Small parcel Shipping Challenges-3

Shipping small parcels: Surmount the challenges with ease

Sending individual packages through shipping carriers is not as easy as it looks. Different shipping carriers offer various areas of expertise for shipping items. Choosing the best shipping carriers for small parcel shipping can get confusing. UPS, FedEx, and USPS are the major shipping carriers in the U.S.  However, a recent Reuters report says that UPS had an unfavourable quarter due to falling demand from e-commerce and labor issues. The impact of inflation on operating expenses is affecting shipping carriers. So, parcel carriers are competing with each other to offer discounts and lower transportation costs. Despite the economic slowdown, there is an opportunity for an increase in market growth.

According to some reports, the parcel shipping volumes will reach 256 billion in 2027. Shipping carriers believe e-commerce retailers and small businesses will have good holiday sales this quarter. Companies need to optimize parcel shipping operations in anticipation of rising holiday sales. They have to reduce their overall transportation expenses and adopt a multi-carrier strategy. In addition, the right innovative solutions can help businesses overcome the hurdles of shipping small packages.

This article gives further details on clever ways to ship parcels. In addition, shippers can learn about the fastest and cheapest ways to reduce shipping costs.

Our earlier blog gave a broad overview of overcoming the challenges of small parcel shipping.

Challenges of small parcel shipping

Companies face multiple challenges when shipping small parcels. One of the challenges during this holiday season is ensuring timely delivery of packages. Shipment tracking and insurance ensure that companies provide on-time delivery of packages. Shippers work with parcel carriers to safeguard against delayed or lost shipments.

Further, UPS and FedEx have announced their annual GRIs. It will increase the costs of sending small packages. Lightweight packages with high dimensions can also prove costly for parcel shippers. Surcharges for fuel, residential, delivery area, etc., levied by shipping carriers increase the shipping expenses.    

Customer expectations for faster and free delivery of packages is a new reality. So, many companies have to fine-tune their shipping operations to reduce costs. Small and medium-sized companies lack the expertise to navigate complex shipping operations. Third-party logistics providers or 3PL can provide support in areas such as:

  • Carrier management for parcel deliveries

During the peak holiday season, parcel carriers face capacity constraints. Thus, it is vital to have efficient carrier management for shipping small parcels. A multi-carrier strategy helps companies ship their packages according to their business needs. Regional parcel carriers can ship locally or to particular regions of the country.

 Moreover, it is necessary to know the various holiday shipping deadlines for the parcel carriers. Shippers can plan their shipping strategies based on the deadlines. Shipping carriers provide limited information to customers as they have their software platforms to track packages.

Third-party providers have in-depth knowledge of minimum rates, surcharges, volumes, etc. 3PL can give appropriate information about the carriers and track packages in real time. They have established relationships with parcel carriers and help secure discounts on list rates. In addition, 3PLs can manage a company’s carriers for parcel deliveries if there is a delay or unforeseeable issues.

  • Shipping route disruptions

High shipping volumes increase the workload of truck drivers. Moreover, in the peak holiday season, the shipping routes get longer, and trucks have more parcels. There are more chances of human errors in such situations. Last-mile delivery management with technological advancements is necessary to track parcels in real time. Optimizing shipping routes by identifying potential bottlenecks helps in the timely delivery of parcels. Moreover, a delivery hub can cut shipping costs for shippers.

AI-based innovative technology allows companies to have real-time information on package deliveries. Further, 3PLs  have local partners that can handle last-mile deliveries. A parcel Transportation Management System (TMS) allows driver route optimization so a maximum number of parcel deliveries can occur. It does not compromise a customer’s preference for the time and date of parcel delivery.

  • Minimizing the stress of split shipments

Split shipment involves an order divided into multiple shipments for separate dispatches. Split shipments expedite the delivery process but are costly for businesses. The involvement of different carriers and operational overheads can increase shipping expenses. To streamline their processes, companies have to manage their inventory levels to minimize split shipments.

Third-party providers can provide technologies like warehouse management systems (WMS) or order management systems. It helps companies route orders to cost-effective distribution centres and save money. Further, they leverage shipping data to forecast demand and minimize the likelihood of stockouts.

  • Analyze shipping data with third-party logistics

Parcel shipping data like point of origin, package status or exceptions, weight, and size of parcels is essential for strategic business planning. Shippers have to make sense of the historical shipping data to save costs. Systematic shipment monitoring, parcel carrier performance, and customer communications are possible when shippers have data at their fingertips.

Third-party logistics providers, or 3PLs, help companies garner profits with business intelligence tools and provide frequent shipping information to companies. By analyzing the historical shipping data, 3PLs help shippers manage their parcel spend. Further, parcel auditors can continuously monitor shipments, track parcels, and issue real-time customer notifications. The state-of-the-art software tools compare carrier performance, collect refunds wherever applicable, and reduce transportation costs.

Cheaper, faster, and more efficient ways to reduce shipping costs

Shippers can reduce shipping expenses depending on the size and weight of packages, distance, and choice of shipping carriers. Usually, USPS is the cheapest shipping carrier to ship packages. Small parcel shipping by USPS involves

  • First Class Mail for packages such as documents, letters, etc., and does not involve tracking
  • First Class Package Service is for parcels less than 16 ounces
  • Priority Mail is for goods that weigh more than one pound.

 Further, according to some reports, the U.S. Postal Services won’t be leving peak surcharges this holiday season.

UPS offers UPS Sure Post service for small packages weighing less than 10lbs. However, FedEx Ground shipping and UPS Ground shipping services are the cheapest ways to ship small parcels. UPS and FedEx have different rates based on weight and distance for faster delivery of small packages. Shippers can refer to the Service Guide of FedEx and UPS to decide which services suit their financial and business needs.

How partnering with Audintel helps overcome the hurdles of small parcel shipping

Audintel’s Transportation Management System (TMS) and integrated software solutions help shippers and 3PLs in timely parcel deliveries. We provide customizable dashboards for real-time tracking and monitoring of shipment status. Customers receive real-time notifications about their parcel status. Our experienced team gives insights into the areas for potential savings during carrier contract negotiations. Audintel’s expertise has helped many companies negotiate discounts on shipping rates, thus reducing shipping costs.

Concluding remarks

Shipping small parcels to customers is not as easy as it looks. Shippers need to overcome numerous challenges for customer satisfaction and repeat business. Third-party logistics providers and parcel management systems help in parcel shipping operations for companies. Audintel’s audit solutions and advanced software tools help shippers understand their shipping costs. We provide customized solutions to overcome the hurdles faced during small parcel shipping. Contact us at +1 (619) 354 8539. to find out how to have seamless parcel shipping. Further, you can visit our Audintel website.


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.