Regional Parcel Carriers: Where They Operate and When To Use Them

There are three main factors that most e-commerce businesses look for when it comes to shipping. That is affordability, reliability, and flexibility. With regional parcel carriers, online merchants may very well be able to get all three.

While national carriers such as USPS and UPS are great options for delivering across the U.S., adding a regional parcel carrier into your carrier-mix can allow you to potentially save money and deliver faster within certain areas of the country.

What are Regional Parcel Carriers

Regional parcel carriers are essentially shipping companies that only serve a particular area and/or a particular set of states.

While national carriers can deliver your products to customers all across the country, regional parcel carriers specialize in delivering to places close to the origin of the shipment. In terms of shipping zones, these shipments typically don’t exceed zone 4.

Because they serve a smaller area, they’re able to offer fast and affordable shipping rates to e-commerce businesses.

Not only do they work directly with e-commerce businesses, but they are also used by fulfillment centers, 3rd Party Logistics companies (3PLs), and also with national carriers when they get too overwhelmed by orders.

Who Are The U.S. Regional Parcel Carriers

There are plenty of regional parcel carriers across the U.S. that may be a good fit for your e-commerce business.

Some of the largest regional carriers include Lasership which serves the entire east coast and OnTrac which serves the entire west coast. There are also options that serve states in the midwest and options like LSO which specializes in delivering inside the state of Texas.

There are even states in which multiple regional parcel carriers operate, giving you even more options to choose from.

Regional Carrier Name States Served Shipping Services Offered
LaserShip CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, NC, NH, NY, NJ, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, WV Same-day, next-day, and two-day delivery as well as custom routing.
Ontrac AZ, CA, CO, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA Same-day ground shipping, Mid-day service, DirectPost
PITT OHIO DC, DE, IN, KY, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV Truckload (TL), Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), custom routing
Lone Star Overnight (LSO) Texas Deliveries On Saturday, Early Morning, next-day, two-day delivery
United Delivery Service (UDS) IL, IN, WI, Iowa Saturday/Sunday shipping, same-day and next-day delivery
Spee-Dee delivery service IL, IA, MN, ND, SD, WI, MI, MS, NE Same-day, next-day, return shipping
CDL Last Mile Solutions NY, NJ, CT, PA, DE, DC, MD, VA Same-day, next-day, and overnight delivery, white glove delivery services
GLS (formerly GSO) WA, OR, ID, NV, UT, CA, AZ, NM Next-day, overnight, early morning, and Saturday delivery
Courier Express AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA Same-day, next-day delivery
United Delivery Service IL, IN, WI, IA Same-day, next-day delivery, Saturday/Sunday delivery
IntelliQuick Delivery AZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, NM Same-day Delivery, Final Mile Logistics, specialized freight

One important aspect to note is that certain states don’t have a limited presence regarding regional parcel carriers or no presence at all. Knowing where your customers are will be crucial for selecting which regional parcel carrier you want to work with.

Benefits Of Using Regional Parcel Carriers

There are three main benefits of using regional parcel carriers for your e-commerce business.

Lower cost of shipping

  • Because regional parcel carriers don’t travel as far and have less overhead and operating expenses to cover, they are able to offer cheaper shipping rates. You may also be able to avoid residential, peak, and weekend surcharges depending on the carrier and the type of package you’re shipping.

Deliver Your Products Faster

  • Because regional parcel carriers have less distance to travel, they can often get your products delivered to customers faster than a national carrier. As highlighted in the table above, many of them offer same-day delivery and they also offer multiple pickup times so you can fulfill and ship orders faster.

Gives Your Customers More Flexibility

  • With regional parcel carriers, customers can often get the ability to choose the exact time of the day they want to receive their order. Some even offer white glove services and “Collect on Delivery” as a payment option. 

When To Use Regional Parcel Carriers

The best time to use a regional parcel carrier is when your e-commerce business wants to lower shipping costs and transit times within a certain location of the country.

Before signing up to one, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve studied your customer and shipping data to see if a bulk of customers come from a particular region. If you’re primarily shipping on the West Coast, Ontrac may be a good solution whereas if you’re mostly shipping to the east coast, LaserShip might be a better choice.

If you’re in need of additional services like white glove delivery or inside delivery because you’re shipping large or specialized products, it may also be time to consider using a regional parcel carrier. 

Factors To Consider When Using A Regional Parcel Carrier

While there are substantial benefits to using a regional carrier, there are a couple of factors to consider before adding one to your carrier-mix.

  • Volume Discounts: When you ship with a particular carrier enough, you may qualify for bulk shipping discounts. By spreading out your shipments across different carriers, you may not reach the threshold to achieve that discount.
  • Added Logistics: You may need to make changes to your current tech stack in order to set up orders via the regional parcel carrier of your choice and print shipping labels for them.

However, Shippo users are able to add both national and regional carriers into their carrier-mix and still get deep discounts for shipping services provided by the nation’s largest carriers. Pre-negotiated discounts from regional carriers can also be incorporated into Shippo.

Shippo also curbs potential logistical problems. By adding your regional parcel carrier account, you can compare rates and print shipping labels from regional or national carriers all in the same dashboard. This helps you stay organized while leveraging all your shipping options.

How To Create Shipping Labels For Regional Parcel Carriers

There are a few different ways in which you can create shipping labels for regional parcel carriers, but the one of the easiest ways is through Shippo.

Shippo users can connect their regional parcel carrier account to be able to compare rates and transit times alongside national carriers all within a single dashboard. The Shippo API can also be connected to your current tech stack so you generate labels for regional parcel carriers with minimal logistical challenges.

Regional parcel carriers supported by Shippo include OnTrac, LSO, and CDL to name a few. Also, discounts that have already been negotiated between your e-commerce business and the carrier can be incorporated into your Shippo account so you’re always getting the best price.

Sign up to Shippo for free today to start comparing rates and service levels from regional parcel carriers all across the country.

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