4 Advantages of Multi-Carrier Shipping
by Jason Stark
With ecommerce sales exploding, many shippers find that the old ways of doing business might not cut it anymore.
It used to be that if you were an ecommerce retailer, you would have one or two preferred shipping methods and carriers that you would use. You would be given rates from one or two major carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.), and you would send your packages out with predefined options.
If between 1 and 5 lbs, send UPS Ground.
If above 5lbs, send FedEx Home Delivery.
That might have been good in the past, but there are better options in today's world. Enter multi-carrier shipping software. With the right software in place, you can automatically choose between not just carriers but rates and service levels. This means that you can find the best solution for your business no matter where you are shipping to or from. Shipping experts across the industry will tell you just how important having the right multi-carrier shipping software is:
Below we'll discuss a few of the top reasons to choose multi-carrier shipping software.
Finding the cheapest way to ship
Whether you're looking for discounts on FedEx, UPS, DHL, or UPS shipping, you can rest assured that you will get the deals your business needs with the right software in place. With rate shopping in place, your software will choose the most cost-effective shipping methods automatically.
We know it may not always be about the cheapest shipping method. Sometimes it's about what works best for you and your customer. High-quality shipping software can help you set custom rules so that even when rate shopping, it will pick the right carrier and method for you.
This means if you have customers in a more rural area or even overseas, you can still pick a method that works for them. Many ecommerce retailers will tell you that some carriers perform better than others in certain parts of the country and world. Having a good multi-carrier shipping software in place means you can provide a customized experience for your customers instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
Saves you time
Instead of logging into separate portals to view details about your shipments, multi-carrier shipping software programs will allow you to manage all your accounts from a single access point. So not only will you be able to save time by picking the proper shipping method, you'll no longer need to log into multiple systems to see the same information.
The right software will also handle things like BOL's, commercial invoices, and any other pertinent paperwork. This eliminates the need to print things off and attach them to the outside of the package. It will all be on the label. And trust me, if you've ever had to do this in a high-tempo warehouse environment, you'll understand how much of a relief that can be.
The last big advantage of multi-carrier shipping is the flexibility and adaptability it gives you. To qualify for big discounts, many ecommerce retailers have to provide all of their shipping volume to one shipper like FedEx, UPS, and DHL. This means that if there are any delays from the shipper, and you need to send your packages through an alternate carrier, you won't have the discounts in place – potentially causing you to take a huge hit in shipping costs.
This happened to many retailers – even major retailers – in 2020 and could happen again in the future. Having good shipping software in place means you could have discounts from multiple carriers, and you would be able to switch at a moment's notice. So if the dreaded canceled pickup happens, you’ll be able to get access to other carriers without having to sell the farm.
How to use multi-carrier shipping solutions
Now that you've seen all the benefits of multi-carrier shipping, you might be wondering how to integrate it into your strategy. EasyPost's multi-carrier shipping API integrates with over 100 carriers to give you a simple and flexible shipping experience. On top of that, EasyPost can also help with tracking, rating, address verification, and insurance.