The United States Postal Service recently announced that, starting in October 2022, it will put an end to its 30-year-old Reseller Program. The program offered discounted rates to smaller shippers, creating a competitive alternative to the national duopoly of FedEx and UPS over the past few decades. The cessation of the program means that companies using its services, such as Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes, will face some tough questions going forward.
Importance of Parcel Optimization
For shippers across the nation, the timing of this decision couldn’t be worse. The dramatic effects of the Pandemic are still being felt everywhere, as businesses continue to deal with everything from shortages, to bottlenecks and delays, to, in some cases, overstock issues. While peak surcharges have been in effect for months now, and the cost of fuel continues to soar, the impact of those rising transportation costs will be even more severe as we head into the Holiday season. Exactly when this discount program is scheduled to end.
But the good news is there are still plenty of ways out there to optimize your supply chain. And, whether or not your company currently uses the USPS Reseller Program, its closure is a perfect reminder that decision makers cannot sit still in this dynamic and ever-changing market. Now is the perfect time to take control of your supply chain. Here’s how:
Expand Your Carrier Portfolio:
The end of the Reseller Program will impact shippers across the country, but it wasn’t the only alternative out there. The list of reliable and cost-effective regional carriers is growing every day, and can be a great way to diversify your carrier portfolio, not only helping to reduce costs, but also providing a way to navigate future supply chain bottlenecks.
Negotiate Better Rates:
While having alternative carriers is important, another way to optimize your supply chain is to make sure you have the most competitive rates in place with the carriers you do use. Capacity issues have eased slightly in the past month, leaving the door open to start the conversation. Contract rates are the single biggest factor in transportation costs, and also one of the areas where shippers themselves can have the most influence.
Analyze Your Network:
We don’t mean your LinkedIn contacts. A comprehensive Network Analysis can provide vital insights into your specific demand areas, letting you focus your attention and infrastructure where it can make the most difference. Not all manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution options are created equal, and the difference can have a massive impact on your bottom line.
“Adapt or Die.”
- Billy Beane, Moneyball
For some, the cessation of the USPS Reseller Program will be the end of an era. But all eras eventually come to an end, whether we like it or not. Problems only arise when we’re not prepared for that ending. Supply chains are living, breathing, expansive creatures, and they require an active hand managing them in order to survive and thrive. The past few years have provided numerous lessons in the fact that things can and do change. Programs, entire institutions, they come and go. The real question is: Are you and your supply chain ready to adapt?
If you want to talk more about optimization, reach out to us today, and let’s get started preparing for what comes next.