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.

Logistics Software Removes the Need For 3rd Party Logistics Providers

The more products a company ships, the more shipping costs become subject to cost saving strategies. For most companies, realizing the most economical shipping solutions depends on the implementation of the most popular form of supply chain software (SCS): logistics planning software. On the most basic level, the solutions offered by logistics software improve a company’s phased planning measures, product sales forecasts and scientific safety stock. Some companies hire 3rd party logistics providers, but more and more companies are turning to logistics software in place of 3rd party logistics providers for two reasons: logistics software offers the same level of quality as 3rd party logistics providers and it offers it a much lower price.

When companies use logistics planning software, they can centralize and integrate their product delivery system by allowing drivers at different sites to connect using the most efficient travel routes, which increases product delivery time and decreases fuel costs by reducing empty running. Regardless of which style of logistical planning a company needs to implement-inbound logistics, contract logistics, LCL/FCL, LTL/FTL, etc.-logistics planning software allows companies to arrive at advanced planning and scheduling solutions that can significantly increase their bottom line. By implementing this software, companies can improve the cost effectiveness of the following product distribution arrangements, among others: container planning and empty container repositioning, intermodal transport, multi-hub and multi-leg transport, cross docking, multi-compartment trailer planning and inventory management.

One example of how logistics software helps companies reduce their shipping costs can be seen in less than truckload (LTL) shipping arrangements. Especially beneficial for companies that don’t ship a high volume of goods, LTL shipping allows companies to pay a fraction of full truckload (FTL) shipping costs. LTL shipping combines multiple partial truckloads into a full truckload and splits the full load price between the shippers. For trucking companies, LTL is beneficial because it draws in customers who would traditionally ship their good by parcel carrier. Another example of how logistics software can save companies money is by examining the characteristics of shipping routes. For example, while the shortest route might seem to be the fastest route, this software can reveal that a longer route would be faster due the traffic characteristics of the shorter route.

Without this software, most companies continue to pay more for logistical solutions than they need to. While research shows that both logistics software and 3rd Party logistics providers can help companies reduce their annual shipping costs by 10 percent at the end of one year, opting for this software adds to the savings. When companies use logistics software, they increase their bottom line in basic two ways: by delivering their products to the sales floor faster and by reducing the cost of getting them there.

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.