Industry Guides

The Top Mistakes When Picking Shipping Technology

Modern operators need to know the most important criteria to modern shipping software. Use this guide to avoid common mistakes.

Updated April 4, 2024

The Industry Transformation Underway

The world has changed around you, and we’re here to say:

That’s okay. It’s not your fault.

But it’s time to get smart. The way operators are used to buying, deploying, managing and reporting on the shipping technology they use is now different. The criteria that mattered, the capabilities that drove a decision, and the understanding of shipping operations is not the same as it was 10 years ago.

What changed?


In the ‘90s, the era of store expansion meant shipping software was simpler because the network was simpler. There were a fixed set of origins (maybe 2 warehouses), destinations (100 stores), SKUs (whatever could fit on the shelf), carriers (UPS and FedEx), and modes (air, freight, parcel). So of course the choice that mattered were pitting FedEx off UPS and picking the lowest rate to service all the modes that shipped to stores.

Then around 2005, eras changed.

We saw the advent of the cloud in 2006. Then the advent of the iPhone in 2007. Then the recession in 2008 powering price sensitivity. Then 95%+ domestic broadband coverage in 2009. By 2010, ecommerce was here to stay.

That meant the network of the modern operator got crazy complex. A few more origins with shipping from stores. But, crucially, an infinite number of destinations as every address in the world became the market. The infinite shelf meant SKUs and their permutations grew. More carriers entered the race. All resulting in an explosion in parcel shipping and the impact of its unit economics on the business.

Your new goal: Deal with reality, and picking shipping technology that brings you into the future is a big part of it. To get smart, we curated the top 30 mistakes we see operators make when modernizing their shipping stack. We hope they help you manage the changing world around you.


  1. Top Strategic Mistakes
  2. Top Carrier Management Mistakes
  3. Top Rate Shopping Mistakes
  4. Top Mistakes Managing Shipping Operations
  5. Top Delivery Promise Mistakes
  6. Top Visibility & Reporting Mistakes
  7. Top Technology Mistakes
  8. Top Infrastructure & Deployment Mistakes
  9. Top Ecosystem Mistakes
  10. Top Mistakes Evaluating Companies

"We now have the premium shipping experience to complement our incredible shopping experience that sets Saks OFF 5TH up to be an ecommerce leader."

— Shivi Shankaran, Chief Operating Officer