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.

Truckload Logistics Software – A Better Solution During Tough Economical Times

Companies that use large semi-trailers to haul their products need a little extra support to get the most out of their shipments. Truckload logistics software works best for companies that produce enough freight to use full truckload shipping. There are alternative software choices that are just as helpful for smaller to mid-sized companies that must use less than truckload shipping for cost effectiveness. This shipping alternative takes the freight of many companies and fills a truck. The cost is split between the companies using the service. Both types of software can be used to perform better management of freight. This work can also be contracted to third party logistics experts. What most companies find is that the software gives them better control and is a much smaller, reliable investment. The struggling economy has left many companies trying to determine how to decrease budget costs so they can continue to be profitable. Logistics is one way to lower shipping costs and manage company freight. By being able to maximize the load capacity and pick the best routes, costs are drastically decreased making the software very useful.

Truckload Logistics Software: How Does It Save Companies Money?

Companies that do not rely on truckload logistics software often result to hiring third party providers. There are many reasons why this does not produce the desired cost savings. Third party providers are in the business to make money as everyone else. They choose routes and carriers that in turn make them a profit. By using managing your own shipping choices, every carrier and route chosen benefit the company and making someone else profitable is completely taken out of the picture. The weakened economy has also caused many third party logistics companies to increase rates. Discounts given by carriers have almost diminished and they must make up for the price difference. These discounts are a main source for their profit. A higher price is charged to your company over the discounted price. Third party providers also only deal with carriers that offer favorable discounts. This reduces the amount of choices available when using these services. Software meant for logistics management removes this entire scenario and puts shipping back in company hands.

Truckload Logistics Software Does Not Have Expensive or Difficult To Implement

Truckload logistics software is not this huge project that will take years to put in place. The software is easy to set up and is done so by professionals. Companies that provide this software make it simple to integrate into existing systems. What should you look for when evaluating software requirements? First, look for a company that uses non-proprietary tools. This reduces dependency on the software provider when something changes with your business or the technology being used. Software that operates with common operating systems and has non-dependent tools and utilities will work better in the existing technological environment. It will also be easier to use, more familiar, and cost much less. With the right company and software, implementation can be very simple. The upfront cost of purchase and set up is fractional compared to the amount of money saved on shipping.

How to Improve The Business With Logistics Software

The technological development in each field of the market was soon followed by evolutionary steps of logistics softwares and IT companies. Today there are many software companies that provide the highest quality and friendly software solutions to the Transportation Industry. Their softwares are designed to be industry oriented from the ground up. The industry-oriented approach is reflected by their market focus, products, service offerings, the customer support, and the talent base they employ.

True professional companies always stay on the cutting edge of technology innovations to deliver state-of- the art solutions to their clients. Therefore, if you have an important business to run in the transportation industry, you would better not waste anymore time and purchase at least a lite logistics suite, an affordable, but still a powerful one. Its solutions may include Freight Forwarding Software, Purchase Order Management, Real-Time Online Cargo Tracking, Inventory Control Software, Third-Party Logistics System (3PL), Trucking Software with Cross-Dock and Dispatch, Integrated Accounting Software and many more.

A Freight Forwarding Software, for example, is designed especially for small Freight Forwarders and Warehouse Management Companies. It can handle Ocean Freight, Air Freight along with Warehousing. Newest version releases have taken the request of customers in consideration and added the QuickBooks export support. That means that now you can easily export invoices to QuickBooks, saving time and reducing errors.

A lite suite version will be able to handle all the requirements of a Cargo Warehouse operation including Warehouse Receives, Warehouse Withdraws, Labels, On Hand Reports and Invoices. The Ocean Export and Air Export modules may provide an array of features like Quotes, Bookings, Manifest, Labels, Waybills (Houses, Masters, Directs) and reports that will let you keep track of your company operations at all times.

Still, if you can afford to spend more, there are more powerful softwares that will offer access to cargo status information directly through your company’s internet website, providing your customers with a powerful online shipment tracking tool. Authorized users can search, view and print information in various forms, such as: Warehouse Receipts, House Airwaybills, Master Airwaybills, House Bill of Ladings, Master Bill of Ladings and Cargo Manifest.

A complete featured suite offloads much of the administrative overhead associated with addressing client shipment inquiries, helping you to reduce cost and increase employee productivity. Also agents can enter POD information without having to call your office. They may also keep track of all cargo going to their office.

Usually, the software companies understand how critical it is for their clients to have their logistics software running 100% of the time. That is why they give their support department the higher priority. Any technical support team is committed to provide superior support service, and is available twenty four hours, seven days a week.

The companies’ staffs now understand that today is not only the software, but also the customer support that is critical to the clients. Their goal should be to build a relationship of trust with their customers and that is why 24/7 support is absolutely necessary to be provided. This kind of support can easily be achieved using the technology of the Internet. If one is interested in any of their products or services, he/she should be able to visit a contact page for more information, at least on how to get in touch with them. Also, if a customer has non-time critical issues or just has some questions, an e-mail should be provided for any inquires or an online support request form. Any problem should be resolved within a few hours, if the service is professional.

Think about the advantages of purchasing a logistics software! It will improve your time and experiences in your business area.

Logistics Software Aids in Retail Vendor Compliancy

Vendor compliancy occurs when a vendor meets a set of requirements imposed on it by a buyer of its products. Vendor compliance focuses on making it easier for the buyer to receive goods, process them upon reception, and bring them to store shelves, where applicable. Unfortunately for manufacturers, the most complex compliance standards are usually handed down by companies that have the largest buying power, a fact that causes some companies to question whether the money necessary to implement the standards would be worth the profits that resulted from doing business with an entity. In the long run, adapting business standards to meet compliance standards is almost always beneficial, as nothing can replace the selling power of having large contracts with major companies and retailers. However, affording the infrastructure necessary to facilitate compliance can still be a problem in the short run.

Retail Vendor Compliancy and Logistics Software

When you look at a major buyer’s retail vendor compliancy scorecard, a rating system that ranks vendors according to their compliance to a number of requirements, it’s often difficult to ascertain how to begin meeting the requirements. However, upon closer inspection, many companies find that a majority of compliance issues, and certainly the most critical ones, are associated with the shipping process, such as product labeling, product packaging, and method of shipment, to name a few. Yet, here there emerges another roadblock for many vendors: how to gain more control over the shipping process through logistics. Most companies receive their shipping logistics from one of three sources: an in-house logistic department, a third party logistics (3PL) provider, or by implementing logistic software, which allows you to become your own logistics provider without possessing logistical expertise.

In-House Logistics

Meeting shipping needs in-house is the traditional preference of companies that can afford to hire their own logistic experts, who typically earn around $80,000 per year. This fact alone prevents many companies from going in-house with their shipping process, as well as the fact that most companies pursue in-house logistic arrangements upon purchasing their own fleet, once and for all ending their dependence on 3PL.

3PL

What you receive from 3PL depends entirely on what type of 3PL provider you contract with: standard 3PL providers, who offer basic shipping services and seldom practice shipping logistics as a core practice; service developers, who offer more specialized services but not a comprehensive approach to the shipping process; customer adapters, who manage an existing shipping process but don’t propose new solutions; and customer developers, who manage the shipping process and do propose new solutions. For vendor requirements, customer developers make the most sense. But you can receive the same level of focus through logistic software at a fraction of the cost.

Logistics Software

Also referred to as freight transportation software, logistic software is priced as a software as a service (SAAS) offering, making it less expensive than other logistic options. What this means for vendors is less money spent on meeting vendor requirements, and an annual reduction in shipping expense that can be delegated toward other compliance needs. After using freight transportation software for one year, most companies experience a 10 percent reduction in shipping expense that increases in years following.