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  • services-img4Fulfillment
    Kelly Direct assembles, warehouses and ships merchandise and promotional products all over the world.  We have managed thousands of fulfillment projects and shipped millions of items...   More>>
  • Warehousing and Logistics
    Kelly Direct manages dozens of highly-vetted fulfillment and freight companies in the US with millions of square feet of warehouse space and excellent resources in Mexico, Canada and Europe..... More>>
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    Shipping and Supplies
    Kelly Direct's volume discounts on shipping, packaging and other materials dramatically cut costs... More>>
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    Management and Consulting
    Kelly Direct applies decades of experience to manage individual projects, ongoing fulfillment programs and corporate-wide supply chain initiatives...  More>>
Blog
FEBRUARY 2019 NEWS

SUPER BOWL SHIPPING DELAYS:

FedEx will be operating in the Atlanta metro area during Super Bowl LIII festivities this week though some customers in the Atlanta area may experience service delays during this time because of government security measures in place for Super Bowl LIII. Fed Ex encourages all customers shipping into the area to check with recipients to understand their locations relative to the security zones. Zip codes of the potentially impacted areas available on www.fedex.com.

USPS ZONE-BASED PRICING:

The United States Postal Office implemented zone-based pricing for first class packages on January 27, no longer offering flat rates. This will raise postage costs. The average difference between Zone 1 and Zone 9 pricing is $0.50. Previously, 1-15.999-ounce first class packages were billed at a flat-rate by weight, regardless of shipper or consignee address.

FED EX TRADE SLOW DOWN:

FedEx Corp. is hunkering down in the face of what it calls a trade slowdown. The parcel giant is starting a voluntary buyout program for some workers after problems in its express delivery business and it is pulling back international expansion plans ahead of what it says will be a further slowing of global trade.

 
Vetting Fulfillment Companies
Dear Kelly:
There is a misconception that Kelly Direct is a common brokerage firm.
Not true.
Kelly Direct has a stable of vetted fulfillment companies and we negotiate wholesale rates and easily integratewith 31 order processing environments and spin up shopping carts and manage the project from start-to-finishand provide a revenue stream by leveraging high volume vendor rates and provide extraordinary customer service.
I founded P3 Inc. - Publicity Product Promotional Fulfillment - in 1984.  After 25 years, the company expanded 11 times eventually grew to 180+ employees in 239K sq ft warehouse.
Having worked with dozens of warehouses and freight companies over the years, I know the best (and worst) fulfillment companies, how a project should run and where pricing should (really) be.
I work with only 12-15 fulfillment providers in the domestic U.S. that meet our standards.
Not all fulfillment companies are created equal.   Based on three decades of experience, we analyze, select and negotiate with the warehouse(s) best suited to your project. Our considerations:
  • Vendor specialty
  • Vendor challenges
  • Warehouse proximity to port
  • Warehouse proximity to ship destinations
  • Multiple locations for East/West distribution
  • Overhead
  • Square footage and storage capabilities
  • Industry rates and rate structure
  • Ability to leverage high volume ship rates
  • Ability to leverage high volume material rates
  • IT and integration sophistication
  • Quality reporting and visibility
  • Turn time guarantees
  • Best suited to a low or high SKU volume
  • Best suited to consumer or business distribution
  • Shipper integration expertise
  • On-site Fed Ex or UPS reps
  • Ability for rapid 100+ staff spin-up
  • Accommodation of projects during peak periods

  • Returns processing experience
  • Equipment and loading dock capabilities
  • Payment processing capabilities
  • Call center integration experience
  • On-site or outsourced IT department
  • Shopping cart development skills
  • Compliance to routing guides and EDI for retail shipments
  • Relevant industry certifications (HIPAA, FDA, etc.)
  • High-value, refrigerated or temperature controlled storage space
If your team is not doing this type of vetting, it is quite likely that you are not getting the lowest rates and highest efficiency for your pick-pack/assembly projects. And neither are your clients.
 
Industry News September 2018

PAPER OK BUT NOT MERCHANDISE?  

The USPS has proposed that all marketing mail that is sent via USPS must be printed matter and no merchandise or goods will be allowed of any type (regardless of value).   The USPS says that the change allows them to “ship the items to mail streams with better end-to-end tracking capability". The alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM) challenged the move claiming the USPS doesn't have the legal authority to regulate what nonprofit companies and fundraisers can put in envelopes. The USPS, in response, basically said not to worry just yet.

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE TO BEGIN SUNDAY PACKAGE DELIVERIES

Teamster negotiators and UPS have reached a handshake deal on a new 5-year contract that would  raise pay for existing workers but also create a new category of lower-paid drivers to handle weekend deliveries  This discussions would become one of the biggest collective bargaining agreements in the US.  The hybrid-driver role would allow UPS, which now delivers on Saturdays in some markets, to start regular Sunday delivery of packages (something the USPS provides for customers such as Amazon).

WALMART AND COSTCO IN PROMO PRODUCT SPACE

Walmart and Costco are now competing with promotional products distributors by offering customizable products directly to consumers.  Walmart has been in the game for a little while now, but Costco has quietly started selling products in the same way Walmart has.  Costco announced on its site that it will now offer personalized items like writing instruments, apparel, bags, drinkware with a production turn time of seven business days.

Sources:  Wall Street Journal, USPS Federal Register, Promo Marketing Magazine

 
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