Lessons for Shippers: How Not to Manage Your Multiple Carrier Network  


Lessons for Shippers: How Not to Manage Your Multiple Carrier Network  

Multi Carrier Network: 5 Management Mistakes Every Shipper Must Avoid

As the demand for fast and reliable deliveries gains momentum, shippers across the globe are rapidly onboarding multiple carrier partners to leverage their unique business offerings. Statista reports motor freight services to be the most commonly purchased service, with 83% of shippers buying them. Further, 73% of shippers agree that 3PLs contribute to improving customer service to the end customer and provide new and innovative ways to improve logistics effectiveness.

While the carrier networks become overwhelmed with fast delivery demands, the user base is expanding on a daily basis. Hence, the traditional management approach proves inadequate in coping with the complexities that arise with multiple logistics partners. Let’s find out why the traditional carrier management approach crumbles down in a multi-carrier network, and learn how not to manage a multi-carrier logistics ecosystem.

Managing Multiple Carrier Partners via Multiple Interfaces

With multiple logistics partners transporting multiple shipments at once, ensuring a comprehensive check on all kinds of assets, shipments, and locations becomes impossible. Further, every carrier offers a unique management interface. Hence, investing in a centralized operations management system that provides real-time visibility and transparency across their entire carrier network is a must. 

Intelligent multi-carrier management platforms empower businesses with unified management of the entire ecosystem via centralized dashboards. Businesses can gain a holistic view of their operations, monitor carrier performance, track shipments, and identify bottlenecks promptly. This centralized control ensures efficient decision-making and enables businesses to respond swiftly to changing market dynamics.

Manual Carrier Selection Based on Few Criteria

Manually managed multi-carrier ecosystems suffer from biased or inefficient vendor selection, poor cost analysis, and meager profitability, leading to thin bottom lines. Also, efficient carrier selection is critical for successful and profitable logistics operations. However, Statista reports that 50% of global shippers struggle with high transport costs, and 15% of them struggle with vendor management. 

Hence, it is crucial to optimize the vendor selection based on rate contracts & cost structure, the capacity of vehicles, available geography, etc. AI and ML-powered multi-carrier network management platforms leverage advanced algorithms and data-driven insights to help shippers make informed decisions regarding carrier selection. This optimization process enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and ensures the timely delivery of goods while ensuring high profitability and better cost margins. 

Inability to Unify Communication Across All Stakeholders

Smooth communication and collaboration between shippers and carriers are vital for seamless logistics operations. While working with multiple carrier partners, businesses often struggle with business process improvements and uniform information distribution owing to the siloed management interfaces. 

Using automation-powered multi-carrier management platforms helps businesses overcome this challenge via efficient communication channels, enabling automated updates, notifications, and exception alerts. The businesses can share status updates, compliance information, invoice and billing details, and other insights with every stakeholder, right from carrier partner to end-customer. Also, they can proactively address issues, resolve queries, and maintain strong partnerships with their carriers.

Overlooking Performance Tracking and Analysis

Data-driven insights are critical for strategic business decisions and constant improvement in multiple carrier network management. Manual management restricts businesses from placing uniform performance evaluation criteria for all partners, thereby affecting productivity and overall performance assessment. 

Automated multi-carrier management solutions offer comprehensive performance tracking and analysis capabilities, allowing businesses to monitor key metrics, identify trends, and implement strategies for optimization. By leveraging these insights, shippers can enhance carrier performance, address operational inefficiencies, and drive continuous improvement across their logistics ecosystem.

Neglecting Scalability and Flexibility Challenges

As businesses grow and expand their operations, scalability, and flexibility become crucial considerations. Stats reveal that 21% of shippers face challenges while sourcing in new markets. Further, when it comes to upscaling or downscaling operations in case of expanding to new markets, switching product/service categories, or seasonal order fluctuations, manually managed, multi-carrier networks suffer from multiple issues. 

Autoamted multi-carrier management platforms provide the scalability needed to accommodate increasing shipment volumes, new carrier partnerships, and evolving business requirements. These platforms offer in-built system integrations and agile methodologies to facilitate rapid scaling/downsizing of operations. Further, businesses are able to choose from multiple partners/transport vendors from the in-built vendor portal. With a flexible solution in place, shippers can adapt to market changes, onboard new carriers seamlessly, and maintain optimal efficiency throughout their growth journey.

Managing a multiple-carrier network can be a complex task for shippers, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right solution offering dedicated multiple carrier management software, businesses can gain control, optimize operations, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. By embracing centralized control, optimizing carrier selection, streamlining communication, leveraging data-driven insights, and ensuring scalability and flexibility, shippers can navigate the challenges of multiple carrier management successfully and unlock the following benefits:

  • 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%


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