3 Benefits of Multi-Carrier Shipping

It’s not uncommon for warehouse managers to continue using one carrier or carrier network to manage their shipping. Having one carrier often simplifies the shipping process as warehouse employees become familiar with the carrier’s process and prices. But there are some key advantages multi-carrier shipping brings. Here are three important benefits to consider:

1. Immunity

Carriers can easily experience an overload of orders during peak seasons, such as during the holiday season or back-to-school seasons. When warehouses don’t have to rely on one carrier, they can enjoy the benefit of immunity. That’s because not relying on one carrier saves warehouses from being shut down when that carrier is on a strike.

Strikes aren’t uncommon for carriers, either. UPS faced a potential strike in 2018 and even warned its customers about expected delays. With UPS’ estimated 19 million shipments-per-day deliveries, the strike threatened the delay of millions of shipments. Delayed shipments can mean upset customers and potential loss of revenue for e-commerce businesses.

Moreover, when businesses rely on just one carrier to handle their shipping they risk ceasing operations when that carrier experiences an outage. However, employing a multi-carrier shipping strategy prevents the business from stopping its operations when the single carrier incurs an outage or strike. Instead, multi-carrier shipping facilitates immunity from these events so that business can run as usual.

2. More Options

Flexibility is essential for today’s e-commerce businesses to meet delivery deadlines and satisfy their customers with an exceptional delivery experience. However, when warehouses of these e-commerce companies rely on just one carrier to ship and deliver their products, they risk losing the ability to choose the best shipping method. For instance, logistics coordinators may have to make difficult choices when using only one carrier, including shipping at a faster speed but at a higher cost or risking missing a delivery date to take advantage of a shipping discount for bulk orders.

Moreover, when warehouse managers limit their shipping options to only one carrier, they limit their shipping software to only considering one zone map. That’s because many carriers have various transit times, networks and methods for shipping packages that may not always align with the e-commerce business’ needs.

However, when warehouses take advantage of multi-carrier shipping, they have more options for shipping. Multi-carrier shipping provides the benefit of multiple zone maps and provides the flexibility for expediting shipment processes. This means that warehouses can use shipping software to choose the best carrier that can achieve their shipping and delivery goals. For example, ShipWorks‘ platform helps logistics coordinators and warehouse managers easily compare and choose among different carriers based on rules and rates that fit the e-commerce business’ needs.

3. Diversification

When warehouses of e-commerce businesses have multiple shipments to make, it’s essential to diversify shipping options. That’s because not all carrier networks and capacities are created equally. Where one carrier may have improved their Northeast ground network, another carrier may have added capacity out West, such as in California. That’s why it’s important for warehouse managers to diversify their carrier options.

Diversifying shipment via multiple carriers provides warehouses with the ability to streamline its delivery process and scale their shipment capacity based on seasonal changes, too. For instance, warehouses can alternate between carriers to choose a carrier that is more efficient and cost-effective with shipping packages during a new product drop that is in high demand. This helps the e-commerce business save time and money and even set its brand apart from other brands with a streamlined shipping and delivery process.

Final Thoughts

Having a successful shipping strategy calls for considering the different shipping carrier options and networks available to determine the best one for the business’ operation. From immunity to having more options, there are several benefits warehouses can leverage when using multi-carrier shipping. By considering the benefits that multi-carrier shipping brings, e-commerce warehouse managers or logistics coordinators can better determine how multi-carrier shipping improves their shipping strategy to enhance productivity and their bottom-line.

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