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Multi-carrier shipping: Why the choice of shipping service providers offers advantages to both online retailers and customers

In e-commerce, customer satisfaction is a decisive factor for the success of an online merchant. In addition to easy navigation through the shop and convenient payment, fast and reliable shipping is also an important aspect. This is where multi-carrier shipping comes into play.

But what is multi-carrier shipping anyway? Basically, it means that online retailers offer their customers the choice between different shipping service providers. Instead of choosing just one shipping partner, customers can choose between different providers that offer different advantages and disadvantages.

For merchants, this method offers numerous advantages. On the one hand, they can reduce their shipping costs by selecting several shipping service providers, as they can choose the cheapest provider depending on the package size and weight. Secondly, they can achieve greater shipping flexibility by using multiple providers, as they are able to react to seasonal fluctuations and difficulties with a particular service provider.

But multi-carrier shipping also offers customers decisive advantages. For one thing, they have the option of choosing the shipping service provider that best suits their needs. For example, customers who need fast shipping can choose an express service provider, while customers who pay attention to price can choose a cheaper provider. On the other hand, choice increases customer satisfaction and the likelihood that they will order from the retailer again.

After all, customers want to have control over their order and decide how and when they receive their goods. By offering a choice of shipping service providers, customers feel better informed and empowered in their decision-making. They can tailor shipping to their personal needs, which improves the overall shopping experience.

Video “The advantages of multicarrier shipping software from Heidler”.


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Multiple parcel services/freight forwarders ensure a smooth shipping process
An unexpected breakdown or disruption at a parcel service can quickly become a problem for online shops and other frequent shippers. Customers complain about delayed delivery, make complaints and, in the worst case, return their orders. The consequences can be devastating, especially during peak times such as Christmas, strikes or carrier system failures/overloads. To prevent this, more and more online retailers are using multi-carrier shipping. Here they use several shipping service providers (courier, express, parcel services and freight forwarders) to minimise a failure rate and ensure the smooth shipment of their goods.

More delivery options thanks to multi-carrier shipping
Among other advantages, multi-carrier shipping also offers a higher delivery rate. Shipping service providers offer various services aimed at ensuring that your goods are successfully delivered on the first delivery attempt.
Frequently used services such as Saturday delivery, delivery to packing stations, same day and classic express shipping or new methods such as delivery at the desired time or to the workplace contribute to a massive increase in the delivery rate.

But how do you best implement a multi-carrier shipping process?
Once you have decided on multi-carrier shipping, the question arises as to who should be responsible for the technical integration of the individual carriers into your system landscape. Here you basically have two options: Either you take over the interface development and integration for each carrier yourself or you use shipping software that already has this as standard. However, bear in mind that the connection and maintenance of different interfaces is often associated with considerable effort for your IT (development) department.

This is because each interface brings its own technical challenges and must be regularly checked and updated. For example, if the carrier offers a new additional service, this must be manually integrated into the system.

If you work with different shipping service providers, the tracking information (so-called status data) and systems must also be linked and always kept in view. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether you want to take on the integration yourself or use an existing and flexibly expandable multi-carrier shipping software.

When choosing the shipping software, pay attention to the support of your existing CEP service providers and freight forwarders as well as the possibility of connecting to your existing ERP/LVS systems. In addition, further features such as existing certifications of the software by the carriers as well as existing standard interfaces and partnerships with merchandise management/warehouse management systems also distinguish a provider.

Are you considering implementing multi-carrier shipping and want to benefit from the advantages? We would be happy to support you in optimising your shipping processes and advise you. Contact us!