Shipping Service Provider

SSP (Shipping Service Provider): Definition Explained 

In the world of modern commerce, shipping service providers play a crucial role in ensuring products reach their destination safely and on time. Whether you're in eCommerce or traditional business, choosing the right provider can significantly impact your success.

Find out more about what exactly Shipping Service Provider (SSP) means, what are they doing and much more.

Shipping Service Provider (SSP): What Does It Mean? 

A shipping service provider is a company that handles the physical transportation of goods from the seller to the buyer. Shipping providers offer a variety of delivery options, such as standard or express shipping, and can deliver to various destinations, including domestic and international locations. Examples of shipping service providers include DHL, UPS, and FedEx.

At ECDB, we include delivery methods such as "Self-collection / Click & collect" as part of the shipping service provider options. These options are important for customers who prefer to collect their orders in person or at a designated pickup location rather than have them delivered to their home or workplace.

What Do Shipping Service Providers Do? 

SSP have much more responsibilities than simply transporting packages from one place to another. They provide a variety of services, among others:

  • Package pickup;
  • Package delivery;
  • Shipping options – Including Same-Day-Delivery, Next-Day-Delivery, express shipping, and international shipping;
  • Tracking and transparency – Advanced tracking systems that allow senders and recipients to monitor the progress of a shipment in real-time;
  • Packaging materials services – e.g., boxes, tape, packing materials, and packing services to properly secure your products;
  • Insurance – In case of loss or damage, the shipping service provider must compensate senders;
  • Eco-Friendly Practices – Some providers have adopted to the environmental issues and offer among others shipping methods with lower carbon footprint.

Types of Shipping Modes 

In total, there are four shipping modes to transport a package from point A to B:

  • Shipping through air: Air shipping uses airplanes to transport goods, making it the fastest shipping way. It's reliable and quick, with deliveries typically taking one to two days. It's perfect for perishable items and almost anything that's not too heavy or large.
  • Shipping through land: Land shipping – one of the oldest transportation methods – is an all-round shipping mode, which can be used for local, national, or international transport. Trucks are commonly used for large items like construction materials or vehicles to reach the exact destination, making it more cost-effective but slower than air shipping.
  • Shipping Through Sea: Sea shipping usually used to move large amounts of goods typically transported in shipping containers, e. g. military and commercial purposes. Although it's slower than an airplane, it's a good option for international shipping and can handle various types of items safely.
  • Shipping through rail: Rail shipping involves transporting goods by train. It's ideal for larger items but may vary in effectiveness depending on the strength of a country's rail system.

What Influences Shipping Costs? 

The costs can vary depending on several characteristics, here are some questions to get a better understanding:

  • What are the dimensions and weight of the goods?
  • When should the package arrive at its destination?
  • Where should the package go? Is it a national or international shipping?
  • Is the product packed or does it need to be packed?
  • How fragile is the good? Do you need insurance?
  • Which shipping modes are available?

Key Takeaways About Shipping Service Provider 

  • Shipping service providers (SSPs) handle physical transportation of goods, offering a variety of delivery options to domestic and international destinations.
  • Beyond transporting packages, shipping service providers offer a range of services, including package pickup and delivery, various shipping options, real-time tracking, packaging materials, insurance, and eco-friendly practices.
  • Four shipping modes are available to transport packages: air, land, sea, and rail. Air shipping is the fastest, but also the most expensive. Land shipping is more affordable, but slower. Sea shipping is the most cost-effective for large shipments, but also the slowest. And, finally, rail shipping is a good option for larger items, but depends on the strength of a country's rail system.