A method and system for shipping items. A server is configured to send out requests for quotes to a number of regional shipping companies using a network. The server receives responses from the network and selects a route based on the responses. The route may include shipping the item to one or more intermediate destinations before the item arrives at the final destination. The server may create a data file reflecting the selected route. The items are packed in one or more containers, wherein each container has a memory device. At least part of the data file is then stored into the memory device. The memory device may be accessed as needed during shipping to determine where the item is going and when the item needs to arrive. Additional information may also be stored in the memory device, and the device may be updated at intermediate destinations. Each container may take a different routing, and the server may actively search for better routings as the item proceeds along the selected route. The containers may be configured to be placed within carriers that hold multiple containers, and the carriers may also be configured with memory devices.