Learn why partnering with multiple carriers is a crucial strategy to meet and exceed customer shipping expectations in this guest blog from Swyft

With the proliferation of e-commerce businesses and online shopping, today’s savvy consumer expects cheap–or even free–next-day shipping. When retailers can’t meet that delivery expectation, it can result in lost sales and customer churn.

The solution: partnering with multiple carriers to exceed customer expectations.

The benefits of working with multiple shipping providers

There are numerous benefits to working with multiple shipping providers. Here are some of the highlights:

Benefit 1: Lower Costs

We all have our strengths. When it comes to parcel carriers, the key is to play to those strengths to snag the best rate for a given situation. 

Carriers often specialize in certain parcel types or service levels but lack performance in others. For example, while USPS is known for having very competitive prices for parcels under one pound, they generally can’t compete with UPS or FedEx on larger packages. So it makes sense that in order to maximize savings and efficiency, retailers should work with USPS for lighter parcels and UPS and FedEx for larger ones. 

Outside of parcel weight, retailers also need to consider distance as a qualifier. Large carriers like UPS and FedEx specialize in nationwide shipping and are able to offer very competitive rates for rural deliveries and long distance deliveries (think LA to New York). However, because these giants are optimized for nationwide coverage, regional and local carriers can often offer better rates for local deliveries.

While local and regional carriers like Swyft have built their business model around the last mile, UPS and FedEx have hubs optimized for nationwide shipping. National carrier’s hubs aren’t positioned well for local deliveries and often they have to backtrack from their hub to the area of origin which is inefficient. This inefficiency is reflected in their pricing. Often zone one prices for the major carriers are not very competitive.  Regional carriers on the other hand, have pickups, hubs, and delivery destinations in the same general area. The upside: regional carriers save time and fuel, allowing them to offer lower costs than their national counterparts.

Benefit 2: Better Performance

When it comes to damaged packages and late deliveries, ship happens. The rub? Customers tend to blame the retailer rather than the carrier for poor performance. 

There is no “perfect” carrier, so your current provider may one day run into issues. Although some issues can be quickly resolved, ongoing problems may require you to transfer parcel volume to another carrier. Because onboarding a new, better performing carrier is easier said than done, working with multiple carriers offers the ability to quickly pivot. Best practice is to have at least two carrier relationships, but some companies have dozens depending on their shipping volume. Managing multiple carrier relationships can be challenging, but with the right carrier mix and the right parcel shipping software behind it, this helps ensure that your customers continue to receive reliable service.

Benefit 3: Greater Reliability

Retailers’ sales and package volumes can fluctuate constantly, whether due to promotions, seasonality, or other factors. Working with multiple carriers allows retailers to anticipate spikes in volume and adjust accordingly. 

Consider a scenario where a retailer works with a single carrier. The carrier typically picks up 100 orders a day, but due to a recent promotion they are now picking up 1,000 orders. If the carrier is unprepared, they may not have room in their vehicle to accommodate the spike in volume. Another scenario could be a carrier that restricts the number of pickups during the holiday season, aka capacity constraints. In these scenarios, only a portion of the retailer’s parcels arrive on time and the drop in performance could impact customer loyalty.

Bottom line: While using multiple carriers instead of one may cost a bit more in the short term, ensuring that your packages are delivered on time will ensure continued revenue through customer retention. It’s also important to note that software like ProShip allows you to rate shop across your approved carriers, allowing you to save up to 30% in shipping costs.

Benefit 4: Integration, simplified

While working with multiple carriers may now seem like a no-brainer, the thought of integrating with multiple carriers and their platforms can be daunting. Luckily, there is software like ProShip to make integration easy. 

ProShip’s multi-carrier shipping software enables retailers to unlock dozens of integrations with compliant carrier engines in a single touchpoint. Using ProShip, retailers can select the right delivery partners for all their shipping needs, from cost, to parcel size, distance, delivery date and more.

ProShip integrates with Swyft to offer retailers:

  1. Next-day shipping in major cities across the US and Canada
  2. Access to dozens of local and regional carriers without having to manage all the relationships

Swyft is a network of local and regional carriers specializing in final mile delivery.  Because Swyft negotiates contracts and offers quality control on the retailer’s behalf, companies can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that Swyft will seamlessly replace underperforming carriers and add additional carriers to accommodate spikes in volume to ensure that packages are picked up on time. The result: happier customers–and a happier bottom line. 

Discover how Swyft delivers affordable next-day deliveries, convenience, and peace of mind. 
Talk to your ProShip Customer Success Specialist to get Swyft added to your carrier mix or get started by visiting https://content.useswyft.com/proship.

About Swyft

Swyft is the smarter way to ship one-day. By combining professional regional couriers into a single integration, Swyft enables retailers to give customers guaranteed one-day shipping at ground rates, with the best on-time delivery rate in the industry. To learn more visit www.useswyft.com