Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Multiple Carriers: Solutions for Success

14 June 2023 | BlueBridge One
Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Multiple Carriers: Solutions for Success

Managing multiple carriers has become increasingly complex. Businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to coordinating shipping operations with different carriers such as variations in shipping rates, service levels, tracking systems, and delivery times. It is crucial for companies to address these challenges effectively to ensure efficient and streamlined shipping processes. By understanding the impact of managing multiple carriers and exploring the solutions available, businesses can overcome these hurdles and optimise their shipping operations for success.

Let’s dive into the common challenges associated with managing multiple carriers and uncover the key solutions that can empower businesses to navigate the complexities of managing multiple carriers with ease.

 

Challenges of Managing Multiple Carriers:

 

Variations in Shipping Rates: Different carriers often have distinct pricing structures, discounts, and surcharges. This makes it difficult for businesses to compare and optimise shipping expenses. Without a centralised system for monitoring and analysing carrier costs, businesses may struggle to identify cost-saving opportunities and effectively manage their shipping budget.

 

Inconsistencies in Service Levels: Each carrier has its own set of processes, requirements, and service standards. Coordinating these diverse systems can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Maintaining consistency in shipping operations becomes challenging, leading to potential delays, errors, and customer dissatisfaction.

 

Tracking and Delivery Time Discrepancies: Multiple carriers may have different tracking systems and delivery timeframes. This can create confusion and make it difficult to provide accurate shipment information to customers. Inconsistencies in tracking updates and delivery times can negatively impact customer satisfaction and trust.

 

Customer Expectations: Customers expect a seamless and reliable shipping experience, regardless of the carrier fulfilling their order. However, inconsistencies in service levels, transit times, and delivery quality among different carriers can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Meeting and exceeding customer expectations becomes more complex when working with multiple carriers.

 

Operational Efficiency: Coordinating multiple carriers manually can result in operational inefficiencies. It often involves navigating different carrier portals, systems, and paperwork, increasing the chances of errors and delays. This manual effort can be time-consuming and divert valuable resources from other critical business tasks.

 

Import/Export Documentation: When dealing with international shipments and import/export processes, managing documentation becomes an additional challenge. Each carrier may have different documentation requirements, compliance regulations, and procedures. Ensuring compliance with import/export regulations, accurately completing documentation, and coordinating with multiple carriers overseas can be complex and time-consuming.

 

These challenges have a significant impact on consistency, customer expectations, cost management, and operational efficiency. Overcoming these hurdles is crucial for businesses to ensure smooth and streamlined shipping operations. In the following sections, we will explore effective strategies and solutions to address these challenges head-on.

 

Solutions for Success:

 

Establish Clear Carrier Selection: Defining specific criteria for carrier selection is crucial. Factors such as cost-effectiveness, reliability, transit times, coverage areas, and customer service should be considered. 

PetShopBowl, an e-commerce pet supplies company, recognised the importance of establishing clear carrier selection criteria to optimise their shipping operations. They faced the challenge of expensive integrations into NetSuite and admin-heavy label printing. By implementing OneShip an accredited NetSuite SuiteApp, PetShopBowl found a cost-effective integration solution with multiple carriers, allowing them to save time and cost. PetShopBowl was able to define their carrier selection criteria based on these factors, ensuring efficient and reliable shipping services for their customers.

 

Streamlining Processes with a Centralised Shipping Solution: Finding a shipping solution that simplifies carrier selection, consolidates shipping information, and offers a unified interface is a game-changer. It’s the key to saving time, reducing errors, and gaining valuable insights into shipping processes.

One example of the transformative power of a centralised shipping solution is B.C.E Distributors. Originally focused on supplying games equipment to retailers and clubs, they expanded into B2C sales, which brought about new challenges in order fulfilment and managing a surge in individual orders, especially during peak seasons like Christmas. That’s when they turned to OneShip for a solution. By streamlining their processes and leveraging automation, B.C.E Distributors experienced faster order turnaround times and reduced errors. They even saved significant costs by hiring fewer temporary workers during peak seasons. With seamless integration and automated label printing, their sales flourished, providing a smoother customer experience.

 

Embracing Change With Carrier Flexibility: 

Businesses need to keep their carrier options open and maintain the flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions. The key to achieving this level of flexibility lies in leveraging a comprehensive shipping solution that empowers businesses to seamlessly integrate and collaborate with a diverse range of carriers, the more carrier connection options the better! By having access to multiple carrier options, companies can strategically choose the most suitable carrier for each shipment, taking into account factors such as cost, delivery speed, geographic reach, and specialised services.

Pravera, a natural and organic skincare company leveraged their shipping solution to enable flexibility with carriers. By harnessing the power of OneShip’s connection with over 70+ UK and EU carriers, Pravera seamlessly switched between carriers like DHL and UPS based on specific shipment requirements. This agility allowed them to secure competitive rates, prioritise service, and deliver outstanding results for their customers.

By keeping carrier options open, businesses can effectively navigate fluctuations in carrier capabilities, pricing, and service levels. They can seize opportunities to negotiate contracts, establish partnerships, and tap into emerging carriers that offer unique advantages. This level of flexibility ensures that businesses can adapt to market demands, optimise shipping operations, and remain at the forefront of their industry.

 

Investing in Automation and Integration: 

In the fast-paced world of shipping, effectively managing multiple carriers is essential for business success. The key lies in embracing automation and integration to streamline operations and achieve optimal results. By investing in technologies that automate carrier selection, label printing, tracking, and reporting, companies can minimise manual effort, reduce errors, and enhance overall efficiency.

PetShopBowl has mastered the art of efficiently managing multiple carriers in the diverse world of pet supplies. With a wide range of products, from large dog food bags to small animal accessories, they understand the importance of providing flexible shipping options to meet their customers’ needs. Thanks to the automation capabilities of OneShip and its seamless connection to multiple carriers, PetShopBowl offers an enhanced customer experience by allowing consumers to preselect their preferred shipping options on the front end while OneShip takes charge in the back end by evaluating various factors such as package size, weight, destination, and delivery timeframe. This automated process determines the most cost-effective carrier for each order, optimising shipping costs without compromising on speed and reliability. 

 

By embracing automation and integration, businesses can efficiently manage multiple carriers, paving the way for shipping success. Streamlined processes, reduced manual effort, and seamless integration with preferred carriers contribute to greater operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. With solutions like OneShip, companies can stay agile, adapt to changing circumstances, and navigate the complexities of the shipping landscape with ease.

 

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