Small parcel shippers have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing carriers to ship their packages. While it may be tempting to stick with one carrier – an approach the carriers prefer as long as they are the single chosen provider! – using multiple carriers can offer a range of benefits that can positively impact a business’s bottom line.
Whether you are a Small Business, Midmarket, or even an Enterprise sized company, it is important to understand the benefits of using multiple small parcel carriers.
One of the most significant benefits of using multiple carriers is the potential cost savings. When businesses rely on a single carrier, you will be subject to that carrier’s pricing structure and their structure alone. While you may have negotiated discounts below an initial proposal, the resulting rates may not always be the most cost-effective option.
By using multiple carriers, businesses can compare rates and choose the most cost-effective option for each shipment. Additionally, having multiple carriers can help you when it is time to negotiate rates with each carrier as they compete for the business.
Improved delivery times
Another benefit of using multiple carriers is that it can optimize your delivery time vs. cost optimization. Different carriers may have different time-in-transit expectations to a particular address, so being able to choose the right carrier and service for any particular package is crucial for optimizing cost with a good customer experience.
In addition, some carriers may offer better “express” type services than others, and so for those expedited shipping requirements, being able to choose a better-performing carrier will facilitate the meeting and hopefully exceed your customers’ expectations.
Using multiple carriers can also offer increased flexibility when it comes to shipping. If a business only uses one carrier, it may be limited to shipping to those destinations that the one particular carrier supports.
For example, if you need to ship a package to a rural location, you may choose a carrier that specializes in delivering to rural areas. Again, by having multiple carriers, you can choose the carrier that offers the best option for each shipment.
Reduced risk of service disruptions
When you rely on a single carrier, you may be vulnerable to service disruptions if that carrier experiences any issues or network outages. If one carrier experiences an issue, the business can quickly switch to another carrier to ensure that the package is still delivered on time.
These disruptions can be from weather impacting part of that carrier’s network (while another may be able to bypass it), or disruptions in service due to labor issues, similar to what the two largest US carriers are facing this year.
By using multiple carriers, you can reduce the risk of delayed deliveries and poor customer experiences because you have backup options available.
Improved customer satisfaction
Is this really a 5th reason? In almost all cases, carrier diversity ends up with the potential for improved customer satisfaction. Improved customer satisfaction will lead to an increase in repeat business.
Access to additional services
Different carriers may offer different services, such as international shipping, hazardous materials shipping, or temperature-controlled shipping.
By using multiple carriers, you can provide delivery to a new customer segment or can offer new products that may have special handling associated with their transportation, allowing you to grow your business.
Increased Visibility and Control via Multicarrier Technology
Using multiple carriers without a central technology platform can lead to potential chaos. Trying to corral data from multiple stand-alone systems can quickly become a headache when trying to source individual tracking updates, billing-related information, and spending.
With a multi-carrier technology platform in place, you have the ability to track each package and monitor its progress through the shipping process regardless of carrier and service. This platform can also bring you the capability of automation through the creation of business rules that set carrier and service selection based on defined business logic.
This takes the decision-making out of the hands of the shipping clerk, reducing human error while also increasing efficiency in your fulfillment process.
Having a single back-end platform managing and collecting your shipment information saves you time and money when it comes to invoicing customers, auditing your carrier invoices, and optimizing your business rules around carrier and service usage.
Using multiple carriers via a multi-carrier technology platform can offer a range of benefits for small parcel shippers. From cost savings to improved delivery times and increased flexibility, you can leverage the carrier that offers the best option for each shipment.
By having alternative carrier options available and easily ready to activate, you can reduce the risk of service disruptions due to carrier network issues. Overall, using multiple carriers via a multi-carrier platform, you will have the shipping tools and capabilities you need to optimize your shipping process, improve performance, lower costs, and grow your business.
In conclusion, outsourcing shipping fulfillment offers numerous advantages for businesses in today’s complex business landscape. By partnering with a reliable logistics provider, businesses can focus on their core competencies while leaving the intricacies of shipping and logistics to the experts.
Cost savings can be achieved through the elimination of the need for in-house infrastructure and the ability to take advantage of economies of scale. Increased efficiency and scalability are also key benefits, as logistics providers have the expertise and resources to optimize operations and adapt to changing order volumes.
Improved customer experience, including faster and more reliable shipping options, can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased sales and revenue.
Considering these compelling reasons, businesses looking to optimize their shipping and logistics operations should seriously consider outsourcing and explore their options with reliable logistics providers.
If you would like help finding a 3PL partner to streamline your business, reach out to our Fulfillment Consultants today and we can place you with a vetted fulfillment partner.