Industry Insights & News

The 5 Step Plan to Creating a Multi-Carrier Shipping Strategy

October 27, 2023

In the pursuit of optimizing costs and expanding logistics capabilities, the phrase "carriers for shipping" takes on new significance. It's not just about finding carriers; it's about strategically selecting partners that align with your specific shipping lane requirements, performance expectations, and long-term procurement goals. As we embark on the exploration of the 5-step plan, our focus extends beyond the conventional approach, emphasizing the need for shippers to consider a multi-carrier shipping strategy while leveraging innovative procurement solutions that provide access to a dynamic freight marketplace and empower them to build relationships with quality carriers, thus shaping a resilient and responsive logistics ecosystem.

Step 1: Assessing Current Needs and Gaps

Before venturing into the realm of multi-carrier shipping, it's crucial for Procurement teams to conduct a comprehensive assessment of their current shipping needs and identify any gaps in their logistics network. Understanding the specific requirements for each shipping lane sets the foundation for a successful multi-carrier strategy.

Key Tip: Leverage a comprehensive procurement solution that provides insights into shipping lane performance such as benchmarking features and identifies areas for improvement.

Step 2: Research and Identify Potential Carriers for Shipping

Once the needs are clearly defined, the next step is to research and identify potential carriers for shipping. This involves not only looking at the traditional players but also exploring emerging carriers that might offer unique advantages or cost savings.

Key Tip: Utilize a freight marketplace that connects shippers directly to a diverse pool of marketplace carriers. This provides access to a wide range of options and ensures competitive pricing.

Step 3: Vetting for Reliability and Performance

Vetting potential carriers is a critical step in the process. Procurement teams should look beyond the surface when assessing the reliability and performance of each carrier. Factors such as on-time delivery, communication capabilities, and past performance should be carefully evaluated. In addition, benchmark potential carriers against your existing carrier network to ensure you’re creating a multi-carrier network that is complementary. 

Key Tip: Take advantage of a procurement solution that offers a vetting process and scorecards for carriers. This streamlines the evaluation process and ensures that shippers engage with reputable carriers.

Step 4: Explore the Benefits of Exclusive Carrier Programs

In addition to the broader marketplace, Procurement teams should explore the benefits of engaging with top-rated carriers identified through different programs. These carriers are known for their large fleets and positive scorecards and offer a level of reliability and consistency that can be invaluable for critical shipping lanes.

Key Tip: Consider a procurement solution that includes a tiered system, allowing shippers to easily identify and engage with quality carriers like those identified in the Emerge Premier Carrier program for high-priority lanes.

Step 5: Build Powerful Relationships for Long-Term Success

The final step is to focus on building powerful relationships with selected carriers. Establishing strong connections fosters collaboration and ensures a mutually beneficial partnership. Regular communication and feedback mechanisms contribute to ongoing success.

Key Tip: Utilize a procurement solution that facilitates relationship-building, allowing shippers to maintain open lines of communication and address any issues promptly.


Embracing a multi-carrier shipping strategy is a smart move for Procurement teams looking to optimize costs and enhance their logistics network. By following the 5-step plan outlined above and leveraging a comprehensive procurement solution, shippers can not only find new carriers for shipping but also build powerful relationships that contribute to long-term success. With the right tools and strategies, the path to a more efficient and cost-effective logistics network becomes clearer than ever.

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