Omnichannel retailers and e-commerce are seeing booming growth. Further, businesses can expect a rise in the small parcel shipping volumes. According to some reports, the US Courier, Express, And Parcel (CEP) Market will have increased growth. Thus, there is substantial pressure on shippers to deliver better. Businesses have to give competitive, cost-effective shopping experiences to customers. The need to evaluate and audit different business aspects is necessary.
Parcel auditing involves examining shipping invoices, analyzing carrier services, and identifying mistakes. Companies can audit their small parcel shipments by manual audits, use audit software, or outsource it. Manual audits require companies to invest resources. In addition, manual audits are prone to human errors. Parcel audit software is expensive and requires a technical understanding of using the software. Parcel audit services manage the entire audit process. They allow companies to focus on their core competencies and increase profits.
Our earlier blogs focused on the challenges of small parcel shipping and the importance of KPI dashboards and Business Intelligence in parcel auditing. Here, we discuss small parcel audit services and some essential audit points. In addition, we highlight Audintel’s small parcel audit services.
Small parcel audit services
During the peak season, shippers worry whether their parcels are reaching customers on time. If shippers send thousands of parcels daily, keeping track of each shipment is tedious and time-consuming. It is easier to outsource auditing small parcel shipments to companies specializing in this field.
An in-depth review of shipping invoices is integral to parcel audit services. Moreover, parcel auditing services validate carrier contracts. The analysis of shipping data provides valuable insights into shipping operations. With the help of advanced technology tools, small parcel audits identify shipping errors. These errors could be wrong weights of parcels, incorrect entry of addresses, etc. Several shipping mistakes can occur during small parcel shipping.
Parcel audit services have identified more than 50 audit points. Some of the noteworthy audit points include:
Delays in delivery of small parcels or late deliveries affect businesses. Shippers either offer refunds or discounts to customers to retain them. Late deliveries can impact customer satisfaction and loss of business growth. Negative online reviews from the affected customers can cause more damage to businesses.
Companies can prevent late deliveries by using parcel audit services. Parcel auditors provide real-time tracking of shipments. It allows shippers to claim refunds from parcel carriers for late deliveries. Real-time delivery updates sent to customers and package locations make the customers invested in the shipping process. Further, shippers can also partner with third-party logistics providers (3PL) to prevent late deliveries.
Items manifested but not shipped.
Shipping manifests are documents detailing the goods to be shipped. Complete shipping information for multiple shipments is part of the manifest. The manifest contains a package quantity, weight, and reference number. Shipping manifest allows seamless handover between shipper and parcel carriers.
On placing orders, the generation of manifests and billing occurs. However, orders may change after the billing of the manifest. For example, a company has to ship eighty packages. A manifest is created and billed. But, if the company wants to add ten more packages to the order, there is a new manifest generation, and the shipment occurs. But, the company has to pay fees for the original manifest, which was not shipped. In addition, it has to pay for the ninety packages shipped. The double billing leads to a rise in shipping costs for the company.
Parcel audit services have software platforms that identify packages manifested but not shipped. It alerts the shippers about the mistakes in billing and saves money.
Additional fees applied by parcel carriers to packages shipped to a home or a home business are residential surcharges. These fees are in addition to a parcel carrier’s base rate. UPS and FedEx apply residential surcharges to small parcels shipped to a residential location. So, residential surcharges can increase the shipping costs for businesses. Alternatively, using USPS and hybrid services helps prevent residential surcharges.
Parcel auditors provide details on the residential surcharges to shippers. Further, auditors suggest methods to reduce residential surcharge costs. They help in identifying whether the address is eligible for a residential surcharge. Small parcel audit services help shippers by getting discounted rates from shipping carriers. Moreover, parcel auditors advise shippers to negotiate residential surcharges in the carrier contracts.
Delivery Area surcharges
One of the common surcharges applied by shipping carriers is the delivery area surcharge (DAS). It is an additional fee when a package is delivered or picked up in an area outside the parcel carriers’ shipping area. Rural areas and remote locations fall under the DAS category. Depending on the ZIP codes and addresses, parcel carriers decide the delivery area surcharge. Shipping carriers are planning to add more number of ZIP codes in 2024. And so, preventing DAS becomes essential for businesses to avoid escalating costs.
Shippers can reduce their shipping costs by using the services of carriers that don’t charge DAS. Experts in logistics can help identify such services. Small parcel auditors have the knowledge to advise businesses on preventing DAS charges. Further, shippers can opt for regional carriers for last-mile deliveries. Companies can reduce shipping costs by partnering with third-party logistics.
Companies lose thousands of dollars on address correction surcharges. Parcel carriers levy additional fees if there is a mismatch between the addresses. Shipment addresses are the addresses where the order has to be delivered. Businesses incur huge losses if they enter the wrong shipment address on the package. Or they do not validate their addresses before shipping.
Parcel auditing keeps a close eye on the invoices and detects address anomalies. Parcel audit services have cutting-edge technology that can automatically identify mismatched addresses. In addition, shippers can use software that eliminates the potential risk of entering incorrect shipment addresses.
Some businesses need delivery confirmation and require signatures from their customer. Most valuable goods like jewelry and electronic items need signatures for delivery confirmation. UPS and FedEx provide Signature Required delivery services to companies. These are additional fees levied by shipping carriers for the signature-required services. The recipient has to sign for the parcel before its release. Shipping costs vary depending on the type of services opted by the shippers.
Small parcel auditors negotiate discounts for shippers. In addition, the auditing team has experts who can suggest services that will suit business needs. Parcel audit services like Audintel save money for shippers with discounted rates..
Save on your next shipment with Audintel.
Many eligible refunds remain unclaimed by businesses due to a lack of time or resources. Companies don’t take advantage of the service guarantees offered by small parcel carriers. Audintel’s small parcel audit services ensure timely refunds from shipping carriers. In addition, we address billing errors and ensure shipping carriers meet their service guarantees.
Our business intelligence tools help shippers monitor their shipping rates and surcharges. Audintel’s experts closely examine shipping invoices and advise our clients about discrepancies. With valuable insights into the shipping data from Audintel, shippers can negotiate great deals with parcel carriers. Audintel optimizes small parcel shipments seamlessly.
To wrap it up.
Companies find it complex to identify inaccuracies in shipping invoices on their own. Parcel audit software has its drawbacks. Small parcel audit services help companies streamline their shipping processes with minimal effort. Parcel audit services are vital for the efficient and cost-effective management of your transportation spend. Choosing Audintel is beneficial for businesses to make informed, data-driven decisions. Are you ready to optimize your shipping operations with small parcel audit services? Contact us at +1 (619) 354 8539. to learn about our parcel audit services. In addition, you can visit our Audintel website.