Managing the COVID-19 parcel surge through a multi-carrier shipping strategy

Published on: 10 November 2020

The customer is always right

A famous quote originally expressed in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge's department store in London. This phrase has been repeatedly expressed over many decades and different generations during employee training in order to provide a sterling service to customers.

Does this still apply when purchasing online? My take: “Yes, of course!”

Whether purchasing online or ordering through a brick-and-mortar shop, service providers need to strive to adhere to customers' selected preferences.

Abiding to agreed delivery times and providing transparent delivery processes has been a struggle for many operators as online shopping has been on the increase over the last few years. Of course, it is no news that COVID-19 has accelerated this trend.

Now more than ever the entire chain from online merchants to parcel consolidators and the Last Mile need to act fast, select the best shipping options for their orders and execute customer orders in the fastest, safest and most efficient way. However switching between carriers should be easy right? Wrong! Practically all carriers have their own shipping rules, label structures and electronic data requirements.

Parcel Consolidators & Aggregators need to consolidate and have the option to work with multiple carriers to support the rapid growth they are facing and enable scale. COVID-19 has created tremendous challenges but has also delivered an opportunity for change. Flexible platforms, dedicated rule engines and extensible data integration capabilities need to be at the top of the operators’ agenda, especially ahead of the projected multiple peaks in the run up to the festive season(s).

How are you handling and managing your multi-carrier strategy?