Freight Logistics Software Vs Third Party Logistics: Which Is Better?

Today, two types of freight solutions appeal to shippers that rely on carriers: logistics software (a.k.a. TMS software) and third party logistics (3PL). Logistics software allows shippers to become their own logistics provider by using a software program, while 3PL providers negotiate arrangements between shippers and carriers. Frequently compared and contrasted, logistics software and 3PL each offer unique benefits. However, the former has the following important advantages:

Less Expensive

Standard 3PL providers and service developers, which offer particular services and not comprehensive solutions, are usually quite affordable. When you hire a provider that offers innovative management of the shipping process – namely, a customer developer – the cost can compare to hiring an in-house logistics department. Logistics software provides logistics through a software as a service (SaaS) platform. It can also be implemented as an in house solution. Instead of relying on a costly customer developer, you can save money and realize more control by using a software solution.

More Control

A top complaint of 3PL customers is they feel distanced from their shipping process and the entity that manages it. Different 3PL providers have different approaches, but few of them integrate the shipper in the shipping process in a formal capacity. For some shippers, having the shipping process fully managed by another entity is appealing. Due to its expense and vendor issues it involves, most shippers wish to be involved in the process. Freight logistics software does more than “involve” shippers in their own shipping process; it puts them in control of it.

Better Options

3PL providers make freight arrangements by listing an available load in an electronic posting system, where it can be matched with an available carrier, or by negotiating with carriers that don’t use a posting system. Because the former method is usually the easiest, many 3PL providers use it to arrange the largest percentage of shipments – a scenario that limits shippers to carriers who use a posting system. Logistics software removes this barrier and exposes you to more carrier options. In some instances, a shipper misses the best carrier option because the carrier who could provide it will not work with the shipper’s 3PL.

Greater Security

No shipping process is as secure as one that the shipper handles on its own. When outsourcing to a 3PL, shippers naturally lose the capacity to scrutinize the carriers with which their loads are placed. Although 3PL providers select carriers with the customer in mind, they also select them with themselves in mind – a dichotomy that can jeopardize the interests of shippers. Freight logistics software alleviates security concerns by putting you in control of the shipping process.

Conclusion

Logistics software is a viable replacement for 3PL, particularly for shippers who wish to control their own shipping process. Next to payroll, shipping is the second largest operating expense for most shippers. This means that rejuvenating a stale shipping process with better carrier options can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line – an impact that logistics software allows you to achieve.

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.

The Benefits of Implementing Freight Logistics Software

More Control

Freight logistics software-also known as truckload logistics software-lets companies supreme control over the economy and timeliness of their shipping process by allowing them choose their own shipping options. When companies outsource to a third party logistics (3PL) provider, the provider develops shipping solutions that are in its best business interest, meaning that shipping companies can miss out on shipping options that would benefit them the most. Because logistics software is tailored to apply to a company’s unique shipping process and offers an easy to use interface, it does not require logistics expertise of its users. In addition, because logistics-software is offered on a SaaS model, it can easily be re-adapted to a company’s shipping needs as they change over time.

Lower Cost

Logistics-software costs less than 3PL for a simple reason: it is priced as a software solution and not as a logistics consultancy service. The cost of logistics software is based on a company’s shipping requirements, allowing companies to pay for only as many services as they need. For example, if a small company’s shipping needs consist only of less than truckload (LTL) shipping arrangements, the options offered through logistics-software will reflect these needs only. In addition to saving companies money on the logistics function, logistics software also allows companies to save on shipping solutions. Whereas some 3PL providers (e.g. non-asset based providers) charge shipping companies over and above the cost of a shipping solution in order to profit from a carrier discount, logistics-software insures that companies never pay hidden fees.

Integrated Shipping Solutions

When shipping companies outsource their logistics to asset-based logistics providers, they only realize shipping solutions that can be accommodated by the asset-based provider’s transportation assets (e.g. trucks, boats planes, etc.). But with logistics software, companies can realize shipping solutions that involve various modes of transportation to a certain location. For example, logistics-software may reveal that shipments to a certain location would be cheaper to transport by air for the majority of the trip due to warehouse fees that would result from ground shipping. Considering the cost of the shipping process, realizing integrated shipping solutions on a daily basis can dramatically impact a company’s bottom line.

Significantly Improved Bottom Line

Logistics-software can improve a company’s bottom line by presenting the most economical shipping options for a company’s shipping needs. But it can also save companies money by removing the need to hire in house logistics professionals when they grow large enough to purchase their own shipping fleet. Although logistics-software is often presented as an ideal solution for small to midsized companies that can’t hire their own logistics experts; it is also used by companies whose annual shipping costs exceed six figures, allowing them operate without the cost of logistics professionals. Research shows that companies can reduce their overall shipping costs by 10 percent after only one year of using logistics software.