13 Categories of Parcel Shippers—An Integral Map

One of the challenges shippers face is making decisions about, well about everything—processes, technology, carriers, rates, etc… regarding their shipping operation. Circumstances change depending on the type of shipping. For example, if you ship from an office, you have different needs than if you ship from a warehouse.

All shippers are not alike. Too many shipping vendors try to have a one size fits all solution—from carriers to software companies. My contention is that if you can find yourself on a map, you can increase the likelihood of getting what you need to be as efficient as possible. Shippers needs differ. By creating a map you can make sense of your segment and get a better solution.

I got this idea to create a map of shipping operations from of my favorite authors, Ken Wilber. Ken is a contemporary American philosopher that has written dozens of books including, A Theory of Everything. In this book, he says “What is the point of using this Integral Map? First, the Integral Map helps make sure that you are “touching all the bases.” If you are trying to fly over the Rocky Mountains, the more accurate a map you have, the less likely you will crash. An Integral Approach ensures that you are utilizing the full range of resources for any situation, with the greater likelihood of success.”

So that you don’t make a mistake shipping and crash, I am going to use this approach to map out the territory for parcel shippers in a series of posts. Today, l will lay out 13 different kinds of parcel shippers.

  1. Consumer—occasional ships a package
  2. Mobile worker—works for a large corporation but from home
  3. eBayer—sells products part time on ebay or amazon.com
  4. SOHO—small office, home office
  5. Internet retailer—has a website and ships product to customers
  6. Office—ships a small volume, mostly urgent envelopes and an occasional package
  7. Legal—ships documents
  8. Mailroom—processes envelopes mostly but needs to ship urgent envelopes and packages
  9. Warehouse—a distribution center or manufacturer that ships packages weighing less than 150 pounds
  10. 3PL—third party logistics company that fulfills and ships products for multiple companies.
  11. Campus—university or corporation with multiple shipping points on a campus type environment
  12. Multi-Warehouse—a company that has multiple distribution facilities
  13. Global—an organization with multiple shipping points globally

What kind of shipping operation do you have? Does one of these categories cover your type of shipping? Let me know if I missed a category and stay tuned as I will detail some of the different need of each type of shipper.


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