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Alternative Carriers & Discounted Shipping Rates

Lower time in transit, lower costs

The tactical movement of selected freight between service types and carriers can drive savings and – with some strategies – improve transit times for both inbound and outbound packages. Additionally, if you’re a smaller volume shipper, you may benefit from one of our plug-and-play Special Rate Programs.

Learn More Special Rate Programs

Our Modal Pricing Optimization Process:

We analyze your shipping data
Step 1

We analyze your shipping data

We break down services, zones, weights, accessorial surcharges, minimum charges, & more…

Review your options
Step 2

Review your options

We model your current spending against a variety of alternate Modal Optimization strategies and Special Rate Programs to present you the most desirable carrier and service offerings

We help you implement your new rates
Step 3

We help you implement your new rates

Whether plugging in one of our Special Rate Programs or engaging in an RFP, Shipware helps you every step of the way until your new best-in-class rate program is in place


Why is Modal Optimization or a Special Rate Program right for my business?

Not all businesses can leverage multi-million dollar shipping spends to gain the favor of carriers and attain big discounts. Smaller shippers have to be more tactical with their carrier and service choices or take advantage of Special Rate Programs like those that Shipware offers.

If your business mostly ships within one or a few regions, and you like high-quality delivery at lower costs and customized service, you are wise to consider regional carriers to complement national service provided by FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Shipware has relationships and access to discounted pricing with each of the major regionals.

It’s not often that carriers pass up an opportunity to take business from one another. If you’re open to making a switch, Shipware can massively reduce your shipping costs through one of our Special Rate Programs.

Not all shippers need to contract with a freight carrier. If you need the occasional less-than-truckload (LTL) pickup and delivery, you can take advantage of our special rates with all major LTL carriers, savings as much as 50% on shipments.

Businesses that partner with Shipware average 21.5% savings on annual shipping costs

Whether they spend $100 million or fifty thousand per year on shipping, Shipware has helped businesses across all sizes and industries cut costs and spend smarter.

What we learned after working with Shipware is that the confidentiality provision in carrier pricing agreements is a well thought-out strategy to prevent shippers from understanding the rates and terms of other shippers since we can’t disclose rates. The Shipware process allowed us to better understand the discounts and concessions we were entitled to without any breach in terms with our delivery partners.

VP of Supply Chain, Automotive

Detroit MI
We used to use a broker for our LTL shipments. In theory, it’s a good concept: benefit with deeper discounts by aggregating volume from hundreds of other shippers. However, after working with Shipware, we learned that we could avoid huge broker markups and reduce our LTL costs by forging direct relationships with the carriers. We are saving 18% with the same high-quality LTL providers we had been using previously, and as we grow, WE benefit with even higher discounts – and not the broker. We’re also using Shipware’s TMS to identify the right carriers for the right loads for better time in transit at lower costs. I’ll never use a broker again.

Dir of Transportation, Consumer Products

Carlsbad CA
I’m not new to logistics. Been at my job nearly two decades, and I’ve worked with 4-5 parcel invoice audit companies during my career. Shipware’s audit is hands down the best. It delivers significantly greater savings week in and week out, and their spend management reports and portal are tools I actually use to improve my business.

President, Automotive

San Diego CA

Frequently Asked Questions

Any time there is a dilution of freight from the primary carrier, it can impact the volume bonuses that carriers build into their contracts. It is not an accident that UPS and FedEx include these bonuses – it’s to discourage the use of regional carriers and the USPS. Shipware ensures the cost benefits of moving volume between carriers overcomes these carrier-imposed challenges while working to rightsize your Earned Discount or Portfolio Tier incentives to maximize savings.
Shipware has access to reduced rates for qualifying businesses with FedEx; DHL; the USPS; each of the major regionals including Dicom, OnTrac, LSO, Spee Dee, UDS, Lasership and Pitt-Ohio/US Cargo; and all the major LTL carriers. What carrier and service mix offer the lowest total costs and best overall service for your customer base? Get answers with Shipware’s Transportation Spend Analysis and an advanced assessment of carrier shipping options.
Alternative shipping carriers can provide numerous benefits. These can include lower rates, faster delivery times, and more specialized services such as same-day delivery and handling options for specific items. Additionally, using alternative carriers will diversify your shipping operations, reducing risks associated with relying solely on a single provider. This strategy can lead to significant cost savings and improved transit times.
When choosing a new shipping carrier, you should consider various factors, including:
  • Type of products you're shipping
  • Origins and destinations you're shipping to and from
  • Weight and dimensions of your typical packages
  • Price points of your products 
Other factors include the location of your distribution center(s) and customers, the volume of your shipments, cost-effectiveness, and the desired delivery timeframe. It's also important to assess the carrier's reputation, use of technology, cost, transit times, and whether they offer guaranteed delivery to make sure you are making the best switch. All of this can be facilitated with Shipware experts.
Alternative shipping carriers can situationally provide more competitive rates and faster delivery times compared to traditional carriers like UPS or FedEx. They may also offer specialized services for special handling options, same-day delivery, international rates, and returns. However, traditional carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS have extensive global coverage, offer a variety of shipping options, and are known for their reliable service. Therefore, the choice between traditional and alternative carriers often depends on the specific needs of your business. However, saavy shippers often have a diversified carrier mix consisting of national and regional/alternative carriers to get the best of both worlds.
There are many opportunities to move some classes of freight from one service to another and/or between carriers to drive incremental savings. Examples include upgrading selected Ground freight to a USPS Air product, moving Ground to a Deferred Ground option, or the same service levels between carriers for a portion of the freight spend.

Find Out How Much You Can Save With Contract Optimization

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