Sneak Peek at 2012 Shippers' Survey on Regional Parcel Carrier Usage

Posted on Oct 4, 2012 1:25:00 PM

The 2012 PARCEL Forum will shine the spotlight on regional parcel carriers with multiple themed tracks and educational sessions. The regional carriers advertise many benefits over the national carriers including cost savings, greater service options including same day delivery, and custom/specialized solutions. Is your business a candidate for regional carrier services?

To better understand the regional carrier market, its advantages and potential disadvantages as well as shipper’s experiences using regional carriers, the PARCEL team once again partnered with the parcel industry experts at Shipware. PARCEL will publish the results of the “2012 Shipper’s Survey on Regional Parcel Carrier Usage” in the October edition, and Shipware will unveil survey results at the Parcel Forum.

Here’s a teaser, but look for the full results at the PARCEL Forum and in the September/October issue of PARCEL.

Parcel Magazine Digital Issue

Like the name implies, regional carriers serve a specific region within the U.S. offering reliable package delivery services similar to FedEx and UPS. Regional carriers such as Eastern Connection, Lone Star Overnight, OnTrac, Spee-Dee Delivery and Pitt-Ohio cover more than 80% of the U.S. population and specialize in short-haul delivery (typically up to 500 miles). (To view the OnTrac Service Area, click here.)

Regional carriers can offer cost savings of 10% to 40% over UPS and FedEx pricing. As an example, Spee-Dee Delivery’s pricing starts at $3.79 for next-day delivery of a 1-pound package within Zone 2. Compared with UPS and FedEx’s minimum charge of $5.49, shippers would save 31%.

Since regionals concentrate operations in a well-defined geographic market, service to that market is often better than what the national carriers provide. For example, Eastern Connection handles East Coast deliveries from Maine to Virginia, all included as “next day” delivery points. Using FedEx and UPS Ground service, the same coverage area extends to five zones for 1-4 day delivery.

OnTrac Sprinter Van
Survey respondents listed the following responses as “benefits realized to regional carrier usage”: Larger next day delivery footprint; Better service than nationals; Cost savings; Fewer surcharges; Better billing terms; Better sales rep; Improved reporting; Better dimensional divisor; Better or no minimum charge; Improved customer service; Specialized/Custom solutions; and Same day options.

Despite the many advantages, shippers are largely unaware these carriers exist. Only 39% of survey respondents reported using regional carriers, and two-thirds of that group ship less than 5% of their overall volume via regionals.

Are there any downsides to shifting parcels away from national carriers in favor of regional carriers? Is service up to par? What about customer service, caliber of the driver, automation, reporting and tracking? And just how much are the reported cost savings?

The complete survey results will reveal opportunities for shippers as well as potential mistakes to avoid. Again, look for the full results in the September/October issue of PARCEL. See you at the PARCEL Forum!

Rob Martinez, DLP is President & CEO of Shipware LLC, a parcel auditing and consulting company based in San Diego, CA. He welcomes questions and comments and can be reached at

Topics: regional parcel carriers, regional carriers, 40% less, shipping companies, OnTrac, parcel shipping, PARCEL Magazine

Five WebOnTrac Features that Improve Customer Service

Posted on Mar 26, 2010 12:16:00 AM

"Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game." -Tony Allesandra, motivational speaker and author 

Tony isn't kidding. A recent 16-country survey found that poor customer service is costing about $338.5 billion per year. Why? Long waits, lack of required skills and needless repetition. Add the current economic mess and that number could get a whole lot bigger.

What does this have to do with package delivery? Shipping companies not only influence customer service with on-time arrivals but also by providing easy-to-use tools and workflows that speed-up package preparation and reduce delivery problems. A faster, more accurate shipping operation keeps customers happy and lowers operational costs.
WebOnTrac, the OnTrac(SM) web-based desktop shipping application, delivers just that. Its non-intimidating workspace does a whole lot more than print shipping labels online.  Here are five WebOnTrac gems that streamline parcel shipping and add to your customer's service experience.

Email Notification
Email notification is a great way to keep a customer in the loop about their overnight package. OnTrac separates e-notifications in two ways:  Shipment and Delivery. Check "Shipment" and you'll share the generated tracking number and destination details. Check "Delivery" to share the time your shipment arrived and the P.O.D. (Proof Of Delivery) information, i.e. the signature. Better yet, check both.

WebOnTrac Email Notification

Save Delivery Addresses on the Fly
Repeat business is bliss. And if there's a chance you may ship to a recipient again, use the "Save Address" feature on the bottom of the "New Shipment" screen. Name the code whatever you'd like: company name, customer number, etc. Saving the address speeds up future waybill printing.

WebOnTrac Save Addres

Special Delivery Instructions
GPS devices tremble in the presence of an OnTrac Driver (a.k.a. Service Provider). They know the ins, outs and in-betweens of their entire delivery area. What they don't know is that the recipient's gate code is mom's birthdate or that deliveries need to be placed inside the red wicker basket around the corner. Spend 30 seconds asking for and adding special delivery instructions. It ensures a smooth delivery and eliminates additional phone calls.

WebOnTrac Delivery Instructions

One-Click Return Labels
Sure, no one likes to process returns but it's part of business. Prepare for it by using the one-click return waybill link displayed below the populated waybill. The "To" and "From" get flipped, giving you the return shipping document. Include it inside the delivery for the "just in case" approach or keep a PDF version on file should the customer contact you for a return. There's no extra charge to generate a return waybill, you're only invoiced if it's used.

WebOnTrac Return Waybill

Reference Fields
One back-end perk you may not know about is that OnTrac can sort your invoice by the reference number. Depending on how you handle billing, a reference-sorted invoice could save you time.

But you don't have to get bogged down with numbers. The reference field is limited only by your creativity and can be used for anything: order numbers, promotional codes, your URL, you name it. It's a great way to add to the label.

WebOnTrac Reference Field

Take time to explore WebOnTrac and its features. You’ll be pleasantly surprised (and so will your customers).


Need WebOnTrac help? Call 877.225.6837 or

Don't have a WebOnTrac login? Getting one is easy and FREE.

Curious about how OnTrac stacks up? View our shipping rate comparison.

Topics: WebOnTrac, package delivery, on-time arrivals, web-based desktop shipping, email notification, save address, OnTrac driver, one-click return label, pdf waybill, sort invoice, shipping companies, OnTrac, parcel shipping, special delivery instruction, Service Proider, reference field, WebOnTrac login, shipping rate comparision