In the vast and intricate world of logistics, choosing the right regional carriers is crucial. These unsung heroes play a vital role in the supply chain and logistics industry.
Utilizing regional parcel carriers can effectively reduce your UPS, FedEx, and DHL costs, fill gaps in your parcel shipping network, and enhance parcel delivery.
Here's What You’ll Learn From This Post:
- What Are Regional Carriers?
- Which Regional Parcel Carriers Operate In Your Area
- What Shipping Characteristics Will Help Determine Your Ability to Leverage Regional Carriers
- What are some of the Pros and Cons of Using a Regional Carrier(s)
Editor’s Note: Lojistic is not affiliated with any of the carriers listed in this post. Shippers can use this post as a source of independent, objective information. However, if you need help determining whether or not using a regional carrier makes sense for your business, we can help.
Regional Parcel Carriers 101: What is a Regional Carrier?
To start, let’s define what a regional carrier is. A regional carrier is a “last mile” parcel delivery service that operates within a specific/limited geographic location. FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, and others operate on a national or global scale, whereas smaller regional parcel carriers or local carriers work within more condensed geographic parameters.
Regional carriers work just like some of the bigger parcel carriers, but may be limited to shipping zones, states or cities. This post will cover information on the regional carriers that operate within the United States on a multi-state, regional scale.
If you’re just looking to see which regional carrier(s) are available in your area, scroll below to see a list or view our regional carrier map at the bottom of this post.
You’ll Want to Consider Using a Regional Carrier If:
- You’re looking for ways to lower your UPS, FedEx, and/or DHL shipping costs
- You’re looking to reduce exposure by diversifying your carrier relationships and reliance on a single parcel carrier
- Your business frequently ships packages to locations in the same city, county, or state as your business AND you want a faster delivery option
- You need more flexibility in your shipping options
- Your business or product(s) require faster delivery or same day shipping service
What If I Need Some Help Determining My Need For A Regional Parcel Carrier?
We’ve got your back. Just create a free Lojistic account and connect your UPS, FedEx and/or DHL accounts for an immediate analysis and overview of your shipping characteristics. Our platform will automatically distill your complex, dense historical parcel shipping data into actionable insights and cost saving analytics. It’ll also help our shipping gurus determine if regional carriers, especially multiple carriers, make sense for you. Unlike others, the tactics and strategies we recommend to help you reduce shipping costs are based on your actual shipping data, shipping contracts, and your unique shipping profile - not guesswork.
Regional Carrier Pros & Cons at a Glance
There are a number of upsides to allocating a portion of your parcel volume to a regional parcel carrier.
A few of the pros:
- Regional parcel carrier costs are typically lower and have fewer accessorial fees. Here’s an example from OnTrac.
- Generally, regional carriers offer faster pickup and delivery options for the areas they service
- Many offer same day pickup and delivery in major metropolitan areas
- More flexibility for customized and specialty shipping needs
A few of the cons:
- Less shipping service levels to choose from (compared to traditional carriers such as UPS, FedEx & USPS)
- Limited geographic service areas. The origin of the shipping location is a major factor in determining which regional parcel carrier can provide service coverage.
- Some regional carriers may require some technology changes, such as routing or labeling
- If technology integrations are required, they’re unique for each regional carrier
What Are Some of the More Well Known Regional Carriers in the United States?
There are many; however, the list below covers the most well-established regional parcel carriers operating in the United States. As stated above, one of the cons is the limited geographic regions that regional carriers service. Densely populated areas along the East Coast, around New York City and the Northeast, areas of Texas, Florida and California have a number of regional carriers who provide a wider range of options, when compared to other more sparsely populated geographic regions like the Midwest and parts of the South.
- CDL Last Mile Solutions (East Coast; NY, NJ, CT, PA, DE, DC, MD, and VA) Same-day, next-day, overnight
- SpeeDee (IL, IA, MN, ND, NE, SD, WI) Next Day, Ground
- Lasership (East Coast, Midwest; CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WV) Same Day, Next day, 2 Day
- United Delivery Service (UDS) (Midwest; IL, IN, WI) Same-day and next-day
- Lone Star Overnight (LSO) (Texas) – Same-day, next day, even Saturday
- On Trac (West Coast; AZ, CA, CO, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA) Same-day, Next day
- GLS (West, West Coast; AZ, CA, ID, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA) Next day, Ground, and Freight
US-Based Regional Carrier Map
The map below shows where the most well-established regional carriers in the United States operate. Click here or on the map to enlarge, view, and/or download.
There are a number of other carrier options outside of UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS. Leveraging a smaller, localized carrier could help reduce your overall shipping costs, and improve your delivery time in transit or both!
Director of Parcel Rate Services
Prior to his role at Lojistic, Matt held significant positions in the industry, including his tenure as Senior Pricing Advisor at FedEx. Matt analyzed pricing programs and wrote pricing contracts for some of FedEx’s largest e-commerce and retail shippers. He also managed projects for the FedEx Global Pricing Approval Systems and Strategic Account Executive Inputs.
Matt earned a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the Joseph M. Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.