three day ground service.

Additionally, the mega-regions OnTrac caters to create the perfect storm of central location, business friendly laws, great workforce, access to major ports and major interstate highways while all converged to attract major distribution. The company focuses its resources in these regions and is able to provide the very best advantages at the very best price. Reno-Sparks, Nevada is one of those mega-regions where OnTrac’s innovation has synchronized supply and demand by:

  • Being the Just in Time (JIT) solution customers want, exceeding the TNT of the industry standard.
  • Guaranteed overnight Ground delivery to seven states from Reno-Sparks, Nevada.
  • Delivering the best service for less, leveraging a unique business plan, and yielding the lowest cost to serve.

            OnTrac customers seek advantages in the markets the company specializes in. They want the latest possible pickup times, the best possible TNT, the most responsive customer service, real time tracking, and flexible IT integration. They want a partner who cares and can make a difference in their business. For these reasons OnTrac is committed to Customer-Centric Logistics, which matches or exceeds the industry standard from each market. This can be seen most dramatically through comparing TNT with the national carriers.

            From Reno-Sparks, Nevada, OnTrac customizes plans for each customer to maximize what is most important for them while also boosting profits. For most customers it is TNT. OnTrac provides overnight Ground service to the seven states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho from Reno. UPS and FedEx Ground are limited by their national network, capable of providing overnight service by Ground to only two states: CA, NV. This is where the innovation that is a regional carrier comes into play. The demand for overnight delivery exists just the same whether the customer is located in in any of the eight Western states in the OnTrac service area or anywhere in the United States. OnTrac’s network supplies a solution to those companies committed to providing the best service to their customers from their Western regional distribution centers.

OnTrac Service AreaBy leveraging a unique business model, OnTrac is able to provide the best service at the lowest cost-to-serve. Even with massive discounts from the National Carriers, large global customers believe the OnTrac prices and services are best. One reason seems to be simple economics of a lack of competition in the industry. This result is the duopoly of UPS and FedEx and the ability they have to keep prices high. The other reason is OnTrac’s creative business approach, focusing on specialization, production, and value.

One simple example illustrating this is the Service Provider settlement. Typically, drivers in the industry are paid per hour. The incentive to provide better service and be more productive is not aligned with how they are paid. The prosperity of OnTrac’s Service Providers is directly linked to the success of customers and the company. Better service and the more productivity provided, results in more success for all OnTrac partners.

Furthermore, OnTrac’s dedication to regional overnight delivery requires fewer intermediary sort facilities. In contrast, National Carriers incur intermediary sorting costs and equipment, which are must haves to support their networks. This ultimately results in an overall lower cost to serve.

For more information on this topic, check back next month for Part 2 of OnTrac and the Supply Chain.

Topics: megaregions, parcel delivery company, regional carriers, eCommerce, Supply Chain, OnTrac

OnTrac exhibits at SCOE 2013 in Seattle with ShipWorks

Posted on Jun 3, 2013 1:08:00 PM

OnTrac, the leader in regional overnight delivery in the 8 Western States, will be exhibiting at the Sellers’ Conference for Online Entrepreneurs (SCOE) 2013, May 30th- June 1 alongside its partner, the leading provider of multi-carrier eCommerce shipping software, ShipWorks.

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SCOE 2013, which will take place at the Airport Marriott in Seattle, Washington, is the premier eCommerce conference for online merchants at Amazon.com, eBay, Buy.com, Sears Marketplace, and other third-party selling platforms. Their goal is to help attendees increase sales on Amazon and other eCommerce sites. 

SCOE documents state that 75% of past SCOE participants report a moderate or significant increase in their Amazon sales based on information presented during educational sessions and peer group discussions.

OnTrac’s fast and affordable ground delivery service within California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and Idaho reaches more than 62 million customers. Its partnership with ShipWorks, and their ability to provide shipping automation tools, helps eCommerce sellers grow their businesses by streamlining processes and reducing fulfillment times.

From Seattle, OnTrac is able to reach every ZIP Code in the state of Washington and the major metropolitan areas of Oregon and Idaho overnight, with 2-day shipping to CA, NV and UT and 3-day shipping to AZ and CO.

“The addition of OnTrac in ShipWorks provides instant access to a variety of regional shipping options that are extremely competitive in terms of delivery time and cost,” said Wes Clayton, co-founder and CEO of ShipWorks. “OnTrac’s 22 year history in this space is impressive, and we’re excited about the many benefits our partnership brings to eCommerce merchants.”

Merchants can connect ShipWorks to multiple sales channels and download orders into a single system where they can be reviewed and prepared for shipping.  ShipWorks simplifies shipment processing by automatically configuring shipments based on rules specific to each business.  The software can batch print thousands of shipping labels at one time, print fully branded packing slip documents, send email notifications with order status details, and update tracking information to each marketplace.

“Partnering with ShipWorks makes it easier for our customers to integrate OnTrac into their existing workflow,” said Tim Elder, Vice President of Information Technology. “Customers using ShipWorks can take advantage of what OnTrac has to offer: faster transit days and better ground rates. ShipWorks has made it simple for an OnTrac user to activate OnTrac support, allowing their customers more shipping options."

Existing ShipWorks customers can take advantage of the new OnTrac support. A free 30-day trial is available for at www.shipworks.com.

About ShipWorks
ShipWorks®, by Interapptive, Inc., is a multi-carrier shipping solution that helps online sellers ship more in less time.  ShipWorks connects to over 40 selling platforms and includes direct integrations with DHL Global Mail, FedEx, OnTrac, UPS, USPS (including Endicia, Express1, and Stamps.com).  Since 2002, ShipWorks has played a critical role in helping tens of thousands of companies streamline their daily operations and grow their businesses. ShipWorks delivers creative solutions that address growing eCommerce challenges by putting customers first. To learn more about ShipWorks, visit www.shipworks.com, or call 1-800-952-7784.

Topics: ShipWorks, SCOE, Online Entrepreneurs, eCommerce

Regional Carriers ~ The Peak Season Solution

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 12:30:00 PM

The Peak Season Solution

It's Friday, December 21 at 6:00 PM, and you’re the distribution manager of a large e-commerce company. The national carrier’s last truck has just pulled away from your distribution center dock and you’re wondering how you’re going to get all the packages you have yet to process delivered by Monday the day before Christmas. Cyber Monday seems like a distant memory but you’ve still got this last peak season hurdle to surmount. What do you do?

While none of us has the luxury of a time machine to go back and change things, one course of action you could have taken was to add a regional parcel carrier to your carrier mix before the start of peak season. The regional parcel carriers operate in most large population centers and link the major cities of the US with next day delivery at Ground rates at distances up to 600 miles from their point of origin.

As their customers know, flexibility is the hallmark of regional parcel carriers. One of the most competitive features they offer is much later pick up times than the national carriers. That forlorn distribution manager could have had a regional parcel carrier pick up at 8:00 pm and still have satisfied his customers with shipments delivered by Monday December 24th.

Shipping Season OnTrac
In fact, some regional parcel carriers offer their very largest customers pick-ups on Sunday with delivery on Monday to Zone 4 destinations over 500 miles away. They also offer midnight pick-ups with deliveries that same day to Zone 2 destinations. This level of flexibility can provide your company with a huge advantage over your competitors. The very largest shippers are well aware of this and use regional parcel carriers accordingly.

The reason regional parcel carriers are able to offer this level of flexibility is because they are not tied to huge intra-continental line haul systems. Those networks often involve intermodal transport with limited departure schedules. The regional carriers operate on localized hub and spoke systems that link major metropolitan areas like Minneapolis with Chicago using tractor trailer line hauls with frequent departures.

Implementing the regional parcel carriers is much easier than you might think. They all have IT teams in place to help integrate with your shipping systems. And many of them have partnered with multi-carrier shipping software providers to create shipping modules that are the closest thing to plug and play in the shipping system world. And if you are concerned about limited dock door space, keep in mind that since the regional carriers can pick up much later than the national carriers, you can arrange a time for them to come after the national carriers have already departed from your facility.

Mark Magill, Director of Business Development, OnTracNow is the time to contact your local regional parcel carrier. The clock is ticking, it’s now October and on the day I wrote this article, there were only 55 shipping days left until Christmas!

For more information and to view this and other articles, click here.

Author:  Mark Magill, Director of Business Development, OnTrac

Topics: regional parcel carriers, later pickups, eCommerce, Zone 4 deliveries, Ground Shipping

When Free Shipping Is Not Enough!

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 9:25:00 AM

Regional parcel carriers give you the next-day delivery edge!

Last week our Director of Business Operations, Mark Magill, spoke at the Council of Supply Chain Management, where more than 3,000 professionals in logistics and supply chain management met at the Annual Global Conference to learn how to cut supply chain costs, network with colleagues from all over the world, and discover new and innovative supply chain ideas.

Mark MagillHis presentation included information on the online retail industry and gave shippers an idea of what to do when offering free shipping is not enough.

The online retail industry passed the $200 billion mark in the 2011 revenue estimates released last month. Projections show it will grow by another 60 percent in the next five years and cross the $300 billion threshold by 2016. These are staggering figures when you consider that e-Commerce still only comprises about seven percent of retail sales.

This has had a profound impact on the parcel delivery market. An industry once dominated by the commercial segment has been inundated by business to consumer deliveries. At last count, it had exceeded 40 percent of all shipments and it is relentlessly approaching the halfway point. The fiercely competitive e-Commerce landscape has caused free shipping to become an almost standard offering on most websites. This has caused the volume of postal consolidators to spike up sharply because they are the lowest cost shipping method. But what are your alternatives when free shipping is not enough to satisfy the demands of your customers?

The seven to ten day delivery commitment offered by postal consolidators may be a satisfactory option for inexpensive items ordered online (sometimes humorously referred to as “cheap and cheerful’). But what are the realities when your customer is ordering an expensive piece of apparel like a $700 leather jacket? Is it worth the risk of buyer’s remorse with that type of high margin item? And what about the risk of shopping cart abandonment if they need the apparel for a special occasion and balk at the high cost of the express shipping option on your website? These issues become even more critical when dealing with the Generation Y/Millennial consumers who have an expectation of overnight delivery without being willing to pay extra for it.

However, there are viable solutions to these issues in major metropolitan areas of the United States. To gain a sharper insight into these solutions, let’s first examine the term Mega-region.  A Mega-region is a geographical area where a large portion of the U.S. population is concentrated. A good example of this is California. It is home to more than thirty seven million people.  Other examples are the Phoenix Sunbelt, Cascadia (the Seattle/Portland I- 5 corridor), the Front Range of Colorado and the Boston to Washington D.C. Corridor. The population of these Mega-regions totals nearly 200 million consumers and the overwhelming majority of e-Commerce deliveries are shipped to them.

The solution to your faster time in transit requirements are the regional parcel carriers that are located in most Mega-regions. These carriers have a next-day Ground delivery footprint that is much larger than that of UPS and FedEx. They offer guaranteed next-day delivery to Zone 4 destinations as far as 800 miles from point of origin. For example, with a distribution center in Reno, NV, you could provide your customers the option of, not only overnight delivery in Nevada, but overnight shipping from Seattle to Phoenix. The best part about it is these overnight deliveries are performed at Ground rates. This makes free shipping with faster time in transit a much more cost effective advantage to offer to your customers.

OnTrac Service AreaLast year I had an in-depth conversation about online delivery needs with the vice president of a very large e-Commerce company. When I asked him his opinion about regional parcel carriers, he mentioned that the regional carriers should talk about nothing but faster time in transit because it has become such a competitive factor. He wanted me to talk about , or ground shipping in Arizona. The largest Internet retailers are continually raising the bar with faster deliveries. Not every company can afford to locate a distribution center in every state, but every company that wants to remain competitive can strategically place two distribution centers in the most effective locations to take advantage of the faster time in transit that the regional parcel carriers provide. Some of the regional parcel carriers linking those Mega Regions are OnTrac in the seven largest western states, Eastern Connection in the Northeast, Lone Star Overnight in Texas and SpeeDee Delivery in the Midwest.

 

To learn more about our overnight delivery service, please visit any one of our OnTrac Ground information pages.

Topics: postal consolidators, regional parcel carriers, online delivery, overnight deliveries, overnight delivery in CA, overnight delivery in NV, OnTrac Ground, next-day ground, guaranteed next-day delivery, ground shipping in Arizona, eCommerce, free shipping, faster time in transit, logistics, Time in Transit, parcel delivery, overnight shipping from Seattle to Phoenix, deliveries, lowest cost shipping, California, overnight delivery, faster

Logistics & Online Shopping Experience [Infographic]

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 12:56:00 PM

To some, patience is a virtue, or a way of life. It keeps them calm and allows them to manage the day-to-day more effectively.

To others, waiting is a hassle, and a waste of time.

Having to wait doesn’t fit everyone’s schedule, and in a world where timing is everything, assuming a customers' patience could be costing you in more ways than you think. Online shopping is supposed to be convenient, and consumers are expecting to be able to navigate fast and effectively.

It’s the main reason people are closing out instead of checking out, or abandoning their carts.

According to a recent month-long comScore study of 3,100 respondents, each of whom were required to have made at least 2 online purchases within a 3 month period, online shoppers are for the most part satisfied, but there is definitely room for improvement.

The study also stressed the importance of logistics in the customer satisfaction equation. For instance: when comparison shopping, consumers often value shipping costs at the same weight as the actual price of the product. You may offer free shipping, but speed is just as important: 38% of shoppers want their purchases faster, and 33% of those surveyed were willing to pay a nominal fee for expedited shipping.

To learn more about how integrating a regional carrier like OnTrac into your logistics network can save you time and money, while keeping your customers happy, view the infographic below:



Download the original study: What Factors Influence the Online Shopping Experience?

Topics: infographic, OnTrac Ground, online shopping, eCommerce, comScore, OnTrac

Time in Transit: The New Free Shipping!

Posted on May 4, 2012 1:40:00 PM

Gone are the days when a Saturday morning meant a stroll down Main Street and window shopping with the family.  Say so long to the times you used to spend sorting through the sale racks in hopes of finding that one gem that would make the last three hours of standing in line worthwhile.

The advent of technology and the constant increase in consumer expectations means our favorite pastime could very easily be replaced, at least in some ways, by the internet.

The face of retail is changing— the millennials are growing up, and the next generation of buying is taking shape.  For the first time ever in 2011, ecommerce revenue exceeded 200 billion dollars, and in the next five years it is expected to grow by 60 percent!

That means, by 2016, ecommerce will bring in more than 300 billion dollars, affirming the fact that this ecommerce boom is more than a trend, and giving new opportunities to retailers looking to provide customers with more incentive to shop with them. 

But in an industry where free shipping is already offered, how do you combat the still-present shopping cart abandonment issue and play to the beat of a generation that not only wants things faster, but for a cheaper price?

There’s a simple solution: regional carriers.

Next-day delivery to zone 4 destinations means shipping up to 600 miles from the point of origin, at a competitive price.

And this isn’t just to and from neighboring zip codes. 

The extensive ground network that is inherent to a regional carrier means any ZIP code, within 600 miles, at a ground rate.

Some regional carriers even offer Sunday pickups with Monday delivery to zone four and offer later pickup times, giving shippers the ability to increase productivity and process more shipments during a working day. (As shippers gear up for peak season, now would be a great time to look into that!)

Nobody wants to deal with the woes of buyer’s remorse—when considering a regional carrier, assess your needs first. Let them know what it is you’re looking for in a shipper and let them tell you how they can help.

For more information on regional carriers and the benefits provided by reducing time in transit, you can view Mark Magill's webinar, "Free Shipping is Not Enough: It is Now All About Time in Transit!" by clicking here.

 

 

Topics: Webinar, eCommerce, Time in Transit, OnTrac