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.

Conclusion

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.

Affordable Supply Chain Solutions for Logistic Companies

Logistic companies always remain on the lookout for latest software solutions to streamline their operations in a cost effective manner. Feature rich logistic software available in the market today help to meet the desired standards of services as well as complies with the visibility requirements of shippers by automating the entire process.

Small or large shippers today not only demand efficient and timely service but also need updated status of their goods and shipments. Hence it is really crucial for logistic or freight forwarding companies to develop a robust supply chain visibility system that offers the best software solutions to clients and meets all operational needs. Accurate and up-to-date visibility of shipment status right from the booking of shipment to custom clearing and delivery is of utmost importance for shippers.

Freight forwarding companies need to upgrade their services with innovative software solutions to offer unmatched client services. Entire logistics operations including management of inventory, goods flow, asset management, warehousing and supply chain activities are better managed through state-of-the-art logistic software. In fact, logistics is an integral cost control area of supply chain and a comprehensive overview of the entire supply chain facilitates in better synchronization of logistics process that proves beneficial for logistics companies.

Management of logistics requires competence and expert knowledge. Logistics software solutions play a significant role in determining the success or failure of any logistic or freight forwarding company. The logistics management software provides options for strategy and planning as well as order management, procurement and return management and offers the perfect supply chain solutions to meet all issues with improved methodology and advanced technology.

Logistics companies understand that customer satisfaction is at the core of supply chain solutions and hence they take extreme care in satisfying customer needs by developing analytical process driven approach that focuses on customer value creation. These freight forwarding or logistic companies use logistics management software for rendering customized solutions. Supply chain management software is ideal for streamlining, systemizing, managing product distribution and inventory as well as keeping track of channels. Complete accounting and integration is important to meet every requirement and in managing minute details of logistic operations. The supply chain management software offers end-to-end solutions such as:

Integration of Operations

EDI integration with agencies and customers

Business analysis and intelligence

Supplier management

Forecasting

Messages and alerts of shipment

Back to back management or direct dispatch.

With high end, state-of-the-art technology and innovative software solutions, logistic
companies can easily handle various operations with greater efficiency and control. Separate software for each of logistics services like freight forwarding, transport, customs clearing, warehousing etc that are interconnected yet fragmented with little communication between them are obsolete. Today logistics and freight forwarding companies use integrated system that acts as a positive catalyst in enhancing the business growth and in improving its performances.

The Logi-sys software is one such software that integrates the entire logistic enterprise under a single platform. This web based modular software application with fleet management, accounting and inventory management modules is customizable with freight forwarding, customer service, PO management, supply chain integration and more. Right from quotation, inquiry, to booking, shipment and billing, all functions are integrated by this enterprise level application Logi-Sys. The system with different modules uses one unified database that facilitates various departments to communicate access and share information. It improves control and productivity within the logistic company and manages the business of 3PL companies, NVOCCs as well as international freight forwarders.

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.

Freight Logistics Software: Frequently Asked Questions

Shippers have three options for managing the shipping process: maintaining an in-house logistics department, outsourcing to a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider, or implementing freight logistics software. When the objective is to choose the most economical option, most shippers choose the third option for the following reasons:

  • It gives them more control over the shipping process
  • It does not require a staff of transportation management experts
  • It allows them to choose from a broad range of carriers
  • It allows them to perform a freight audit without the help of a third party
  • It allows them to avoid paying high service fees to a third party

If you are considering making logistics software a part of your shipping process, but you need more information, the answers below can help.

How does the product compare to 3PL?

The product compares favorably to Third Party Logistics (3PL). Unlike 3PL, it does not place the logistics function in the hands of a third party. Instead, it allows the shipper to become its own logistics provider by providing resources for executing and managing the shipping process. Consequently, using the product is typically more affordable than outsourcing to a 3PL provider.

Does the product come in different configurations?

The product can be configured to meet the needs of the shipper. For example, while one shipper may need a configuration for Less Than Load (LTL) shipping, another shipper may need a configuration for transportation management. All configurations can facilitate administrative tasks such as a freight audit.

Is the product available on a SaaS model?

Freight logistics software is available on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. It is also available on an in-house model. Because it eliminates the need to purchase software and perform system maintenance, the SaaS model is typically more affordable than the in-house model.

How long does it take to implement the product?

When the product is configured to accommodate a unique shipping process, it is typically implemented thirty to forty-five days after the initial service request. In most cases, the system is up and running within forty-five days.

How much money can a company save by using the product?

The amount of money a company saves depends on two things: what the product replaces, and how much it lowers shipping cost. Using the product to replace a department of freight auditors can yield a six-figure payroll saving. A similar saving can result from using the product to replace the services of a high-level 3PL provider (e.g. customer developer or customer adapter). In terms of shipping cost, most companies report a ten percent reduction in shipping cost after using the product for one year.

Conclusion

Freight logistics software is an economical solution for shippers who need to save money on shipping logistics and reduce the cost of shipping. In addition to accommodating the needs of unique shipping processes, it also allows shippers to perform ubiquitous administrative tasks such as a freight audit. To learn more about benefits of the product, contact a provider of logistics software today.