Six Benefits of Using a Regional Carrier

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Whether you’ve just launched an online store or already have an established e-commerce business, it’s always a good idea to explore your shipping options. Many online sellers have added regional carriers into their shipping mix. What’s a regional carrier? They are package delivery companies that provide coverage in targeted geographic areas. For example, Express Courier has 26 branches covering eight southeastern states. Several online sellers use regional carriers for most of their deliveries and fill in the gaps with national carriers.

Why consider adding or even moving to a regional carrier? Well, like many business decisions, cost and speed are the key factors. But there are really six benefits that e-commerce companies gain from using a regional carrier. Let’s take a look.

1. Greater Flexibility

The big national carriers like UPS and FedEx limit you with one-size-fits-all pricing, tight pickup deadlines, and rigid policies. Smaller, regional carriers have less complex networks, nimble service offerings and the ability to provide more customized solutions. For example, a regional carrier can usually extend pickup windows and still provide overnight delivery capabilities, where the national carriers can’t because they are receiving packages from across the globe. These wider pickup times offered by regional carriers give sellers a competitive advantage by providing faster delivery to their customers.

Regional carriers, unlike the big delivery companies, aren’t required to standardize their services. So they can give you more options and tailor their service to meet your business needs. These can include same-day, next-day, on-demand, dedicated or scheduled services. They can even take on LTL (less than total load), last-mile, postal insertion, and over-threshold deliveries.

Because their packages aren’t going through a central hub, and being mixed with hundreds of other shippers, there are fewer risks of delays when using regional carriers.

2. Lower Costs

National carriers notoriously tack on fees and surcharges. Because they are dealing with high volumes their per-package price breaks may be unattainable to many online sellers who aren’t making thousands of sales each day. With lower operating costs and fewer assets to support, regional carriers can pass along savings, often as much as 40% below base rates from UPS or FedEx.

You’ll also find more negotiating power with regional carriers because they need your business more than the national carriers do. Regional carriers are less likely to add extra fees and accessorial charges, or tack on surcharges during peak season.

3. Faster Shipping

Depending on where your products are being stored, regional carriers can offer faster shipping options than the national carriers. If, for example, you have a warehouse in Nashville, Express Courier could pick up, process and deliver your packages across the southeast in one to two days.

Regional carriers have more knowledge of their local areas, so you’ll benefit from their expertise of local driving conditions, shortcuts and traffic patterns. Getting packages to your customers faster can lead to better online reviews and ultimately more sales.

4. More Responsive

Once a contract is signed with the big nationwide carriers it can be hard to find anyone to talk with about service issues or make changes. With regional carriers you’ll have a closer relationship with operations, and in many cases a direct channel to the CEO of the company. Express Courier offers live, 24-hour customer support and quickly responds to any issues that come up, where getting through to a real person can seem impossible with national carriers.

Regional carriers can also help you predict service disruptions and take a proactive approach. They’ll care more about your deliveries because they want to keep you happy. They can rapidly respond to changes in the market, traffic patterns or your sales volumes. In general, it’s much easier to reach the right people because regional carriers are smaller operations and want to keep your business.

5. Less Damage Claims

With fewer package exchanges, less complex networks and drivers who know local areas, there tend to be less damage claims or missing packages when regional carriers are used. In fact, damage claims could be 1/30th of the industry average, according to supply chain experts. A lot of it comes from there being less hands on your packages and more responsibility placed on drivers.

6. Higher On-Time Rates

An issue in one part of the country can have a great impact to the entire delivery network when you’re dealing with nationwide carriers. For example, a snowstorm in Chicago could mean a delivery stoppage, even if your packages are miles away from the storm.

With regional carriers, there tend to be fewer disruptions. With less complex networks comes a better chance that your packages get delivered faster. Regional carriers have a 99% on-time delivery rate when compared to all delivery services.

The best way to determine if a regional carrier is the right fit for you is to contact them and explain what you’re looking for. Get a Free Quote today.

Express Courier, Final Mile


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