Benefits of a Shipping Software Solution

Traditional ways of managing shipping activities often lack real-time tracking and information which requires a lot of face to face interaction among employees. The advancement of technology has provided every available option for shipping and logistics companies to manage and improve their business more efficiently. To gain a competitive advantage in the rising market, every shipping company should ensure that the best technological tools are adapted to assist in improving their business process activities.

Since global trade has been increasing over the past years, it is important for shipping industries to utilize a shipping management software based on a company’s specific needs. Customized software that are essential for a company’s operation are developed and designed for different shipping operations such as liner principals, liner agency, feeder operators, NVOCC, surveyors, container terminals and claim handlings. Shipping software has helped companies in various parts of the world enhance their productivity and competitiveness through better and organize planning and management of their operational activities.

Save on Costs

One of the main concerns of every company is the high operating costs involved in their day to day activities. By having software that generates an automated solutions, costs and expenses condition are visible, making them easy to monitor, control and track properly. Hiring a shipping software provider eliminates the need for an additional in-house IT expert or another worker to fully navigate the various components of the software. An overall user friendly interface, functional menus and other features with the highest quality standards are combined in one system which can be completed in a couple of minutes than the usual work hours as compared to the traditional process. Most of these software providers have their own technical support team which can assist and answer questions and concerns regarding their software.

More Efficient Operations

Shipping software covers various business activities ranging from bookings, operations, documentation, managing distribution and other back office support. Transaction inflows and outflows are processed and documented more easily without the need for time consuming and tedious retyping of data. Redundant processes are eliminated thereby a more simple and efficient handling of operational activities is possible. All of these activities are incorporated into one system which provides an economical resource in managing a company’s needs.

Implementing an information technology platform allows a shipping company to provide a faster and more precise process in facilitating the flow of a business operation. The importance of having an automated tool no matter how big or small a shipping business is it can improve the efficiency of a company’s operation. In providing the best solution for any shipping and logistics company, continuous investment in the latest technology should always be a priority. Having an up to date and right process is not only beneficial for a company but is also of value to their customers. Utilizing a shipping software provider can be the best solution for a shipping company. It doesn’t just reduce costs; it also leverages control and improves the overall process thereby increasing productivity.

Benefits of Using Packaged Shipping Software

It’s hard to imagine a shipping business without an IT department nowadays. As technology becomes more and more advanced, carriers keep up by taking advantage of the latest innovations and best practices in the industry in order to remain competitive. Forward thinking operators have taken advantage of the rapidly changing technology by using advanced shipping software solutions to enhance their competitive advantage. However, when it comes to choosing the right software solution, the shipping industry is divided between in-house and packaged solutions. Shipping companies need to analyze their unique requirements to determine the type of business solution that will bring more advantage to their daily operations.

Global operators seem to have conflicting views with regard to the cost-effectiveness of building in-house IT systems compared with buying ready-made, customizable platforms. Both have their own advantage when it comes to streamlining operations that have direct effect on the cost-efficiency of a shipping business. Understanding the specific differences between these two systems can help operators make more informed decisions in using their resources.

Bespoke System

Many operators prefer hiring programmers and software developers, and build customized software to fit their specific business requirements. Doing this gives them full control of software development. However, bespoke or in-house systems will require time until they are working live, which will delay the positive impact of automation sometimes up to 3-4 years as seen for bigger implementations. It will also consume resources on the carrier side not only from the IT but also from the involved departments.

In addition, the fact that technology evolves rapidly, software solutions that have been custom-tailored to support a specific function may date quickly and not work on newer platforms, necessitating a painful upgrade that may include an expensive migration process. For the same reason, in-house systems require skilled IT staff which results in increased operational expenses – something that does not sound interesting in a slumping economy.

Packaged System

Generally, ready-made shipping software are a lot cheaper and easier to implement when compared with in-house systems. In fact, buying off-the-shelf solution can be 10 to 50 times cheaper than developing a bespoke system. In addition, modern packaged software incorporates a switching capability, which allows the user to customize each application to handle specific requirements without any expensive re-programming. Once customized, packaged software have the capability to automate time-consuming and resource-intrusive business processes.

Modern packages solutions are flexible enough to work for almost any carrier, regardless of size, specialization, or local requirements. This capability makes it even more appealing for vessel operators to buy off-the-shelf instead of commissioning expensive in-house solutions.

Packaged software solutions are widely available in the software market and can be purchased at very reasonable prices. In addition, many software companies offer excellent guarantee periods for their products during which any software issues are fixed without extra cost.

Change can be Painful

Despite the impressive features of packaged shipping software solutions, many carriers are still stuck with bespoke systems because of perceived difficulties that accompany a change in IT infrastructure. In most cases, these difficulties have something to do with legacy systems which often control key areas of a shipping business. Change in this case must be managed properly using correct methodologies avoid common problems that usually come with the process of implementing a new business system.

Shipping goods involves too many complicated processes that require focus and expertise in all aspects. To be more productive, operators must focus on their core business which is operating ships. They should not divert large amounts of resources to other activities outside their expertise to avoid uncontrolled expenses that can hurt their business in the long run.

TL Shipping Software – How it Can Benefit the Shipping Process

Among companies that ship a significant amount of goods, there are two theories of how to approach the shipping process: find workable shipping solutions and then turn your attention to other matters, or constantly remain aware of the shipping process to take advantage of better options when they become available. As one might expect, taking the first approach almost always results in paying more for the shipping process, while taking the second generally results in both cost savings and improved delivery time.

Companies that ship a significant volume of products usually ship at least some their goods using truckload (TL) shipping, where a single company ships enough goods to fill a full semi trailer. The opposite of full truckload shipping is less than truckload (LTL) shipping, in which companies that ship partial semi trailer loads combine their shipments to form a full load and then split the price of the load. The basic advantages of TL shipping solutions is that goods arrive at their destination faster and, as a result of their being shipped direct and avoiding warehouse freight handling fees, shipping costs less.

While it’s obvious at what point a company can benefit from TL shipping, achieving the optimal TL shipping arrangements can be more difficult. As with achieving the best of any shipping solution through the use of logistics, TL shippers have three options for realizing the best truckload shipping arrangements: hiring in house logistics experts, outsourcing logistics to a third party logistics (3PL) provider, or implementing TL shipping software-also known as full truckload logistics software-which essentially serves as a logistics expert, presenting companies with a range of TL shipping options that can be examined and selected by accessing a user friendly interface.

For most companies, have their own logistics department is the ideal situation for overseeing the shipping process. But for small and midsize shippers that can’t afford a payroll increase, the options are quickly narrowed to 3PL or TL shipping software. There are four types of 3PL providers: standard 3PL providers and service developers, which offer individual shipping solutions, and customer developers and customer adapters, which oversee a company’s entire shipping process. To achieve only a TL shipping solution, a company would likely choose one of the former two.

Contracting with standard 3PL providers, or service developers costs significantly less than contracting with customer developers or a customer adapters. But compared to logistics software, which allows companies to cut the middleman out of the logistic function and become their own logistics provider, it still represents an unnecessary expense, not to mention that fact that service based 3PL providers never offer the range of shipping solutions offered by logistics software, as they typically connect customers with carriers that offer a preferred discount that allows them to charge over and above the discount to profit from the arrangement.