Transport Software Solutions – Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping software – also known as freight management software and transport software – offers an economic way for companies to handle their own shipping logistics. Shipping software offers the transport software solutions that a company would receive through a logistics department or a 3PL provider, but at less cost. Yet, due to its relative newness, some shippers have misconceptions about the software that prevents them from experiencing its benefits. Below, we answer some frequently asked questions regarding transport software solutions to lay these misconceptions to rest.

Does Shipping Software Require Logistics Expertise to Operate?

One of the greatest advantages of shipping software is that it doesn’t require logistics expertise of its users. Therefore, a company can become its own logistics provider without hiring in house logistics experts. After evaluating all potential shipping options to determine the best options for a given situation, the software presents its findings through an easy to access user interface.

Is the Software Created by People With Experience in the Shipping Industry?

Shipping software companies are technically software companies. But, in most cases, their management has direct experience in the corporate side of the shipping industry. As its name suggests, the software is designed to evaluate the shipping process from a logistical standpoint, which it does with precision regardless of its producer’s corporate identity.

Does the Software Offer a One-Size-Fits-All Solution?

Like many types of software that are available on a SaaS model, shipping software is offered in both a ready to implement version and as a tailored software solution that reflects a company’s shipping process. For example, if a company has both truckload (TL) and less than truckload (LTL) shipping needs due to a production process that sees parts travel to various manufacturing locations, shipping software can be designed to offer the best shipping arrangements for this process.

What Happens if a Company’s Shipping Needs Change?

Because it’s natural for a company’s shipping needs to change as it grows, produces new products, or explores new business options, transportation software can be edited to accommodate a company’s changing shipping needs. Changes made to a company’s shipping software make take as little as minutes or as long as a few days.

Exactly How Does Shipping Software Save Companies Money?

First, the software saves companies money by doing the same work as a logistics expert or a 3PL provider while costing much less. Second, it saves companies money by assessing a broader range of shipping options than 3PL providers, who prefer solutions that fall within their greatest financial interest. Third, it saves companies money by offering integrated shipping solutions (i.e. air, road, rail, and sea), which is uncommon among most 3PL providers.

Logistics Software Solutions Vs Hiring a Parcel Rate Adjuster

Parcel carrier rates aren’t designed to help your company reduce shipping costs; they’re designed to support the profits of parcel carriers. You won’t hear it in their advertisements, but parcel carriers have an inflexible set of standard rates that give the appearance of flexibility due to a set of pricing algorithms that determine how the rates are applied. So, how do you keep your shipping system from being a financial casualty of the parcel carrier system? The first step is a simple: avoid being convinced that one parcel carrier is somehow “better” than the rest. When people arrive at this perception, it’s often in response to advertising ploys that promote notions of a carrier’s “nobility” via its selfless dedication to the customer.

When businesses become dedicated to one carrier, they typically stop shopping for better parcel shipping rates and end up paying for services that they don’t need. Therefore, step two of assuring that your company gets the best carrier rates is either having a parcel rate adjuster investigate your situation or implementing transportation logistics software. Both transportation logistics software and parcel rate adjusters offer extensive logistical information that reveals fair courier rates for a variety of shipping situations, including the comparative analysis of fuel surcharges between carriers and audits of shipping fees that uncover breaches in service, such as non-delivery of services or service delivered too late. Logistics software and rate adjusters also determine whether your company is being charged for services that it simply doesn’t need, such as residential delivery or Hazmat shipping services.

When you consult logistics software or a reputable rate advisor, you can expect to receive detailed questions about what you ship and how you go about shipping it. In each case, cost savings suggestions are often simpler than expected. For example, a Philadelphia law practice was able to save $15,000 a year in shipping costs by determining when parcels were expected instead of sending every parcel overnight. Why didn’t the firm do this in the first place? In the legal profession, the “importance” of legal documents leads to the perception that they need to be delivered as quickly as possible, even when they don’t. Similar to seeing through advertising ploys, simply seeing through the trends in your business area can result in significant parcel savings.

Arriving at the best shipping plan for your business involves selecting the shipping options that meet your specific needs and then finding them at the best price. While some companies choose to consult with a rate advisor, other companies choose to implement logistics software and save money. In addition to being more cost effective than hiring a parcel rate adjuster, logistics software solutions arrive in a shorter period of time and are always free of human error. If you suspect that you’re paying too much for parcel shipping or you haven’t compared rates in awhile, why pay even more by hiring a parcel rate adjuster when logistics software solutions can offer you more dependable results in a shorter period of time and at a lower cost?

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.

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