Logistics play a crucial role in the success of a business and cover a vast area in facilitating trade and business operations. It is important to understand that risk, customer’s demand, and service consistency have equal portion of significance to make logistics successful. In order to develop balance among all these factors, businesses must follow high standards for constant improvement in performance.
Companies today are facing multiple problems in transportation related to cost control, operation planning, supply and finding inventory, which leads them to approach different solution providers according to their need, consuming lots of time and money. 2Ship Solutions, is a cloud-based Shipping Management System provider headquartered in Toronto. With integrations to over 280 carriers and dozens of storefronts, marketplaces and financial systems, it goes beyond labels and address books to help businesses automate the fulfillment of orders, ensure delivery efficiency, and provide full visibility and accuracy throughout the order and shipment lifecycle.
Hundreds of e-tailers, corporate mailrooms, third-party logistics providers and freight forwarders use 2Ship every day to ship smarter and shorten the Last Mile. A true software solution with a freight offering, it is used by customers worldwide to ship across all carrier types, from Same Day and postal, to small package, and all freight modes to full containers. This means any business with a handful of shipments, to those who ship 200,000+ shipments per month, can use its services. Companies will never need to move or find another solution for their shipping needs: all locations, carriers, accounts, inventory users and history are centralized and available via 2Ship.
One Centralized Solution
The 2Ship solution focuses on Centralization, Control and Visibility. It’s the single solution that ties the entire supply chain together: it delivers all carriers, accounts and services in one system for true real-time rate shopping with all outbound and inbound locations, administrators and users, orders, inventory and shipments. It enforces all logistic policies and settings across customers’ userbase, so everyone falls in line. View, track, report and analyze freight spend in a single reporting engine. The solution also measures and monitors carrier performance in an instant, and that’s all just part of the core.
The 2Ship Connect module enables customers to self-connect with their own storefronts, marketplaces and financial systems in minutes. Customers also have the option to leverage the full suite of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect to their own unique systems to 2Ship. And as a last resort there’s the 2Ship Integration team who can take on any custom API or ODBC integration for a client.
Throw in its Item2box calculator and eliminate the scale, measuring devices and the entire ship station in operations. The company also assists in showing the best way to pack and ship B2B and B2C orders by rate shopping pieces versus skids. If returns are an issue, the company has five different solutions to automate and meet all your return policies from consumer-facing to pre-authorized. And its all solved across a vendor Drop Ship supply chain, too. “Having the right returns solutions in place is so important because it can save businesses up to 70% on return costs,” explains Russ of 2Ship Solutions.
2Ship’s also got you covered when one needs an inventory, and pick-and-pack system. With its warehouse management module, customers can manage, track and synchronize inventory across all locations, and with its order routing optimizer, there’s no more overspending. 2Ship is not just a single customer application. It is also a 3PL application and a freight forwarder solution to price, sell and invoice freight across all customers and freight modes. It is more than just a rate, ship and track system. It’s truly The Logistics Solution.
A Techno Maven
Russ Proos, Founder and President of 2Ship Solutions, started the company back in 2006. As a technology specialist contracting in the industry for several years, Russ saw the power of leveraging a SaaS model for logistics when SaaS was still in its infancy. The ultimate goal was to build a best-in-class shipping platform that every business could afford.
According to Russ, “Having worked as a Solution Specialist in the industry and having felt the challenges first-hand, I wanted to level the playing field after seeing the great divide between large corporations and small businesses when it came to the shipping solutions they could afford. This was never about money; this was always about solving the problems of smaller businesses that were simply being ignored.”
Since then, 2Ship has brought some ground-breaking features and creative solutions to the industry that companies of all sizes have adopted to cut costs and go “greener.” Russ’s out-of-the-box thinking continues to drive the organization to solve the challenges of the industry. He continues to lead the company in finding new ways to get customers shipping smarter. Combining technology, data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning with imagination and creative thinking has kept 2Ship ahead of the curve as the supply chain continues to evolve.
2Ship challenges itself to be everything shipping to its customers, and the single solution they need for 100% of their logistics movements. The primary way the company is creating an impact on its customers is by offering a single solution that overcomes many challenges in the supply chain. Many systems in the market can solve one or a few challenges but this solution addresses as many – if not all – of the customers’ supply chain hurdles. By offering a single solution, customers no longer need to move across various systems to get the info they need and execute their processes. As a result, they experience a significant positive impact to their operational efficiency, information accuracy, and logistics cost reduction.
To complement this, 2Ship is laser-focused and heavily invested in providing Smarter Shipping capabilities to the customers. In addition to its core features, the team further supports customers’ growth and maturity through these additional smart technology offerings and a lot more in the future:
2Ship Item2box: By combining SKU-level packaging attributes and warehouse packaging availability, 2Ship can accurately calculate piece, weight and dimension information for orders based on their contents so customers no longer need to manually measure and weigh each shipment to calculate true shipping costs. They can eliminate their ship stations and leave it to 2Ship to measure and accurately calculate shipping costs for orders directly from their e-commerce sites and marketplaces, and all in real time. “It’s efficiency at its prime, and there is no more wondering why you keep quoting less than what you are ultimately billed for shipping charges,” says Russ.
2Ship Drop Shipping: With growing demand for drop shipping, 2Ship enables stores and marketplaces to rate and assign carriers to pick up parts of orders from suppliers and vendors directly and deliver straight to customers’ doorsteps. The company’s customers no longer have to worry about comparing carriers and shipping rates to find the best way to drop ship orders, 2Ship instantly puts customers in auto ship mode.
Virtual Carriers: Through 2Ship’s carrier integrations, the company is empowering businesses to break free from carrier determined routes. Customers who use 2Ship can act as ‘Virtual Carriers’ and create their own routes using the company’s carriers. This means the customers no longer need to be tied down to a single carrier route; they can create routes on-demand and ship according to the needs of their business.
Freight Analysis and Recommendation Engine: 2Ship has the ability to take its customers’ shipping history and combine this data with carrier routes and services to find faster routes and cheaper rates for future shipments with the same shipping variables. With this intelligence, customers can look to 2Ship to help them optimize their future shipments to save them time and money.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: 2Ship is disrupting the industry with technology that leverages AI and machine learning to provide the truly smarter shipping solution. Very soon, its solution will be able to combine historical data with current external data to predict some really great things for its customers and the industry. Russ shares, “We’re building, testing and scoring different models. It’s all in the works and under tight wraps for the moment but we’re very excited to elevate the industry using data and AI/ML.”
Breaking Status Quo
The biggest challenge is helping companies to break away from the status quo. This is either a manual operation or an antiquated system they’ve been using for too long. 2Ship realizes there are many companies sticking to their spreadsheets and ad-hoc processes because they’re comfortable or because they’re unaware of any other solution that can overcome their challenges. The costs associated with remaining status quo are immense and include costs to maintain systems and create workarounds, cost of mistakes, cost of lost business velocity, cost of limitations and preventing new market entry and service offering. These all are negatively impacting the success and growth of a business.
2Ship finds itself having to educate customers about the higher risk associated with no change. Overcoming the preconceived notions of how complex an integration or automated process must be is another challenge. There is a better – and smarter – way to conduct shipping and logistics. In 2Ship the team is taking every opportunity to share the risks and costs associated with not implementing a solution. The company is conducting research and sharing data around how the world of ecommerce and retail has evolved so businesses can benchmark themselves and see where the gaps and opportunities lie for them. It is seizing opportunities to talk about how 2Ship can help businesses with the challenges they face in their omni-channel, cross-border, and highdemand environment. The company is here to support businesses in their cost reduction and growth initiatives and will continue to do so through further development and enhancements in technology.
Achieving Success with Customer Gratification
Russ believes, “Our experiences and the lessons we have learnt in the last 10+ years have shaped 2Ship into the company and solution it is today. Our biggest achievements have come from the hardest lessons we’ve had to learn, as well.” The company has been fortunate to meet the right people at the right time and acquire some great clients along the way. The team has learned to listen closely to clients and understand both their processes and pain points. They combine their expertise and experience to deliver solutions that eliminate their customers’ headaches and manual processes.
The biggest achievement is the flexibility and agility in the company’s offering, not just as a business but as a solution, too. The company states, “We have built our applications in-house from Day One and our ability to add, customize and configure our solution to anything a customer wants or needs has given us a clear advantage over our competitors. We’re fast and inexpensive.”
2Ship strives to be the affordable, best-in-class Transportation Management System (TMS) for every business. Its primary goal is to remove as many roadblocks as possible to getting a customer the solution they need; this usually comes down to affordability for customization and integrations. A typical 2Ship integration with a customer’s order or warehouse system is a four to five day process. The company also offers a full API package so customers can integrate 2Ship using their own resources. The system also features a Do-It-Yourself wizard that connects 2Ship to various storefronts and marketplaces. 2Ship has eliminated any upfront costs to automate the order, inventory sync, and shipping flow with these external platforms.
Today, 2Ship’s product is no longer defined by a single acronym or description. Yes, the solution is a TMS at its core, but it is also a freight invoicing and auditing solution, a consumer-facing application, a warehouse management platform, an inventory centralization system, a carrier and freight forwarder solution, and most recently a virtual carrier ecosystem.