Streamline operations, reduce shipping costs, and enhance customer satisfaction without compromising on delivery speed or reliability.

Customer expectations are at an all-time high when it comes to a quick, seamless package delivery experience. One of the most critical factors influencing customer satisfaction? Time in transit. This metric, which measures how long a package takes to travel from your warehouse to your customer’s doorstep, can make or break your brand’s reputation. Here’s why time in transit really matters and how incorporating a multi-carrier shipping solution can help you optimize for it.

What is Time in Transit? 

Time in transit is the duration a parcel takes to be transported through the carrier’s logistics network to the local delivery hub. The type of service you choose should depend on the desired delivery window and the shipping origin and delivery locations. For example, if a package originates in California and needs to deliver inside of 2 days to Florida, it will likely need to ship by 2-day air service. On the other hand, if it’s going from northern California to Carson City, NV, ground service will probably suffice. 

Shippers historically determined this by complicated routing guides with thousands of ZIP codes specifying which service to use in which case. These, however, can be frustratingly out of date by the time a package is pushed to production. But, Shipstore dynamically accounts for each ZIP to ZIP pair for every package and automatically selects the optimal service based on the delivery criteria. 

Let’s take a look at why this is critical for today’s shippers.

Time in Transit Optimization: The Need for Speed

In the age of Amazon Prime, consumers have grown accustomed to receiving their orders within days, if not hours. A study by McKinsey found that 90% of U.S. consumers expect 2-3 day shipping to be the norm, while 30% expect same-day delivery. This shift in expectations has put immense pressure on businesses to reexamine their shipping processes.

Time in transit directly impacts these expectations. The longer a package spends in transit, the less likely you are to meet your customers’ delivery expectations. This can lead to dissatisfaction, negative reviews, and the loss of repeat business. On the other hand, faster transit times lead to happier customers, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and increased brand loyalty. 

How Do Multi-Carrier Shipping Solutions Help With Time in Transit?

To minimize time in transit, many are turning to multi-carrier shipping solutions. Rather than relying on a single carrier like UPS or FedEx, these platforms allow you to choose from a variety of carriers for each shipment. This flexibility is a game-changer for several reasons:

Real-World Example

Time in Transit Optimization Generated 17% Cost Savings For Retailer

Our team recently worked with an e-commerce retailer to optimize their time-in-transit processes. After implementation, the retailer was able to instantly generate and display dynamic pricing for shipping options. When customers opted for expedited delivery, Shipstore’s system automatically identified the lowest-cost service for those shipping terms. This dynamic optimization process yielded a remarkable 17% cost savings for the retailer, while giving customers a better, more seamless experience.


1) Broader Geographic Coverage

Each carrier has its strengths in different regions. UPS might be lightning-fast in the Northeast, while USPS excels in rural areas. By using multiple carriers, you can always choose the one with the best coverage in your package’s destination area.

2) Service-Level Options 

Different carriers offer various service levels — ground, 2-day, overnight, etc. A multi-carrier solution lets you select the fastest option that fits your budget for each shipment. Need that California order there tomorrow? Choose FedEx Priority Overnight. Less urgent Midwest delivery? USPS Ground might do.

3) Real-Time Rate Shopping 

Multi-carrier platforms use advanced algorithms to compare rates and transit times across carriers in real time. This ensures you’re always getting the quickest route at the best price, optimizing both speed and cost.

4) Carrier Performance Tracking 

These solutions monitor each carrier’s performance, including delays and issues. If UPS is experiencing slowdowns in Texas due to weather, the system can automatically reroute your Houston-bound packages to another carrier.

5) Peak Season Resilience 

During holidays, some carriers are swamped, leading to delays. With multiple options, you can distribute your shipments across carriers to maintain speed even when one is overwhelmed.

Shipstore Optimizes Time in Transit

Optimizing time in transit is part of Shipstore’s native functionality. As a background process when shipping from a WMS or an ERP, all the shipper needs to do is dictate the number of days allowable until delivery (e.g. 2-day, 3-day) or the “delivery by” date. Shipstore will implement its native time-in-transit logic to select the lowest cost carrier with the delivery timeline in mind. It’s that easy — it’s logic at scale.

Every hour a package spends in transit matters. By leveraging the power of a multi-carrier shipping solution, you can minimize that time, create better experiences for your customers, and gain an edge over competitors still stuck in the single-carrier past.