How to Know Which Carrier(s) are Best for Your Company
Figuring out which carriers a business should use can be quite a complicated subject! At the end of the day, different e-commerce shippers choose different carriers for a variety of reasons. Choosing the best carrier for your company might be a trial and error situation. Though most companies choose to work with specific carriers because they can offer them a lower price, others will work with carriers because of weight restrictions or faster delivery/customer service.
Five Ways to Pick the Best Carrier:
Know Your Customer
If it weren't for your customer, you wouldn't have a business. When it comes to shipping and logistics, knowing your customer understands how quickly they want their products, how much they are willing to pay for shipping, where your customers are located, and usually from where they are buying your products. Naturally, every carrier's pricing is structured differently, so you will have to understand how they will send your products and how much they will cost. If your customers live in a rural area, you need to ensure that the carrier's last-mile logistics will get the order to your client. Does your target market care the most about the speed of delivery? You must factor that into your carrier choice. Listen to your customer and the data.
Know Your Logistics
Are you shipping from a 3PL? If so, you may not have any control over which carrier they use. Where are you shipping from, and to whom are you shipping? Check out our resource to learn more about shipping zones to understand pricing. Know your supply chain logistics backward and forward to understand any possible hiccups. When you can pinpoint a potential pain point and communicate it to your carrier, you will be more likely to find out how they will navigate a possible issue that arises. Know what you need and get what you need with the right carrier.
Know Your Budget
In any business situation, knowing your numbers is no joke. Don't overspend on shipping just because you don't know better. The benefit of shopping for multiple carriers is to learn what your reality in shipping costs. Sometimes, the numbers are just that, and you'll have to learn to either increase pricing on the products or ship lighter or add more distribution centers to stop the higher zone pricing. Not sure how to budget for profit? Check out this resource to learn more.
Know the Small Carriers
When we talk about carriers in the United States, we think of the big hitters: USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Don't forget about the little guys! They are still hugely influential companies; they're not household names. These smaller companies can be specialty carriers or are just as reliable as the better-known carriers. They are an excellent option for any e-commerce company. It's just a matter of establishing service with them and understanding your pain point to address service issues. Not sure which carriers to start with? Look at our carrier page to know who you should research and which carriers are compatible with our system.
Know That You Can Use Multiple Carriers
Unless you are in a legally binding contract with a carrier to be exclusive, you should be signed up with multiple carriers. Having numerous shipping companies to either test out or commit to is hugely beneficial. On top of that, if you work with a shipping solution, then you can price shop and filter preferences to fit a particular order's needs. Don't feel like you can juggle more than one carrier? Juggle as many carriers as you'd like with DesktopShipper. We are here to ensure that you work with your favorite carriers and provide the best prices.
At the end of the day, when you own an e-commerce company, your logistics are absolutely a central component of your business. If you don't keep your logistics in check, you will eventually have a runaway train situation and no way to save the track's packages. Keep a close watch on those logistics, and stay smart!