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2012 Holiday Shipping Tips

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School bells are just starting to ring and most of us are just beginning to admit that summer 2012 is history. While you’ve been busy school shopping and barbecuing, the logistics experts at BirdDog Solutions have been making a list of the top four lessons shippers should have learned from last year’s holiday spend and present them to you as tips for this year.. Check it twice to make sure your business is on track for the holiday season.

Tip 1: Have an Expedited Shipping Strategy

The annual holiday countdown intensifies as weeks turn into days and then into hours. Here are three things you can start working on now to ensure that your products arrive on time without breaking your budget:

  • Are you locked in a retail store agreement that requires same-day shipments? Use your carrier network to your advantage and reduce expedited shipping costs.
  • Don’t forget to factor in fuel when budgeting for expedited shipping. In 2011 expedited shipping fuel surcharge (UPS/FedEx Air 14%) cost 61% more than deferred shipping (UPS/FedEx Ground 8.5%)..
  • Have a guaranteed delivery strategy to ensure that as shipping volume increases you have an economical solution for meeting tight delivery timelines.

Tip 2: Use Your Shipping Data to Determine the Best Mode

Make sure you are taking full advantage of your small parcel contracts. Even at the height of the holiday rush, take the time to analyze your fulfillment needs. Knowing when it makes sense to ship less-than-truckload vs. small parcel will reduce your transportation costs. Knowing the proper weight break can make the difference between making and blowing your budget.

Tip  3: Partner with Your Carriers

Building partnerships with reputable carriers is a solid strategy that will serve you well any time of the year. The importance of a good business relationship becomes increasingly important during the holiday season and other peak periods. To prepare for this year’s holiday rush, analyze your transportation needs and communicate your expectations to your carriers. The carriers worth partnering with will be happy to allocate resources to support your increased volume, and customized pick-up and delivery times.

Tip 4: Don’t Just Rely on What Your Carriers Are Telling You

Far too many shippers have learned the hard way that you can’t believe everything a carrier tells you. Before the holiday selling season reaches full swing be sure that you have access to information on your carriers’ actual performance not just what they want you to know. Visibility, through a third-party portal, will help you ensure that your customers are getting the best service possible.

BirdDog Solutions clients save an average of 10% to 20% off their shipping costs. To learn how much you can save, click here to request a Free Savings Analysis.

How BirdDog Saves You Money On Your Shipping Costs

Contract Negotiations: By working with BirdDog’s team of Contract Negotiation Specialists, you will have the expertise and the data to negotiate successfully with even the most aggressive carriers. With our team of former Carrier Executives and our advanced, proprietary technology, you will be able to put together contracts that work for your bottom line.

Invoice Audit and Payment: Through advanced technology and our team of audit specialists, we process millions of invoices at a detail level each week. Most shippers don’t have the resources to check each and every invoice for accuracy. Duplicate invoices, misapplied accessorials, incorrect rates; these are just a few of the budget sapping errors that BirdDog finds and corrects.

Information Management: BirdDog OnDemand — our proprietary Transportation Management Software— supplies 24/7 access to key metric reports and the ability to create your own customizable reports. These reports include in-depth analyses of your shipping activities with easy-to-understand tables and charts. Our information management capabilities help you make informed decisions and realize substantial year-over-year savings.

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For more information, call 1.800.464.3137 Ext. 3 or email

*A large volume shipper spends $1,000,000 or more on transportation costs across all modes, Parcel, Less-Than-Truckload, Truckload, etc..