16 Jul Why Use a Regional Parcel Carrier? Here’s How to Find Out
Why Use a Regional Parcel Carrier?
In these days of large corporations, some companies still prefer to keep their business dealings small and local. But does the same apply to shipping, where both national and regional options have their own pluses and minuses? Why use a regional carrier? The answer depends on your company’s individual profile and shipping needs.
The option to use a regional carrier is a relatively new phenomenon in the shipping industry, and more and more companies are taking the regional carrier plunge. There are two types of regional carriers. The first provides multi-state solutions, and the second cover smaller geographic areas, such as cities or partial states. Both may provide advantages over national carriers, such as white glove services, special handling, better transit, and lower prices. Here’s an overview of some of the most important questions to ask yourself when making the decision of whether to use a regional carrier, so your company can stay profitable and productive for years to come.
What is your business?
Certain types of industries tend to use regional carriers. For example, automotive, office supplies, post office integrators, and medical and pharmaceutical distribution are some of the business types that have chosen to switch from national to regional shipping carriers.
How much do you ship?
If you are a big shipper, calculate the risk of losing your revenue tier with your national carrier. Ideally, you will want to reallocate enough volumes to maintain 10 to 15 percent within your target revenue tier while also saving with a regional carrier. The amount you save by using a regional carrier could potentially be more than the discounts you lose with the national carrier.
What kind of delivery capabilities does your company require?
Depending on your business, you may need to get items to your customers in a short period of time—two-days, next-day, or even same-day. In some cases, using a regional carrier can save you money on these expedited shipping costs. In other cases, you may do better by negotiating a rate with your current national carrier. To get the lowest rate from either carrier, make it a point to request competitive express or zone-skip rates.
What sized items do you ship?
One reason companies that ship larger items use regional carriers is that regional carriers can usually ship large items at a better rate. Office supply companies get a better rate to ship large items such as desks, for example. When it comes to national carriers, there is a size point where the price becomes prohibitive. There’s also a grey area of shipping for packages that weigh between 70 and 200 pounds.
Do you require white glove service?
White glove delivery involves unloading and placing the item in the customer’s room of choice. It also includes carrying the item up or down a maximum of two flights of stairs, unpacking the item, and removing and disposing of packing debris. The types of deliveries that require white glove service include furniture and other delicate, valuable items. Companies that ship controlled pharmaceutical substances also use white glove services to assure their products make it into the right hands. Regional carriers tend to offer specialized white glove service at a lower rate.
Are you shipping from a major metropolitan area?
If so, you may be able to take advantage of line haul/zone skipping offered by some regional carriers. With line haul/zone skipping, a carrier collects a bunch of orders from a major area warehouse, and instead of shipping them individually, puts them on a palate and ships them via Light Truck Load (LTL). From there, the regional carrier breaks up the palate and takes care of shipping the items for their final leg. Zone skipping can leverage regional carriers and help you save time, money, or both when you ship.
Do you deliver early in the morning?
Certain companies, automotive companies, for example, require early morning delivery. In the case of automotive, the goal is to get customers back on the road. If your business requires early morning or other specific delivery timeframes, a regional carrier may give you the best bang for your buck.
Do you have time to manage multiple carriers?
One advantage of national carriers: They offer one-stop shopping. They are like the Target or Walmart of the shipping world. Sticking with a national carrier may help you avoid the stress of managing multiple regional carriers and help you eliminate the onboarding and transitional costs that go along with regional shipping firms.
Can you go with a combo of national and regional carriers?
Depending on your shipping volume and what you spend, you may be able to leverage the best of both the national and regional carrier worlds. In general, shippers who spend more than 10 million dollars on net transportation charges can take advantages of these perks.
If you have weighed the pros and cons of regional carriers and decided to go the local route, make sure to ask for a zip code list as you shop for a regional carrier. Knowing exactly where a regional carrier ships will help you compare it against your data and make sure they deliver to most of your customer destinations. Also, make sure to communicate clearly about your transportation and business needs. Only when you fully understand the cost, contractual terms, and impacts on transit can you choose the best regional carrier for you.
Regional Carrier Overview
LSO: Founded in 1991, LSO offers parcel delivery services in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, and southeastern New Mexico, plus the country of Mexico. https://www.lso.com/
GSO: Offers regional carrier services in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Covers Priority, Ground, and Freight shipping. Founded in 1995. https://www.gso.com/
Lasership: Provides residential same-day, next-day, and two-day shipping to New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, DC, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Founded in 1986. https://www.lasership.com/
US Cargo: Founded in 1972. Offers next-day service, direct coverage to Charleston, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, PA. Provides partner coverage to Central and Eastern PA, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York (limited coverage).https://www.us-cargo.com/
United Delivery Service: Offers next-day and same-day service to the midwestern states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota. Specializing in pharmaceutical, payroll and other high-profile markets. Founded in 1972. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com/
Pitt Ohio: Provides less than truckload (LTL), truckload, ground, and supply chain shipping to the mid-Atlantic and mid-West. Founded in 1979. www.pittohio.com.