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Streamline the shipping process with multi-carrier shipping software

E-commerce is enjoying its moment in the sales channel spotlight due to the increased demand generated by COVID-19. As a result, shippers are seeking solutions that enable them to optimize the shipping process while improving the customer experience. Unfortunately, the task of meeting e-commerce demand and shipping products to the customer’s door has never seemed more difficult, thanks to supply chain disruptions and inefficient shipping systems.

As shippers continue to look into new fulfillment methods and strategies that can provide flexible and cost-effective solutions, one of their key considerations is moving to a multi-carrier distribution strategy. This will help businesses reduce transportation costs, provide a consistent level of service to customers and meet customer-mandated shipping requirements.

Moving Away from Carrier-Supplied Shipping Software

In order to begin a multi-carrier strategy, shippers need to move away from carrier-supplied platforms. There’s no question that single-carrier systems are well designed for the individual carriers they represent. Each carrier applies rigorous and unique labeling and electronic communication requirements, which make it possible for them to move parcel shipments through its network. Shippers who prefer to work with a specific carrier have to meet that carrier’s requirements or suffer the consequences of delivery delays, lost packages or unexpected surcharges and fees — and the carrier-supplied platform makes this compliance possible.

Difficulties in managing a network of multiple carriers

For shippers who prefer to manage and switch between multiple carriers, these disparate platforms can be prohibitively difficult — either because of the contracted volumes to which they’re tied or because of the unwieldiness of managing separate systems for different carriers. For example, at the employee level, workers have to have the insight to make the best choice about how to get an order to a customer using the appropriate carrier platform. Comparing rates and routes is labor-intensive and time-consuming, and shippers using carrier-supplied software are likely missing out on the pricing and delivery advantages available with numerous national, regional and local carrier services.

Furthermore, when dealing with different sets of requirements and multiple staff members using separate terminals, it’s easy for keystroke and human errors to occur. This can cost your business money in delivery delays, lost packages, surprise charges or the inability to use particular services, not to mention it reflects poorly on your customer service. But what is the answer? Implementing a multi-carrier shipping solution.

What is multi-carrier shipping software?

As opposed to a transportation management system, which primarily deals with freight shipment tracking, multi-carrier shipping software is a solution specifically designed to simplify the complexities of the parcel shipping process. It consolidates your network of contracted carriers into a single, intuitive platform, enabling your business to cut costs by rate shopping for the best shipping option between your contracted carrier services while ensuring timely deliveries to exceed customer expectations. But the advantages don’t stop there. With a multi-carrier shipping system, you can automate label printing, monitor parcel movements, track orders to the point of delivery and streamline transportation operations across different carriers, all while guaranteeing carrier compliance. Business Intelligence also provides you with valuable insights and identifies ongoing cost-savings opportunities.

The benefits of multi-carrier shipping software

Multi-carrier shipping software offers many solutions to the challenges businesses face, whether they’re shipping large or small parcel volumes. These benefits include:

  • Reduced shipping cost: The ability to compare contracted carrier rates means that you can choose the fastest, most cost-effective shipping option for your business and customers.
  • Faster shipment speed: If you’re less concerned about shipping rates, you can compare delivery times from multiple carriers to ensure the parcel reaches the customer by a specified date.
  • Efficient order tracking: Whether you’re using a single shipping carrier or multiple, you can easily monitor all your orders to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Easy software integration: Multi-carrier shipping systems offer seamless integration with your existing supply chain and e-commerce software and other enterprise tools.

Streamline the shipping process with multiple carriers

While the end goal of any shipper is to deliver products to customers without damage, at minimal cost and in the most efficient manner possible, the recent spike in e-commerce business has also increased customers’ ability to customize their shipping options, and businesses must be able to accommodate this delivery personalization.

Multi-carrier shipping software applications like Logistyx enable the shipper to meet the customer’s shipping requirements from within the shipper’s system. They automatically determine the carrier that can provide the best rates to a particular region and according to the shipper’s business rules, ensuring every shipment is in compliance with each carrier’s labeling and communication standards, as well as with any applicable trade regulations.

In addition, multi-carrier shipping software enables shippers to easily use “zone skipping” (also known as “hub induction” or “direct injection”) to improve customer service and decrease transportation costs. Zone skipping occurs when multiple customers’ orders are consolidated for the first leg of the delivery journey and then inserted into a parcel carrier network for the last-mile delivery. This is especially beneficial for international shipping because it significantly simplifies end-to-end logistics and decreases customs clearance costs. The approach also provides greater flexibility since shippers can select local carriers in different countries and regions that have optimal delivery networks for serving their customers.

Importantly, multi-carrier shipping software also ensures shippers have the right mix of carrier services in their transportation strategy from the onset. The software aggregates and normalizes shipping data across carriers, so shippers know when deliveries are not meeting service levels. Shippers can then hold carriers accountable for failing to meet expectations and wield hard data to back up rate negotiations.

Rate shop and fast-track deliveries with Logistyx

Multi-carrier shipping solutions simplify the complexity of logistics from product purchase to carrier payment. Shippers can leverage multiple carriers from a single system, securing the best rate, route, service level, and transit time for each shipment. In addition, the right solution will allow shippers to track any package with any carrier, anywhere. It will also ensure compliance with carrier rules and shipping requirements.

Ready to start optimizing your parcel shipping process? Contact a Logistyx expert to learn more.