June 1, 2010, 1:52 PM

96% of companies have made changes to shipping processes due to the economy

Nearly all respondents to a new poll say they have made changes to the way they ship goods because of the economic downturn. Among the changes are cutting staff, switching to less expensive providers and altering their carrier mix.

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Nearly all respondents—96%—to a new poll say they have made business changes including cutting staff, switching to less expensive providers and changing their carrier mix, in order to lower their shipping costs.

60% of respondents say they are using lower-cost shipping options, 48% cut staff and 33% changed their carrier mix to include regional carriers or to consolidate their carriers. Another 8% brought logistics in-house and 7% outsourced logistics to save money.

The fourth annual survey of 500 logistics professionals, executives and managers in such industries as retail, aerospace, electronics and health care, was conducted by trade and logistics vendor Kewill. 35% of participants had annual revenue of more than $1 billion.

The study also found that 95% of shippers use two or more carriers, and the largest shippers are more likely to use five or more carriers (28% compared to 9% for small shippers). And 53% manually determine licensing requirements for exported goods and country import regulations.

“The consistent theme is that companies have cut back on staffing and complicated the tasks by adding options and focusing on cost reduction—so fewer people are being asked to do more,” says Brian Hodgson, vice president of marketing and business development for Kewill.

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