April 8 2011 12:37 PM

Regional carriers are now offering long range artillery to their growing arsenal of specialized services. 

Already building a reputation for creating unique supply chain solutions in order to provide competitive advantages over Fed Ex and UPS, select carriers are now measuring every aspect of your shipments and generating detailed metrics to help you become more efficient, cost effective, and thus more sustainable.

Long known for their ability to tailor make rate structures to your needs, rather than forcing you into a fixed matrix, regional carriers traditionally offer significantly lower rates. They are willing to analyze your shipping history and package characteristics, and come up with flat rates that do not include ANY accessorials. Consequently, measuring and weighing packages can be eliminated. Even flat rates that cover all pieces in a multi-piece shipment can be created, with tracking of both the individual pieces and the entire shipment.

Shippers consistently benefit from the expanded geography regional carriers offer that can receive next day service. Most regional carriers cover 3 to 6 state territories with connectivity between them. So not only is there a much wider next day delivery zone, second day and third day reach increases with it. And with each expanded zone, more packages are shipped at a lower rate.

Another surprising benefit with regional carriers is that damages are reduced to a minimum without the automated sorting systems employed by the large shipping companies. Many shippers enjoy even further savings in the reduced packaging materials needed to get their shipments to their customers undamaged.

Most regional carriers allow later pickup times, so that your customers can order later and still get their product next day. Deliveries by noon, or even by a specific time, can frequently be offered without a rate premium.

The route systems of most regional carriers are based on the pharmaceutical industry, so there is significant reliability to delivery times from one day to the next. And all shippers benefit collectively by the extensive compliance and security requirements and procedures.

In addition to this arsenal of unique services, certain regional carriers are now measuring the exact carbon footprint of every shipped package of a customer, whether through them or other carriers. Shipments can be analyzed whether they move by air, rail, ocean, truck or multimodal, and both packaging and transportation costs are measured. 

The calculator then allocates emissions by customer, location, product or a variety of other options. Reports of these emissions can then be shared with customers, clients, shareholders and regulatory agencies.

Amazingly, these metrics uncover a variety of inefficiencies – split shipments; packages not delivered on designated service days; unneeded accessorials; i.e. fees for bad addresses & rural zones; and many other comparatives.

Companies can then elect to use the savings from addressing these inefficiencies to purchase clean carbon offsets that would allow them to be carbon neutral – Sustainability at No Cost!

Businesses will be well positioned for the future who can quantify their costs and carbon for their customers and partners, while taking advantage of the many benefits to their supply chain offered by these niche regional carriers.