UPS, FedEx and other parcel carriers spend large sums of money advertising that all of your parcel shipping needs can be satisfied by one provider. In return for your business, the carrier will provide (at a very low price, or even free) the hardware and software your company needs to automatically create shipments, assign tracking numbers, print labels, and produce the required end-of-day reports.
All that is required by your organization is to pick, pack, wrap, and have it on your dock. And, by placing all of the parcel requests with one carrier, it is reasonable to assume that you will be getting the best rate, given your level of volume. How can things get better than that?
For some companies, this may be the case. Companies with low volumes, and/or stable shipping patterns, might be best served by opting for such a one-carrier solution.
However, with the growing demand for more frequent but smaller orders shipped directly to the end user, that scenario is increasingly hard to find. Parcel shipping, by its very nature, is dynamic as to the number of the destinations required.
There’s a reason people say “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” And that advice never rang more true than when it comes to your shipping operations. Shipping is subject to significant risk: carriers can change their service levels, or eliminate service to some regions altogether. Those are just a couple reasons that companies turn to a multi carrier shipping approach.
As the name suggests, multi carrier shipping means using more than one carrier to deliver parcels. Multi carrier shipping software allows you to:
Automatically switch between carriers
Compare rates, routes and transit times
Select the best carrier and service level for your needs
Automatically generate carrier compliant shipping labels, the manifest and all necessary shipping documents
Track shipments from pick-up through to delivery
If you use one carrier for domestic shipments and another carrier for international deliveries, that’s not multi carrier shipping.
Enterprises using multi carrier shipping software can leverage a large network of carriers. For example, an exporter based in Germany could use DHL, FedEx, UPS, and DPD as well as regional carriers and postal operators.
Therefore, when a shipment needs to be sent out, logistics staff can easily see which carrier will meet the promised delivery date at the lowest possible cost.
The real power of multi carrier shipping lies in the automatic routing guide.
Automatic routing assigns shipments to a carrier based on predetermined criteria and your business rules. These can include the destination, the customer, or the package’s weight, size and dimensions and so forth.
In our example, a German exporter could decide that small parcel shipments of a product bound for the US should use only the global carriers DHL, FedEx or UPS. The exporter might also decide these shipments must reach the customer within 2 business days. The routing guide will automatically shop between these 3 carriers. The solution then assigns the shipment to the carrier that can best meet the delivery deadline at the best price.
In addition, our fictional exporter could decide that all European shipments are next-day delivery and can use any carrier in the network. In this case, the routing guide will shop between all the carriers that deliver across Europe. Similarly, the solution will choose the lowest cost service that will best meet the delivery date.
Here are 6 benefits of multi carrier shipping and further details:
Lower delivery costs
Enhanced package tracking and exception alerts
Addressing global trade regulations
Standardized shipping procedures
Protect customer relationships
As explained above, multi carrier shipping software chooses the lowest cost delivery option. Therefore, multi carrier shipping solutions help shippers reduce and control costs while meeting customer delivery expectations.
Multi carrier shipping software tracks all packages, with all carriers in the same way from a single location. In addition, the solution alerts personnel if a package is at risk of missing a delivery deadline. Therefore, you can proactively take action to deal with delays.
Global enterprises benefit from integrating multi carrier shipping activities with trade compliance. This is because switching between a compliance and a shipping solution is time consuming and may require users to re-enter information with the risk of keystroke errors. Multi carrier shipping software accounts for country specific trade regulations with each parcel shipment.
With multi carrier shipping and automated routing, you don’t need to switch between carrier interfaces looking for the best rates and routes. The system does it for you.
In addition, the solution automatically generates all the documentation needed to complete a shipment. This removes the need for time-consuming manual processes.
If you have multiple sites, either domestic or global, multi carrier shipping allows you to standardize shipping across your enterprise. You can apply the same business rules no matter where you ship from or ship to.
Multi carrier shipping software allows you to accommodate customer requests to use a particular carrier and service level.
Furthermore, multi carrier shipping allows you to serve your customers even when things go wrong. If one carrier lacks capacity or another has a route outage because of a weather event, you can reroute packages to the carriers that can fulfill the delivery.
If customers can count on you to deliver their orders in a timely fashion, it bolsters their trust in your organization and brand.
How is your organization managing multi carrier shipments today? Does your approach account for current and changing global trade regulations? For more information, learn how QAD Global Trade and Transportation Execution (GTTE) can better manage parcel shipping and help your company boost profitability.
Six Ways Multi Carrier Shipping Lowers Parcel Delivery Costs
Five Benefits of Multi Carrier Shipping Software
How Multi Carrier Shipping Software Benefits Global Manufacturers