If your company has shipping needs and it doesn’t have its own shipping fleet, then you know how frustrating it can be to find shipping solutions that offer you everything that you need at the same time: timely delivery, low cost and dependability. For small to midsize companies that don’t have a large shipping budget, trying to find these three qualities on an ongoing basis can take more time than they seem worth, especially when companies don’t have logistics experts on their payroll. After a few months or less, companies in this position become tired of overpaying for shipping options that they don’t need and usually decide to invest in a transportation logistics solution.
Traditionally, realizing a logistics solution meant hiring a third party logistics (3PL) provider. But the trend of outsourcing logistics is gradually being reversed as companies begin to see the value of using logistics planning software to manage their shipping operations. Transportation logistics software offers several advantages over 3PL, including lower price, enhanced logistics expertise, more control over the shipping process and less shipping process disruption. But in order to find out if logistics planning software is right for your company, it helps to answer the following two questions:
Could you Benefit from Less than Truckload (LTL) Shipping?
LTL shipping is where two or more partial freight loads are combined into a full freight load, with the shipping cost being split between the shippers. If you don’t want to waste money shipping your partial loads as full loads and your shipments are large to make parcel shipping realistic, chances are that you could benefit from LTL shipping. The downside of LTL shipping is that, due to the increased number of stops to pick up and deliver shipments, shipments may take longer to arrive at their destination. But transportation logistics software can be used to determine an LTL arrangement that would deliver your shipment faster than other LTL arrangements.
Do you Want More Control Over Your Shipping Process?
This question might seem like a no-brainer, but there are companies that wish to wash their hands of the logistics situation and have a third party do the work. However, there are two things that these companies seldom realize: due to its customizable features and easy to use interface, logistics planning software doesn’t amount to “work”; and not using logistics software narrows shipping options. For example, if an LTL carrier finds it unfeasible to offer the level of “discount” that a 3PL provider desires (receiving a freight discount and then charging their customers a higher price is how 3PL companies make their money), then that carrier typically becomes off limits through a 3PL company, regardless of what benefits it might offer your shipping process. Taking control of your shipping process through logistics software amounts to more than a semantic notion of “control”; it means having more control over your company’s finances and more control over the companies that you ship with.