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The days of a company giving all its parcel volume to just one carrier are gone. There are too many carrier choices and cost advantages of using a multi-carrier strategy for most shippers to lock themselves into only one option. What was a common and advantageous approach ten years ago has lost most of what made it a good choice then.

The reasons for this are twofold. First, there are more carrier options, so competition for your business is greater than ever. Second, there are more service types and ways carriers operate that create different delivery options. Most parcel shippers have found they can both save significant amounts of money and improve delivery times by using a mix of parcel carriers. A modern multi-carrier approach will still likely include industry OGs, like FedEx and UPS, but also include tactical use of the USPS, postal-hybrid providers, and regional carriers.

A multi-carrier strategy should be a no-brainer, or is it?

Despite the potential upsides, some companies have avoided the multi-carrier approach. The reasons can vary. A downside of using multiple carriers is the complexity of managing those relationships and operations that have to deal with them. Having just one carrier to hold accountable is no doubt easier.

But a second reason is based on another outdated line of thinking. It has to do with the idea that as companies bring more carriers into the fold, it becomes harder to make data-driven decisions about their parcel operations — primarily because parcel BI tools are limited in the carriers they can connect to and use data from.

So, where does that leave companies today?

Some parcel shippers actively avoid a multi-carrier approach out of concern they’ll lose the important insights they’re getting from parcel analytics. Conversely, other companies already using a multi-carrier approach may avoid trying an analytics tool out of the fear that most technology does not handle a multi-carrier environment well. Neither approach serves the company.

The best answer is far less complicated than most realize. With the right analytics tool, shippers can manage their parcel operation, making decisions and finding continual improvements as if there is only one carrier — even if they are using two, three, or even ten carriers.

The great parcel awakening

In addition to a market waking up to the benefits of a multi-carrier approach, an even greater change for parcel shippers in recent years is the recognition of how high-tech parcel analytics tools make it easy to optimize every part of a parcel operation. As we just mentioned, however, holding many companies back from adding these capabilities to their process is a fear or misunderstanding about how modern tools can work.

It is possible to combine a multi-carrier approach with maximal use of your shipping data. For example, TransImpact’s Parcel Spend Intelligence platform is integrated with 15+ parcel carriers that include the usual suspects, like FedEx and UPS, but also over a dozen other carriers.

This gives shippers the ability to manage and use their parcel data from the viewpoints of one carrier or all of them, thus gaining access to the full power and benefits that data can offer any parcel operation. These advantages include:

  • Clearly presented actionable insights to improve delivery performance and reduce costs
  • The ability to identify where companies are overpaying on specific fees or surcharges
  • Optimized shipping for transit time and rates
  • Fast invoice audit and recovery while keeping 100% of the money recovered
  • Specialized reports and dashboards, including Dimensional Analysis
  • Alerts that quickly bring specific issues to light

The benefits of using small parcel data are clear. Companies that have struggled to really leverage parcel analytics for their operation because of their multi-carrier approach can find their solution with TransImpact’s Parcel Spend Intelligence.

All that’s required is to lose the assumption that a multi-carrier approach makes data-driven parcel management impossible.

Contact to learn how you can gain all the benefits of parcel analytics.

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