How to set up multi-carrier shipping quickly and efficiently


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There is good reason why online retailers should incorporate a multi-carrier shipping strategy. Chief among them is the ability to provide the best possible customer experience. 


With the growing demand for timed delivery slots, next-day delivery, flexible delivery and click and collect, there are now more delivery options to consider. We know that 86% of UK shoppers prefer when retailers offer a variety of delivery options.


Adding new carriers and expanding the range of shipping services on offer makes total sense. However, creating a multi-carrier shipping strategy can be a resource intensive business.

Here we identify the main challenges, and explore how they can be overcome.   

Why adopt multi-carrier shipping?

Convenience and speed are usually the key reasons why customers choose to shop with a retailer. The same could be said for adopting a multi-carrier shipping approach.


Speed of carrier integration doesn’t have to be a roadblock for scaling your business. With the right technology you can quickly bring new carriers into your delivery mix. 


Carrier contingency planning

When delivery delays occur on behalf of the carrier, retailers need to act fast. By being able to switch carriers on and off through a delivery management platform, brands can respond to shipper issues immediately. 


Retailers need to be able to devise a contingency plan if a carrier contract comes to an abrupt end. Believe it or not, this is happening more as the shipping crisis continues and carriers reach capacity thresholds.


Rapidly selecting preferred carriers means that customers are not impacted if something goes awry. 


Cross-border commerce

Expanding into new territories requires retailers to observe any cultural nuances that exist in different countries. This means using local, more obscure carriers to manage deliveries. If you can’t integrate a particular carrier’s technology with your own, you could be missing out. 


Fresh dog food subscription brand Butternut Box faced cross-border challenges in trying to find carriers tailored to their specific needs. 

  • “To grow the business, it was natural that we would start looking at markets outside of the UK. There were challenges in terms of both selecting and integrating with local carriers in these new markets. It was clear to us from day one that if we wanted to go down the road of having multiple carriers in each market, it would be easier to start with a better platform. Instead of working directly with multiple carriers and having to constantly maintain or rebuild connectivity.”

  • Read the full Butternut Box customer story here

 Access to delivery intelligence

  • Truly knowing your customers is what separates good retailers from great ones. It’s all well and good having multiple delivery options available. 

    Drilling into your own data through a delivery management platform helps identify shifts in customer behaviour. From there, you can respond to any customer experience-specific demands, and quickly introduce any new carrier options as required.

    Escalate carrier integration speed

    Integration speed is key when focusing on a multi-carrier shipping strategy. A delivery management platform lets retailers connect with every type of carrier in just a couple of clicks. So there’s no waiting months for a new carrier to be integrated. No major investment into each individual carrier you choose to partner with.

    Thanks to a single API integration, you can simply choose from a global directory of carriers, and add or change them when you need to. 

    Want access to our global network of over 700 carriers? Book a consultation with a delivery management specialist now!

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