Why Smart Sellers Diversify Shipping Carriers

Boxes of multiple colors

It’s no secret that online shoppers expect, and even assume they’ll receive fast delivery when placing an online order. To keep up with this expectation, retailers can’t just utilize one carrier for their shipping services. In today’s market, shipping success means diversifying your shipping partners, and utilizing regional carriers where possible.

Back in 2020, as the pandemic progressed and people were shopping online for practically everything, the big shippers became overwhelmed with the volume and had to start relying more heavily on regional carriers to help pick up the slack. In fact, according to Convey Data, in 2020, FedEx, UPS and USPS combined went from using regional carriers for only 4% of their January shipping to using them a whopping 30% by December.  

If you haven’t yet considered expanding your shipping carriers to create a more efficient package delivery service, now’s the time to do your research before your next peak season. Here are the benefits:

Flexibility
Ecommerce is booming, and while it was growing even before the pandemic, the pandemic brought it to a new level that’s here to stay. This means your shipping plan needs to be updated. Using multiple carriers allows you the flexibility to spread your capacity so your items are delivered faster and farther out as needed. It allows you the flexibility to assign priority shipping to certain orders and let your customers control when and how they receive packages.

Plus, regional carriers don’t have to follow rigid policies and wait around for orders to come in from different parts of the country. They can tailor their delivery services to meet your needs.

Expanded area of delivery
Regional carriers travel to smaller communities and more remote locations more often, many times on a regular basis, while the larger shippers tend to service these same areas less, meaning items take longer to be delivered and cost more to get there.

Faster delivery
Because regional carriers focus on a smaller service area, they’re able to offer faster delivery times with same day or 1- to 2-day delivery coverage in their service areas. And because they deliver to the same places more often, they’re familiar with getting to remote areas and are better able to manage delivery obstacles along the way which allows for higher on-time deliveries over the larger carriers.

Less expensive
Over the past two years, the national carriers have made steep price hikes and industry experts say prices will continue to increase. Regional carriers offer cheaper rates. With delivery challenges such as offering next-day delivery or trying to efficiently reach customers who live in remote areas, diversification allows more ways to get your items delivered successfully.

Safety net from outside factors
Using multiple carriers helps protect against outside factors, such as labor shortages, illness, weather events, and regional congestion. This protection is even more important during times of increased volume and constrained carrier capacity.

As you think about your shipping plan, consider including regional carriers. Find out how Express Courier can be your shipping partner for your Southeast customers.
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