With parcel volumes rising exponentially, high volume shippers are
seeing benefits leveraging multi carrier shipping software. In this
QAD Precision Report we discuss the benefits of multi carrier parcel
E-commerce is an unstoppable force. In 2019, over
100 billion parcels were shipped across 13 major markets —
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy,
Japan, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Small parcel volumes will continue to rise. Forecasts suggest that
parcel volumes will more than double by 2026. This growth is largely
due to retail e-commerce.
However, e-commerce has impacted other industries as well. Parcel
shipping has become increasingly important for companies that ship
DHL Supply Chain’s 2019 report, The
Logistics Transport Evolution: The Road Ahead, found that
e-commerce volumes and demographic changes were driving demand for
ground transportation. The report found that 71 percent of companies
surveyed said that ground transportation was critical to their
operations. DHL Supply Chain also found that demand for ground
transportation meant that the market was undergoing changes in excess
of normal market fluctuations.
Simply put, more parcels are going to more customers, in more places
than ever before. With increased volumes, shippers also have an
increased need to manage and control the parcel shipping spend.
Many companies leverage the shipping solutions provided by carriers.
Some will use two or more carriers, each with their own dedicated
This does give a shipper more options. However, it is also time
consuming if staff have to manually compare carriers, looking for the
best rate and service level. In a high volume shipping environment,
that becomes unworkable.
As a result, companies tend to use one carrier for deliveries bound
for a certain region or geography. A second carrier is used for other deliveries.
One downside to this is that shipping data is siloed across different
carrier systems. Another, more critical consideration is that shippers
cannot ensure that every parcel is sent at the lowest possible cost.
Given sheer volume of global parcel shipments, companies are turning
carrier shipping software. Here we look at five ways
multi-carrier solutions can assist high volume shippers.
Not that long ago it was preferable for a large volume shipper to use a
single carrier. This allowed them to leverage volume discounts and
standardize parcel shipping. These days, a single carrier strategy is
Last October, both UPS and FedEx warned many high volume shippers
that most of their peak
season capacity is already allotted. Other carriers stated that
they are not taking on new customers until after peak season.
Similarly, DHL eCommerce Solutions Regional Sales Manager Kim Gimble
told retail shippers to “shake
up that carrier mix” by diversifying their carriers.
Shippers in Europe or Asia have a multitude of carriers to choose
from. Although shippers in the US tend to send most parcel shipments
with global carriers UPS and FedEx, this year many turned to regional
carriers as well. In 2020, 17
percent of US retail volume was handled by regional carriers.
For comparison, regional carriers handled just 3.8 percent of retail
volume in 2019.
Multi carrier software gives shippers flexibility in logistics and
fulfillment at times when capacity is tight. Without a multi carrier
strategy, shippers are vulnerable to capacity outages and longer
A multi carrier shipping system allows organizations to standardize
shipping. Shippers can streamline shipping by seamlessly switching
between carriers, while maintaining enterprise-wide shipping policies.
In addition, shippers working from different sites around the world
often use different carriers at each location. This adds complexity.
With multi carrier shipping software, all sites can follow the same
rules for shipping, no matter what carriers they use.
With multi carrier shipping software logistics managers can track all
shipments, with any carrier from a central location. Multi carrier
parcel shipping software with exception alerts also provides real-time
tracking and status updates for all packages.
Multi carrier parcel shipping solutions allow you to future-proof
your delivery options. Carriers are continually updating their
services and capabilities. By leveraging multiple carriers, shippers
have more options, rates and more capacity. As a result, they can
provide consistent deliveries and ongoing customer service.
Consolidations — also called direct injection, zone skipping and hub
induction — reduces freight spend. When multiple customers place
orders going to the same region, city or country, multi carrier
shipping software allows you to consolidate these into a single shipment.
This is particularly beneficial for international shipments. A
consolidated shipment only requires a single customs declaration. Once
the shipment arrives, individual shipments are put into the parcel
carrier network for delivery. Consolidation simplifies the overall
Unlike the consolidation options available from carriers, multi
carrier solutions allow you to use one carrier for the first mile, and
a different carrier for the final mile. This gives you more
flexibility as you leverage local and regional carriers as well as
Whether a company ships B2B or B2C, your customers expect to receive
their packages in a timely manner. Multi carrier shipping solutions
make it easier for enterprises to meet these customer expectations.
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