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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, in addition to his work as an outside consultant since 2001.

The Art of Delivering Style

Maria Haggerty
Become Part of the Problem-Solving Business
Apr 17, 2015

A great fulfillment partner is one that can help business owners accomplish their goals by providing trust, excitement and new...

Return on Intelligence

Jim Gilbert
How Video Marketing Led to Brand Differentiation and Revenue Growth for The Fresh Diet, Part 2
Apr 9, 2015

Video has become such a powerful tool in the marketer's toolkit that the future looks bright enough that digital recruiting...


Stephen Lett
50 Best Tips for 2015
Feb 9, 2015

It's a new year and the Lett Direct team has put together "50 Best Tips for 2015" that will help you increase...

Designed to Convert

Tim Ash
If You Need More Darned Clutter on Your Site ...
Mar 27, 2015

You've probably heard this one before: When you're trying to get a visitor to your site, you should be screaming...

Catalog Doctor

Susan J. McIntyre
Where NOT to Cut Costs in Your Catalog Business
Mar 19, 2015

Cost cutting among catalog brands has been widespread for the past few years — and with good results. It's kept...

Return on Inventory

Joe Palzkill
Get Returns on Your Returns
Mar 5, 2015

With the advent of omnichannel retailing, the subject of customer returns has become a hot topic for retailers. The financial...

Retail Rants & Raves

Joe Keenan
Retail Jobs Not so Bad After All?
Oct 15, 2014

The National Retail Federation (NRF) today released a study authored by a University of Georgia economist who found that retail jobs...

Retail Revelations

Melissa Campanelli
When Email Snafus Happen to Good Companies
Nov 12, 2014

Say it ain't so! I was actually sad when I read in MarketWatch this week that Seattle-based online retailer Zulily’s...

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...

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 SmartPost to Raise Rates Again?

While FedEx SmartPost hasn't made any public announcements as of this publication, select customers have received written notifications of a price change effective April 27, 2015. Early indications are that FedEx intends to increase SmartPost rates by 8.3 percent.  Read More >>

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UPS to Increase Fuel Surcharges on All Products Effective Feb 2, 2015

In spite of plummeting oil prices, UPS just changed the tables used to calculate fuel surcharges, resulting in yet another rate increase for shippers. New, higher fuel surcharges for UPS Air, International and Ground products will change effective Feb. 2. You didn't miss the UPS memo. The corporate email didn't go into your junk folder. Your UPS sales rep didn't forget to call. There was no announcement. UPS simply updated the tables and posted them to its website...  Read More >>

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FedEx to Increase Fuel Surcharges on All Products Effective Feb 2, 2015

On the heels of its General Rate Increase (effective January 5, 2015) and changes to the way FedEx will price all Ground packages based on dimensional weight, the changes reflect yet another major rate increase. FedEx Express and International services will increase as much as  Read More >>

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UPS Announces 2015 General Rate Increase

Effective Dec. 29, 2014, the published rates for UPS services will increase. UPS Ground, Air and International rates will increase an average net of 4.9 percent. UPS air freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will increase an average net 4.9 percent. UPS freight tariffs for shipments rated on the current UPS Freight 560 (U.S. 48), 525 (to and from Canada) and 570/571 (to and from Mexico) will increase an average net 4.9 percent. However, average increases can be

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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? 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 >>


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’

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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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