LTL Software: A Short Overview

In the absence of good logistics resource, small shippers often overpay to ship small loads. The conventional mode of freight shipping, truckload (TL) shipping, is geared toward shippers that can fill a whole semi trailer with cargo. Although small shippers can use TL shipping, they do so at a loss: the trailer is partially filled with freight, but the shipper still pays to ship a full load. In search of an alternative to TL shipping, many shippers resort to one of two resources: LTL software – a type of logistics software that allows a small shipper to select its own carrier options and perform its own freight audit; or Third Party Logistics (3PL) – a model of transportation logistics in which one or more shipping functions are outsourced to a third party.

Logistics Software Versus 3PL

The problem over which is better, logistics software or 3PL, is not new, or easily resolved. Depending on the needs of a shipper, and how it prefers to handle the shipping process, either option can be sensible. However, logistics software offers important advantages for small shippers that need an economic, comprehensive approach to freight logistics. Below are four of these advantages:

Potential to Ship With Any LTL Carrier

Many 3PL providers select carrier arrangements using an electronic posting system, in which available loads are paired with available carriers. Electronic posting systems can reveal cost-effective carrier options, but they should not be the only resource for selecting a carrier, as not all carriers use them.

When a shipper uses LTL software, it can realize a greater number of shipping options than it can realize through a 3PL provider.

Cost Effective

Using a 3PL provider to perform a freight audit and other logistical tasks is not as economical as performing them with logistics software. The software allows the shipper to become its own logistics provider and avoid paying high fees to third party logistics experts.

No Need to Form New Contracts

Shippers that use 3PL providers often move from provider to provider as their shipping needs change. For example, a shipper may initially contract with a service developer to receive one or more specific services, and later contract with a customer developer when it needs comprehensive shipping management.

Moving from one 3PL provider to another can be administratively burdensome, as the changeover can involve altering how the shipping process is managed internally. When shippers use logistics software, they can accommodate evolving shipping needs by adding new options to the system, ensuring a smooth transition between changes in the shipping process.

More Control Over the Shipping Process

Using logistics software gives shippers more control over the shipping process than outsourcing to a 3PL provider does. In fact, one of the main complaints of shippers that use 3PL is a lack of control over the shipping process.


LTL softwarehelps shippers find economical shipping solutions, and perform crucial logistical tasks such as a freight audit. To learn more about the benefits of the software, contact a provider of logistics software today.