The growing volume of larger items being ordered online, everything from furniture to gym equipment to home improvement products, has led Descartes unit ShipRush to be the first to add less-than-truckload (LTL) to the existing parcel capability on its SMB shipping software platform.
Ecommerce sales of furniture and home furnishings in the U.S. alone is growing north of 15% a year, according to eMarketer, expected to hit $62.4 billion by 2021.
Troy Graham, vice president of business development for Descartes, said both the boom in large-item sales online as well as growth in multichannel sellers needing both LTL for their wholesale business and parcel for direct to customer orders led to the addition of LTL. Shippers have the flexibility to process both types of orders in one place, and create connections to different channels without a large IT investment.
“We’re seeing an increase in activity for things typically not thought of as ecommerce purchases, from flooring or landscaping to appliances,” Graham said. “So, there’s an uptick in the number of ecommerce companies selling and shipping bigger, heavier things. This is leading to increased demand for LTL from ecommerce businesses.”
Graham said SMB ecommerce companies can enter all their shipping details and determine if an LTL or parcel option makes more sense, comparing services and prices across carriers and modes. “A lot of times we hear companies making decisions between LTL or small packages go through different workflows based on mode,” he said. “Many of them now shipping a number of small items in multiple cartons can maybe choose an LTL option to save on costs by palletizing and rate shopping.”
Wakeboard seller ZUP is an example of a company benefiting from ShipRush’s integrated platform approach across shipping modes.
“As a multichannel business, ZUP’s shipping needs are complex,” said Nick Kierpiec, director of operations, in a release. “We process both individual marketplace orders and large palletized orders for our network of dealers. The ability to do everything in one platform, including process incoming orders and rate shop the best price and delivery options for parcel and LTL, saves us both time and money.”