Key Questions To Ask Your Shipping Department


As shipping becomes a mission-critical process in the supply chain, the complexities of this role have increased. The head of shipping now has to work closely with key departments in the organization, such as Management, IT, Customer Service, Finance & Accounting, to ensure successful shipping execution across the organization.


What keeps them awake at night?

  • Costs: Reducing shipping spend as transportation costs are on the rise

  • Service Level: Get the right shipments to the right customers at the right time

  • Process: Eliminate carrier, service and billing errors

  • Accounting: Improve billing accuracy and visibility of cost allocation


What’s important?

  • Shipping Process Automation for shipping documents such as a Bill Of Lading, Shipping Labels, COD Tags & Return labels.

  • Selecting Best Carrier and Service based on delivery time, customer shipping instructions, or price

  • Enforcing Routing Rules to match shipping instructions

  • Understanding shipping Spend to uncover cost-cutting opportunities

  • Successful Carrier Rate Negotiations to minimize shipping spend in most popular shipping lanes

  • Quick and Easy Access to Shipment History for fast response to delivery status questions

  • Reliable Carriers that offer easy access to shipment status data

  • Full Status Visibility of ALL Shipments to give Customer Service 24/7 access to real-time shipping status information for customer inquiries.

  • Real-time access to shipping status also has the potential to dramatically reduce 800 number expenses since customers are given info asap due to Customer Service shipment visibility.

  • Managing all carriers, LTL and TL in one central application greatly improves efficiencies of shipping decision making

  • Onboard Automation, Accounting & Auditing Tools to reduce data entry errors, improves delivery performance and validate carrier invoices on your behalf

  • Shipping Address Validation Tools to reduce carrier Address validation fees and shipment delays

  • Robust Reporting Tools give you full visibility of shipping spend as it relates to GL, business units, employees, and clients.


Questions You Need To Ask Inside Your Organization:

  • How automated is your shipping process? Do you still rely on hardcopy paper trails?

  • How many shipping stations do you have and how many do you need? Multiple shipping stations using multi-carrier rate shopping software (i.e., OnShip) are much faster and cost a lot less than having one carrier on each workstation

  • How many keystrokes strokes does it take to input to process a package? A lot of keystrokes to process each shipment usually means there is no order entry integration. If you see workers entering shipping data manually, you have uncovered a huge opportunity to improve shipping efficiency and reduce data entry errors via integration.

  • How do you generate shipping documents? If you are manually filling in or typing documents like shipping labels, BOL (Bill Of Lading), or Commercial Invoices, there is an opportunity for you to have OnShip automatically generate these documents for you to improve their efficiency.

  • How do you process LTL freight shipments? If you ship LTL freight (less than truckload), review how your employees select an LTL freight carrier. They may call a series of carriers each day for a rate or have a color-coded map of the US with each color representing their “favorite” carrier.

  • What carriers does your shipping department use, and how is each carrier and service selected? State of the art shipping departments focus on negotiating low shipping rates across all carriers (regional parcel, major parcel and LTL/TL freight) by arming themselves with all the key data needed to understand exactly where they need the biggest discounts.

  • Do You Optimize Your Carrier Mix? Once you negotiate rates to the lowest levels possible across all carriers, your next step is to implement high-quality shipping software that optimizes your carrier mix to choose the best carrier for each shipment.

  • What systems do you use to rate and process shipments? The most commonly used systems are the “Free” shipping systems provided by carriers like FedEx or UPS. Using multiple free shipping systems to manage carriers is very inefficient and expensive in the long run. Each system uses a different interface complicating integration with your order entry system and requires unique operator training.

  • How many distribution centers do you have and what is your annual spend on shipping? Knowing the number of DC’s along with carriers used and shipping volume at each location, and what type of shipping software residing at each location helps you identify bottlenecks and shipping spend reduction opportunities.

These are just a few areas to focus on in your shipping department. Unfortunately, many organizations still treat their shipping spend like the water bill -- It seems like a lot of money, and they don't know why...


OnShip’s Managed Shipping Services Platform watches your back 24/7 above by monitoring, analyzing, verifying, and reporting on every shipping nickel spent across your organization. From one shipping station to thousands, we can help you eliminate wasteful shipping costs.


Take us for a test drive, and let’s run a real-time ROI using charges from your real-world shipments to see how much wasteful spending we can find for you. You'll be glad you did.


Good Luck & Happy OnShipping!

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