It’s hard to believe that we are now in 2020. How did your organization perform with respect to attaining to your goals in 2019? The parcel industry is a dynamic industry that keeps changing. As we enter the new year, it is imperative to develop a strategy to stay competitive, especially as Amazon continues to majorly shake up the e-commerce market. If you are a merchant, how are you going to compete with these new standards and expectations? Here are 10 ways you can stay competitive in 2020.

1. Initiate a Parcel Optimization Program: This is based on getting the best service at the best rate. You need to see how you can deploy this in 2020 and stop using your primary carrier for all of your shipping services.

2. Utilize a Multi-Carrier Shipping System with Rate Shopping Capability: This will allow you to add more carriers and begin the process of being less reliant on your primary carriers.

3. Develop Relationships with New Carriers: If you weren’t able to do this in Q4 so you can deploy new carriers in 2020, now is the time to make this happen.

4. Hire a Parcel Negotiation Firm: They are experts at what they do and can bring great value to your organization.

5. Hire an Audit Firm: This is a great way to recover lost dollars but also to keep your parcel carrier honest.

6. Enhance Relationships with Current Carriers at Multiple Levels: It is critical to know key executives at higher levels and to involve them in your account. They are the ones that make things happen to help you achieve your goals.

7. Find New International Service Providers (the USPS will be raising their international rates significantly in 2020): The USPS has decided to stay in the Universal Postal Union but all the countries have agreed to open the doors to raising rates… don’t wait for this to happen.

8. Packaging: Take the air out of your packaging and minimize dimensional weight charges.

9. PARCEL Forum: Attend the PARCEL Forum in 2020. This is one of the best venues in the US to meet industry executives, network with your peers, and learn from some of the most knowledgeable minds in the industry. This year’s show will be held in Nashville from September 28-30; stay tuned for more information!

10. Amazon: Be aware on how they will impact your business model in 2020 and what strategies you can deploy to stay competitive.

These are just some ideas to be more competitive in 2020. It is essential to make changes in this new year. I hope your peak season has gone well and you are now looking at how you can improve in 2020!

Michael J. Ryan is the Executive Vice President at Preferred Shipping ( and has over 25 years of experience in the parcel industry. He can be reached at 708.224.1498 or