October 21, 2021

Oct 21, 2021 | Big & Bulky, Parcel, Retail, White Glove

It is no secret that the massive increase in the demand for parcel delivery has left traditional carriers strapped thin—leading to rising rates, surcharges, and volume caps. As the 2021 peak season commences, companies shipping large parcels will be affected the most by these penalties. Time is of the essence for retailers sending parcels this peak season to strategize on which carriers can most efficiently get their packages to their final destination, without devastating margins. 

As a final mile carrier with one of the largest national footprints, USPack is uniquely equipped to provide a solution to the challenges associated with large parcels. Specializing in White Glove Delivery as well as Large Parcel/Big & Bulky Delivery, USPack is dedicated to serving our customers with flexible offerings. 

VIDEO – USPack CRO, Dan Byrne, explains the challenges of large parcel shipping at Home Delivery World in Philadelphia.

The “new normal” of traditional parcel delivery

As e-commerce shipments started to flood logistics networks as early as May of 2020, UPS announced increases to surcharges on several domestic shipments, citing the need to maintain service as logistics demand increased. On July 4th 2020, additional handling surcharges rose from $3 to $3.50 per package, and large package surcharges rose from $31.45 to $40. In October of last year, those fees rose to $6 for additional handling and $60 for large parcels— and this current rate is expected to remain through at least January 15th 2022. The astonishing escalation in fees and surcharges is putting both a higher cost burden on consumers and a massive dent into companies’ profitability margins.

The message from the large players is clear: Due to the huge increase in package volumes, UPS, FedEx, and other national parcel carriers have become predominantly B2C delivery networks as they focus on improving their yield and economics while diverting large parcels and other inventory out of their networks. 

Weighing your carrier options for large parcels

Although UPS and FedEx have drastically changed the way they operate, shipping volume is not going down anytime soon; thankfully, alternative solutions exist to keep things moving. 

Regional parcel carriers such as LaserShip, OnTrac, Spee-Dee, LSO, and Pitt Ohio offer dense regional coverage, strong operations, attractive rates, and “True Parcel” solutions for items like small kitchen appliances like toaster ovens, soft goods like dog beds, and home office electronics like printers. This means that these carriers are viable options for distributing packages that:

  • Weigh 1-10 lbs 
  • Are easily stackable and cube-shaped
  • Require only one delivery person
  • Can fit in a sprinter van
  • Can be dropped off at someone’s door or threshold

On the flip side, items that are classified as “non-conveyable” require a unique infrastructure that regional parcel carriers don’t have; that’s where final mile companies like USPack can be of service. Accounting for about 30% of our volume, the majority of these non-conveyable packages include furniture, fitness equipment, and large appliances and electronics. Contrary to those that can be classified as True Parcel, non-conveyable packages:

  • Weigh 20-200 lbs 
  • Are oddly shaped 
  • Require two-person delivery 
  • Require a liftgate and a box truck
  • Require installation or carry-in/room of choice drop-off

Within the non-conveyable sector, there’s even further service stratification. USPack’s White Glove Delivery service not only assembles and installs items, but delivery teams also take care of everything else, including:

  • Removing debris
  • Educating or training the consumer about their item
  • Hauling away an old item if desired

Within the white glove delivery service vertical, providing a great customer experience is the expectation along with successful assembly and installation. Delivery teams meet the customer and enter their home – an important interaction that requires a level of customer care beyond true parcel or large parcel delivery.

Minimizing large parcel storage and delivery fees

Along the continuum of parcel types and services you also find Big & Bulky carriers. For instances when a manufacturer wants an item to go directly from their production facility to the final destination, or from one transportation vehicle to another with little to no storage in-between, utilizing a Big & Bulky carrier can be the optimal option. These items typically include home furnishings and smaller furniture such as musical instruments, countertop appliances, lawn & garden equipment, and computer accessories. 

Big & bulky carriers, such as USPack, typically cover a 60-75 mile radius from each crossdock, resulting in later cutoff times, fewer touches, and the ability to handle scheduled deliveries with tight windows. With 6,000+ drivers and over 45 induction cross docks across the country, USPack covers all major metropolitan areas in the U.S., with 80% of our volume delivered to the consignee the day we receive the product, and 85% of that being scheduled deliveries with specific time requirements. Our big & bulky service makes 1.8 million monthly deliveries and serves 75,000 stores daily—with a 98% on-time performance rating. 

Finding the right carrier for large parcels

To find the right large parcel carrier who provides a great service and saves on costs, a great place to start is with an established carrier like USPack – a final mile delivery company who covers a wide range of industries, from retailers to automotive to healthcare—B2C and B2B. For example, just like the pandemic had an unprecedented shift to e-commerce and other behaviors, office supply companies are also seeing a boom in their parcel shipments as shoppers and companies alike set up elaborate remote offices. Products like desks, filing cabinets, printers, and 75lbs boxes of paper are highly compatible in our network, and these retailers and carriers fit well into our route density. 

Though 2020 may be the year retailers wish was an anomaly, the changes in carrier delivery models are here to stay for the foreseeable future. As parcel carriers continue to penalize large and heavy boxes with increased rates, partnering with a final mile logistics provider like USPack ensures your parcels are promptly and safely delivered, while saving your bottom line. With our multi-carrier footprint, specialized resources, and dedicated team, we not only deliver products, we deliver a great customer experience. 

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