When it comes to shipping parcels, the default question is typically, “Which one of the ‘Big Two’ will I use?” While either of the "Big Two" provides excellent service (for the most part), it often comes with an attitude. Once you sign that contract and commit to shipping volume and/or monthly spending, don’t you dare look around for a way to try to reduce your freight expense. But this does raise a question: are there ways to reduce that parcel freight expense?
Have you ever considered using a regional parcel carrier?
The regional parcel carrier can provide some significant advantages vs. the bigger guys. Consider the following, which may help you improve service AND help reduce freight expense:
⦁ Regional parcel carriers don’t have as massive an infrastructure cost, which allows them to offer a more competitive rate.
⦁ They can be more flexible — for example, offering later pick-up times — allowing you to be more productive.
⦁ They have large service areas for next-day delivery, which allows you to ship next-day ground when you might have had to ship express in the same lane.
⦁ They cater to regional businesses for their bread and butter.
Regional parcel carriers can be quite effective if you have a concentrated customer base in a large metropolitan area, with both residential and commercial delivery customers. And if you are a regional business, there is greater potential for getting service tailored to your specific needs than you would get from the larger parcel carrier.
Bottom line: when developing your Transportation Strategy, be sure you consider the various alternatives available at the national, regional, and local levels, rather than jump to the conclusion that the big guys can do it all. You might be surprised at what you find.