Tool Provides Real-Time Parcel Rates Across Carriers

ShipRush is now offering shippers a midmarket, web version of a tool it developed that gives merchants a real-time view of parcel rates across multiple carriers, including UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service, among others.

Rafael Zimberoff, product manager for ShipRush, said the tool was created years ago when he handled shipping for FaxRush, software for integrating CRM with fax systems.

“There’s always been a lot of technology intended for larger DCs,” Zimberoff said. “This is the only SMB shipping system that has the heritage of DC technology, letting smaller shippers do things that DCs have always done but they’ve never been able to do.”

ShipRush was used by Stamps.com as a technology partner for rate shopping until it was replaced when Stamps.com acquired a similar technology.

Zimberoff said ShipRush can handle one shipment at time, or hundreds. Shippers can input a number of parameters affecting rates like package dimensions and weight, zone, fuel and residential surcharges and carrier rules.

Many smaller merchant companies use Excel sheets to create their own rate shopping system, and use multiple screens to create a custom rate matrix. The problem, Zimberoff said, is that calculations made in January can change in subsequent months.

“It’s real hard to build matrices with rules that take into account extended areas and things like residential fuel surcharges,” he said. “And if you calculate in January for zone 4 shipments by method A, that can change back and forth month to month.”

Competitor ShipWorks, which is owned by Stamps.com, has an enterprise tool called Best Rate that allows for simultaneous parcel rate comparisons across the USPS and FedEx, and is working on adding UPS as well.

Robert Gilbreath, vice president of marketing for ShipStation, said while its rate shopping tool doesn’t provide a simultaneous view across all carriers, automation capabilities let power users process hundreds or even thousands of orders at once, eliminating the need to compare rates over and over.

“It’s really powerful stuff that’s been built to be very useful for merchant sellers of all sizes,” Gilbreath said. “Our users get good at handling growth and large volumes of orders even before they scale up.”

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