How to overcome challenges of small parcel shipping?

Small Parcel shipping is challenging for many shippers. Businesses need strategic solutions with the right software tools to ship small parcels efficiently.

The convenience of ordering online is here to stay. Experts believe there’s been a significant increase in the volume of shipping small parcels to customers directly over the past few years. However, small parcel shipping domestically or internationally requires strategic planning. Inflation, record-high gas prices, supply chain disruptions, and more contribute to various challenges during shipping. Shippers need to automate shipping processes to save time and enhance customer satisfaction. This blog will focus on the challenges shippers face when shipping small parcels.

Small parcel shipping

Packages such as envelopes, posters, small boxes, etc., weighing less than 150 lbs are small parcels. Shipment of small packages requires efficient pickup, transit, and delivery. They do not occupy full truckload capacity like freight or large packages. Each small parcel order is unique and has various requirements. Shippers face challenges when shipping small parcels direct to customers (D2C).

Some of these challenges include:

  • Management of high volumes of small parcels

As customers shifted to e-purchases, there has been a rise in small parcel shipping volumes. Warehouse workers and truckers keep parcel volumes moving to prevent supply chain disruptions. LTL carriers disassemble small parcels or less than pallet load (LPL) shipments to fill their trucks. It may cause damage to the goods during transit.

  • Labor requirements

Processing small parcel shipments requires more labor or workers than bulk shipments. It leads to higher shipping costs for shippers. This cost is either transferred to customers as shipping fees or is a part of the product. Companies hire more people for warehouses and fulfillment centers for shipping small parcels.

  • Overcoming packaging hurdles

Small packages can vary in size, weight, and dimensions. Picking out the ideal packaging material is necessary to prevent shipping delays. Padded mailers and envelopes are appropriate for single items. Fragile items need packing in boxes with proper dimensions to avoid damaging goods in transit. In addition, heavy packages cost more to ship than light ones.

  • Accessorial fees charges

Many transportation service providers charge accessorial fees for small parcel shipping. These fees are residential charges, additional handling, address correction, weekend pickup/delivery, and more.

  • Selection of appropriate parcel carriers and services

Last-mile delivery of small parcels is essential for better customer satisfaction. Choosing the correct local parcel carriers is necessary as inexperienced and untrained courier staff can damage the goods. Hence, selecting the parcel carrier and the appropriate services allows shippers to cater to their customers’ needs.

Retail consumers expect on-time delivery and updated arrival status of packages. And failure to meet customers’ expectations causes loss of repeat business. Providing reliable services with greater visibility gives shippers an advantage over their competitors. Many parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx enhance customer experience with their services.

UPS small parcels

UPS has various options for small parcel delivery that are tailor-made for small businesses. They provide access to Drop Boxes, pickup options, and an-inclusive rate for shipments. They have defined the price range and service level for small parcel deliveries of particular dimensions at specific times. For example, UPS Ground services can provide 1-5 delivery dates for shipping small parcels.

FedEx small parcels

FedEx has different package classifications based on size and weight for delivering small parcels. For instance, FedEx’s Flat packages have short dimensions and a volume of around 400 cubic inches. FedEx has various small parcel limits for domestic Ground services than Express Services.

A third-party (3PL) provider helps shippers in carrier management. They can negotiate better shipping rates for shippers to get better discounts. Further, they can compare carrier performances and suggest services of multiple parcel carriers. With expert knowledge of packaging expertise, they can provide cost-effective solutions.

Audintel- for faster and cheaper small parcel shipping

Our state-of-the-art shipping optimization platform helps manage small parcel delivery. We offer customizable dashboards that continuously monitor shipping status and on-time delivery of packages. Audintel’s automated real-time customer notifications keep our clients abreast of the entire shipping operations of packages. Our expert team can provide shippers with data to compare carrier performance, identify areas of saving money and time, and more.

Companies can streamline their small parcel shipping needs with Audintel’s Transportation Management System (TMS). We provide customized views within our dashboards even for the shipping’s made through small parcels to different destinations. Moreover, our software tools help reduce shipping costs for our clients by providing alternate solutions.   


During the pandemic, there was a drop in sales of brick-and-mortar products. E-commerce sales of small packages have grown exponentially. Smooth, reliable small parcel shipping is vital for shippers to improve their profitability. So, efficient management of high volumes of small parcels with advanced shipping software solutions is the need of the hour. Partnering with Audintel helps shippers overcome these challenges. We address each business’ unique customer preferences to ensure effortless, cost-effective delivery of small parcels.

Along with customized dashboards, Audintel do have 200+ reports available in their portal which are available for live customers which will help in generating and scheduling the reports based on their required criteria.

Wondering how much it will cost for small parcel shipping? Learn more about small parcels by contacting us at +1 (619) 354 8539 or visiting our Audintel website.

US Shipping Zones

U.S. Shipping Zones affecting shipping costs: here’s why

As an e-commerce business owner, understanding shipping zones is essential to fulfilling shipping orders. Shipping packages to remote locations costs money. But improving delivery time attracts consumers. Companies need to save money and reduce delivery time to be profitable among their competitors. This blog will help companies understand the U.S. Shipping zones. And highlight the effective ways to save money and time.

U.S. Shipping Zones: what are they?

Postal zones across the U.S. are the shipping zones. They are the geographical regions where shipping carriers can deliver packages. Parcel carriers can calculate the price for delivery of a parcel based on the distance. There are eight U.S. shipping zones domestically. Zone 9 is for the freely associated States or territories outside the U.S. mainland (for example, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau).

How to calculate U.S. Shipping Zones

The U.S. Shipping Zones calculations are from the point of origin of the package to the destination. They are divided into a 100-mile radius according to the postal ZIP codes. Zone 1 is the region where the shipment originates. Shipping Zones 2 to 8 are dynamic and depend on where the package is shipped. In addition, shipping packages sent to distant locations lead to a rise in shipping costs. Shipping Zone 8 will be the furthest destination. Shipping packages within a zone costs less.

For example, shipping a package from San Francisco, California, to Atlanta, Georgia, means the shipment is going to Zone 8. However, if you are shipping a package within fifty miles of San Francisco, it is within Zone 1.

Shipping Zones by carriers

Shipping costs increase by Zone and shipping carriers charge based on the distance and weight of the package. Each shipping carrier has a different Shipping Zone Map and ZIP codes in each Zone. In addition, some services of shipping carriers vary according to the U.S. Shipping Zones. For instance, FedEx Priority Overnight Express services have sixteen zones.

Now, let’s understand the shipping for the major shipping carriers across the U.S.

UPS Shipping Zones

UPS provides an online tool for entering the Postal code of origin, and the user can download the Zone Map. Further, UPS Daily Rate Guide helps companies determine the costs and services for a shipment. The weight of the packages will also increase the shipping costs. Parcels weighing less than 1 pound do not cost more than heavy ones.

FedEx Shipping Zones

On the FedEx website, entering the ZIP code of the package origin and the destination ZIP code provides the FedEx shipping zone. Further, FedEx shipping rates give price details based on package weight and FedEx service. For instance, shippers can use the FedEx Ground service chart to track their shipments from the entered ZIP code.

USPS Shipping Zones

USPS has an online site to download the Zone chart after entering the origin and destination ZIP codes. But, the pricing of the services is not in the Zone chart.

 USPS has fixed-rate pricing for many services. Most shippers opt for USPS services due to their flat-rate pricing, which is easy to understand.

Regional carrier Zones

U.S. Shipping zones are calculated differently by regional carriers. They will concentrate on particular regions for delivery fulfillment rather than an entire state. Shippers opt for regional shipping carriers to send their packages to a specific location. For example, OnTrac helps shippers to calculate the transit time based on the ZIP codes for pickup and delivery.

Ways to minimize shipping costs and delivery time

Businesses can use different shipping Optimization strategies to minimize shipping costs and delivery time. Some of these ways are:

  • Opting for multiple fulfillment centers

It allows shippers to send packages to customers quickly and efficiently. Historical shipping data helps shippers to locate the best locations of fulfillment centers. Businesses can choose the best cost-effective services and rates provided by shipping carriers.

  • Identifying shipping carriers with flat rates

Shippers can opt for shipping carriers that provide flat rates that remain consistent irrespective of the shipping zone. Shippers can save money and time with the shipping costs being predictable and reliable.

  • Using local shipping carriers

Businesses can use local shipping carriers for last-mile delivery of shipments. It lowers shipping costs and brings customer satisfaction.

  • Partnering with Third-Party Logistic Providers

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers are experts in shipping optimization. They have in-depth knowledge of shipping carriers’ tables, shipping zones, shipping regulations, etc.

Audintel’s SaaS solutions help Third Party Logistics (3PL) Providers automate order fulfillment processes. Our state-of-the-art analytical tools help shippers locate the nearest fulfillment center for quick delivery of packages. Audintel also offers shipping optimization strategies to our clients for cost-effective solutions.

To Wrap it up

It becomes confusing for businesses managing their order fulfillment to understand and calculate the U.S. Shipping Zones. Further, the shipping charges vary among different shipping carriers. Partnering with a 3PL help ease shippers’ hassles of figuring out the Zones Chart of shipping carriers and save money. Audintel provides automation tools that help 3PL in transport spend management. We help clients understand the complex shipping Zones of different shipping carriers.

Learn more about how Audintel can reduce shipping costs by contacting us at +1 (619) 354 8539 or visiting our Audintel website.