Zones in logistics refers to the geographical areas that carriers ship to, spanning from Zone 1 to Zone 4 for domestic shipments in India. Shipping carriers use shipping zones to measure the distance a package travels – not in kilometers but rather groupings of pincodes – from the point of origin to the destination.
A zone is used in logistics to assign packages to a courier company for delivery. Zone is helpful in identifying the larger geographical area when shipping. One particular zone is different from another in many ways and characteristics. For example, different zones may include north, south, east, west etc. In eCommerce assigning a zone to a parcel means helping it route in the correct direction. When packages are picked up by courier companies and need to be delivered to a destination, they are first sorted based on their zone.
Zone is also used by the shipper to check the serviceability of a particular courier partner.
Warehousing is the process of storing physical inventory for sale or distribution. Warehouses are used by all different types of businesses that need to temporarily store products in bulk before either shipping them to other locations or individually to end consumers.
Volumetric weight is calculated with a formula using the volume weight of a package based on the actual dimensions of the box. It refers to the product of the package’s length, breadth, and height divided by a courier-specific constant.
While physical weight is the weight of the shipment according to the scale, volumetric weight is calculated based on the package’s length, width, and height.
Weight discrepancy is a disagreement between a ‘seller’ and a ‘courier company’ over the package’s reported weight. It usually arises when the courier company disagrees with the seller’s provided order weight.
Since the courier company charges based on the weight of the package, such an issue leads to a dispute, where the shipper has to justify and submit proof if they want to raise a dispute for the issue.
Often weight discrepancy arises when the shipper mentions the true or dead weight of the parcel during the processing of a shipment, On the other hand, the courier company prefers to charge the shipper based on the volumetric weight of the parcel.
Unified tracking refers to monitoring the tracking status of all shipments on a single unified platform. Regardless of the carrier company that you ship your products with, unified tracking enables tracking all orders on a single platform.
Unified tracking refers to a platform or web portal where you can track the status of your package, regardless of the shipping service provider you have used to ship the parcel.
A unified tracking system helps in eCommerce since sellers ship their parcels via multiple courier partners. In such situations tracking becomes a huge problem if they have to go to each courier’s website and track orders only that are shipped via that courier. Unified tracking helps ease all of this and makes shipping seamless for sellers.
SKUs or Stock Keeping Unit codes are one of the fundamental elements for keeping track and managing stock in a warehouse. A SKU is a product’s one-of-a-kind reference number, as registered in a company’s system. The reference number allows vendors to automatically track the movement of inventory.
The SKU is composed of an alphanumeric combination of eight-or-so characters. The characters make up a code that tracks the price, product details, manufacturer, and point-of-sale.
Shipping insurance is a policy a shipper can purchase to get reimbursed for shipments that are lost, stolen or damaged in transit with a courier. It can be bought through couriers or third party vendors at the time of shipment, with costs varying depending on the declared value of the goods.
API is an acronym that stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs are generally cloud-based intermediaries that allow applications with different designs and code to exchange data and information with each other.
An airway bill is a supporting document that accompanies international air freight. The AWB provides detailed information about the goods shipped by an international air courier and allows it to be tracked.
A shipping label displays key information about the package being transported from point of origin to its destination. It is helpful for the carrier transporting it because it carries key information including: postal code, country, tracking number, date, package quantity as well as the weight, address, validation, and ship street, city and state. Shipping labels also include the method of shipping, whether standard or express.
In certain cases, especially during international shipping, shipping labels can also specify the contents.
Each shipping label is unique and old labels cannot be reused. Each delivery requires a new label.
The process of moving products or goods from their final destination back to the point of origin or to the supplier is known as reverse logistics. It usually occurs when the product delivered is defective, excess, or is simply returned by the customer.
RTO or Return to Origin is the process that takes place if the product never reaches the customer or if the delivery attempt fails. It can happen for multiple reasons such as incorrect customer address, unavailability of customers to receive the product, etc. In RTO, the product gets shipped back to the seller.
NDR stands for non-delivery report. It is a status update given by the carrier partner to the eCommerce business to inform them that the specified delivery failed and specifying the reason for said failed delivery. Following this, multiple delivery attempts are made by the carrier partner to ensure a successful delivery.
An OMS or an Order Management System helps automate and organize the fulfillment process for businesses. Once a customer places an order and selects a specific deliver method, an automated fulfillment process is triggered using OMS.
A label is a strip of paper containing important information about the parcel and is fixed to a parcel. It contains information such as the origin of the parcel, its destination, and its contents.
In some cases it also contains additional information about the details of order.
The final leg of the eCommerce supply chain when a parcel finally reaches the consumer forms the last mile delivery. It physically connects the brand or business with its customer through the delivery of the goods purchased.
In last mile delivery, goods are transported from either a distribution center or a warehouse to the consumer’s home.
First mile delivery is the first leg of the supply chain where the products are moved from a manufacturing unit to a warehouse or a holding center. From this location, a carrier, shipping company, or logistics partners picks up the products and takes it to the next leg of the supply chain.
Kitting is an inventory management technique where individual, yet related products are packaged and shipped together as a single bundle. Typically, kitting is a value added service but it is often as important as picking and packing in eCommerce fulfillment.
Kitting is especially a great technique when you have products that are often bought together, since you can put together a bundle before an order is placed and save time.
A hyperlocal delivery model is an online business model wherein the on-demand needs of customers are met through local offline shops via a digital platform. The primary benefit of such a delivery model is that the needs of customers are easily met within a specified period of time that usually spans within hours.
Insurance in logistics protects the shipments against physical damage or loss of goods while being transported by land, sea, or air. Since shipping has numerous risks associated with it, most businesses choose to insure their goods when being shipped.
Import duty is a tax collected on imported goods and some exports by a country’s customs authorities. The value of the goods being imported usually affect the import duty. Import duty is also commonly known as customs duty, tariff, import tax or import tariff.
The Goods and Services Tax or GST is an indirect tax levied in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a comprehensive indirect tax system that has to be followed and is levied on several kinds of goods and services. GST has different tax slabs for different types of goods. The level of GST imposed is based on the nature of the goods one is selling. Certain goods are also exempted from GST. The tax system came into full effect in the year 2017.
Dimensional weight is the weight of a parcel measured by taking into account the size of the parcel. In other words, it calculates the amount of space that a parcel will take when it is transported compared to the actual weight of the parcel.
It is calculated by multiplying the parcel’s length, width and height and dividing by the divisor as determined by the shipping company.
Cash on delivery or COD, is a method of collecting payment that requires customers to pay cash for goods at the time of delivery.
Dangerous goods are those substances or materials that are capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce. Dangerous goods can be categorized as flammable, explosive, radioactive, bio-hazardous or allergenic. Normally, they require special authorisation to store, use, and transport.
A courier service is one where a logistics company provides a premium, all-inclusive delivery service that transports parcels or consignments from one place to another in the shortest time possible.
Express shipping is a special service offered by carrier companies to reduce the delivery time of a parcel, thus expediting the shipping process. Express shipping is usually carried out by air to speed up the delivery process. Most carrier companies usually charge a small extra free for expedited shipping.
A public warehouse is a warehouse option usually run by a third party that businesses can rent for long-term or short-term needs. Public warehouses are a viable option especially when dealing with seasonal demands or temporary warehousing needs.
Private warehouses are warehouses that are privately owned. They are usually owned by big retailers to store their extra inventory in bulk, especially during busy seasons. Private warehousing requires huge investments from the owner. However, they most likely prove to be cost-effective in the long run.
An export invoice is a document that contains the description of goods provided by the exporter. It also contains the amount that is due from the importer and its format is quite similar to that of a regular tax invoice.