Using Advanced Multicarrier Parcel Management Strategies to Enhance Network Reach, and Fulfillment Capabilities


Using Advanced Multicarrier Parcel Management Strategies to Enhance Network Reach, and Fulfillment Capabilities

The rapidly evolving delivery landscape, surging eCommerce, and B2C commerce have triggered a huge boom in the courier services industry. Statista projects the global parcels shipped volume to be 266 billion and global retail e-commerce sales to stand at a whopping USD 8.1 trillion by 2026. This means logistics and supply chain stakeholders are in for a huge influx of orders while the market keeps getting disrupted and customer demands keep increasing. 

Stats reveal that the global logistics service provider industry generated a revenue of USD 961.8 bn at the start of the decade and is expected to demonstrate a CAGR of 10.7% till 2030, surpassing a market size of USD 1100 bn in 2023. 

As industries move toward faster, more reliable, transparent, and digitally-powered logistics movements, the role of logistics service providers (LSPs) becomes increasingly important. Rapidly evolving industry disruptions, such as same-day deliveries, next-day deliveries, and less than 30-minute deliveries, are pushing businesses across industries towards multiple courier partnerships. 

Multi carrier logistics ecosytems facilitate rapid scaling of delivery operations, help businesses move beyond standard 3-4 day delivery models, and empower them with cost-efficient management of elastic demands. However, a multi-carrier ecosystem can easily evolve into a complex puzzle when managed manually.

Below, we explore how to unlock logistics excellence in a multi-carrier ecosystem and build efficient delivery networks for profitable and efficient transportation.

Need for Multiple Carrier Partners

Intense eCommerce proliferation, rapidly evolving customer demands, ensuring delivery reliability, and the need for unique transportation capabilities make it imperative to partner with multiple logistics service providers.

Let’s take a quick glance at some critical benefits a multi-carrier ecosystem offers.

Benefits of Working with Multiple Delivery Partners

Benefits of multiple delivery partners

#1 – Leverage Unique Logistical Capabilities

Every courier service provider offers unique service capabilities – cheapest, fastest, advanced IT functionalities, integrations, and more. Working with multiple partners allows you to leverage each partner for the core USPs, unlocking better service quality. 

Expanding into new locations becomes easier, and contracting can be done based on multiple factors, such as volume commitments, cheapest LSP, fastest delivery provider, and so on.

#2 – Increased Serviceability

Diversifying your operations across new locations can lead to huge logistics and distribution costs. It is also possible your current partners don’t have operations in those geographies. 

Having multiple logistics partners paves the way for increased serviceability, as you can leverage the best service offerings for that region without taking part in core planning. You can target more customers, ultimately leading to higher revenue.

#3 – Offer New-Age Delivery Solutions

Working with multiple last-mile delivery partners, businesses can quickly respond to the quirks and nuances of their customers efficiently and profitably. 

You can provide new offerings, such as less than 30-minute deliveries, same-day deliveries, and offer flexible delivery options, such as delivery scheduling, slot booking, etc. 

#4 – Manage Returns Better

Return logistics can erode your bottom lines in an unprecedented manner. Having only one courier partner limits you from collecting and reconciling the returns efficiently. 

On the other hand, having multiple partners allows you to schedule early pickups for the return shipments, club the returns with order deliveries, and optimize returns management. 

#5 – Gain Better Negotiating Power

Working with a single LSP limits your odds for better contract negotiations. However, being open to working with multiple partners allows you the upper hand during contract negotiations and getting competitive pricing. 

However, working with multiple carriers comes with various considerations, such as regions being catered to, fleet type, warehouse requirements, etc. The inability to manage multiple carriers in a unified manner can lead to cost bleeds, inefficiencies, and confusion, ultimately amounting to higher logistics and transportation costs.

Tracking performance, prioritizing carriers based on previous performances and individual KPIs, and having automated processes for billing, invoicing, etc., become crucial for strategic growth.

Five Challenges of Managing Multiple Logistics Service Providers

Challenges in manual multi-courier management

#1 – Lack of Centralized Management

Working in multi-carrier ecosystems means managers have to shuffle multiple software/management systems for individual management. This leads to confusion and inefficiencies stemming from the lack of comprehensive processing of consolidated data. Further, businesses are unable to compare multiple LSPs against set parameters and opt for the most profitable carrier. Communication, collaboration with end customers and service providers, and visibility across logistics operations are hampered by the operational silos.

#2 – Inability to Monitor Individual Carrier Performance 

Monitoring individual carrier performance is crucial for every business. However, it is impossible to set performance metrics and measure individual performance manually. Businesses grapple with core managerial processes, such as measuring the performance of multiple carriers, keeping a record of the number of failed/successful deliveries, returns, on-time deliveries, and more. The situation becomes increasingly painful if the business is processing hundreds of shipments per day, let alone large enterprises where millions of orders are processed across domestic and international borders.

#3 – Manual Order Allocation

Manual assessment crumbles when it comes to deciding which carrier is suitable for a particular type of order, while maintaining the cost and time efficiency. Such complex decisions require the understanding of multiple factors, such as the area of operations, the type of shipments, the shipping price, and various other factors. Performing this task manually is tedious and comes sans any assurance that the chosen carrier is the best suited or most profitable for that specific order or not.

#4 – Lack of Granular Visibility

Lack of centralized management and control capabilities leads to impaired visibility over shipment and asset movements. Businesses have to individually check for shipment status updates, which is tedious, prone to errors, and highly unscalable. Further, businesses are unable to get timely alerts for unpredictable events, such as parcel damage/loss/theft, ETA SLA breaches, etc., that directly degrade the CX. The inability to track shipments in real-time makes it impossible to share the shipment movement updates with the end customer, ultimately amounting to an increased number of query calls, and sloppy delivery experiences.

#5 – Getting Customer Feedback

Manually-managed courier operations mean there is no reliable and robust way to collect customer feedback and act on it. Customer feedback is crucial to measuring the performance of logistics partners and identifying the hidden optimization pockets for excellent delivery experiences. Genuine customer feedback also acts as a reliable metric to trap delivery deviations, such as fake attempts, cancellations, and fraudulent driver behavior.

All this is impossible without intelligent technology that helps overcome operational silos, breaks the barriers to performance assessment, and offers smart functionalities, such as carrier prioritization, rule-based selection, and more. This is where an intelligent multi-carrier management solution comes into the picture.

How Multi-Carrier Management Solution Helps 

A multiple carrier management platform helps you leverage smart technologies, such as AI/ML, data analytics, and automation, for intelligent carrier selection for specific shipments and routes. You can set specific rules for carrier prioritization, carrier allocation, and trip optimization based on multiple factors, such as carrier performance, cost, delivery speed, shipment value, delivery location, etc. 

Multi-carrier management solutions offer a centralized dashboard for unified carrier and logistics operations management. So, you can always keep an eye on the real-time shipment movements, digitize invoicing and billing, set KPIs for individual carrier performance assessments, and collaborate with multiple partners in a seamless manner.

Such a platform offers 100% visibility into all the logistics operations across different geographies and empowers you with data-driven insights into core operations to unlock operational excellence.

How to Choose the Right Multi-Carrier Management Platform: Essential Features to Look for 

#1 – KPI Benchmarking

A robust multi-carrier management platform comes with in-built capabilities for KPI benchmarking and detailed analysis of each factor associated with the LSPs’ performance. Thus, businesses can gain insights into individual carrier performance and can easily ensure higher productivity and profitability via data-driven decisions.

#2 – Unified Management

Intelligent solutions for multi-carrier management offer a unified interface for seamless operational management across multiple parties. Businesses can easily automate carrier allocation, tracking, and booking. They can also get live updates for different carriers in a standardized format, thereby unlocking granular visibility.

#3 – Customer Feedback

Another crucial feature every business should look for is customer feedback collection. The solution must offer omni-channel communication, such as notifications via Whatsapp, SMS, e-mail, etc. This helps automate customer communication and keep them informed about key milestones in shipment movement. 

#4 – Real-Time Tracking

Real-time delivery tracking is essential for smooth and efficient logistics operations. Opt for a solution that offers geo-fencing features, which allow managers to monitor real-time field operations. Getting real-time shipment movement updates empowers businesses to share the same with end customers and also helps reduce fake delivery attempts. Further, geotagging addresses makes finding drop locations easier, thereby making delivery operations smooth.

Now that we have discussed the key considerations for choosing a multiple carrier management platform let us have a quick look at the various benefits it offers.

Benefits Offered by an Advanced Multi-Carrier Management Platform

Advanced multi-courier management platform features

#1 – Most Profitable Shipping Rates

Manual management of multiple carrier partners leads to significantly higher costs, coupled with order management challenges, as the order volume increases. An intelligent multi carrier management platform enables businesses to add multiple LSPs to a single dashboard and choose the most profitable deals every time.

They can easily compare prices across multiple LSPs, keeping the delivery and consignment constraints in mind, and opt for specific LSPs for different types of deliveries. The solution also offers ranking and prioritizing of LSPs on the basis of previous performances, track records, prices, etc., which ensures that businesses always choose the most profitable deals.

#2 – Effortless Expansion

A major issue with a single LSP is the serviceability and expansion limit, which ends up being a barrier to acquiring new customers and expanding in new geographies. Intelligent solutions enable businesses to select from multiple courier partners based on their Pincode serviceability and establish a more comprehensive network allowing them to expand easily without having to invest in dedicated resources.

#3 – Multiple Payment Options

This is one of the biggest advantages when it comes to multiple carrier management platforms. While multiple courier partners enable businesses to collect payments via multiple options, such as COD, prepaid, UPI, Netbanking, etc., managing financials becomes a Herculean Task. Intelligent platforms come with highly reliable and automated financial operations management modules that overcome this challenge. Businesses can leverage these modules to unlock transparent, secure, and faster cash reconciliation via various modes.

#4 – Multiple Delivery Options

Smart capabilities like asset prioritization, dynamic order processing/clubbing/deliveries, etc., enable businesses to plan the most efficient deliveries and logistical movements. They can work with a mixed fleet, plan for rescheduled or planned deliveries in a cost-optimized manner, and boost your bottom lines.

#5 – Analytics and Reporting

Data-driven insights about rider performance, vehicle utilization, delivery completion/failure, timely deliveries, and more help businesses identify the hidden optimization pockets and efficiency loopholes. They can plan and manage your inventories better, improve team performance via KPI-based incentivization, and unlock the best value out of their data via consumable reports.

Ensure Efficient and Hassle-Free Courier Operations with Shipsy

Shipsy’s smart multi-carrier management platform is a one-stop solution for seamless collaboration with multiple delivery partners. Businesses can select the best carrier based on their business requirements and goals, keeping in mind critical tenets such as performance, location, pricing, returns management, etc. 

It offers a unified interface for carrier allocation, booking, and tracking and helps businesses automate NDR and PoD management as well. They can actively track the carrier performance and customer feedback, as well as deliver proactive customer communication to unlock:

  • Up to 18% reduction in RTOs (return to origin)
  • Shrink last mile delivery costs by 14%
  • Reduce middle mile costs by 12%
  • Provide unified customer experiences
  • Boost customer experience by 28%, and much more.

To know more about Shipsy’s smart multi-carrier management platform, please get in touch with our experts for a customized demo today!


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