Aug. 28 2007 04:33 PM

    Its time to find out whats happening in your industry. In this issue, we feature Part 1 of our annual Best Practices Survey the transportation portion. Part 2 the operations portion will appear in the November/December issue. This is the 10th year of our survey.


    Along with the investment firm Morgan Stanley, we analyzed over 400 of our PARCEL readership operations (a big thank you to Morgan Stanley they do a great job).


    Probably the most frequent information request we receive is on how you, our readers, rate carriers. Thats one of the critical areas of the parcel industry who delivers economically, reliably, on time, with the best and most accurate tracking and billing.


    This year, you rated both DHL and the USPS higher than last year in virtually every category and actually rated FedEx Express lower than last year in every category. However, UPS and FedEx Express continue to be the delivery leaders. UPS leads in four categories, FedEx Express leads in two, and DHL moves up to join UPS as the leader in the pricing category. The survey indicates that DHL may be working out their past delivery problems you rated them higher across the board. The USPS continued to grow volume but at a much lower rate than in the past couple of surveys likely due to the 2007 rate increase (which was very high for parcels). 


    Accessorial charges continue to be your biggest irritant 30% of respondents rate them as the number one biggest complaint. Pricing (11%) and fuel surcharges (8%) follow far behind. When
    combined with fuel surcharges, accessorials account for fully 10% of delivery costs.


    Another interesting result: although carriers downplay the impact of Dim weight charging, nearly half of our respondents say Dim weight has had an effect and will increase their costs by an average of 10%. How you deal with Dim weight runs the gamut, from changing packaging and negotiating through just eating the added costs. It will be interesting to follow Dim weight developments by carriers although they all say, no big deal. Im afraid were just seeing the tip of this iceberg.


    On the bright side, most of you expect rate increases to be slow, or at least moderate, averaging only 1%-2%. UPS is expected to be the increase leader (when you have the lions share of the business, you can likely get away with a bit more).


    At any rate, check out the entire survey results starting on page 10 and dont forget to check out the November/December issue for more survey results.


    A very big THANKS to all of you who took the time to complete the survey. Your input makes this a better industry.


    I hope to see many of you at the PARCEL Forum in Chicago and, as always, thanks for reading PARCEL.


    Dan ORourke