2018 Shipping Checklist: 5 Things You Need to Know

by Brian Gibbs

This guest post is from our friends at Refund Retriever

Want to drive efficiency and strengthen revenue for your eCommerce business in 2018?

Shipping is among the top ways to help your business thrive in the year ahead – particularly when you consider that 51% of consumers prefer to shop online than off, and BigCommerce’s report that eCommerce is growing 23% year over year.  Keeping this in mind, managing your shipping priorities so that you can both save money on your parcel overhead while also increasing efficiency in your shipping efforts should top your to-do-list in 2018. To help, consider the 5 tips below.

Tip #1: Take the Time for Carrier Contract Negotiation

FedEx and UPS have complicated contracts that can be both confusing and overwhelming for businesses to navigate – and most companies lacking the necessary capabilities to analyze these contracts and make requests for new, refreshed contracts that better suit their shipping needs. Carrier contract negotiation, however, is a vital strategy for businesses to incorporate into their shipping efforts – often introducing lower shipping spend while also increasing business profitability. This powerful duo should not be overlooked in the year ahead – despite the challenges that UPS or FedEx may present to you when trying to negotiate your shipping contracts. To learn more about the importance of contract negotiation, click here.

Tip #2: Incorporate Multi-Carriers into Your Shipping Strategy

Too often, businesses settle for a one carrier option versus using multiple carriers – a mistake that can cost companies unnecessary dollars. It’s vital for businesses to be able to identify the most favorable carriers for their shipping needs based on transit time, pickup locations, dimensional pricing, unexpected shipping fees and more – ultimately helping businesses save money and strengthen shipping efforts along the way. Looking ahead into the New Year, make sure multi-carriers are an option you provide for your business.

Tip #3: Lean on Data to Increase Your Shipping Efficiencies

Strengthening your shipping strategy through the naked eye alone is no longer a favorable way to manage your parcel overhead. Data, however, can help you increase your shipping efficiencies from a variety of angles – including the auditing of late packages and duplicate charges, capturing details on incorrect surcharges billed to your account, identifying intelligence through reports to help you make more strategic shipping decisions and more. Through data, companies small and large alike can position themselves to be more proactive and better informed in their future parcel actions – including the many factors that directly impact shipping.

Tip #4: Introduce Parcel Auditing into Your Shipping Management

From the yearly residential delivery surcharge increases that FedEx has applied since 2009 to the recent value-added services and updated charges announced by UPS, there are countless details – and costs – that should be monitored for every shipment you make. Through parcel auditing, companies can gain accurate and timely insight on all issues impacting your shipment billing – including what was charged unexpectedly or in error. Additionally, parcel auditing can detect late deliveries, duplicate charges, incorrect weight charges, unexpected surcharges and more – then apply for refunds due to your business and monitor your account so that you can receive these refunds in a timely fashion. In summary, implementing a parcel auditing process can give companies the confidence they need to trust they aren’t overspending in shipping – as well as gain refunds along the way.

Tip #5: Identify What Shipping Insurance Policy May Make Sense for Your Business

Having insurance is a smart strategy to safeguard your goods from point A to point Z – and the many stops they have in between. UPS and FedEx both cover the contents of a package under $100, however if your shipment exceeds this amount it’s important to consider how insurance can help protect you. Details that include how a shipment was packaged to limitations of specific items on their total value (such as Plasma TVs) to how a shipment was damaged all impact whether or not carriers will refund shippers – which is why shipping insurance is ideal to incorporate into your shipping strategy. To discover more about shipping insurance, click here. 

In Review

With a reported 95% of Americans shopping online at least once yearly and a quarter of shoppers having purchased online from a physical storefront, it’s important to recognize the value shipping has on your business. Using the checklist below, kick-start 2018 right with action-oriented shipping goals that can help your business be more efficient and more profitable in the year ahead.

2018 Shipping Checklist from Refund Retriever:

  1. Take the Time for Carrier Contract Negotiation
  2. Incorporate Multi-Carriers into Your Shipping Strategy
  3. Lean on Data to Increase Your Shipping Efficiencies
  4. Introduce Parcel Auditing into Your Shipping Management
  5. Identify What Shipping Insurance Policy May Make Sense for Your Business

About Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever’s primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, eCommerce and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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