May 16, 2002, 12:00 AM

A little planning ahead for time-sensitive deliveries pays off

Retailers can save 75% on shipping costs simply by mapping out a distribution plan based on the recipient`s distance from the distributor, PFSweb reports.


A distributor of movies to video shops is saving money on shipping costs simply by mapping out a distribution plan based on recipient`s distance from the distribution point, then shipping the movies via U.S. Postal Service rather than overnighting all at one time, fulfillment provider PFSweb Inc. tells Internet Retailer.

Movie releases are particularly critical because no studio wants to give any retailer an unfair advantage by having one receive releases before the others.

"Before we had the warehouse sorting system that we have now we`d have to blast out all the packages overnight to make sure they got there on time," says Scott Talley, PFSweb`s vice president of worldwide distribution. "Now we put deliveries in the mail stream via USPS based on destination, so we put the delivery zones that are farthest away from the distribution center out first. We have a system that allows us to time everything a few days out."

So far, PFSweb is working with one undisclosed client but hopes to prove out the service. "The client has to be confident that all the delivery zones are going to be received on the same release date, " Talley says.


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