How to Choose a Shipping Carrier


For eCommerce merchants, choosing a shipping carrier is a critical decision. In our guide, learn the variables you need to know to find the right courier mix.

Starting an eCommerce store entails a lot of work and logistics. There are many moving parts that you need to consider in the planning stage. There's the exciting part where you collaborate with designers on building your brand identity and website, and then developing the perfect copy to describe your products, before uploading them start selling to your target audience.

Before you start selling though, you need to develop your shipping strategy, and a key part of that is determining how to choose your shipping carriers. There are key distinctions and variables you’ll need to understand before you make your choices, as each situation will require a different mix of shipping solutions.  

It’s important to know up front that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to choosing a shipping carrier, and you need to consider multiple options instead of relying on one carrier. At Trackdz we believe a multi-carrier strategy is the smartest approach to meet the needs of your customers. With over 250+ shipping solutions, we can help you find the right mix to fit your specific needs.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the key variables to consider when choosing a delivery carrier, the major shipping carriers you can work with, and how Trackdz can help you develop a shipping strategy and delight your customers with a streamlined shipping experience.

10 Key Variables to Consider

Shipping plays a key role in determining the success of your business because it is how you connect with your customers physically. Without reliable shipping, your customers will lose trust in your brand and it’ll be difficult to gain traction.

Therefore, it helps to spend some time and choose the best shipping carriers that will provide you top shipping solutions and help you handle the delivery process successfully so that you can delight your buyers with a streamlined shipping experience.

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a delivery carrier. This will not only help you save on shipping costs but also find the best shipping solutions that will help you offer your buyers impeccable delivery times and grow your business.

Here, we discuss the key variables to consider.


High shipping rates can devour your profits and erode your store's bottom line. Therefore, working with a carrier that helps you save on shipping costs matters. Shipping rates are calculated based on the size and the weight of the package. The larger or heavier your package is, the more you will pay to have it delivered.

For example, USPS is by far the cheapest shipping option when mailing packages that weigh less than 2lbs within the US, but you may find that it is more economical to use FedEx or UPS when mailing large and heavy items.

Working with a carrier that provides free shipping supplies can also help you drive down shipping costs. These include boxes, envelopes, and shipping labels

2. Delivery time

Delivery time is another important variable that you need to consider when choosing a shipping carrier. This will largely be determined by your customer's shipping zones.

For example, if you are running a monthly subscription service where you ship to your customers on a predictable schedule, you have the luxury of choosing slower shipping services because you can schedule your shipments earlier to reach your customers at the right time.

But if you run an online retail business where you are competing with big-name retailers like Amazon and Walmart, then you need to understand that speed is important to online shoppers in this space.

Your buyer's shipping zone will determine how long your packages will be traveling to be delivered. This makes distance a big factor when determining delivery speeds.

The longer the distance, the longer the delivery time, especially when using economic delivery services. Longer distances also mean that you will have to pay more for fast shipping.

3. Weekend Delivery

Weekend delivery is also another thing to consider when choosing a delivery carrier. If your buyers require a weekend delivery, make sure you partner with a carrier that offers that. Also, enquire about their surcharges for weekend delivery and determine upfront who will pay for these -you or your customer.

4. Destination

Where do the carriers deliver? Do they offer both international and domestic shipping? Does the carrier you are considering to use offer delivery to the remote locations and do they charge additional fees for the same?

If you are considering selling to both domestic and international customers, then you need to choose carriers that incorporate both domestic and international shipping or work with multiple carriers to cater to your local and international buyers.

5. Type of Products

This is another top factor that you will need to consider when choosing a shipping carrier. Different carriers have size and shape restrictions, and you need to be aware of these when approaching various carriers. You may also encounter country restrictions and policies that serve as a hindrance when shipping your products to different countries.

For example, some carriers won't ship food supplements or perfumes to certain countries. Others may not offer shipping services for very expensive and fragile items. So make sure to consult with various carriers and enquire about their shape, size, products, and country restrictions. 

6. Fees

Additional fees should not be left behind when choosing a shipping carrier. You need to know upfront the type of fees you will be paying in terms of fuel surcharges, pick up fees, residential surcharges for remote deliveries, or any handling fees you may be required to pay for shipping high-value and fragile items.

7. Tracking

Package tracking is very important in eCommerce when it comes to managing customers' delivery expectations. It helps lower delivery anxiety when there are some shipping delays. Working with a carrier that offers detailed tracking and/or delivery confirmations will go a long way into helping you offer a smooth shipping experience to your buyers.

8. Insurance

Here, you need to understand your average order value, and the extent to which your carrier's included insurance covers it. You also need to figure out how you will fund any additional insurance when required. Trackdz can help you insure your cargo up to $5000.

9. Shipping Software

These days it’s critical that you utilize the best tools available to optimize your eCommerce store. A shipping platform like Trackdz will help you optimize and streamline your shipping, saving you time and money. 

10. Live rates

Shoppers want to see live rates at checkout and are increasingly demanding this feature from online stores. This entails automatic computation of shipping rates based on different product features such as weight, size, and destination. 

Tags : Shipping services, trackdz, track dz, 17track, tracking number, track parcel, usps, ups, fedex, dhl, aliexpress standard shipping, eccp, ccp

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