[GUEST COLUMN] Evan Puzey
Often this is a complex decision, but it can be narrowed own to one simple question: “Do you want to be held hostage by a carrier?” Whether you want to admit it or
not, a carrier knows if they are the only game in town. When a
company commits to moving most, or all, parcel freight with a
single carrier, they are signing away their freedom to truly be
One often overlooked problem with being a single carrier customer is getting talked into leveraging a carrier’s “free” software
solution to ship with. They bring in their solutions, tie them into
your workflows, and offer as much free help as needed to automate processes, leaving you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. The
problem that can arise comes one or two years down the road
when you go to negotiate your next contract, and the carrier
knows that you are dependent on them. You have invested time,
resources, and energy into having these systems embedded into
your workflow, and now have a potential costly change to consider. Furthermore, using this system has become second nature to
how you operate every work day, leaving you with the feeling of
being held hostage by your carrier. Often it seems that the only
choice you are left with is to continue to negotiate, knowing in
the back of your mind there is not much you can change.
How can you avoid this potential trap? Do you put in a
multi-carrier parcel solution from the start and internally take
on the up-front costs — which can be very high for some smaller
volume shippers? The quick answer to this is yes, but there should
be a strategy in place. The best approach is to invest in a solution
that is committed to the market and will give you the possibility of
leveraging many carriers, with basic and specialized services. The
immediate upside is the true independence that you will receive
around carrier choice. The additional benefit is that if the carriers
know that you have a 3rd party solution, they will tend to accommodate your needs even further, because you have the freedom
to select from a variety of carriers, giving you a competitive edge.
When Do You Need a Multi-Carrier
In addition, you’ll be able to quickly respond to market trends,
offering your customers more options in delivery. Many experts
have talked about the trend to leverage regional carriers and last
mile services and how this provides cost savings in a growing market of “free shipping.” According to Gartner, creating a shipping
model that benefits your bottom line without turning off your
customers is the key to understanding what matters most to your
highest value customers when they buy your particular product.
If you have a system that can grow with you, then you won’t be
using more expensive, traditional services trying to keep up with a
competitor that is saving more on the bottom line.
If you think ahead and understand where you want your organization to be a few years into the future, a larger up-front cost
might save your business more in the long run, and you can avoid
being held hostage by a single carrier solution.
Kewill provides organizations with a comprehensive end-to-end
platform for managing the complexities of transportation,
logistics, and trade compliance. For more information, visit
The best approach is to invest in a solution that
is committed to the market and will give you the
possibility of leveraging many carriers, with basic
and specialized services.