Multi-Carrier Shipping Technology – A Forgotten Tool in Mailroom Operations

By: Frank Farnacci, Executive Vice President, TMG

With the common proliferation of negotiated agreements with the major small parcel shippers – UPS and Fedex – companies have discounted and often times forgotten the potential benefits of multi-carrier shipping, i.e. rate shopping technology.  It is no surprise as this technology was initially costly and required significant client IT support.  Times have changed, and the cloud has afforded opportunity to reconsider a potential solution.  The primary benefits of multi-carrier shipping technology include:

  • Rate Shopping: The ability to compare rates across all carriers and choose the least cost alternative. This is the big one despite negotiated rate plans. When adding the USPS and local and regional courier options potential lies in a savings of 20% when using rate shopping. 
  • Single user interface for all carriers: Users only need to learn a single interface, not multiple ones for each carrier. Saves time in training.  
  • Cost Center Chargeback: All shipments are processed against a Cost Center. The technology can create reports to bill back the shipping charges to those specific Cost Centers. This report can be used to understand the cost center spend and make sure that costs are being assigned appropriately. 
  • Reporting and Analytics: If users are allowed to make the choice of which carrier and service to use, a Shipping Comparison report can show the potential savings between the least cost alternative and the service selected. Reports can show package volume for all locations and breakdown of costs between carriers and even down to their service level. This can help drive rate negotiations with the carriers and put the customer in control since they know exactly what their volumes and spend are. 

We have customized a cloud-based multi-carrier shipping solution and have alternative solutions at our disposal.  If you would like more information, please contact Frank Farnacci, EVP, TMG at                  

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