Home » Single vs Multi-Carrier Shipping: The Benefits of Multi-Carrier Software

Single vs Multi-Carrier Shipping: The Benefits of Multi-Carrier Software

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Single vs multi-carrier shipping: 9 benefits of multi-carrier software

Online retailers have traditionally relied on the individual services of carriers like UPS, FedEx, or USPS for their shipping needs. Historically, these alliances offered businesses consistent costs and dependable delivery timelines, while carriers enjoyed the reliability of forecasted volumes. 

However, this approach is increasingly at odds with the evolving digital marketplace and growing consumer expectations of retail fulfillment. Single carrier options can limit the negotiating power, flexibility, agility, and returns options of your e-commerce business.

That’s why many businesses are now switching to multi-carrier shipping, a strategy offering several advantages, including cost savings, flexibility, increased capacity, and customer choice.

In this article, we explore the reasons why multi-carrier shipping surpasses traditional single-carrier methods and how it can help your e-commerce business grow.

Key takeaways:

  • Single-carrier strategies are limited and outdated, often lacking the flexibility and efficiency needed for modern logistics.
  • Multi-carrier shipping software offers significant advantages, including cost savings, enhanced flexibility, and improved delivery performance.
  • Choosing the right multi-carrier software involves assessing your needs, comparing features, considering scalability, and evaluating support and cost-effectiveness.
  • Solutions like Bringg transcend traditional limitations by providing dynamic carrier allocation, real-time analytics, and customizable automation rules for superior shipping management.

What is multi-carrier shipping?

Multi-carrier shipping is a strategy that incorporates multiple carriers into a unified system. This method allows flexibility in choosing shipping services based on cost, speed, reach, and reliability. It’s more than just a logistical choice; it’s a strategic decision that enhances negotiation power, service variety, and customer satisfaction.

How do multi-carrier shipping solutions work?

Multi-carrier shipping solutions follow a strategically structured approach:

  1. Shipping carriers are integrated into a unified platform, allowing for centralized management.
  2. Users compare rates, select carriers, and generate shipping labels within the platform.
  3. The system automates carrier selection based on criteria like cost or speed.
  4. After shipping, the platform tracks and manages shipments across all carriers.
  5. The software analyzes data from all shipments to improve future shipping decisions.

Single-carrier vs multi-carrier management

As you steer through the complex world of shipping and logistics, it’s important to understand how adopting a multi-carrier or single-carrier shipping approach can make or break your e-commerce business. Let’s dive into the specifics:

Single-carrier management: Relies on a single carrier to handle all your shipping needs. This typically involves negotiating and securing a contract with one carrier for all domestic and/or international shipping.

Multi-carrier management: Uses multiple shipping carriers to expedite your shipments. For example, you can tailor your shipping preferences based on cost, speed, and/or destination.

What’s the difference between single-carrier and multi-carrier shipping?

Single-carrier vs multi-carrier management

As you steer through the complex world of shipping and logistics, it’s important to understand how adopting a multi-carrier or single-carrier shipping approach can make or break your e-commerce business. Let’s dive into the specifics:

Single-carrier management: Relies on a single carrier to handle all your shipping needs. This typically involves negotiating and securing a contract with one carrier for all domestic and/or international shipping.

Multi-carrier management: Uses multiple shipping carriers to expedite your shipments. For example, you can tailor your shipping preferences based on cost, speed, and/or destination.

What’s the difference between single-carrier and multi-carrier shipping?

AspectSingle-carrier shippingMulti-carrier shipping
FlexibilityLimited to the services of one carrier.Wide range of options; choose carriers based on needs.
Cost-effectivenessLimited negotiation power on rates.Competitive rates due to multiple carrier options.
Risk mitigationHigher risk; dependency on one carrier’s reliability.Multiple carrier options reduce risk.
Coverage and reachRestricted to the geographical coverage of one carrier.Broader coverage with various carriers’ global reach.
Service varietyLimited services based on one carrier’s offerings.Access to diverse services from different carriers.
CustomizationLess ability to tailor services.Highly customizable to meet shipping requirements.
ReliabilityImpacted by the carrier’s specific issues or limitations.Enhanced reliability through multiple backup options.
ScalabilityMay struggle with scaling up to meet growing demands.Easily scalable to accommodate business growth.
Efficiency in operationsSingle set of processes.Streamlined operations through integrated multi-carrier software.
Customer satisfactionLimited by the carrier’s capabilities and performance.Higher, due to more delivery options and faster shipping times.

9 benefits of multi-carrier shipping software

Multi-carrier shipping software offers a range of benefits that can streamline shipping operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs for businesses of all sizes.

  1. Flexibility: Multi-carrier management allows the selection of carriers based on cost, delivery speed, geographic reach, and reliability. This flexibility ensures the best shipping options for each specific requirement.
  2. Risk mitigation: Using multiple carriers reduces dependence on a single provider, safeguarding against disruptions like carrier strikes, regional limitations, or changing service levels.
  3. Competitive rates: Access to multiple carriers enables better rate negotiations and a wider range of services, leading to significant cost savings.
  4. Empowered decision-making with advanced analytics: Multi-carrier shipping software acts as a logistics analyst, offering comprehensive rate comparisons and deeper insights into logistics and customer behavior.
  5. Automated carrier selection for enhanced efficiency: Use predefined criteria, such as cost, delivery time, and service quality to automate carrier selection, aligning decisions with business goals and reducing manual processes.
  6. Streamlined operations with integrated shipping: Multi-carrier software centralizes various shipping tasks, like label generation and tracking, into one seamless workflow, simplifying overall operations.
  7. Unified technology stack integration: Multi-carrier software integrates with existing systems (e-commerce, OMS, WMS), enhancing co-innovation and reducing project failure risks.
  8. Enhanced customer satisfaction with real-time tracking: Real-time tracking builds customer trust and satisfaction, fostering customer loyalty.
  9. Scalability for business growth: Designed to grow with your business, multi-carrier software supports increasing shipment volumes and expanding carrier options, crucial for adapting to evolving customer demands.

Choosing the right multi-carrier shipping software

Consider these key points when selecting the right multi-carrier management software:

  • Evaluate your shipping volume, product types, and challenges to identify the right features for your business, such as international options or automation.
  • Look for rate comparisons, automated selection, and easy integration with existing systems.
  • Prioritize a user-friendly interface for smoother operations and ensure the solution is scalable.
  • Choose software with reliable customer support and a solid track record. 
  • Weigh the cost against potential savings and efficiency gains, understanding that a higher initial investment might offer better long-term value. 
  • Finally, test the software with a free trial or demo to ensure it meets your specific needs.

For more information, read our in-depth guide to choosing the best carrier for your business.

Optimizing your e-commerce business with multi-carrier shipping software

Settling for a single carrier in today’s complex shipping environment can hinder your business’s potential. It often means less flexibility, higher costs, and increased vulnerability to disruptions.

By using multiple carriers, e-commerce businesses can compare rates, avoid delays, access more capacity, and offer more shipping and tracking options.

As you transition to a multi-carrier system, ensure you choose the right software. Bringg connects you to a vast network of 200+ carriers, each with unique capabilities to suit your specific business needs.

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