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Rob Martinez

Shipping Insights

By Rob Martinez

About Rob

Rob Martinez is the CEO of Shipware LLC, a professional services firm that transforms businesses through intelligent distribution solutions and strategies. Rob has helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands reduce parcel shipping costs an average of 25 percent through contract negotiations, rate benchmarking, modal optimization, invoice audit and other savings vehicles. A cum laude graduate of UCLA, Rob has 20 years of transportation industry experience, including executive positions at DHL and Stamps.com, in addition to his work as an outside consultant since 2001.
 

Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
What Alibaba's Success Means for U.S. Retailers
Sep 22, 2014

Who would've thunk it. A company that sells barf bibs, Buddha-shaped pears, a portable fat-freezing machine and inflatable walking-on-water shoes...



Return on Inventory

Joe Palzkill
Done is Better Than Perfect
Sep 30, 2014

I was reading an article about Facebook recently and took note of the social network's motto, "Done is better than perfect."...



Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Urban Outfitters Crosses the Line With 'Bloody' Kent State Sweatshirt
Sep 16, 2014

In case you haven't seen or heard the news yet, Urban Outfitters is embroiled in yet another controversy. The apparel...



Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Tips for Finding the Right Product Density for Your Catalog
Sep 11, 2014

Product density is quite a science. What's right for one brand is wrong for another. Here are some guidelines that...



Print-Plus

Stephen Lett
How Important is Average Order Size?
Sep 3, 2014

Catalog executives always seem to have a great deal of interest in their average order size. They become concerned when...



The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
5 Ways Retailers Can Compete With Amazon’s Same-Day Delivery Model
Aug 12, 2014

Most small retailers lack the resources and store footprint to handle same-day shipping on their own. However, it's still possible...



Email Marketing Bites

Liz Ryan
The Email Hierarchy of Needs: Deliverability is the Foundation
Jun 18, 2014

If you're not getting the most of your email messaging, you might not be asking the right questions. How many...



Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
Local Optimization Drives Conversions, But Your Local Page Won’t
Jul 31, 2014

Local was already in play before the iPhone changed the online marketing game in 2007, but the mobile shift has...



Return on Intelligence

Jim Gilbert
LinkedIn Publishing Platform: User Review, Tips and Some Wishes for its Next Iteration, Part 3
Jul 23, 2014

This week in the third and final part of this series, I offer suggestions for how LinkedIn's publishing platform can...



Email Applied

Reggie  Brady
Subject Lines That Work
Jul 18, 2014

Standing out in the inbox isn't easy. A lot of promotional emails I receive have subject lines that aren't special....



ThinkAbout: Inspirational Verve for Your Product Line!

Andrea Syverson
Springboard From Your Brand Filter
Jun 26, 2014

One of the most important ways I strengthen my clients’ brands and product lines is by collaborating with their leaders...



B-to-B Insights

George Hague
2 Must-Have B-to-B Metrics
Apr 9, 2014

Smart CEOs know two essential B-to-B metrics to successfully grow their businesses: contribution per order (CPO) for new customers and...



FedEx Announces 2015 General Rate Increase

This is the first time FedEx has announced its Ground increase prior to UPS. In the past, UPS would set the Ground increase and FedEx would quickly match it. The industry now turns its attention to UPS in anticipation of its 2015 general rate increase announcement in the coming weeks. Does UPS match the FedEx rate increases, or will it change pricing to compete with new, sharply discounted USPS Priority Mail pricing?  Read More >>

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Parcel Shippers: New USPS Priority Mail Undercuts UPS and FedEx Pricing!

Through careful evaluation, shippers that add the U.S. Postal Service to complement private carriers like FedEx and UPS can significantly drive down costs and improve service.

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Attention FedEx and UPS Ground Shippers: New Carrier Policies Amount to Largest Rate Increase Ever!

By now it's likely you've heard that both FedEx and UPS are revising pricing policies for ground packages, moving from weight-based to pricing based on package size starting in 2015. Currently, both parcel carriers apply dimensional weight pricing only to ground packages measuring three cubic feet (5,184 cubic inches) or greater. The elimination of the three cubic foot exception is effective Dec. 29, 2014 for UPS, and Jan. 1, 2015 for FedEx.  Read More >>

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Amazon Evolving Into a Parcel Delivery Company, Competing With FedEx and UPS?

Amazon.com has been testing the use of its own delivery vehicles in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco following an earlier pilot in the U.K. Does Amazon's move mean it will compete with UPS and FedEx and become a third private player in the U.S. parcel delivery market? Certainly it will have an impact and could begin to manage inventory, fulfillment and delivery for other consumer products businesses.

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2014-2015 Conference Calendar for Supply Chain, Distribution, Postal, Specialized Industry and More

The value of attending conferences is significant: learn from a combination of expert and peer-led presentations on trends and strategies to improve processes, enhance quality, reduce costs and do your jobs more effectively; network and make new connections; seek certification and professional growth opportunities; peruse the exhibit halls to better understand vendor capabilities and services; and more.  Read More >>

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What the 2014 USPS Pricing Changes for Shipping Services Means to Retailers

Every time the USPS announces rate changes all the stakeholders come out of the woodwork, with many of them bemoaning the increases and how it will impact their operation. Relax! Take a deep breath. All told, this rate change will have minimal impact to most, favorable impact to some and not so favorable, but tolerable changes for others. The positive  Read More >>

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UPS Announces 2014 Rates for Air, Ground and International Parcel Products

Last week, UPS announced its 2014 general rate increase. Ground, air and international parcel products will increase an average of 4.9 percent, effective Dec. 30, 2013.  Read More >>

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Don’t Overlook This Important Step Prior to Holiday Shipping

This time of year, e-tailers are finalizing preparations for seasonal sales spikes. Efforts have included everything from stockpiling inventories to bolstering the labor force. However, one important and necessary action many have overlooked will contribute to higher costs and lost profits. Has your organization recently negotiated better shipping discounts with FedEx, UPS and other parcel carriers?

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FedEx Announces 2014 Rate Increases for Express Products

This week FedEx announced average rate increases of 3.9 percent for express and international services, effective January 6, 2014. Unlike previous rates increases, FedEx will not offset rate increases by modifying fuel surcharge indexes. However, for many shippers the impact will be greater than the "average" increases announced, especially for deferred express products.  Read More >>

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Confused About FedEx SmartPost, UPS SurePost and Other Deferred Residential Parcel Options?

Google FedEx SmartPost or UPS SurePost and plenty of hits show up in the search results. Some reviews are positive, extolling benefits that include cost effectiveness and fewer surcharges over air/ground alternatives, end-to-end package visibility, free Saturday delivery, and more. However, your search results will include complaints ranging from transit times that were too lengthy to crushed/damaged packages. One thing is for sure: With the meteoric growth of e-commerce and consumers’

...  Read More >>

8 Ways to Use Parcel Carriers’ ‘Cost to Serve’ Pricing to Your Advantage

Just about every day, a shipper asks me what FedEx or UPS incentive they should be achieving for their specific spend level. But it doesn't work that way. While overall volume and revenue certainly play a role in pricing, the discounts you get from UPS and FedEx are largely based on their understanding of your distribution footprint and package characteristics, which are directly tied to the carriers’ "cost to serve" pricing models.   Read More >>

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Will UPS Go On Strike?

As the calendar inches closer to a July 31 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the parcel industry is beginning to ask the question, will UPS go on strike?  Read More >>

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Parcel Rate Increases for 2013 That Retailers Need to Know

UPS announced 6.5 percent air increases partially offset by a 2 percent fuel surcharge reduction, and 5.9 percent average ground increase offset by a 1 percent fuel surcharge reduction. Rate increases will take effect Dec. 31, 2012. Similarly, FedEx announced average rate increases of 5.9 percent for express and international services, offset by a 2 percent reduction in fuel surcharges. FedEx hasn't yet announced 2013 increases for FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery or FedEx SmartPost,

...  Read More >>

Parcel Rate Increases for 2012

UPS has announced 6.9 percent air increases, partially offset by a 2 percent fuel surcharge reduction. It's also announced a 5.9 percent average ground increase, offset somewhat by a 1 percent fuel surcharge reduction. Net increases for both UPS Air and UPS Ground are 4.9 percent effective Jan. 2, 2012.  Read More >>

Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Next Shipping Carrier Contract

There are many pitfalls to avoid when negotiating your carrier agreements. Take the time to develop a valuable relationship with your current carrier, but be sure to invite nonincumbent carriers to participate in annual bids — and give them a real shot! To maximize savings, do your homework, including meaningful benchmarking, and direct carrier negotiations through a formal bid. Take the time to understand and negotiate terms in addition to discounts.  Read More >>

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