Overcoming those frequent parcel carrier website changes

by | May 17, 2017

3 min read


If you’ve recently visited the FedEx or UPS websites, you’ve encountered multiple changes being made by those carriers to their sites. Some are purely cosmetic; others have been major changes to navigation and the actual structure of web pages themselves.

Even if you haven’t noticed these changes, members of your team tasked with performing duties on the sites no doubt have. One recent Monday, visitors logging into FedEx.com were greeted with an error while UPS.com visitors noticed a new look with different navigation. Compounding the issue for both sites is that the downtime and changes were rolled out over the course of the week, resulting in an inconsistent user experience. Unfortunately, incidents like these are common. So much for the comfort of muscle memory.

While carriers surely don’t intend to make your job more difficult, site unreliability leads to inconvenient downtime that neither improves your user experience nor makes your job easier.

The carriers believe that most of their online users are individuals tracking packages. Whether that is true or not, your business team is spending valuable time trying to pull invoices, submit refund claims, and drive insights into your business by creating reports and analyzing trends. For the clear majority of our customers, this is a time-consuming, manual chore.

The reality is that the parcel carriers affect thousands of their customers — like you and your business — whenever they roll out changes with no warning and insufficient customer support. Only in an industry devoid of competition would this lack of accountability to one’s customers be acceptable.

If you have automated any of the work associated with pulling data from parcel carriers, your operations will break down each time a carrier changes the path or method for accessing an account or the invoice. Do you want a carrier website change to damage your operations?

This is one of the many reasons why we recommend finding a parcel partner whose job includes staying on top of FedEx and UPS site changes. This will ensure invoice access, credit request, reconciliation processes, and access to your Parcel Intelligence remain automated and uninterrupted for customers.

“The ongoing health and efficacy of the invoice ingestions and audit processes are so important,” says Gena Curry, Audit Operations Manager. “We’re proactive in how we interact and communicate with the carrier sites to mitigate the challenges individual businesses face, and lower their business risk related to parcel shipping.”

The Audit Operations team at VeriShip is a combination of parcel experts, data scientists, and experienced developers. This team’s charge is the continuous optimization of the automated processes associated with maximizing the value we bring to customers.

The technology delves into the data and delivers the intelligence that means cost savings and operational efficiency for customers, learning from the billions of data points it receives.

“We’re always asking questions of and learning from the data,” says data scientist Tom Gossell. “We’re able to identify new refund opportunities and better questions to ask our audit to answer. We leverage data with constantly improving algorithms to answer new questions, improve on old answers, and build on the power of everything we do.”

Thanks to our team’s focus on continually improving the automated processes and data-driven feedback loop with parcel shippers and customers, the day-to-day challenges the carrier duopoly carelessly imposes on their business customers doesn’t have to be even a blip on you or your team’s operational radar.

Jared is VeriShip’s Chief Operating and Technology Officer.