Taranisen Mohanta   03rd May 2022

How recent is your contract with your parcel carrier? Is it a few days or years old? Does your contract offer discounts for some services? These are some questions that businesses need to address in 2022. With this in mind, contracts with shipping carriers play a crucial role for companies.

A periodic contract review is essential to minimize financial and legal risks. This article explores the importance of carrier contracts. And the ways to navigate the challenges shippers face during parcel carriers negotiations.

Importance of carrier contracts

With the rise in fuel prices, businesses have to be careful they do not pay for “peak”  surcharges. Recently, parcel carriers such as UPS and FedEx have raised General Rate Increase (GRI), among surcharges. The impact of these surcharges will affect shippers’ budgets and resources. A robust contract with shipping carriers ensures that businesses pay the amount mutually agreed by the two parties. But, shippers have to be aware of when their contracts end, or it may cost them dearly.

Challenges faced while negotiating with parcel carriers

In the first place, shippers need to know the challenges they face during contract negotiations. Incidentally, parcel carriers have in-depth knowledge about a business’ shipping characteristics. And so, shipping businesses have to know about their shipping history before negotiating with the parcel carriers. Here’s a list of challenges that shippers need to address:

  • Identify the areas to save money

Shipping history and past shipping data help shippers understand the areas to reduce shipping costs. Shipping businesses should know their shipping services with the carriers of their choice. They have to review factors influencing the shipping spend, such as shipping zones of parcels, the weight of packages, package dimensions, and more. Knowledge of one’s shipping characteristics helps businesses close better deals with parcel carriers.

  • Examine the often used accessorial charges

Additional expenses may reduce to a large extent by examining shipping data. For instance, residential deliveries are more costly than commercial deliveries. Further, surcharges like additional handling, address correction, large packages, remote areas, etc., add to the shipping costs. During negotiations, shippers need to find ways to eliminate the extra charges.

  • Keep parcel carriers’ competitor’s data ready

Shippers should have the competitor’s data handy during negotiations with parcel carriers. This data gives an upper hand to shippers to secure better rates in the carrier contracts. In addition, businesses know what to bargain for when negotiating with shipping carriers.

  • Work towards a mutually beneficial contract

Shipping businesses need to work towards a mutually benefitting carrier contract. The contract has to be drafted so that shippers can ask for renegotiations at no particular time. The contract should not be time-bound or favor the parcel carriers. A mutually beneficial carrier contract makes life easy for both shippers and shipping carriers.

  • Do not waive money-back guarantee services

It is a vital part of carrier contract negotiations. Parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx offer a money-back guarantee for late deliveries of packages. However, during contract negotiations, they ask businesses to waive the money-back guarantee clause by offering discounts. Shippers need to be careful not to waive the money-back guarantee clause as they will lose money in the long run.

  • Ask for discount incentives

Each shipment is eligible for discount incentives from the parcel carriers. Carrier contract negotiations involve discounts based on the weight of packages, type of services, and shipping zones. In addition, based on shipping volumes and their shipping data, shippers ask for a discount.

  • Avoid risks by partnering with experts

Shippers can avoid financial risks by partnering with audit experts. Detail analysis of shipping data gives an idea of the overall cost of each shipment. Companies need to hire extra resources to understand the intricacies of shipping rates of various parcel carriers. It is where audit firms such as Audintel can provide the leverage to save money for companies.

The significance of periodic renegotiation of shipping carrier contracts

In addition to the challenges mentioned above, shipping companies need to renegotiate their carrier contracts. Parcel carriers may dissuade shippers from renegotiations, citing no change in shipping costs or disruption in carriers’ discounts. However, shipping companies need to renegotiate their carrier contracts periodically to benefit from discount incentives. Shippers have to balance budgets along with providing best-in-class customer services. If the current carrier contract does not help shippers, it is best to renegotiate or consider using other shipping carriers.

How does Audintel help in carrier contract negotiations?

Audintel’s team analyzes the data of the client and the parcel carriers to give the best deal. Our experts have a deep understanding of the working of parcel carriers’ pricing models. We root out anomalies in carrier contracts so that our clients get the best service rates. Audintel considers the current market conditions that will influence negotiations. We negotiate for our clients fairly and transparently and save money.

Conclusion

The parcel industry has faced several challenges in the past two years. The challenges include shipping delays from parcel carriers, capacity constraints, etc. In addition, UPS and FedEx have surcharges increasing every year. The frequent increase in expenses is hurting the bottom line of many shippers. Audintel assists shipping companies in carrier contract negotiations by auditing their shipping spend. We inform shippers about new carrier practices and encourage them to upgrade their carrier contracts periodically. Finally, for queries on shipping carrier contracts and negotiating tips, get in touch with us or you can call us at 310-710-7005 . However, you can also learn about our services on the Audintel website.