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.

Logistics Software Solutions Can Benefit Your Company in Three Basic Ways

When companies present their transportation logistics solutions, they have tendency to either engage in corporate speak and not really say much about their solutions or speak with such expertise that they fail to give you a basic understanding of how logistics solutions can benefit your company in a daily way. For small to midsized companies, transportation logistics typically arrives in one of two forms: by a company outsourcing its logistics to a third party logistics (3PL) provider or by implementing logistics software solutions that are available as an online software application.

Given that logistics software offers an easy to use interface can be customized to a company’s particular shipping needs and costs far less than outsourcing to 3PL providers, it’s usually the logistics option of preference for small to midsized companies that don’t have the luxury of a shipping fleet or a large shipping budget. If you’ve heard of logistics software but are looking for a basic understanding of how it can aid your shipping process, we offer the following overview of how logistics-software solutions help companies in terms of freight optimization, shipping route optimization and shipping method integration.

Freight Optimization

For small to midsized companies that regularly ship less than a full freight load of products, freight optimization typically subsists on finding the best less than truckload (LTL) shipping options. LTL shipping is when a shipping carrier lets companies ship partial loads that combine to compose a full truckload. The cost value of LTL shipping comes from shippers splitting the cost of a full freight load. Although less than truck load shipping offers low shipping rates, due to numerous stops for delivery and pick up, it often takes goods longer to reach their destination than in other shipping arrangements. Nevertheless, logistics-software solutions can be used to find less than truckload carrier routes that offer the best delivery time. Because warehouse stops are a common feature of freight shipping, logistics software also offers warehouse optimization capabilities.

Shipping Route Optimization

If you use a 3PL provider, you probably won’t have any idea what shipping routes your carriers are using. But shipping routes are a major factor in determining overall shipping cost. Logistics-software can analyze shipping routes according to multiple criteria, including: length of route, traffic patterns, road quality and construction patterns. One example of how route optimization can decrease shipping cost and improve delivery time is by analyzing routes in terms of travel time. For example, a route that is shortest in distance may be longer than another route in terms of travel time due to traffic patterns.

Shipping Method Integration

Shipping method integration is an unofficial term that refers to the ability of logistics software to suggest integrated shipping methods for the sake of reducing shipping cost and improving delivery time. For example, even though air shipping is traditionally more expensive than ground shipping, logistics software might suggest shipping certain shipments by air due to expensive, unavoidable warehouse fees that would result from ground shipping. In addition, logistics software may make such suggestions as shipping products halfway to their destination by boat and the other half by freight truck.

Truckload Logistics Software – Shipping Advantages Gained By Companies

Companies that use full truckload shipping often believe that they already have the absolute best. Even with the best shipping method possible, there is always room for improvement. Truckload shipping provides two very noticeable benefits to companies. Products go to their destination on a direct route and do not have to be transferred or temporarily stored in a warehouse. The total shipping cost for these services includes the cost of logistics. A question that should be asked by every company is whether or not the logistics provider being used is truly working for their benefit. The common trend for this type of freight management is to either hire someone to handle the process internally or rely on a third party to perform the task. These options are sometimes too expensive for companies just beginning to take advantage of full truckload shipping. Truckload logistics software is a new alternative to these higher priced methods. It eliminates the additional cost of hiring for the task and lowers shipping costs.

Benefits Companies Receive By Using Truckload Logistics Software

Truckload logistics software is meant for companies that use full semi-trailers to ship freight regularly. The software presents multiple shipping solutions through an easy to use interface. Implementing this management tool allows companies to take charge of their own logistics decisions and become their own provider. Broader shipping options, integrated shipping results, and the elimination of third party services are all advantages received by using this type of software. Many studies have been performed to determine the impact of logistics on freight handling and have averagely shown a ten percent reduction in shipping costs for the first year of use. Third party providers often work with specific carriers and this limits the choices available to your company for each shipment. These limitations increase costs because more sensible options are ignored by the provider. By taking logistics over, you have endless possibilities for shipping solutions and are not limited to specific routes or carriers.

Truckload Logistics Software: How Shipping Costs Are Reduced

Companies all over the country pay out too much when they hire an internal expert or contract logistics to a third party. Experienced experts that work within the company can cost up to ninety grand a year. They may do very well at researching shipping options, but are not able to come up with or go over all the possibilities. Truckload logistics software can come up with every possible option in only a few minutes. Third party contracts also involve additional upfront costs that are avoidable and increase overall shipping costs for companies. While third party providers have been a common choice for companies that do not have their own logistics division, this software is beginning to take its place. Logistics applications provide better results for shipping decisions and eliminate all costs associated with third party contracts and company experts. Costs are also decreased by better freight optimization and shipping route choices. The applications are easy to use and can make shipping a synch for any company. Initial application costs are very minimal and the possible savings are phenomenal.