Transportation and Logistics Software – What Are Its Advantages?

If you are a small to midsize company that tries to ship your goods without the aid of transportation logistics, you’ll likely end paying significantly more for shipping than you would if your hired a third party logistics (3PL) provider or implemented online transportation and logistics software. Without the aid of freight logistics, the cost of the shipping process can prohibitive for small to midsize companies for two main reasons: they either pay full truckload FTL shipping (full truck load) rates to ship partial loads or, realizing the economic disadvantage of FTL shipping for partial loads, they use parcel shipping, which is also a disadvantage when shipping multiple parcels on a regular basis. In response to these situations, 3PL and transportation and logistics software can revolutionize a company’s sipping costs by providing them with options such as LTL shipping (less than truckload), integrated transportation methods based on competitive pricing and shorter shipping routes based on route analytics.

But while 3PL and logistics software function in the same capacity, the latter has two basic advantages over the former, beginning with price differential.

Price Differential

Although 3PL and logistics software companies serve the same purpose, they are principally different in their corporate make up. Third party logistics providers are freight logistics experts that act as middlemen between manufacturers and shipping companies, while logistics-software providers are freight logistics experts that specialize in creating freight logistics software, which they offer as an online software application for an affordable monthly fee. In other words, when you opt for 3PL, you end up paying more because you pay for an expert to manage your account, whereas logistics software lets you manage your own freight logistics through an easy to use interface. Essentially, 3PL providers make their money by charging you for a logistics service that you could easily perform on your own with the aid of logistics software. It’s as simple as that.

Level of Control

When you outsource a service that isn’t one of your company’s core competencies, you’re naturally at the mercy of the company that you outsource to. This is not to say to that 3PL providers are out to profit on their clients’ lack of logistics expertise in an ulterior way. But it does mean that 3PL providers are always looking for LTL shipping rates and other shipping options that offer the greatest price differential between what the options actually cost and what they charge their clients to secure those options. In some cases, the greatest price differential might result from shipping your goods with a company that doesn’t have the best reputation; a situation that you could easily avoid if you opt for logistics software. In addition to allowing more control over what companies you ship with, logistics software also allows each of your company departments to participate in the shipping decision process by accessing the software online, which can prove extremely valuable from an accounting and management perspective.

Instead of Hiring a Logistic Expert, Save Money by Implementing Logistics Software

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.

TL Logistics Software Streamlines the Truckload Shipping Process

Truckload (TL) shipping generally refers to the transportation of an amount of cargo that is enough to fill an entire semi-trailer. Unlike less than truckload (LTL) shipping, where carriers take partial loads from two or more shippers, combining them into a full load and dividing the load price, companies that perform TL shipping contract an entire load to a single shipper. While LTL shipping can present attractive pricing options for small to midsized companies that regularly ship less than a full truckload of products, the basic advantage TL shipping over LTL shipping is that the freight is never touched en route to its destination. LTL shipments are commonly handled multiple times en route. While truck load shipping is a more simplistic shipping process than less than truckload shipping, companies that use LTL shipping can still benefit from using TL logistics software to arrive at the best shipping solutions.

TL logistics-software is a particular form of truckload logistics software that helps companies optimize their freight and shipping routes to realize the most cost effective TL shipping solutions. In lieu of logistics-software, companies that don’t have their own shipping fleet or employ logistics professionals usually hire third party logistics (3PL) providers. However, for companies that need to save as much as possible on the shipping process, logistics-software is a more cost effective logistics solution than outsourcing to a 3PL provider for two reasons: it allows companies greater leverage in the shipping process and it removes the need to pay a middleman to dialogue with carriers. When companies implement logistics software, they essentially go from outsourcing their logistics to being their own logistics provider, using an easy to use user interface that’s customized to their company’s particular shipping needs.

Logistics software can be customized in accordance with a variety of shipping concerns, but freight optimization and route optimization two aspects of truckload shipping that logistics software applies to in all cases. Freight optimization deals with a variety of freight concerns, including freight size and volume, packaging and composition, all of which affect the cost of shipping. To put it simply, truckload logistics-software is used to find a carrier that offers the best price in relation to the combined factors of freight optimization. Similarly, logistics-software gives companies the ability find the best shipping routes based on various criteria, including: shortest distance, construction patterns, traffic patterns and road surface quality. By performing freight optimization and route optimization, logistics-software presents companies significantly reduce their shipping costs while improving their delivery time. According to recent studies, companies that implement logistics-software can reduce their shipping costs by 10 percent at the end of one year.