How to Leverage Regional Shipping Carriers to Support a Nationwide Ecommerce Presence

There are so many variables that go into ecommerce shipping, it can be hard to figure out which carrier is best for your brand, and which shipping service supports your product and customer needs.  

While many brands choose to use one national carrier, sometimes it can be more beneficial to stitch together multiple regional shipping carriers. With this approach brands can create a cohesive nationwide shipping network that leverages the strengths of each carrier while providing comprehensive coverage and a seamless shipping experience for your customers. 

Here are some of the major considerations you’ll need to make before building a network of regional carriers.  

1. Research and Select Reliable Carriers

Regional carriers can vary widely in their services, range, and reliability. Do your due diligence first to make sure the carriers you choose will provide the type and quality of service you require. Check their customer reviews, ratings, and performance metrics to assess their suitability for your ecommerce shipping needs. 

2. Evaluate Coverage Area

Confirm that the regional carrier covers the specific regions where your customers are located. Ensure they have a wide enough coverage area to meet your shipping requirements. 

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3. Understand Service Levels 

Each type of product has different requirements when shipping. Does your carrier offer the type of handling you need—refrigeration, dangerous goods, expedited? Regional carriers may have a wide range of costs for specialty services. Be sure you understand the available options and choose the one that aligns with your customers’ expectations and your business requirements. 

4. Negotiate Rates and Contracts

Ecommerce brands might be surprised to know that even basic rates like fuel charges can be negotiated at the start of a contract. Contact the regional carriers and negotiate competitive rates before entering into a binding contract.  

5. Establish a Centralized Shipping Management System

Juggling multiple carriers will be more work administratively. To ensure you can manage many partnerships seamlessly, implement a centralized shipping management system or software that can consolidate shipping data from multiple carriers. This system helps streamline order fulfillment, generates shipping labels, and provides a unified tracking interface for you and your customers. 

6. Develop Clear Shipping Rules

Define shipping rules and criteria to determine which carrier should handle specific orders based on factors like destination, package size, weight, and delivery speed requirements. Automate this process within your centralized shipping management system. 

7. Stay Proactive

With multiple carriers handling different regions of your shipping, it’s important to stay ahead of any issues that may arise. Monitor carrier performance closely and address any delays proactively. Maintain open communication channels with the regional carriers to resolve any problems promptly and minimize the impact on your customers. 

Benefits of Using a Regional Shipping Carrier 

When used strategically, regional shipping carriers can provide cost-effective and efficient shipping solutions. By targeting specific geographic areas ecommerce brands can enhance customer satisfaction with increased delivery speed and greater opportunity for customization.  

Here are the top benefits of working with regional shipping carriers.  


Regional carriers often offer competitive pricing, especially for shipments within their specific coverage areas. They may have lower overhead costs compared to national carriers, allowing them to provide more affordable shipping rates. Utilizing regional carriers can help lower overall transportation costs.  

Local Expertise and Knowledge

Regional carriers have a deep understanding of their local areas, including traffic patterns, delivery routes, weather patterns, and regional regulations. This localized knowledge can result in more efficient coverage within that region, which ultimately leads to more reliable service and happier customers.  

Faster Transit Times

Since regional carriers focus on specific geographic areas, they can often provide quicker transit times compared to national carriers. They have well-established networks and infrastructure within their coverage regions, allowing for more efficient pickup and delivery operations.  

Flexibility and Customization

Most regional carriers won’t operate with the same rigidity as large national corporations—they may offer more flexibility and customization. Inquire about various specialty delivery services like special handling, Saturday service, and same-day or next-day shipping.  

Personalized Customer Service

Being smaller operations lends regional carriers to offer more personalized customer service. You may have direct access to dedicated representatives and more on-call operators who can address your shipping-related queries or concerns promptly. If this is the case expect problems to be solved quickly.  

Bottom Line 

There are pros and cons to any type of shipping carrier. Evaluating the specific needs of your business, target market, and shipping requirements will help you determine whether leveraging a regional carrier aligns with your overall shipping strategy.  


If you are seeking a fulfillment provider who can help you navigate what shipping and transportation options are best for your brand,  reach out to DCL Logistics for a quote. We have a number of transportation management services that can help your brand grow and scale.