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Market Volatility & Lack of Benchmarking May be Leaving Retailers in the Dark

For Retailers, managing stock levels has always been a delicate balancing act. Keep too many products in stock and your cash flow can be negatively impacted. Keep too few products and you run the risk of not being able to fulfill orders and meet consumer demand. Both scenarios are not ideal and can be detrimental to your business.

Retailers & Stock Management

One of the biggest considerations for retailers when it comes to stock management and keeping consumers happy is logistics. The "simple" art of moving goods from one place to another.

In 2021, the global freight transport market size was valued at $28.66 billion and is anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% from 2022 to 2030, reaching $72.97 billion by the end of the decade, according to a Grand View Research report

But in the face of some significant world events, shipping has been severely impacted in recent times. That’s why any tools that can help retailers make more informed decisions on shipping, including securing the lowest rates and fastest lead times, can afford significant competitive advantages.

Volatility & lack of benchmarking is leaving retailers in the dark

Volatility in the freight industry has been a major challenge for retailers in the past few years. Indeed, as FreightWaves outlines: "After enjoying one of the most stable stretches in modern history from 2010 to 2015, the freight market has been on a wild ride worthy of a theme park centerpiece." 

The rise of eCommerce has led to an increase in shipments, but while capacity concerns and rates have stabilized somewhat over the last six months, the seeming unpredictability associated with the freight market still has retailers guessing.

Couple these factors with the fact that many retailers simply do not have accurate benchmarks to show how their shipping spending compares to industry averages, and the need for a more intuitive approach has never been clearer. Why do retailers lack accurate freight data benchmarks? Because most only have access to their own historical data.

Accurate data and the ability to benchmark are paramount

While retailers keep track of how much they are spending on shipping and can compare this month’s costs to historic data, few have the ability to gauge their expenses across wider industry averages to see if they could potentially be saving money.

The ability to benchmark is important for retailers when calculating and gauging shipping costs because it allows them to compare their shipping costs with their competitor’s and other industry standards. By benchmarking against industry standards as well as competitors, retailers can measure how they shape up in comparison based on specific KPIs. They can then develop improvement plans to find ways to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Benchmarking also helps retailers make data-driven decisions when it comes to setting shipping rates and pricing products. By analyzing shipping cost data, delivery times, and customer preferences, retailers can optimize their shipping strategies and boost the value afforded to their customers.

Benchmarking can also help retailers potentially negotiate better rates with their carriers. By demonstrating knowledge of industry standards and the costs associated with shipping, retailers can secure more favorable contracts with carriers and reduce their overall shipping overheads.

So, what’s the solution?

ShipperGuide helps retailers leverage historical data to their competitive advantage..

There will always be market volatility to contend with, which is why being able to take advantage of historical data and the insights it highlights to better plan is so crucial. For example, by analyzing seasonal differences in freight shipping rates and identifying any pertinent trends, you can forecast contracts more accurately.

ShipperGuide helps retailers by enabling you to benchmark and compare different lanes, loads, and carriers to see exactly how your shipping costs shape up. ShipperGuide removes all the guesswork associated with shipping and it does so in an all-in-one platform.

Some Retailers may just be trying to stay afloat in their multiple dashboards, emails, and spreadsheets to keep track of your shipping costs. With ShipperGuide, you can manage all spot quotes, mini-bids, and RFP rates, and execute freight all in one place. 

Because ShipperGuide has access to a wealth of historic and real-time data from across the logistics industry, you can quickly and efficiently see how the rates you are being quoted stack up. You can then use the information at your disposal to potentially secure more competitive contracts, or take advantage of lower spot rates from Loadsmart's carriers or your own. With the guesswork removed and the ability to see how your historic rates compare, you can rest assured that you are always getting the best prices.

ShipperGuide's technology can be seamlessly integrated into customers’ operations. In fact, as demonstrated by Dairy producer Cabot Creamery’s implementation, the learning curve associated with ShipperGuide is often minimal. Even the company’s least tech-savvy employees have been able to take advantage of the tool without the need for extensive training.

The technology has also provided improved visibility for leadership, allowing decision-makers to act based on accurate and up-to-date information.

Benefit from better budgeting

Download Loadsmart's free tool for shippers: the Historical FTL Market Rates Calculator. This simple, yet highly effective tool, enables you to see exactly how your shipping costs compare with the wider industry averages.

Add your shipping rates for the past three months into the calculator and you’ll immediately discover some powerful insights. You will be able to see the percentage of your shipping rates that fell within the market threshold, as well as those which are above and below the market. You’ll also quickly discover how much you could potentially save in the future by making more informed, data-driven decisions – which allows you to budget more intuitively.

Take control of your shipping costs today and start leveraging the power of historical data to ensure you are always getting the very best deal. 

Watch our short demo and request to talk to a transportation specialist today about your need for better reporting and benchmarking.

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