How Does a Logistics Software Solution Compare to Third Party Logistics?

If you’re searching for new shipping solutions, you may have encountered the debate that asks: which is more beneficial to the shipping process: implementing a logistics software solution or outsourcing logistics to a third party logistics (3PL) provider? To answer this question, its helps to consider the three things that every company wants out of the shipping process: cost effectiveness, excellent delivery time, and safe delivery of freight. With these things in mind, we take a look at whether a logistics software solution or a 3PL solution offers the greatest value.

Cost Effectiveness

In terms of cost, you’ll always pay more to receive a comprehensive, innovative approach to the shipping process from a 3PL than you will to implement a logistics software solution, and the reason why is simple: when you hire a full scale 3PL provider (i.e. a customer adapter), you pay a company to do what logistics software does without employing anyone. In other words, the software allows you to become your own logistics provider. Although other types of 3PL providers can be hired for less than the cost of customer developers (i.e. standard 3PL providers, service developers, and customer developers), they don’t provide the same level of service, with standard 3PL providers and service developers only offering specific services, and customer developers handling the full shipping process without proposing new solutions.

Excellent Delivery Time

Excellent delivery time depends on route analysis and optimization, as well as the availability of integrated shipping solutions. In simple shipping situations, route analysis could consist of analyzing route time in relation to distance, road surface quality, traffic patterns, etc., while in complex shipping situations, such as global shipping or moving unfinished products from location to location during the manufacturing process, route analysis could consist of the strategies mentioned above along with developing integrated shipping arrangements that could combine road, air, sea, and rail shipping, or any combination thereof. Improved delivery time can be achieved with both logistics software and 3PL. But logistics software, due to its impartiality, will present a broader range of options.

Safe Delivery of Freight

The safe delivery of freight is achieved through freight optimization, particularly in terms of using the right stacking strategies and ensuring that like products are shipped together. The cost of broken freight is perhaps the least mentioned aspect of shipping cost, and preventing it from happening can be achieved with either 3PL (e.g. standard 3PL provider or service developer) or logistics software. However, unless a shipper is looking for freight optimization alone, using logistics software would be the better choice financially.

How Shipping Software Is Good for Shipping Business?

In the shipping industry, choosing a software solution is a vital enterprise for long-term business growth and sustainability. For shipping companies, the biggest challenge is not in finding software, but implementing and making it work with existing technologies and procedures in supply chain technology which includes integrated shipping software solutions has been proven to streamline business processes, reduce cost significantly, and increase revenue many times to achieve organizational goals and ensure that shipping operations are running smoothly and effectively.

In the shipping business sector, choosing a software solution may be a crucial enterprise for long-term business growth and sustainability. It’s thus vital for shipping firms to maneuver through the choice process with knowledge that not all shipping software vendors supply solutions that would address all their operational considerations.

Shipping firms must visualize the golden rule that procuring the latest data technology must not only propel the shipping processes in terms of efficiency and leveraging the business but also reduce operational costs. Proper and adequate pro-active research is required before hauling up the right shipping software. Choosing a software solution that doesn’t cater to the shipping organization’s operational needs would translate in sheer squander of time and valuable resources.

Selecting an efficient and cost effective company means saving profits and reducing operational costs to a significant level.

Shipping software has helped companies in various parts of the world enhance their productivity and competitiveness through better and organized planning and management of their operational activities.

The software offers scalable and efficient solutions to enable carriers maximize profits and reduce operational expenses.

Features of Shipping Software:-

Rate Shopping:

• Queries for current rate information

• Integrates with custom/local and Interactive carriers.

• Rate comparison with other carriers.

• Rate shopping solutions and shipping service deliver significant cost benefits for small business

Multiple ERP Integration:

• Provides seamless integration with ERP systems

• Extracts records from ERP system

• Enables all features & benefits that software possess.

Integrates with Interactive & custom/local carriers

• Real time access to carriers such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL & Custom/Local carrier(If integrated)

• Certified partner of FedEx & UPS

• Provides rates, transit time, delivery date, tracking number, shipping labels

Cost Effective:

• Since its SaaS (Software as a Service) based, It eliminates hardware, software & licenses cost.

• Cuts costs by providing a centralized application, eliminating multiple applications at remote locations

• Allows price/rate shopping on a click of button & fetches best rates available from all the carriers.

• Its centralized application meaning you need not have any extra software/hardware to be pre-installed on your machine.

• Consolidate shipments for the same destination

Real Time Access:

• Real Time access to commercial carriers & status of shipment.

• Tracks shipments not delivered on time

• Shipping rates from the carriers

• Rate compare

• Make shipment

• Void shipment

Batch Processing:

• Save time by generating labels and packing slips in batch

• Future date shipments

• Batch shipment

• Generates labels for printing on thermal printer

Effective Shipping Business Management With Shipping Software Solutions

Over the years, the process of shipping goods has evolved in many ways. Cargo volumes have increased every year, vessels capacity has grown and the requirements for shipping companies to comply with regulations (i.e. Customs, IMO, etc.) have also increased steadily. Freight forwarders and shipping companies used to depend highly on manual labor throughout the entire shipping process – from packing, to warehousing, inventory, loading, transshipping, and discharging of consignments. Nowadays, much of these tasks have been automated, thanks to modern shipping software solutions which enable shipping companies maximize shipping efficiency.

Maritime software solutions have been developed for companies that provide cargo transport services. They are available off-the-shelf for Shipping companies like Bulk, Tank, Container, RoRo, and break bulk carriers. They are easy to use, can be customized for specific purposes, and can be integrated into existing platforms and applications. Once employed properly, integrated shipping software can provide significant cost benefits and higher level of operational efficiency.

Since no two shipping companies are alike when it comes to their software needs, shipping software companies develop different types of shipping software depending on their functions. Container management software centrally manages a global or regional container fleet and provides visibility on container stock, container expenses and facilitates the planning and forecasting of container stocks. It maximizes the use of a container fleet. It manages complex tasks, eliminates paper works, and provides real-time reports allowing operators to monitor transaction processes from start to finish.

Modern shipping companies use container tracking software to provide their clients visibility on the actual progress of the container transport process. It generates real-time data on the exact location of containers, and provides logs of exact time each shipment leaves the port and of its estimated time of arrival.

Voyage calculation software also known as voyage accounting software enables operators to have an early forecast on costs and income to expect from each port call and/or voyage. It calculates all costs involved including port costs, canal fees, and bunker costs. With these data, operators can proactively manage their cargo mix and simulate the contribution impact for different port rotations or vessel speeds. They can then choose the most cost-effective deployment and rotation of a vessel and avoid expensive and/or less-profitable ones.

To ensure quality customer service maritime software solutions eliminate problems prevalent in cargo shipping such as lost, stolen, or damaged shipments, tracking problems, delayed delivery, uncontrolled transaction costs, and many others. Proper use of these software solutions provides powerful and seamless results, and enables shipping companies to enhance productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

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