Using regional carriers can be an effective strategy to offset your UPS, FedEx and DHL costs and fill some of the gaps in your shipping network. If you need help in determining whether or not a regional carrier would benefit your business, create a free Lojistic account or schedule a time to connect with one of our shipping experts.
Here's What You’ll Learn From This Post:
- What Are Regional Carriers?
- Which Regional 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 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 carriers work within more condensed geographic parameters.
Regional carriers work just like some of the bigger parcel carriers, but may be limited to specific regions, 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 reliance on a single carrier
- Your business frequently ships to locations in the same city, county or state as your business AND you want a faster shipping option
- You need more flexibility in your shipping options
- Your business or product(s) require same day shipping
What If I Need Some Help Determining My Need For A Regional 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 shipping data into actionable insights and cost saving analytics. It’ll also help our shipping gurus determine if regional 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 and your unique shipping profile - not guesswork.
Regional Carrier Pros & Cons at a Glance
There are a number of upsides with allocating a portion of your parcel volume with a regional carrier.
A few of the pros:
- Regional 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 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 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 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
- Golden State Overnight (now, 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.