Freight Logistics Software: Frequently Asked Questions

Shippers have three options for managing the shipping process: maintaining an in-house logistics department, outsourcing to a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider, or implementing freight logistics software. When the objective is to choose the most economical option, most shippers choose the third option for the following reasons:

  • It gives them more control over the shipping process
  • It does not require a staff of transportation management experts
  • It allows them to choose from a broad range of carriers
  • It allows them to perform a freight audit without the help of a third party
  • It allows them to avoid paying high service fees to a third party

If you are considering making logistics software a part of your shipping process, but you need more information, the answers below can help.

How does the product compare to 3PL?

The product compares favorably to Third Party Logistics (3PL). Unlike 3PL, it does not place the logistics function in the hands of a third party. Instead, it allows the shipper to become its own logistics provider by providing resources for executing and managing the shipping process. Consequently, using the product is typically more affordable than outsourcing to a 3PL provider.

Does the product come in different configurations?

The product can be configured to meet the needs of the shipper. For example, while one shipper may need a configuration for Less Than Load (LTL) shipping, another shipper may need a configuration for transportation management. All configurations can facilitate administrative tasks such as a freight audit.

Is the product available on a SaaS model?

Freight logistics software is available on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. It is also available on an in-house model. Because it eliminates the need to purchase software and perform system maintenance, the SaaS model is typically more affordable than the in-house model.

How long does it take to implement the product?

When the product is configured to accommodate a unique shipping process, it is typically implemented thirty to forty-five days after the initial service request. In most cases, the system is up and running within forty-five days.

How much money can a company save by using the product?

The amount of money a company saves depends on two things: what the product replaces, and how much it lowers shipping cost. Using the product to replace a department of freight auditors can yield a six-figure payroll saving. A similar saving can result from using the product to replace the services of a high-level 3PL provider (e.g. customer developer or customer adapter). In terms of shipping cost, most companies report a ten percent reduction in shipping cost after using the product for one year.

Conclusion

Freight logistics software is an economical solution for shippers who need to save money on shipping logistics and reduce the cost of shipping. In addition to accommodating the needs of unique shipping processes, it also allows shippers to perform ubiquitous administrative tasks such as a freight audit. To learn more about benefits of the product, contact a provider of logistics software today.

Is Transportation Management Software Beneficial?

When trucking and other shipping companies need to oversee the planning and operation of their vehicles, they use a transportation management system. This subset of supply chain management focuses specifically on transportation operations by helping companies choose the best carrier. In recent years, transportation management software has become the key component within this process because it adds context to the shipper’s transportation data so that the software is aware of various components and better equipped to make good decisions. Organizations that work with logistics shipping companies are able to find software that best meets their needs, which therefore allows these organizations to reduce truckload and less-than-truckload costs.

Before making the mistake of undervaluing transportation management software, an organization should recognize that these resources help improve organizational awareness across the supply chain. Organizations’ supply chain awareness is improved by the technological advancements that have been made with regards to transportation management software provided by logistics shipping companies. Some of those technological advancements are outlined in this article.

Freight Execution

Regardless of modes, shippers are now able to tend to all shipments by using a single system. This not only means that individual apps are not needed to handle specific modes like small parcel, but also means that one system can be used to integrate data with the host system. Transportation management software also makes it possible for information for each mode to be included in the host system in the same format, so that it is easier to work with. One other important aspect that impacts freight execution is the ability to print documentation. Shippers with shipments like less-than-truckload shipments and small parcel labels can print necessary documentation like pallet labels, international documentation, and hazardous materials documentation on-site.

Pre-Audit Measures

When the organization needs to audit its shipping processes, this task is much simpler when an individual can match the information from the freight execution tool to the carrier’s invoice. One simply needs to match up the characteristics of the invoice with the corresponding charges for each shipment to more efficiently complete an audit.

Communication and Visibility Tools

When an execution tool with transportation management software is provided to the shipper’s vendors, the shipper can pre-load it with organizational rules, carriers, and purchase orders. The shipper’s carriers can then use this pre-loaded information to tender shipments, without needing to depend on the carrier to provide the shipper with these crucial details.

Real-Time Monitoring

The above tools can be included in a dashboard that allows the organization to monitor and manage freight activity in real-time. Using their own business rules, the organization is able to ensure proper measurement and management of freight payment and pre-audit details to gain a better understanding of each shipment’s characteristics. This monitoring and analysis is made possible by the information supplied by the transportation management software.

An organization can use supplied metrics to draw its own conclusions about the meaning of events within the supply chain, or can rely on logistics shipping companies to analyze this task for them. Regardless of which route they choose, organizations should recognize that the technological advancements provided by transportation management software helps the organization monitor shipping activity in real-time.

Shipping Logistics Software: Frequently Asked Questions

In lieu of staffing a logistics department, many shippers turn to Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers to secure the best carrier arrangements. However, depending on the type of shipping management you need, 3PL can be as costly as staffing in-house experts. It can also make you feel distanced from the distribution process.

Instead of using 3PL, many businesses now use shipping logistics software – a class of applications that perform the logistical analysis traditionally performed by experts. If you are considering the software as an alternative to 3PL, but you have questions about its benefits and applications, the answers below can be helpful:

How much knowledge is required to operate the applications?

Ideally, the user should have a proficient understanding of transportation logistics, but a consummate understanding of logistical analysis is unnecessary. After performing logistical analysis based on the data you supply, the applications provide you with a list of recommended options via a user-friendly interface.

How much can the applications reduce the cost of freight transportation?

Research shows that top-notch shipping logistics software can reduce the cost of freight transportation by ten percent in the first year. Depending on your transportation process, the percentage could be even higher.

Can the applications support a transportation management system?

TMS software can support a Transportation Management System (TMS) by helping shippers perform the crucial processes of freight transportation management: planning and deciding on transportation arrangements, monitoring the transportation process, and measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Are applications available that support LTL transportation?

Yes. The applications can be designed to support any freight transportation need, including LTL transportation. If you routinely ship partial loads, LTL software can help you identify more affordable transportation arrangements than Truck Load (TL) or parcel shipping.

Are the applications available on a web-based model?

Yes, the applications are available on a web-based model. They are also available on an in-house model. Most shippers choose the latter due to its cost effectiveness and the ability to access the application remotely.

How much do the applications cost?

The cost of the applications depends on several factors, particularly whether it is implemented on an in-house, or a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, along with the logistical options you need. The best way to receive an accurate cost assessment is to have a provider of logistics software review your freight transportation process and administrative needs.

What if the transportation process changes after implementing an application?

The application you implement is not set in stone. If you experience new shipping needs, you can add new logistical options to the existing system. In terms of adding new options, implementing a web-based application typically offers the most flexibility.

Conclusion

Shipping logistics software is a cost effective alternative to staffing experts or contracting with a 3PL provider. Unlike 3PL, it puts you in direct control of freight transportation, helping you identify the best transportation arrangements in terms of freight safety, delivery time, and transportation cost. To learn more about the benefits of TMS software and other types of logistics software, contact a provider of web-based logistical solutions today.