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Regional Parcel Carriers: What You Need To Know

By Last updated on: June 19, 2023

When shipping a package, typically, you think of the big guys. FedEx, UPS, and USPS. If you haven’t considered or implemented regional parcel carriers, you might leave money on the table. A regional parcel carrier is a package delivery company that is usually cheaper, more flexible, and more responsive than national carriers. These carriers service tens of millions and not hundreds of millions in the domestic United States. Consequently, they offer shipping advantages within a targeted geographic area.

Regional carriers such as LSO, Dicom, Courier Express, OnTrac, Spee-Dee, Lasership, Pitt-Ohio, and others offer reliable parcel delivery services at rates up to 40% less than national carriers. Focusing on particular geographic regions can translate into a win for shippers who leverage a regional carrier’s network.

Where do regional parcel carriers deliver?

These regional shipping carriers ship to commercial and residential addresses. The bulk of today’s carriers only services a handful of states, basically Zone 2, 3, and 4.


Who are some regional parcel carriers?

Regional CarrierDelivery Area
Courier ExpressAL, FL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA
Dicom (Formerly Eastern Connection)DC, DE, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
GLS Parcels & FreightCA, NV, AZ, NM, OR, WA, ID, UT
IntelliQuick DeliveryAZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, NM
International BridgeAK, HI
LaserShipCT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, NC, NH, NY, NJ, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, WV
LSO (Lone Star Overnight)AL, AR, LA, MS, NM, OK, TN, TX, MX
OnTracAZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, DC
Spee-Dee Delivery ServiceIA, IL, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD, WI, MI
PaceAL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, TN, TX
United Delivery ServiceIL, IN, WI
*Information Updated 2020

Benefits of using these regional shipping carriers

  • Cost reductions
    • Reduction of accessorial fees or surcharges
    • Some have no residential, DAS, or dimensional weight fees
  • High on-time delivery rates
    • Notably, more flexibility and knowledge of local areas
  • Faster delivery times
    • Enhanced customer service
    • Reach more locations with ground in 2 days
  • Additional delivery options offer many benefits
  • Peak season consistency
  • Possible later pickup times

Drawbacks of these smaller carriers

  • Lesser coverage area than FedEx or UPS
  • Limitation of service offerings
  • Additional vendors/lanes to maintain
  • Further employee education needed to ship with efficiency

What service levels are available with regional shipping companies

  • Ground
    • Regional shipping carriers can often deliver ground packages the next day with ground solutions that FedEx and UPS cannot at this service level.
  • Express
    • Early AM to economy express available
  • Hundred Weight and Multiple Package Grouping
  • Postal Hybrids

Will FedEx and UPS get mad?

FedEx and UPS want all of your business; they do not want you to use regional parcel carriers. This reduction in FedEx and UPS volume could affect your overall discount with the major carriers. Remember, your shipping discounts many times are tied to volume levels. Possible reductions in tier-level incentives will be based on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, Refund Retriever can analyze your current national carrier agreement to help. 

How to start shipping with a regional shipping carrier

Once you have identified a regional parcel carrier you would like to explore, you need to provide data. This data includes weights, service levels, zip codes, and address detail. Feel free to contact Refund Retriever if you have any questions about regional shipping carriers.

Refund Retriever can analyze your current shipping profile. Let us determine what packages should be converted to regional shipping carriers. In summary, let our data experts provide data deliverables to make your transition more manageable and cost-effective.

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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