20 Best Multi-Carrier Shipping Software: Ultimate Guide

What is multi-carrier shipping software?

Multi-carrier shipping software is a tool designed to streamline the shipping process for businesses by integrating with multiple shipping carriers in one platform. Instead of relying on individual carrier websites or manual calculations, this software offers several key features:

1. Carrier Management and Comparison:

  • Integration with multiple carriers: Connect to various carriers through APIs, allowing access to real-time rates and service options.
  • Carrier comparison engine: Compare rates, delivery speeds, reliability, and other factors across different carriers based on user-provided shipment details.
  • Automated carrier selection (optional): Automatically choose the best carrier based on pre-defined criteria like cost or speed.

2. Shipment Processing and Documentation:

  • Label generation: Generate shipping labels with tracking numbers and barcodes for chosen carriers.
  • Documentation generation (optional): Create necessary documentation specific to carrier requirements or international regulations.
  • Shipment booking and confirmation: Securely book shipments with chosen carriers and receive confirmation details.

3. Shipment Tracking and Management:

  • Real-time shipment tracking: Monitor the progress of all your shipments across different carriers in a centralized dashboard.
  • Consolidated tracking information: View tracking details provided by each carrier in a single, unified view.
  • Shipment management tools: Manage and organize shipments, including searching, filtering, and exporting data.

These core features form the foundation of multi-carrier shipping software, enabling businesses to streamline their shipping processes across various carriers. Additionally, many software options offer advanced features like:

  • Inventory management: Track inventory levels and ensure accurate fulfillment.
  • Returns management: Streamline the process of handling customer returns.
  • Reporting and analytics: Gain insights into shipping costs, performance, and carrier comparisons for data-driven decision-making.

By leveraging these core features and potential additional functionalities, multi-carrier shipping software empowers businesses to optimize their shipping operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.

What are the benefits of multi-carrier shipping software?

Multi-carrier shipping software offers a multitude of benefits for businesses of various sizes and industries, streamlining operations, reducing costs, and enhancing customer experience. Here are some key advantages:

1. Cost Savings:

  • Carrier Comparison: Compare real-time rates and services from multiple carriers, allowing you to choose the most cost-effective option for each shipment. This can significantly reduce your overall shipping expenditure.
  • Negotiated Rates: Some software providers have negotiated discounted rates with carriers, which can further benefit your business.

2. Increased Efficiency:

  • Streamlined Shipping Process: Automate tasks like label generation, carrier selection, and documentation, saving you valuable time and effort.
  • Centralized Management: Manage all your shipments across different carriers from a single platform, eliminating the need to navigate individual carrier websites.
  • Reduced Errors: Automated processes minimize manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and delays.

3. Improved Customer Experience:

  • Faster Delivery Options: Offer customers a wider range of delivery choices, including faster options, to cater to their diverse needs and preferences.
  • Real-time Tracking: Provide customers with real-time tracking information for their shipments, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Reduced Delivery Issues: Mitigate potential delays or issues by choosing reliable carriers and offering alternative options.

4. Additional Advantages:

  • Risk Mitigation: Reduce reliance on a single carrier, minimizing the impact of disruptions like carrier strikes or service limitations in specific regions.
  • Scalability: Easily adapt to changing business needs and increasing shipping volumes as your business grows.
  • Data & Analytics: Gain valuable insights into your shipping performance, costs, and carrier comparisons to make informed decisions for future optimization.

Overall, multi-carrier shipping software empowers businesses to optimize their operations, gain a competitive edge, and deliver a superior customer experience by streamlining shipping processes, reducing costs, and providing greater control and flexibility.

20 best multi-carrier shipping software

Here’s a comprehensive table showcasing various popular options, including, along with their compatibility, functionality, price range, and website links:

Software Name Compatibility Functionality Price Range Popularity Website Link
ShipStation Multiple platforms (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento) Multi-carrier shipping, rate comparison, shipment tracking, label generation, returns management Starts at $29/month High
ShipEngine Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, API access, real-time rates, address verification, international shipping Starts at $39/month High
EasyShip Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, discounted rates, automated workflows, shipment tracking, returns management Starts at $29/month Medium
Ordoro Multiple platforms Inventory management, multi-channel fulfillment, order routing, carrier integrations, reporting Starts at $399/month Medium
SkuVault Multiple platforms Warehouse management, multi-channel fulfillment, order management, carrier integrations, reporting Starts at $499/month Medium
FreightVerify Multiple platforms Freight shipping management, carrier integrations, rate quoting, shipment booking, tracking, auditing Custom pricing Medium
eShipGlobal Multiple platforms International shipping, customs compliance, landed cost calculation, carrier integrations, tracking Custom pricing Medium USPS-focused Discounted USPS postage, online postage printing, shipment tracking, multi-user accounts Starts at $15.99/month High
Shippo Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, API access, real-time rates, address verification, international shipping Starts at $10/month Medium
Luwjistik Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, API access, real-time rates, route optimization, international shipping Starts at $25/month Medium
CloudShip Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, dynamic routing, real-time rates, shipment tracking, returns management Starts at $29/month Medium
Nextship Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, discounted rates, automated workflows, shipment tracking, returns management Starts at $49/month Medium
ShipHawk Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, real-time rates, shipment tracking, automated workflows, API access Starts at $29/month Medium
ShipWorks Multiple platforms Multi-carrier shipping, warehouse management, order routing, reporting, API access Starts at $99/month Medium
Stord Multiple platforms Inventory management, fulfillment automation, global network, carrier integrations, analytics Custom pricing Medium
FarEye Multiple platforms Delivery management platform, route optimization, real-time tracking, customer communication Custom pricing Medium
ShipMatrix Multiple platforms Transportation management system, multi-carrier shipping, freight management, reporting, analytics Custom pricing Medium
Freightcom Multiple platforms Freight shipping management, carrier integrations, real-time quotes, shipment booking, tracking, auditing Custom pricing Medium
Freightos Multiple platforms Freight shipping marketplace, real-time quotes, booking, tracking, visibility tools Custom pricing Medium
Descartes Multiple platforms Global trade management, customs compliance, freight forwarding, carrier integrations Custom pricing Medium

Who should use multi-carrier shipping software?

Multi-carrier shipping software offers a range of benefits for businesses of various sizes and industries. Here are some groups who can particularly benefit from its implementation:

1. E-commerce businesses:

  • They often deal with high order volumes and diverse customer demands, requiring efficient and cost-effective shipping solutions.
  • The software helps compare rates, automate labels, and offer various shipping options to customers, enhancing the overall shopping experience.

2. Businesses with high shipping volumes:

  • Regardless of industry, businesses sending a large number of packages can benefit from streamlined processes and cost savings offered by multi-carrier shipping software.

3. Businesses with geographically dispersed customers:

  • Choosing the optimal carrier based on location and delivery needs becomes crucial. The software allows for efficient selection and cost-comparison across different carriers catering to diverse destinations.

4. Businesses that require flexible shipping options:

  • Offering various delivery speeds, services, and costs can attract customers. Multi-carrier software facilitates this by integrating multiple carriers with diverse offerings.

5. Businesses looking to improve customer experience:

  • Real-time tracking information and transparent communication regarding shipments are crucial for customer satisfaction. The software provides these functionalities by centralizing information and automating updates.

Additionally, businesses that:

  • Ship internationally: Benefit from easier navigation of complex international shipping regulations and carrier options.
  • Have specific needs: Can find software with features like integration with existing business systems or specific carrier partnerships.

Overall, multi-carrier shipping software empowers various businesses to optimize their shipping processes, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience. It’s a valuable tool for anyone striving for efficiency and competitiveness in the world of shipping.

How do multi-carrier shipping software work?

Multi-carrier shipping software works in a streamlined process to manage shipments across various carriers:

1. Input Shipment Details:

  • Users enter information like package dimensions, weight, origin, and destination.
  • Some software integrates with online stores, automatically populating these details from orders.

2. Carrier Comparison and Selection:

  • The software integrates with multiple carriers and retrieves real-time rates and delivery times based on the input details.
  • Users can set up predefined rules based on cost, speed, or other factors to automate carrier selection.

3. Label Generation and Documentation:

  • Once a carrier is chosen, the software generates shipping labels with necessary information like tracking numbers and barcodes.
  • Additionally, it helps create commercial invoices, packing lists, and other customs documentation, especially for international shipments.

4. Shipment Tracking and Management:

  • The software provides real-time tracking information for all shipments across different carriers within a centralized dashboard.
  • Users can monitor shipment progress, identify any delays, and proactively address potential issues.

5. Reporting and Analytics:

  • The software generates reports on shipping costs, delivery times, carrier performance, and other data points.
  • These insights help businesses identify cost-saving opportunities, improve carrier selection strategies, and optimize overall shipping operations.

Here’s an analogy:

Imagine multi-carrier software as a travel booking platform for your packages. It compares offers from different airlines (carriers) based on your desired destination (delivery location) and luggage size (package dimensions), all in one place. You can choose the most suitable option, generate boarding passes (shipping labels), and track your luggage (shipment) throughout the journey.

What is a carrier API?

A carrier API is essentially a set of instructions and standards that allows software applications to communicate and exchange data with the systems of shipping carriers. It acts as a middleman, enabling businesses to integrate carrier functionalities directly into their own software, such as:

  • E-commerce platforms: Offering real-time shipping quotes and options to customers during checkout.
  • Warehouse management systems: Automating tasks like shipment booking, label generation, and tracking directly from the warehouse.
  • Transportation management systems: Streamlining shipment planning, execution, and visibility across various carriers.

Here’s how carrier APIs work:

  1. Your software application: Sends a request to the carrier API, specifying the desired functionality (e.g., getting a shipping quote, booking a shipment, tracking a package).
  2. Carrier API: Receives the request and translates it into a format understandable by the carrier’s internal systems.
  3. Carrier’s systems: Process the request and send back a response to the API.
  4. Carrier API: Translates the response from the carrier’s system and sends it back to your software application.

Benefits of using carrier APIs:

  • Streamlined workflows: Automate manual tasks like rate comparisons, shipment booking, and label generation.
  • Improved efficiency: Reduce errors and save time by eliminating manual data entry.
  • Enhanced flexibility: Integrate shipping functionalities seamlessly into your existing software.
  • Reduced costs: Potentially negotiate better rates with carriers through API integration.
  • Greater control: Gain real-time access to shipping data and manage your shipments effectively.

Examples of carrier APIs:

  • FedEx Web Services: Provides access to a range of FedEx shipping functionalities.
  • UPS Developer Kit: Offers various tools and resources for integrating UPS services into your applications.
  • USPS Web Tools: Enables developers to integrate USPS functionalities like address validation and postage calculation.

Choosing the right carrier API:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the API is compatible with your programming language and software platform.
  • Functionality: Select an API that offers the functionalities you need, such as rate quotes, tracking, and label generation.
  • Documentation: Choose an API with clear and comprehensive documentation to facilitate integration.
  • Cost: Consider any associated costs, such as subscription fees or transaction charges.

By leveraging carrier APIs, businesses can streamline their shipping processes, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic e-commerce landscape.