Enterprise Shipping Solutions: What They Are and How You Can Benefit

A graphic depicting an international enterprise shipping solution

In today's globalized economy, efficient, strategic shipping solutions are more crucial than ever — especially for shippers moving a large volume of freight annually. 

Without a rock-solid transportation partner at your side, you may find it difficult to meet your shipping needs and the demands of the ever-changing market with the necessary quality and flexibility.

These relationships are mutually beneficial: They empower us to deliver a truly comprehensive transportation solution that supports multiple facets of our customers’ businesses, and they empower our customers to achieve significant operational efficiencies and increased revenue. 

This long-term, relationship-focused ethos is what we at Anderson Trucking Service, Inc. (ATS) call our enterprise approach. 

In my role as Vice President of Enterprise Sales for ATS, I work across all divisions to identify needs and build these critical partnerships with our customers.

While we didn’t invent the idea of enterprise sales, the ATS team is skilled at its implementation, tailoring advanced shipping solutions to the specific requirements of large- and small-scale operations alike.

In this article, I’ll break down the strategic and operational benefits of adopting an enterprise approach with a transportation provider, as well as the challenges you may face in doing so. 

Along the way, I’ll discuss the role of both technology and good old-fashioned people power in enterprise solutions. 

You’ll walk away with a better understanding of what an enterprise approach is and how it may benefit you as a shipper. Let’s dive in! 

What is an Enterprise Approach for Shippers?

While the phrases “enterprise approach” or “enterprise sales” may seem weighty, they actually describe a simple concept: A highly customized transportation solution designed exclusively for the customer in question to meet their unique needs and goals. 

These enterprise-level solutions typically involve multiple modalities, combining services like standard dry van shipping, open deck shipping, international shipping, warehousing, and others to meet the complex, large-scale logistics needs of major corporations. 

By carefully tailoring services and solutions to each customer’s specific goals and challenges, an enterprise approach allows both the transportation provider and their partner to scale together, adapting to changing market dynamics and customer demands more efficiently. 

When built on trust and a deep understanding of the shipper’s needs and goals, these partnerships can foster remarkable mutual growth and success. A successful enterprise partnership encourages collaboration on technology adoption, process improvements, and strategic initiatives. This holistic view is critical to a successful enterprise approach.

What are the Benefits of an Enterprise Shipping Solution?

There are numerous advantages to taking an enterprise approach to your shipping needs, from hard benefits like optimized cost management to softer benefits like improved relationships with your providers. 

From a strategic standpoint, the bespoke nature of an enterprise solution helps providers deliver benefits like (but certainly not limited to): 

  • Customization. From routing options to specialized equipment and delivery services, enterprise solution providers will work closely with you to design a solution that maximizes efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

  • Scalability. Enterprise shipping solutions can easily scale up or down in response to your company’s changing needs. This ensures your company can expand its operations without compromising on service quality or operational efficiency.

  • Total Integration. Enterprise shipping solutions integrate seamlessly into your existing supply chain management systems, which enhances data transparency and visibility across the board. This comprehensive integration allows for better decision-making and improved responsiveness.

    The comprehensive scope of an enterprise solution also enables companies to optimize processes for savings of both time and cost. The operational benefits of an enterprise approach include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved Cost Management. By consolidating shipments, optimizing delivery schedules, and working with a single trusted provider, shippers can achieve significant cost savings. Total visibility into the enterprise solution can help companies better understand their spend and identify areas of waste.

  • Improved Operational Efficiency. Enterprise shipping solutions streamline operations, reduce turnaround times, and minimize delays by optimizing routes and automating manual tasks. This allows companies to focus on their core competencies instead of worrying about shipping logistics.

  • Risk Mitigation. By choosing a shipping partner that takes an enterprise approach, shippers put a powerful buffer between themselves and potential risks. When something goes wrong, it’s the responsibility of the transportation provider to find a solution — not the shipper. 

    Furthermore, many enterprise solutions providers have access to advanced technology, like real-time tracking, that enhances their ability to predict, avoid, and manage risks. 

Speaking of technology, let’s touch on the role of innovative tech in the development and execution of enterprise shipping solutions. 

A enterprise shipper tracks shipments on tech

How Does Technology Support an Enterprise Shipping Solution?

An enterprise approach all but demands that both shippers and providers embrace cutting-edge technologies. 

Transportation providers with the capacity to take an enterprise approach will often develop platforms to facilitate greater integration between customers and their in-house systems. 

This allows the provider to function as a true extension of its customer’s business, offering a level of synergy that other, more traditional transportation providers simply don’t have the resources to support. 

New developments in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain can also transform traditional shipping practices. 

AI and machine learning algorithms can predict the best shipping routes and schedules, helping to reduce fuel costs and improve delivery times. They can also increase operational efficiencies by automating processes that would otherwise be handled by employees.

If you have any “smart” appliances in your home, such as a remote HVAC control panel or a refrigerator that displays internal inventory, you’re already familiar with IoT devices. 

In the transportation industry, IoT devices can enable real-time tracking of shipments, providing unprecedented transparency throughout the shipping process. 

Finally, blockchain technology —  a highly- secure database system — offers tamper-proof shipping documentation and record-keeping, enhancing trust and simplifying compliance. This is especially useful for shippers that regularly move freight across international borders.

By combining these technologies and others with human expertise and ingenuity, enterprise-level providers can more efficiently and effectively help shippers achieve their goals and grow with stability. 

What Should Shippers Look for in an Enterprise Partner?

Not every transportation provider has the capacity, expertise, and resources to offer an enterprise approach. Shippers should look for partners that have an established track record of excellence in providing enterprise-level services.

Enterprise partnerships don’t develop overnight. Typically, a shipper and a provider will transition into an enterprise relationship after years of working together successfully — building the trust and familiarity necessary to facilitate an enterprise approach.

If you’re looking to forge a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with your provider, consider the following: 


How long has your partner been in business providing the shipping services you’ll need to complete your enterprise solution? Has its business model changed? How? Has its growth been slow and sustainable, or fast and reactive? 

An ideal enterprise partner has been in the transportation industry for decades, making calculated changes for steady growth. 

Enterprise Experience

This is different from years in the industry, as it relates specifically to the provider’s experience identifying enterprise opportunities, developing strategies, and executing multi-strand solutions. 

Ask your provider about its existing portfolio of enterprise clients. Are there companies you recognize? How many are of a similar size and/or scope to your business? 

While your solution won’t be identical to any others, looking at your provider’s history with similar companies and their challenges will give you a better idea of its ability to serve your needs effectively. 

Consultative Approach

Great enterprise providers act as consultants, not just vendors. Has your provider offered you guidance on best practices, industry trends, and strategic improvements throughout your relationship? 

Supporting an enterprise solution often requires going beyond the immediate scope of work, so if a provider doesn’t demonstrate an eager willingness to do so, it may not be the right enterprise partner for you. 

Quality of Service

Likewise, an enterprise provider should demonstrate a higher standard of service. If you’re thinking about entering an enterprise-level relationship with your provider, now is a good time to assess and grade the quality of its previous service. 

Have you been satisfied with the level of support you’ve received? How has communication been? What, if anything, would you change or improve about your experience with this provider? 

The answers to these questions will help you determine whether your provider has built the strong foundation of exceptional service and trust necessary to support an enterprise solution.

A semi truck prepares to haul an oversize load for an enterprise

Financial Stability

Look into your partner’s financial stability over time. A strong enterprise partner will have a proven record of long-term financial stability, with few (if any) surprises or “red flags” to note.

Additionally, take notice of whether the company is privately or publicly held. 


Enterprise providers continuously update their offerings with the latest technologies, giving clients an edge over competitors who may not have access to these innovations.

Does your provider have technology integrated with their systems and processes? If you’ve already utilized some or all of this tech, how would you characterize your user experience? 

Technology should streamline your processes, support your solutions, and make your life easier — not more complicated or frustrating. 

Future Focus

A smart, nimble enterprise partner will always have one eye on the future, analyzing current trends and making informed predictions and preparations for things to come. 

Consider your provider’s recent business decisions and investments. Were these decisions made keeping the future in mind, or were they reactive choices made in response to being caught off-guard by change? 

A successful provider will be adept at identifying areas of future growth and taking steps to get ahead, which benefits both the provider and its partners. 

What are the Downsides to an Enterprise Approach?

While the benefits of an enterprise approach for large-scale shippers are many, transitioning to an enterprise approach is not without its challenges. 

To ensure the implementation of an enterprise solution is as minimally disruptive as possible — and to maximize return on investment — shippers considering adopting an enterprise approach should be aware of the potential downsides and weigh them carefully. 

These downsides can include: 

  • Up-front costs. Transitioning to an enterprise approach can incur high initial costs, primarily due to the need for advanced technology, professional services to support the implementation of these technologies, possible infrastructure upgrades, and changes in business practices. 

While these initial financial investments may be needed, they are generally justified by the long-term efficiency and cost-management benefits offered by an enterprise shipping solution.

  • New system integration. Integrating complex new systems can sometimes demand a major investment of time, resources, and expertise. The complexity and scale of these changes can therefore deter companies due to the immediate impact on their operations and the associated costs.

How Can an Enterprise Approach Benefit Your Business?

For most companies with major shipping needs, an enterprise approach offers significant strategic and operational advantages. 

As a strategy, an enterprise approach allows shippers to enhance their operational efficiencies, manage costs more effectively, and improve the delivery of their core competencies.

This is made possible by a strong, long-term relationship with a transportation provider that has the capacity to provide an enterprise solution, which involves customizing, integrating, and scaling shipping operations in alignment with the shipper’s business goals.

Both halves of this mutually-beneficial relationship are supported by a suite of tools and elements, from innovative tech solutions to the hands-on experience and expertise of the people involved. 

While an enterprise approach to shipping can take time and resources to initially implement, the long-term benefits of such a partnership can transform a shipper’s operations for the better. 

Now that you have a thorough understanding of what an enterprise approach is and how it could benefit your business, it’s time to evaluate your current shipping strategy. 

Download our free Transportation Provider Scorecard to assess your current providers’ performance. 

This simple guide can help you gather and analyze key performance indicators, so you can determine whether an existing provider can support your needs on an enterprise level.

Tags: Transportation Services, Transportation Solutions, Multimodal Shipping, Shipping Services, Enterprise Shipping

Jeff Potthoff

Written by Jeff Potthoff

As Vice President of Enterprise Sales at ATS, Jeff has dedicated his career to creating, managing and refining transportation systems that solve customer problems, helping them navigate and reach their growth goals. Today’s businesses need partners that understand how to tailor customized solutions to help meet their goals. Jeff has spent his career doing exactly this, and is excited by the prospect of helping new and existing clients grow.

Get the Latest Content Straight to Your Inbox!

We Have a Podcast! Find Us on Your Favorite App.

Apple Podcasts logoSpotify logoGoogle Podcasts logoAmazon Music logoAmazon Music logo

Beyond the Road Podcast logo

Recent Posts

Work With a Transportation Provider You Can Trust

You don't want your freight in just anyone's hands. Find a transportation provider that cares about your safety and your reputation. Learn how ATS can help.

Connect With an Expert