The network that carriers wish you used

We’re excited to announce the formal release of the Shipium Carrier Network, our ecosystem of pre-integrated carriers and service methods that provides immediate access to core carrier interfaces such as generating labels, manifesting shipments, and getting tracking IDs.

When we started Shipium in 2019, we quickly understood that for us to provide the superior outcomes that customers deserve, direct carrier integrations were a MUST. We have since built first-party integrations with our carrier ecosystem, which has given us the benefits of optimizing for the scale necessary for enterprise shippers, building trusted relationships with carriers, and building the technical foundation for Carrier Selection. Without investing in this infrastructure, it would be impossible for us to virtualize contracts and manage surcharges for our customers, providing them the fully loaded rate shopping that customers need.

Over the last several years we have built a network of integrations that covers the bulk of domestic shipments. Based off combined market data from our partners like Green Mountain Technology, Colography, and more, we estimate that over 98.5% of all domestic ecommerce shipments are delivered via the carriers and service methods we’ve integrated to date. The maturity of our platform has achieved incredible speed, and with new carriers being added monthly, we should be in the high 99% range soon. In short, you de-risk the issue of carrier expansion availability with our pre-integrated network.

Where relationships matter

But it’s the quality of our network that stands out. We value our partnership with carriers and take seriously the importance of our role in the shipping ecosystem. We treat our carrier partners with respect, offer efficient communication, and act as a technical and operating liaison between carriers and shippers when issues arise.

On top of that, our business models align with both you, our customer, and our carrier partners. We are a simple software subscription service based on the products you choose to use. We haven’t built a business model based on kickbacks from carriers, and we don’t charge our customers unfair fees to integrate new carriers into their warehouse operations. Given our neutrality, as a merit-based selection engine we ensure that the best carrier to deliver any given shipment is the one that is chosen.

The result is happier customers and even happier carrier partners. Take a look at our Carrier Network and view the testimonials. This is the network carriers wish you used.

Making carrier access more modular

So what’s different now versus the past three years? The answer is modularity and flexibility.

As we were building carrier integrations, it was in service to support our Carrier Selection product, the industry’s best shipping management system for modern operators like yourself. Carrier Selection not only handles rate shopping, but estimated delivery dates (date shopping), and dozens more configuration and management capabilities that is making the day-to-day of modern operators much more pleasant. You can view all the capabilities here.

Therefore, for customers to print labels, manifest, or get tracking IDs, they needed to purchase Carrier Selection and also be in position to use Shipium for rate shopping, etc. We consistently heard that operators would love to just start with label printing and grow into other parts of Carrier Selection, which we couldn’t support.

Until now. Starting today, customers can choose to accomplish foundational shipping jobs without the requirement of using all the other technology found in Carrier Selection.

  • Generate labels through our label generation API, which doesn’t require Carrier Selection
  • Manifest shipments via APIs
  • Get tracking IDs for shipments

The team has worked hard in 2023 to split out availability, and it’s been a success with the first few customers who have approached Shipium in this iterative fashion.

The reverse is true too, which is why we are happy to accommodate customers who want to bring their existing carrier network into our Carrier Selection offering. Several recent customers have chosen to keep their current label printing partner in place and run Carrier Selection on top of it.

We think this is important because flexibility is essential to helping enterprise shippers absorb innovation in a way that fits their needs. Certain companies will prioritize certain initiatives, and that’s great. We want to be a fit no matter your focus.

Timing couldn’t be more topical

The UPS strike looming over everyone’s head put everyone in a bad mood this summer. I recently discussed a point of view on how much risk this has put in the system for shippers who are single-threaded on UPS. Even though the strike was resolved, we are now hearing the FedEx union has rejected an agreement. The point is volatility will never go away. You need to be flexible.

This situation gives me a chance to explain why the availability of our Carrier Network is such a big deal.

When a Shipium customer secures a new business contract with a carrier, lighting that carrier up across their fulfillment network is an afternoon activity. This was true for Carrier Selection, with jobs like rate shopping, and it’s true for more foundational jobs like labels and tracking through the Carrier Network. For customers who choose to only print labels or get tracking IDs through the network, de-risking with issues like looming strikes and getting additional carriers set up quickly to print labels has been a problem in the past. It's not a problem with Shipium.

The narrower focus gives companies, both big and small, a chance to de-risk quickly even if IT is constrained. The focus can be on just getting an alternative label generation layer in place, and then layer in Carrier Selection as engineering bandwidth opens up.

If this is a situation you think could benefit you, get in contact with us and we’d be happy to chat through how customers are getting started with just the Carrier Network quickly.