Choose the right shipping carrier with Pitney Bowes
What is a shipping carrier?
A shipping carrier transports packages from your door to the desired destination. And in the age of eCommerce, shipping companies are increasingly essential to helping businesses like yours deliver products to customers, and to meet rising expectations for rapid deliveries – whether it’s overnight, overseas or over the lunch hour. While some shipping companies focus on local deliveries, others specialize in regional service, international shipping, or all of the above. Pitney Bowes SendTech partners with leading carriers, including United Parcel Service (UPS), the United States Postal Service (USPS) and Federal Express (FedEx), among others, to cover all your shipping needs.
How do you choose a shipping carrier?
Shipping is all about the package. Different carriers deliver different advantages, and selecting the right carrier boils down to your shipping priorities. For example: where is your package going? How fast does it need to get there? What’s the size and weight of your package?
These are just a few of the variables that you want to account for. We suggest building a checklist of what’s most important for you and your packages, and then determining how different carriers measure up to your needs.
Let’s take a closer look:
What are your typical package dimensions? Find out if your shipments will fit in the packaging provided by the carrier.
Know your common package weights. How does that compare to the carrier’s weight limits?
Where you ship matters. For residential delivery, some carriers might levy a surcharge.
Do certain carriers provide special packaging for your items?
Do you get access to discount pricing? Does the carrier apply pickup fees or fuel surcharges?
Does the carrier include insurance coverage for lost or damaged packages? For what value?
Does the carrier apply charges if you don’t meet minimum volume requirements?
Does the carrier utilize predictable geographic zones to determine shipping rates?
Speed of delivery
Does the carrier provide same-day or next-day service? What about Saturday delivery?
Does the carrier ensure on-time delivery and provide a refund for missing the delivery deadline?
What’s the carrier’s track record? Are you confident your package will be delivered safely and on time?
Does the carrier offer affordable delivery options, such as two-day ground shipping? Do they offer day-definite delivery services?
Can the carrier pick up packages from fulfillment centers in different locations to help you deliver packages faster?
Is the carrier compatible with a multi-carrier shipping software solution?
Does the carrier offer established international shipping rates? Does it operate in all the countries where you need to deliver? Does it help with international shipping paperwork?
Ship Smarter with Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes shipping software demystifies the process of working with multiple shipping carriers. From one easy-to-use website, you can compare the best shipping rates in real time for three major shipping carriers – UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Through the Pitney Bowes partnership with these carriers, you get the convenience of package pickup options, centralized tracking of your packages, and consolidated billing. You can also print discounted shipping labels, and you get access to a broad fulfillment network that reduces the distance between your product and your customer.
Shipping can be easy and economical. Pitney Bowes makes it possible. With Pitney Bowes shipping software, you can automate your process for sending packages, giving you more time to focus on running your business.
Whatever your business size, Pitney Bowes gives you access to the best shipping rates from top carriers. No need to negotiate to get shipping discounts. No minimum volume requirements. No managing separate accounts with multiple discount shipping companies.
Shipping management software like PitneyShip® and PitneyShip® Pro includes the convenience of batch printing shipping labels; best-match recommendation tool for comparing rates across carriers; mobile app measuring tool to accurately measure your packages, so you can avoid overpaying; tracking across carriers to keep tabs on parcels, and the confidence of address verification technology, so you don’t get stuck with re-delivery fees.
What our customers say about us
Perhaps you should ask “What is the best shipping carrier for me?” By applying the factors listed above (i.e., Price, Discount options, Speed of delivery, Tracking visibility, Delivery options (home, locker, carrier store, Return options (drop box, home, carrier store), Shipping insurance, Geographic reach, etc.), you’ll likely arrive at the carrier (or carriers) that are best suited for your specific business needs.
Reliability is essential to shipping. Some objective measures include on-time delivery and customer service. One business management publication, The Balance SMB, recently evaluated shipping carriers to determine “The Best Shipping Companies for Small Business of 2022.” Factors included reputation, cost, speed, and customer service. Among Pitney Bowes partner carriers, USPS was named “Best Overall;” UPS was cited as “Best for Large Packages,” and FedEx took “Best for Quick Shipping.” Of course, your own experience is important. Which carrier has previously come through for you? You might just want to stick with what works for you. Employing a multi-carrier shipping strategy helps you find the right delivery options for all of your sending requirements.
One option is to negotiate rates by leveraging your shipping volumes with multiple shipping carriers to find the best deal available. But there is an easier way. By signing up for a multi-carrier shipping software solution, such as PitneyShip® or PitneyShip® Pro, you get immediate access to pre-negotiated discounts with no monthly minimum volume requirements, and you can compare rates between carriers on one central portal.
Global carriers take different steps to get packages across international borders and to their destination. The USPS, for example, is part of the collaborative Universal Postal Union. When the package arrives in another country, it’s handed off to that country’s postal service for delivery.
UPS and FedEx, on the other hand, operate their own international logistics networks to make deliveries in other countries. The in-house approach helps carriers move packages faster and track deliveries more closely, but also can be more expensive.