Blog Soft Gorillas

19 July 2023
4 min read

Ecommerce Shipping: Exploring Alternative Methods for Cost-Effective Delivery |


Welcome to! In this article, we will discuss the importance of ecommerce shipping and explore the different options available to businesses. Shipping plays a critical role in the success of an ecommerce business, and understanding the advantages of various shipping methods can help you make informed decisions that will benefit your business. We will specifically focus on the benefits of alternative shipping methods such as local, regional, and hybrid carriers.

The Importance of Ecommerce Shipping

Shipping is a critical part of any ecommerce business. It is the final step in the purchasing process and directly affects customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which shipping method is best for your business.

If you are looking to save on costs and improve operational convenience, it is worth exploring alternative shipping methods. Traditional carriers like UPS and FedEx are popular choices, but local and regional carriers often offer lower rates, which can save you money on shipping costs. Additionally, these carriers may provide faster delivery times, which is a significant advantage when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Exploring Alternative Shipping Methods

Local Carriers

Local carriers typically provide shipping services within a limited geographic area, such as a city or county. They are often the most cost-effective option for shipping items to customers in your region. Some pros and cons of using local carriers include:


  • Cost-effective option for shipping within a limited geographic area
  • Familiar with the local region, which can lead to faster delivery times
  • May offer personalized service and greater flexibility in pickup and delivery options


  • Limited geographic coverage
  • May have fewer tracking features and insurance options compared to larger carriers like UPS or FedEx

Regional Carriers

Regional carriers provide shipping services across a broader region, such as an entire state or multiple states. They are a great option if you are looking to broaden your reach and expand your business. Some pros and cons of using regional carriers include:


  • Competitive rates for long-distance shipments
  • Broader geographic coverage
  • May offer more tracking features and insurance options compared to local carriers


  • May be more expensive than local carriers for shorter distance shipments
  • Delivery times may be longer compared to local carriers

Hybrid Carriers

Hybrid carriers are a combination of traditional and alternative shipping methods. They offer both local and regional services, allowing you to choose the best option for each shipment. This flexibility makes them an excellent choice if you are looking for custom shipping solutions. Some pros and cons of using hybrid carriers include:


  • Flexible and customizable solutions
  • Cost-effective rates for both local and regional shipments
  • Access to more tracking features and insurance options compared to local carriers


  • Managing multiple carriers can be more task-demanding and slower compared to working with a single carrier

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Alternative Shipping Method

When choosing an alternative shipping method, it is essential to consider several factors that can affect your shipping costs and overall efficiency. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Distance: The farther away you are from a primary carrier’s hub, the more expensive shipping with them will be. Consider regional or hybrid carriers if you frequently ship to customers in different regions.
  2. Product Specifics: Some products require additional protection or special handling. Make sure the carrier you choose can provide these services.
  3. Package Size and Weight: Larger or heavier packages may require more expensive shipping services. Therefore, it is crucial to consider cheaper options that still offer reliable delivery.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness: The cost of shipping can significantly impact your bottom line. Choose a cost-effective option that fits your budget.
  5. Delivery Time: Delivery time is essential for customer satisfaction. Some carriers are more reliable and efficient in their timing than others, so consider this when deciding which carrier to use.

Implementing Your Chosen Shipping Method

After choosing an alternative shipping method, the next step is to implement it within your ecommerce business. This involves integrating the carrier’s services with your website or platform to ensure a seamless shipping process for your customers. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Consolidate Multiple Carriers: Depending on your chosen shipping service, you may need to consolidate multiple carriers into one. This process can be time-consuming and complex. Consider utilizing a reliable third-party logistics partner like FirstMile that can handle the integration process for you.
  2. Automate Shipping Processes: Integrating your shipping service should make fulfilling orders faster and easier. Create an automated system that allows customers to quickly select their preferred shipping option, pay for it, and track their orders in real-time.
  3. Invest in Shipping Software: Shipping software can streamline the shipping process and help you save time and reduce costs. Look for software that offers features like label printing, setting up rate rules, generating reports, and optimizing delivery routes.

Choosing the Right Alternative Shipping Method for Your Ecommerce Business

When choosing an alternative shipping method for your ecommerce business, it is essential to consider your specific needs and requirements. Factors to consider include customer and business locations, the nature of your products, shipping volume, cost-effectiveness, and desired delivery timeframes. By carefully considering these factors, you can select the right shipping method that will benefit your business in terms of cost, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.


In conclusion, ecommerce shipping is a critical aspect of any online business. By exploring alternative shipping methods, such as local, regional, and hybrid carriers, you can save on costs, improve operational convenience, and provide faster delivery times to your customers. Consider the specific needs of your business and customers when choosing an alternative shipping method, and don’t forget to implement the necessary integrations and automation to streamline your shipping processes. With the right shipping strategy in place, you can optimize your ecommerce business and provide an exceptional customer experience. Visit FirstMile to get started with customizable solutions tailored to your business-specific needs.

Keywords: ecommerce shipping, alternative shipping methods, local carriers, regional carriers, hybrid carriers, shipping strategy, customer satisfaction.


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