Article Written by Easypost
One-size-fits-all doesn’t work well when it comes to shipping; the same goes for your business’s carrier mix. The best way to determine which carriers are right for your business is to understand your shipping needs and goals. Once you’ve done that, you can take action to diversify your shipping carrier mix and benefit from a shipping strategy better suited to your needs.
Determining your multi-carrier needs and goals
Before diversifying your carrier mix, you must thoroughly understand your business’s shipping needs and goals. That might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by asking the following questions about your shipping operations.
- What are our top priorities when it comes to shipping?
- How much do we currently pay for shipping and how much do we want to spend?
- What are our delivery timeframes, and how can we improve them?
- What are our customers’ shipping expectations, and how can we exceed them?
- Are any areas with our current carrier mix falling short?
- Do we face any unique shipping challenges and barriers?
- What do we want to accomplish with our carrier mix in the short and long term?
- How will we know if our carrier mix is successful?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you need from your carrier mix, making it much easier to diversify.
Consulting with Shipware
Shipware’s team of transportation expense consultants helps shippers with identifying regional carriers, invoice audit solutions, and contract optimizations. Their team of shipping experts has negotiated thousands of agreements. Whether you ship with national or regional carriers, Shipware’s consultants can identify cost-saving and operational improvement opportunities through their free Transportation Spend Analysis.
Why you should diversify your shipping carrier mix
Diversifying your carrier mix is beneficial in many ways. When done correctly, diversification can save your business money, improve delivery times, and increase customer satisfaction.
One of the biggest benefits of diversifying your carrier mix is that it can help you save money on shipping. When you have multiple carriers to choose from, you can compare rates and find the most cost-effective option for each shipment. This is especially beneficial for high-volume shippers, who are in a position to negotiate better rates with carriers.
Another benefit of diversifying your carrier mix is improving your transit times. With a variety of carriers to choose from, you can go with the carrier that will get your shipment to its destination the fastest based on your shipping needs. And if you’re shipping to multiple locations, you can use different carriers for each destination to further improve delivery times.
Finally, diversifying your carrier mix can increase customer satisfaction. When your carrier mix is designed to keep prices down and deliver speedy transit times, you’re more likely to satisfy customers, which may lead to recurring visits and recommendations.
Ways to diversify your carrier mix
#1 Use a mix of regional and national shipping carriers
One way to diversify your carrier mix is to use a mix of regional and national shipping carriers. Regional carriers are often more familiar with their service areas, leading to faster and more efficient deliveries. They also tend to be more flexible when customizing shipping options.
On the other hand, national carriers usually have a larger network of resources, which can be beneficial if you need to ship large or heavy items. They are typically able to offer more shipping options, such as next-day and Saturday delivery.
In most cases, it’s best to use a mix of regional and national carriers. That way you can take advantage of the strengths of each.
#2 Use a mix of small, medium, and large carriers
Another strategy to consider when diversifying your carrier mix is to use a mix of small, medium, and large carriers. This can be beneficial because it gives you more options and flexibility with your shipping. For example, you might use a small shipping carrier for local deliveries, a medium shipping carrier for regional deliveries, and a large shipping carrier for national or international shipments.
Smaller carriers often tend to be more flexible and responsive, which can be helpful if you need custom shipping solutions. On the other hand, large carriers usually have more resources and a larger network that will help you achieve faster or more reliable deliveries. Mid-sized carriers usually offer a happy medium between the two.
Using a mix of carrier sizes can help ensure that you’re always getting a shipping solution that meets your unique needs.
#3 Use multi-carrier shipping technology
If you want to take your carrier mix to the next level, consider using multi-carrier shipping technology. This type of software gives you the ability to rate-shop across multiple carriers, saving you time and money on shipping.
Multi-carrier shipping technology can also help you automate your shipping process, which can further improve efficiency and accuracy. And if you use software that integrates with your ecommerce platform, you can streamline your entire order fulfillment process.
EasyPost is a leading provider of multi-carrier shipping software. Its Shipping API integrates with over 100 carriers, allowing users to rate shop and find the best shipping solution to meet their needs. The company also offers a suite of tools designed to help users streamline their shipping processes, including an Address Verification API and Tracking API.
#4 Use a third-party logistics provider
If you’re having trouble diversifying your carrier mix, consider working with a third-party logistics provider—also known as a 3PL. A 3PL can help you manage your shipping process and find the best carriers for your businesses. They provide valuable insights into the shipping industry, which are helpful as you make decisions about your carrier mix.
3PLs usually have relationships with multiple carriers, allowing you to rate shop and find the best shipping solution for your needs. In addition, they can help you negotiate rates and discounts with some carriers, leading to even more savings.
Diversifying your carrier mix with Shipware and EasyPost
Working with Shipware and EasyPost can help your business diversify its carrier mix and take shipping to the next level. By working with Shipware’s experts, you can get direct insight into the shipping industry and apply that knowledge to your EasyPost integrations, whether that’s integrating with any of EasyPost’s 100+ carriers or optimizing the rest of their shipping APIs.