Parcel Audit Services
Parcel audit services allow you to outsource your small parcel audit, instead of manually working through the data or taking time to get to know a software platform and dashboard.
See What Our Customers are Saying
We could not say enough good things about our relationship with ShipSigma. Beyond the initial savings, they continue to find us new angles for savings, set up dashboards specific to our needs, and meet with us quarterly to go through reporting/review savings/new opportunities. ShipSigma has been more than just a service for us, they have been a continuous partner as we navigate the difficulties of controlling our freight costs and holding the vendors accountable.
Vice President of Finance, Leading Global Manufacturer
4 hours. It took less than 4 hours of my time for my company to see half a million in annual savings. No headaches, no feet-dragging negotiations, no confusing documents. It was so easy.
Vice President, Food Manufacturer and Distributor
The insights and analytics, ShipSigma provided before and after negotiating our carrier agreements, make it clear we have a long-term partner who is aligned with our company values. The cost modeling and rate simulation let us know the exact savings we would see, down to the last cent. After running our historical data, ShipSigma was able to find us almost 28% in annual shipping savings with our same carrier.
Controller, Market Leading Wine Distributor
Our team managed billions of dollars of various category spend. To have ShipSigma guarantee a savings and then fully execute so that we’re realizing increased EBITA within 60 days allows us to focus on other strategic opportunities.
Chief Procurement Officer, Leading Provider of Pork Products
We thought we had the best rates. We were told we had the best rates. ShipSigma got us better rates. They found us nearly 25% in savings and helped us renegotiate our contract with our carrier. It was just so easy.
Chief Operations Officer, Clothing Retailer
The parcel invoice audit was a lifesaver for us. The team at ShipSigma monitored the weekly audit and noticed that instead of shipping air, over 60% of our packages could have traveled ground with no delay in arrival. They saved us more money than we had ever saved in our manual audit process.
Chief Financial Officer, Industry Leading Retailer
Parcel Audit Services
Shipping parcels has become increasingly expensive, with rising fuel costs, supply chain issues, and carriers increasing their rates steeply year after year. At the beginning of 2022, most U.S. parcel carriers have instituted a 5.9% general rate hike, higher than the 4.9% increase many put into effect in 2021. If you factor in UPS and FedEx’s adjustments to their surcharges, like fuel or oversized package handling, the overall increase approaches 9%.
While these rates impact your bottom line negatively, there is good news. Conducting a parcel invoice audit regularly can help you recover some of your spend, catching the errors and extra charges that cost a great deal of money. In this guide, we’ll go over what a parcel audit is, the benefits, and how parcel audit services like ShipSigma can save you money without changing or disrupting your workflows.
What Is a Parcel Audit?
A parcel audit, also known as a parcel invoice audit, is a process of going through your shipping bills and invoices to identify billing errors. A small parcel audit will assist in figuring out when, where, and how you are being overcharged. A few of the common issues that crop up during this process are:
- Late delivery - a study from March of 2019 found that more than 6% of UPS and FedEx parcels were delayed, nearly 72% of them by a full day.
- Non-shipments - packages that were scanned into the carrier’s system but never made it onto a shipping vehicle.
- Lost or damaged packages - more than 1.7 million packages are lost every day, with one in 10 arriving damaged.
- Duplicate charges - when you are billed for the same package more than once.
- Unnecessary address correction - when you are charged for small address changes that are not significant.
- Fuel surcharge errors - a fee that is meant to cover the changing price of fuel, there can often be issues with the correct rate on your invoice.
- Incorrect dimensional weight charges - when the carrier measures the package incorrectly or applies an incorrect dimensional divisor.
- Missing or invalid Proof-of-Delivery - this paperwork is important to make sure that your parcels were delivered correctly.
- Incorrect rates and missing discounts - make sure that your agreed upon rates and discounts are reflected accurately.
- Phantom accessorial charges - additional fees and charges that aren’t valid.
Mistakes and errors on invoices add up quickly, and carriers have refund policies as part of their normal business practices. In fact, it is part of the carrier’s responsibility to ensure that parcels are delivered in a timely manner according to the details spelled out in your contract. Identifying mistakes gives the carrier an opportunity to improve their process to prevent future issues.
What Are the Benefits of Small Parcel Audits?
Auditing your parcels may feel like it takes a lot of time and effort, especially since once you have issues figured out, you still have to write an explanation, request refunds, and follow up to make sure your account receives the proper credits. When shipping thousands of parcels a month, you may be asking yourself, “why should I audit my invoices?”
First and foremost, you will save money. Average savings can vary by business and the volume of shipping you’re doing, but here at ShipSigma, our customers 2-7% savings from our auditing processes and see up to 30% in annual savings with our full service. The money that you will save is significant—even a 2% reduction of shipping costs can make an enormous difference. The insights that are surfaced by conducting a parcel audit can be surprising. For example, one of our customers was shipping their parcels using an express service. After digging through their data, we noticed that the shipping times weren’t really improved—they could ship 60% of their packages via ground and still have their parcels arrive on the same day. Making this simple switch significantly decreased spend and increased efficiencies for our customer.
Another benefit to auditing invoices is that you will gain insights into carrier performance and your overall network efficiency. This data can help you optimize your shipping operations and give your logistics managers the analytics they need to make informed decisions.
What Are Parcel Audit Services?
Parcel audit services, sometimes called parcel consulting, is when you hire an external company to conduct your parcel auditing on your behalf. Parcel consultants often have deep knowledge of the shipping industry, as well as innovative technology that assist in the process. At ShipSigma, our founders spent decades working for carriers like UPS and FedEx. This has given us first hand experience into how these companies think and operate. We also empower our customers by providing long-term cost efficiencies through data and technology.
How Do Parcel Audit Services Work?
At ShipSigma, our parcel audit services start working for you immediately. It’s free to start, and we share the recovered funds. In fact, if we can’t successfully recover your money, we won’t charge you. And, you’ll enjoy all the reporting features that come along with our service at no cost.
Five Minutes From Now:
As soon as you sign up for our parcel audit, we immediately start recovering around 1-5% of your total shipping spend. We look for carriers’ billing errors, service failures, and other simple mistakes. This audit process looks back over a span of about 2 weeks and recovers any erroneous charges that may have already been paid, and then continues working in the background to run this process continuously.
Two Weeks After Signing Up:
After two weeks we provide a complementary performance analysis. This review is where we will discuss our findings, and it is a perfect opportunity for re-evaluating your needs with our executive team. If we identify any opportunity for savings, we’ll highlight it and present you with a solution. During this step of the process, we often find 20-30% overall cost savings opportunities. Best of all, the solutions we offer typically require zero change in your day-to-day operations.
One Month After Analysis
Within a month, you’ll start seeing meaningful results from our more impactful services, such as our Parcel Rate Reduction. You’ll have access to detailed reports down to the tracking-number level, and have the ability to see exactly how we saved your money. Remember—we only get paid if we deliver measurable and successful cost reductions.
As your business evolves, we move forward with you. We can help you forecast distribution costs, mitigate rate increases, or help you avoid unnecessary fees. We’ll help you avoid costs, saving you money today and tomorrow because we’re passionate about helping businesses with end-to-end supply chain improvements.
Our services include:
- Live Shipment Audit - Looking at shipments in real-time, issues like instant rate changes, re-weighs, and re-classes are flagged, and we get to work immediately to reconcile the discrepancy.
- Operational Support - We act as an extension of your team, providing you and your carriers with our deep industry knowledge to assist with booking loads and day-to-day operational questions.
- Dedicated Team - We are dedicated to your success, and you will have a designated team of professionals assigned to your account to help with your parcel spend.
- Track and Trace Shipments - We review shipments daily and work with your carrier on any late shipments, providing up-to-date information in the TMS.
- Carrier Payments - Rather than being inundated with a multitude of invoices, our Recon software system sends a consolidated invoice each week. We pay carriers on your behalf, so you only have to send one payment to Recon, or we can provide vouchers if it is preferred.
What Is Parcel Software?
Parcel audit software is advanced technology that allows you to gather the data about your invoices and analyze it. There are different types of software with varying levels of complexity. Some parcel audit software takes a great deal of time and effort to set up and integrate into your workflow, as well as adding additional steps of data entry.
At ShipSigma, our Audit & Reporting platform is a simple, intuitive piece of technology that doesn’t interrupt your workflow. In fact, it automatically identifies all invalid charges (around 1-5% of all charges), putting money back into your pocket. It takes about five minutes to sign up, and, even if you only look at it once, it will continue working in the background to recover your money.
Why Outsource Small Parcel Audits?
Simple: because it saves you money, time, and effort. Manual auditing processes are far too inefficient and time consuming to be worthwhile. Purchasing parcel audit software can be a good option, but without the knowhow, it can end up just as time consuming as a manual process with data entry and integration issues. In-house auditing can take a massive investment of employee time to find the errors and file claims, potentially running into issues with meeting carrier time limits and missing the window to file a request for reimbursement.
A parcel consulting partner like ShipSigma already has the automated technology and the data processing experience to take your carrier invoices and turn them into manageable reports full of actionable data insights. You can better understand where your money is actually going while simultaneously experiencing significant savings. We’ll handle the whole parcel invoice audit process. We will audit the thousands of line items on your invoices, file for claims and refunds on your behalf, and make sure that the credit is applied correctly in the future. You don’t have to get in the weeds with a parcel audit, saving your time and energy for creating your product and selling to your customers.
Save Money on Your Shipping Spend with ShipSigma
Our mission is simple, we’re here to save you money. Through our parcel auditing software and services our customers routinely save 2-7% on their shipping spend. In addition to these services, we can help you leverage your shipping data during contract negotiations, saving our customers 20-30% on their spend. Backed by AI-driven technology that allows you to see live market data, you’ll gain detailed and specialized insight into your specific shipping costs, giving you the upper hand when it’s time to sit down at the table.
It only takes a minute to get started with ShipSigma, and you’ll immediately start identifying and collecting refunds with our parcel auditing process. Getting started is free, and you won’t pay us unless we recover money on your behalf. Ready to start saving? Connect with us today.