If you ship high volumes of parcels, multi carrier shipping is becoming a “must have”. In this QAD Precision Report we look at the benefits of multi carrier shipping software for high volume shippers.
High volume shippers are subjected to demands from all sides. In recent years, a number of carriers have had constraints — particularly during peak season. Add to that the fact that costs continue to rise.
Meanwhile, your customers expect free shipping and rapid delivery. High volume shippers are caught in the middle. As a result, high volume shippers are leveraging multi carrier shipping software to reduce costs without reducing customer service.
While multi carrier parcel shipping solutions provide many benefits, there are five that rise to the top because of the impact they have on reducing costs while creating a positive customer experience.
Many high volume shippers select a single carrier because it simplifies the shipping process. However, this often means paying higher rates on some—perhaps even many—orders. Multi carrier shipping software provides more flexibility to the shipper by displaying all available rates that meet the shipping deadline, allowing the shipping team to quickly select the lowest cost service and routing.
In busy environments, it makes sense to automate this process. It would be too time-consuming to rate shop every delivery. Multi carrier shipping software can automatically route parcels to the carrier offering the lowest rate that will meet the delivery deadline.
Automated routing follows your business rules. As a result, you can determine if the lowest cost service is always used, or if a premium carrier service or specific carrier is more appropriate for certain customers.
Many carriers have been stretched to the capacity breaking point since the pandemic. There are a number of reasons why, including skyrocketing e-commerce volumes, the increase in global shipments, and the inability to hire an adequate number of drivers and sorters because of pandemic fears and the Great Resignation.
But with multi carrier shipping software, a company can see which carriers can meet delivery requirements, mitigating the risk of delays that anger or disappoint customers.
Customers often have their own carrier preferences. As a result, shippers must accommodate these requirements to keep the customer’s business. This can cause a problem for shippers who have entered an exclusive relationship with a carrier, and it may cause them to lose favored client status and access to low rate tiers.
In addition, consumers regularly abandon their shopping carts when they see slow delivery time or high shipping costs. Therefore, multi carrier shipping software’s ability to instantly provide the lowest rates and the fastest delivery can help increase revenue without increasing costs.
E-commerce typically results in a much higher return rate than goods bought in store. Despite this, returns are often not as simple as they should be. Using a multi-carrier shipping strategy enables the shipper to manage its reverse logistics through the carrier that offers the best rates or the most convenience for its customers. Multi carrier shipping software helps shippers understand and manage the costs of returns and helps keep customers happy by offering a choice of return options.
When a shipper is in an exclusive relationship with a carrier, the carrier has less incentive to be proactive in advising the shipper of less expensive options that still meet delivery requirements. As a result, the shipper may be paying more than necessary for service.
But when carriers know that a shipper has multiple options, they are more likely to offer their best rates and services. The carrier is in the position of needing to earn the shipper’s business instead of simply taking it for granted.
For high volume shippers, customer satisfaction is as critical as having the right product mix. Multi carrier shipping software helps improve customer satisfaction by addressing the key areas that cause unhappy customers.
Firstly, shippers now have visibility into many carrier’s rates and delivery times. They can choose the carrier that offers the best rate and routing. This helps the shipper control costs and avoid potential bottlenecks while still meeting the customer’s needs. Without the real time insight provided by multi carrier shipping software, this task would be impossible because of the time and complexity of the calculations involved, but multi carrier shipping software makes this task fast and simple.
In addition, high volume shippers expect that they will have to deal with some package problems and slipped transit times. Package exception alerts provided by multi carrier shipping software solutions quickly call attention to exceptions so they can be resolved quickly and cost effectively. It is better for you to let your customer know if there is an issue and that you are actively working to resolve it. If your customer has to contact you about a missing delivery, that’s poor customer service.
Finally, shippers must provide the same great customer service no matter where their customers are located. When delivering goods to international customers, consolidation can control costs and simplify customs clearance. A consolidated shipment only needs a single customs declaration. If international deliveries frequently get “stuck in customs” due to missing or incomplete paperwork, your customers are likely to look for alternative suppliers.
Multi carrier shipping is not simply a solution that compares rates, prints shipping labels and generates tracking numbers — as important as those are. If you’re considering multi carrier shipping software, ask yourself these four key questions before coming up with a short list or finalizing your decision.
Some software vendors will ask you about your current volumes and ignore your future growth, because it lets them provide you with a lowball quote. That’s unlikely to be in your company’s best interest in the long run.
You probably have a strategic plan, and it will very likely affect your strategy for high volume shipments. Make sure you factor growth into your system specifications, and that any system you’re considering can scale up or down as your needs change. You should also consider if you are likely to need access to a global carrier network to service more international customers in the future.
Some companies simply want to print labels, while others need help with international customs paperwork requirements. Some need to ensure they offer the fastest delivery for competitive purposes, and some are solely concerned with keeping costs low. But if all these requirements are on your radar, don’t settle for a point solution. You need multi volume shipping software that can support your needs even as your priorities change.
Optimizing performance while controlling costs is all about achieving balance, and it’s a complex calculation for any company. But multi carrier shipping software excels at providing the lowest cost shipping options consistent with your delivery requirements, so you can effortlessly achieve that balance.
Technology changes quickly, and so do business conditions. You need a multi carrier shipping solution built on modern, adaptable technology, and architected to make changes and updates simple as your needs change. When choosing multi carrier shipping software, ensure it meets your current and potential future needs, and that it’s built on technology that makes upgrades and enhancements easy and cost effective.
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