There are two inherent challenges to running a manufacturing business. The first is producing products that will sell. The second is shipping those products to retailers in a timely fashion at an affordable price. If your company has mastered the first challenge but is still searching for the ideal shipping solutions, you may be on the brink of hiring a logistic. When companies hire a logistic expert, they either hire an in house logistics professional or outsource their logistics to a third party logistics provider when their budget prohibits the former. If this describes your company, it’s important to know that, while hiring a 3PL provider may be less expensive than hiring an in house professional, there is a logistics option that costs significantly less than 3PL, and it exists in truckload transportation management software-also known as logistics software.
When companies hear about logistics software, they often think that it requires logistics expertise. But it doesn’t. Logistics experts tailor logistics software to meet a company’s unique shipping needs and allow the company to meet and control those needs through a friendly user interface. There are several reasons why implementing logistics software is more affordable than hiring a 3PL provider, beginning with the fact that logistics software is priced as a software offering and not a consultancy offering. Although the companies that design logistics-software are software companies, they employ freight logistics experts and are run by business veterans of the freight transportation industry. Another reason why logistics software is less expensive than 3PL is that 3PL arrangements typically result in shippers being charged over and above the actual cost of shipping solutions. When non-asset based 3PL providers secure shipping solutions for their clients, they contract with carriers that offer a discounted rate, allowing the 3PL provider to profit from the differential between actual service cost and service cost as charged.
In addition to being more cost effective than 3PL, logistics software also allows companies greater control over their shipping process by providing more shipping options. Most 3PL providers adhere to rigid shipping heuristics to provide clients with shipping options in the shortest amount of time. Consequently, many 3PL clients end up with shipping options that meet their needs but don’t offer the best possible delivery time at the lowest possible price. One example of how logistics software allows shippers to realize more shipping options can be seen in integrated shipping solutions. Whereas asset-based 3PL providers only offer as many shipping modes as they have equipment to support them, logistics-software allows shippers to integrate truck, boat and air shipping over the course of one transportation route. Whether your company’s shipping needs are just emerging or have recently changed, don’t pay more for freight shipping than you need to. By implementing logistics software, you can become your own logistics provider and cut the middleman out of the logistics function.