Your Carrier Isn't Giving You The Lowest Possible Rates
by Jillian Voege
September 23, 2016
Imagine having the technology that verifies the absolute lowest price you'd need to pay for a service. Wouldn't that be something worth integrating into your business?
That's the basis of rate shopping with carriers. Shipping APIs like ours have an advantage in finding the absolute lowest rates, because we can access every rate from every service level available from a carrier. Multiply that access by the number of carriers we can support, and we have a lot of opportunities to find the absolute lowest rate for any given package.
But a common piece of pushback we receive from businesses is this: "We already have such a great relationship with our carrier. We get exclusively low rates from them. So why would we need to shop for other carriers we don't have relationships with?"
It's good business to maintain your close relationships. After investing so much time, money, and effort to cultivate a connection between third party vendors and partners, it just makes sense to keep your relationships in mind when you make business decisions.
Still, when it comes to making value-based decisions, your existing relationships aren't always the deciding factor. This is especially true in logistics, where there's a common misconception that allying yourself to one carrier can yield the best rates. This is not necessarily true, no matter how close you are to a carrier.
Let's say you have access to a certain service level with a major carrier. They charge you $8.00 for standard ground to deliver a 1 lb. package from Chicago to St. Cloud. There's also another regional carrier that exclusively services the Midwest, offering just $4.31 as a base price for the same package, same shipping speed, and same destination address.
We're not saying to ditch your existing relationship with your carrier. That relationship will still bear fruit when it comes to maintaining lowest possible shipping costs. Still, it's valuable to see what else the entire world has to offer, even if you're not familiar with other players. With EasyPost, you have an automated system that crosschecks different carriers against each other to find the lowest rate. Sometimes it'll be the rate you've negotiated with your partner, sometimes it won't be, but it will be the lowest possible rate you can get.
Think of it this way: when you're asking your carrier for lower rates, you're asking someone with a vested interest in keeping you tied to their service exclusively. All we want to do is add value to your business, which is why it's in our best interest to find you the lowest rate, period.