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Shipping Strategy 101: Nate Skiver

Diana Zheng
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September 6, 2022

Speakers:

Diana Zheng - Head of Marketing, Stallion Express

Nate Skiver - Founder, LPF Spend Management 

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About our guest speaker

Nate Skiver is the creator behind Level Playing Field Spend Management (LPF Spend Management), a company that works with package shippers, mainly helping them with their contracts and looking for the perfect carriers that will align with his clients’ shipping strategy.

With 17 years of leadership experience in shipping and logistics for major U.S. retailers, Nate now regularly shares and posts on his LinkedIn to help eCommerce owners elevate their shipping know-how.

We highly recommend following Nate as a credible and experienced strategist in the eCommerce shipping industry, so you can keep up to date with trends and insights.

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Having ample time for preparation every 4th quarter shipping season is definitely a must to guarantee a smooth-sailing transaction for you and your customer. This will make you easily adjust your game plan with the extra time you have on your hands.

Our Stallion Head of Marketing, Diana, had a conversation with Nate Skiver of LPF Spend Management on equipping eCommerce sellers to properly align their shipping strategy to their desired goal.

For the full summary of the interview, check out this video

To help save you time from taking notes, we’ve summarized all the important information down below.

What is carrier diversification?

Carrier diversification is referred to as an eCommerce seller’s act of adding multiple shipping carriers and services to match your customers’ needs and expectations.

From a customer retention standpoint, this will provide the end consumer more than one option by offering a variety of delivery options - may it be premium overnight express or a more affordable alternative with longer delivery times.. 

Here are Nate’s Q4 Shipping Tips to save yourself the trouble in the upcoming busy season:
  • Have your plans ready for Q4. 

Are you a high-volume shipper, especially during the hustle and bustle of the season? As a rule of thumb, you should have all your plans laid out as early as Q1 or Q2 of the same year.

In addition, learn to gather information from third-party experts in the industry to know about the shipping forecast for the busy quarter. Chat with your dedicated Stallion Express account manager!

  • Keep multiple carrier options in hand to provide flexibility whenever needed.

It is crucial to have multiple carrier and service options as the surge of shipment demand increases. You don’t want to rely on just one carrier in the busy season. The more advanced shipping leaders in the industry will innovate new solutions to meet demands (rather than only having big-name carriers as options).

  • Lastly, transparency is a must.

Minor troubles are inevitable due to the high volume of shipments, especially during Q4. Show accountability at all costs by informing your clients about any delays that can affect their shipping experience.

Setting your shipping calendar

When it comes to the specific time on when to start planning, your allowance can depend on several factors, such as the volume of shipments and the extent of complexity in the fulfillment network.

But rather than delaying it, always remember to set your shipping calendar no later than August of the same year. This makes you well-prepared whenever a problem arises. However, when it happens, the solution is to look for a new carrier that perfectly fits your criteria for shipping time, cost, and other features it can offer. 

Considering local carriers

While national carriers can offer more favourable pricing, they will purposefully constrain their capacity to get aligned with their volume target during the busy season. Take the opportunity to partner with both national and regional shipping companies to provide more flexibility on your part. 

Shipping forecast for Q4 2022

With less constrictions from the pandemic compared to the past two years, expect that the shipping status will improve during the 4th quarter. There’s a possibility of having a moderate package growth by the end of the year, acquiring a decent position in terms of shipment volume. 

What’s in it for 2023?

Compared to this year, a better shipping system can be looked forward to for 2023. With wider options for carriers to choose from, this will bring more accessibility and convenience for online sellers.

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Find yourself caught up with more questions after reading this article? Leave us an email at [email protected] or call us at 877-863-7447 to connect with our client support team.

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Written by Diana Zheng

Diana leads the growth marketing initiatives at Stallion Express. As a personal trainer turned digital marketer, Diana is obsessed with equipping eCommerce entrepreneurs with everything they need to scale their online businesses. You can catch her doing yoga or hitting the tennis courts in her spare time.

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