Multi-carrier shipping software
  • Multi carrier shipping software streamlines operations and reduces expenses, enabling businesses to compare rates and choose the most cost-effective shipping options.
  • It usually offers multi-carrier integration, label generation, package tracking, address verification, returns management, and reporting/analytics capabilities.
  • When creating multi-carrier software, consider implementing a modular architecture and a cloud-native approach, integrating APIs, incorporating rate shipping algorithms, and utilizing a customizable rules engine.

The rise of online shopping and the growing demand for efficient shipping options have fueled the widespread use of multi-carrier shipping solutions. On the one hand, businesses strive to meet customer expectations for fast and reliable delivery, while on the other hand, we witness increased competition among carriers.

This versatile software benefits businesses of all sizes, streamlining shipments and offering real-time tracking from anywhere. Its automation capabilities save time and money, and it integrates smoothly with ERP systems to allow faster domestic and international shipping.

This article will discuss the key advantages of multi-carrier shipping solutions, essential features, and best development practices. You will also learn why a custom solution is better than off-the-shelf ones and explore some Acropolium cases.

What Is Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

A multi-carrier shipping solution is a comprehensive platform that optimizes the shipping process for e-commerce businesses. It integrates with various carriers and services, allowing users to compare rates, select the most cost-effective shipping options, generate labels, track shipments, and manage other workflow aspects.

This solution allows users to input package details such as size, weight, and destination to compare carriers, service levels, and rates efficiently. As businesses scale, a multi-carrier shipping system becomes essential for saving time and money while focusing on other aspects of growth.

The multi-carrier parcel management software market is projected to grow from $2.4 billion in 2023 to $4.3 billion by 2033, with a CAGR of 12.6%. As the demand for real-time shipment tracking rises, the global supply chain becomes more intricate. To address industry challenges, the market is embracing digital technology trends like AI, big data, and predictive analytics.

Multi carrier shipping software market size

Advantages of Multi-Carrier Shipping Solutions

Multi-carrier shipping solution benefits

Multi carrier delivery management system empowers businesses to streamline operations, improve efficiency, and stay competitive. Let’s explore its key advantages.

Lower Shipping Costs

Allow businesses to leverage negotiated discounts and volume-based pricing across different carriers. By comparing rates, companies identify the most cost-effective shipping options for each shipment. As a result, they optimize their budgets.

Additionally, some platforms offer features like rate shopping algorithms, which automatically select the cheapest option based on predefined criteria.

Faster Delivery Times

From the end user’s point of view, quality delivery is not only about price but also about speed. Businesses offer expedited shipping options to customers by selecting carriers with faster transit times.

Some solutions provide predictive analytics and estimated delivery date calculations. That means businesses communicate accurate delivery timelines to customers and improve their satisfaction.

Efficient Order Tracking

With a multi carrier ecommerce shipping software, businesses track the status and location of shipments in real time, providing operational transparency.

Automated tracking updates and notifications keep both businesses and customers informed about the progress of their orders, reducing the need for manual follow-ups and inquiries. At the same time, companies proactively address any issues that may arise during transit.

Minimized Human Error

Multi-carrier management software automates repetitive tasks, such as data entry, address validation, and label generation. In addition to the advantages mentioned above, it also reduces the risk of human error.

Companies ensure accuracy and consistency in shipping information, reducing the likelihood of shipping discrepancies and fulfillment errors. Advanced solutions also offer error detection and correction tools, highlighting potential issues before they impact the shipping process.

Easy International Shipping

Multi carrier management software simplifies the complexities of international shipping. It provides tools and features to navigate customs clearance, compliance requirements, and cross-border logistics.

Generate commercial invoices, customs declarations, and import/export documentation, ensuring compliance with international regulations. With landed cost calculations and duty/tax estimation, you will provide accurate pricing information to global customers and optimize expenses for cross-border transactions.

Key Features of Multi-Carrier Shipping Systems

Multi-carrier shipping system features

To capitalize on the advantages of a multi carrier parcel shipping software, make sure to pay attention to certain essential features.

Multi Carrier Integration

Multi carrier parcel shipping solutions must seamlessly integrate with various carriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS, enabling users to compare rates and select the most cost-effective options. This feature centralizes shipping data, allowing easy access to rates, transit times, and delivery options across different vendors.

Label Generation

The label generation feature automates the process of creating shipping labels, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Users generate professional-looking shipping labels with just a few clicks, whether for individual shipments or in bulk. This streamlines the shipping process and ensures compliance with carrier requirements.

Package Tracking

Real-time tracking gives companies and their customers visibility into the status and location of shipments throughout the shipping process. This feature offers peace of mind as companies proactively address any potential delivery issues, such as delays or package mishandling.

Provide customers with accurate and up-to-date information about their shipments, enhancing transparency and trust. Additionally, businesses use tracking data to improve workflow efficiency and enhance customer experience.

Address Verification

The address validation feature double-checks addresses in real time, catching mistakes and ensuring packages arrive on time. This cuts down on undelivered or late deliveries, which could upset customers and hurt the business. As a result, errors are minimized, and packages reach their destinations smoothly.

Returns Management

Returns management facilitates the handling and processing of product returns. It includes functionalities like generating return labels, managing authorization, tracking return shipments, and processing refunds or exchanges. Streamline the reverse logistics process, ensuring that returns are handled efficiently and effectively.

Reporting and Analytics

Detailed reports provide visibility into key metrics like shipping expenses, delivery times, carrier performance, and customer satisfaction. With this data, companies identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement to optimize operations and drive cost savings.

Customizable dashboards enhance visibility by providing clear and intuitive visualizations, making it easier for businesses to track performance and make informed decisions.

Custom Multi-Carrier Shipping Software: Business Benefits

Custom multi-carrier shipping solutions or ready-made ones? We recommend to create bespoke systems, given their numerous advantages for business:

  • Custom solutions scale seamlessly with the business’s growth. As operations expand and evolve, the software accommodates increased shipping volumes, new carriers, additional features, and changing business processes.
  • With bespoke software, you tailor every aspect of the shipping process to your specific requirements — from user interfaces and workflows to integrations with existing systems and unique business rules.
  • While the initial investment in custom software development may be higher, it delivers long-term budget savings and a higher return on investment. For example, it eliminates licensing fees, reduces reliance on third-party vendors, and optimizes processes.
  • With custom software, you have greater control over data security and compliance. Specialists implement robust security measures to mitigate the risk of data breaches and guarantee compliance with industry regulations and standards like GDPR or HIPAA.
  • Ongoing maintenance services keep the software up-to-date, secure, and optimized for performance. A dedicated team addresses issues promptly and implements updates and enhancements.
  • Tailored features and capabilities address specific pain points and customer needs. This enhances the overall customer experience and differentiates the business from competitors using generic off-the-shelf solutions.

Best Practices of Custom Multi-Carrier Shipping System Development

Best practices for multi carrier delivery management system

What should be considered when creating a multi carrier shipping platform? We have prepared the best eight development or modernization practices.

Modular Architecture

Design the software with a modular architecture for smooth integration of multiple carriers and scalability to accommodate future changes or additions. Each module should handle specific functions such as rate calculation, label generation, and tracking, making it easier to maintain and update the software.

Cloud-Native Approach

Embrace cloud-native principles by leveraging AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. Features like auto-scaling, elastic load balancing, and serverless computing dynamically adjust resources based on demand, ensuring scalability without upfront hardware investment.

API Integration

Integrate carrier APIs seamlessly into the software to access shipping rates, generate labels, and track shipments in real time. Utilize standardized APIs carriers provide to ensure compatibility and reliability.

Rate Shipping Algorithms

Implement rate shipping algorithms that compare rates from multiple carriers based on package weight, dimensions, destination, and delivery speed. Consider additional features like negotiated rates, discounts, and surcharges to provide users with the most cost-effective shipping options.

Customizable Rules Engine

Develop a customizable rules engine that allows users to define shipping rules based on destination, weight, value, or carrier preference. Thus, businesses can automate shipping decisions and enforce company policies while providing flexibility to meet individual customer needs.

User-Friendly Interface

Design a user-friendly interface with intuitive navigation, clear workflows, and customizable dashboards to enhance usability and productivity. Provide features like saved preferences, address book management, and order history to streamline the shipping process.

Security and Compliance

Ensure that the software complies with industry standards and regulations for data security, privacy, and compliance. Implement encryption, authentication, and authorization mechanisms to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access to the system.

Performance Optimization

Optimize the software’s performance by minimizing latency, optimizing database queries, and leveraging caching mechanisms. Conduct regular performance testing and optimization to ensure smooth operation even under high load conditions.

Why Choose Acropolium?

Acropolium is a trusted vendor with extensive experience delivering secure projects for logistics, transportation, and supply chain companies — from warehousing and transportation operations to vehicle routing and fleet management. Our developers have strong expertise in choosing optimal technology stacks and building robust solutions that address the unique challenges of the logistics sector.

We build GDPR-compliant software that ensures customer data is handled with confidentiality and integrity. ISO-certified processes emphasize maintaining the highest standards of quality and reliability throughout the web development lifecycle. Acropolium also specializes in serverless platforms, creating scalable, cost-effective, and sustainable apps with strict requirements that smoothly adapt to changing requirements.

Let’s take a look at some of our relevant use cases:

  • Our client asked us to complete the development of a web-based delivery platform with a full range of third-party logistics (3PL) services. Our team conducted a full audit of the solution and optimized the load on the server. We successfully launched a working solution in just two months, saving current customers and attracting 25 new ones. As a result, the client reduced monthly costs by 600% and increased profits by 37%.
  • Another company approached us to create an MVP version of a mobile application for truck drivers and brokers. It was important to track the actual number of hours drivers worked to pay for actual work. Three months later, we presented an MVP with real-time geolocation updates that increased security by 90% and session speed by 28%.

Example of multi-carrier shipping solutions

Final Thoughts

Multicarrier parcel management solutions software streamlines shipping operations, improves efficiency, and enhances customer satisfaction. When building a platform, you should consider features like label generation, package tracking, address verification, and others to optimize the shipping processes and drive cost savings.

However, following the best development practices is vital for the solution to bring maximum benefits and be easy to maintain. Acropolium is happy to help, offering a subscription-based service that covers all common needs of a secure custom software project at a monthly fee. Contact our IT outsourcing agency for more details.

Sources of Information: