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Jaidyn Farar

Gain Shipping Independence With a Multi-Carrier Approach

by Jaidyn Farar

Each year, millions of people in the United States gather with friends and family to celebrate Independence Day with parades, food, and spectacular fireworks displays.

But as the Fourth of July approaches this year, we wanted to highlight another type of independence. 

A hand holding several lit sparklers in front of an American flag

When your business ships products to customers, you rely on carriers to provide a great delivery experience—but if you depend on just a single carrier, you put your business at risk. To achieve true independence for your business, you need a shipping strategy that puts you in control.

Let’s discuss how multi-carrier shipping gives your organization the independence it needs to thrive. 

Achieving independence through multi-carrier shipping

In the past, businesses relied heavily on contracts with individual shipping carriers to get discounted rates. But as consumer expectations evolved, shipping with a single carrier didn’t provide enough delivery flexibility. To offer a variety of shipping speeds and rates, many sellers adopted multi-carrier shipping strategies, using a combination of national, international, and regional carriers to send packages across the world. 

Delivery flexibility is a major benefit of multi-carrier shipping, and the strategy has many other benefits as well (which we’ll discuss below). But for now, let’s zoom in on independence. 

Multi-carrier shipping allows businesses to be more independent by mitigating the risks associated with carrier disruptions. If you ship with a single carrier, you’re vulnerable to delays and service interruptions caused by strikes, financial instability, capacity issues, or logistical errors. In other words, your success hinges on that carrier’s reliability. That requires a lot of trust, and it doesn’t always end well. 

But when you ship with multiple carriers, logistics operations stay up and running even if one carrier experiences problems. Because alternative options are always available, you can continue meeting delivery commitments and maintaining customer satisfaction. 

Multi-carrier shipping also gives you the option to refine your delivery experience. As you dig into shipping data using an analytics platform like Parcel Visibility, you’ll be able to see which carriers are performing best. With this data, you can be strategic about carrier and shipping service selection, and your customers will receive more packages on time and damage-free.

Other benefits of a multi-carrier strategy

Greater independence is a major benefit of using a diverse carrier mix, but your business will gain many other advantages by shipping with multiple carriers. These are some of the most significant perks: 

  • Cost optimization. By comparing the rates of multiple carriers, ecommerce merchants can significantly reduce shipping expenses. And rate comparison isn’t the only cost-saving feature of multi-carrier shipping. If you use multi-carrier shipping software like EasyPost, you’ll also access great discounts on rates.
  • Flexible delivery options. Shipping with multiple carriers lets you provide a range of shipping options to better meet diverse customer preferences. You can ensure fast delivery for customers who need it while offering slower, more affordable options for others. 
  • Regional carrier options. Regional carriers are known for their reliability, and they’re often less expensive (and less likely to experience disruptions) than larger carriers.
  • Specialized shipping options. If you have lots of different products, or products that require specialized transportation, multi-carrier shipping is the way to go! You can play to each carrier's strengths; for example, USPS is the most affordable way to send small, lightweight parcels, while FedEx and UPS are better equipped to ship large ones. Similarly, if you transport perishables like food or pharmaceuticals, you can find carriers that specialize in temperature-controlled deliveries or offer affordable overnight shipping options.

To learn more about multi-carrier shipping, including how to get started, check out our guide here: Why Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Is a MUST

Happy Independence Day from EasyPost!

Have we made a good case for shipping independence? Whether you’re currently using a multi-carrier strategy or considering getting started, we hope this article has shown you some of the advantages of this approach. 

Now the only thing left to do is break out your Fourth of July T-shirt, grill some burgers, and find a great fireworks show to watch. Happy Independence Day!