Negotiating Parcel Contracts is probably not your full time job!
In addition to your normal business responsibilities, you would need to deal with data analysis, bid preparation, bid comparison, implementation, and then measurement of savings (assuming everything goes well).
A consultant is staffed to give full and undivided attention to this process.
Consultants can act as your full time dedicated employee(s) only as you need them, and only when you need them.
Make sure consultancy provides shipment level detail so you can audit their savings calculations
Make sure contract states they can’t take savings for modal changes (e.g., they can’t take savings between FedEx Ground by switching you to FedEx Smartpost) unless this was a recommendation by the consultant and agreed to upfront and there is a valid way to discern for example what shipments now going Smartpost would have gone Commercial Ground with Residential add on fee prior to their recommendation
Or even more difficult to discern what shipments now moving ground used to be the ones that formerly moved air
If your shipping is significantly growing, you can cap the total compensation in Years 2 & 3 to Year 1 compensation (so the consultant is not getting unduly compensated simply based on your growth)
A competitive bid of your business to the consulting community will get consultants to significantly come off their typical fees, however the low cost consultant may not maximize your net savings...evaluate capability, experience, the individual who will work your bid, and cost
There is a list of some consulting companies at www.hempsteadconsulting.com
Ask your carrier rep to find out what their company’s experience is with consultancy. (Note, some carrier reps may try to disparage consultancy to avoid revenue dilution. Non-incumbent carrier may be better to ask about references.)
Deal only with principals, not untenured junior associates that often don’t yield the same results...
Know WHO will be handling YOUR account, and their experience...ask for resumes of the consultants who will be analyzing and negotiating.
For a list of parcel negotiating companies or If you would like information on what firm may be a good fit