Shipping Management Software Vs Freight Brokerage: Which Is Better?

Many shippers spend nearly as much on shipping as they do on payroll. Consequently, they look for ways to improve freight management with the goal of reducing freight costs. When creating a logistics department would be too expensive, most shippers implement logistics software or hire a freight broker. Also known as shipping management software, logistics software allows shippers to become their own logistics provider by supplying them a comprehensive logistics function. Also known as Third Party Logistics (3PL), freight brokers make carrier arrangements on shippers’ behalf.

Both options can yield solutions that combine quick delivery time, excellent freight care, and affordable rates. But logistics software offers certain advantages that freight brokers often don’t, beginning with low service cost.

Low Service Cost

Not all brokerage options require a significant investment. But the ones that don’t are oriented toward specific logistics services (e.g. cross docking, and tracking and tracing), not comprehensive solutions. For complete management of the shipping process via 3PL, a shipper must use a customer adapter or customer developer, which could cost as much as maintaining a logistics department.

Excellent Customer Service

The number one complaint among 3PL customers is a feeling of distance from the shipping process. In many instances, this is the result of what 3PL is supposed to do: take the logistics function out of a shipper’s hands. But many shippers discover they want more control over shipping than they first believed. Logistics software eliminates distance between the shipper and the shipping process by allowing the former to become its own logistics provider.

Broader Shipping Options

A freight broker will provide more options than you could realize on your own, without the aid of logistics software. But those options could be limited compared to the options offered by logistics software. Some freight brokers use electronic posting systems, where available carriers are matched with available loads, to arrange shipments. While using these systems is a valid strategy, it should not be the only strategy, as it often is. Logistics software empowers shippers to form relationships with carriers who don’t use posting systems.

Control of Shipping

Almost every shipper wants control of the shipping process. But when creating a logistics department would be too expensive, many shippers relinquish the process – and control – to a 3PL provider. Logistics software gives you the same control over shipping as a logistics department would, but a fraction of the cost. If problems arise with the software, or if you need new logistics options, the software provider can resolve the problem or make the necessary changes.

Conclusion

The shipping process involves significant costs, which can be mitigated by implementing a strategic logistical solution for transportation management systems. Although freight brokerage is a valid option, it often lacks basic benefits that shipping management software always provides: low service cost, broad shipping options, and control of the shipping process. Logistics software is often advertised as a solution for small to midsize shippers, but it can also benefit large shippers who wish to save money by not hiring a team of in-house logistics experts.

Logistics Planning Software and Freight Shipping

Since the deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980’s, trucking companies have offered an increasing range of shipping solutions that helps the manufacturer minimize shipping costs; one of which is less than truckload (LTL) shipping. In LTL shipping, companies that ship less than full truckloads of goods can save money by paying a fraction of full load shipping fees. For trucking companies, shipping earnings remain the same. They create a full truckload out of partial load shipments and receive payment from each company. For manufacturers, arriving at the optimal LTL solution usually requires the implementation of logistics planning software, which analyzes the cost of shipping and transportation needs in relation to product destination.

The obvious advantage of LTL shipping is that it allows companies to decrease shipping costs. But the downside is that products often take longer to reach their destination due to the multiple destinations implied by the shared load. In such cases, using logistics planning software to analyze a shipping situation instead of opting for standard LTL is the best way to integrate a solution that brings lower shipping costs while ensuring timely delivery. Whereas as LTL companies specialize in LTL, logistics software specializes in developing solutions that combine each element of the shipping process into a streamlined, cost effective delivery system. A company that requires freight tracking services in addition to simple pick up and delivery would benefit more from using logistics software than relying on the advice of an LTL shipping company.

Most companies that utilize logistics software consistently run a large number of products that are assembled at multiple locations before they arrive at retailers. At first glance, incurring the start up cost and service fees of logistics software might seem contrary to the goal of decreasing operating costs. However, studies show that companies who implement logistics software regularly reduce their shipping costs by ten percent in the first year alone. Exactly how is this savings created? In part, it results form the fact that logistics software eliminates costs associated with other logistical solutions, such as annual software maintenance costs, TMS software costs, 3PL costs, freight margins, gain shares and common rate base licensing costs.

While logistics software is popular among companies whose yearly shipping costs can amount to more than a small company’s annual earnings, it can also offer solutions for smaller companies. For example, a company that simply wants to improve delivery time can use the software to analyze road construction trends and highways traffic patterns. In either case, the software never fails to improve a manufacturer’s finances by making its system of delivery markedly more efficient.

How to Improve The Business With Logistics Software

The technological development in each field of the market was soon followed by evolutionary steps of logistics softwares and IT companies. Today there are many software companies that provide the highest quality and friendly software solutions to the Transportation Industry. Their softwares are designed to be industry oriented from the ground up. The industry-oriented approach is reflected by their market focus, products, service offerings, the customer support, and the talent base they employ.

True professional companies always stay on the cutting edge of technology innovations to deliver state-of- the art solutions to their clients. Therefore, if you have an important business to run in the transportation industry, you would better not waste anymore time and purchase at least a lite logistics suite, an affordable, but still a powerful one. Its solutions may include Freight Forwarding Software, Purchase Order Management, Real-Time Online Cargo Tracking, Inventory Control Software, Third-Party Logistics System (3PL), Trucking Software with Cross-Dock and Dispatch, Integrated Accounting Software and many more.

A Freight Forwarding Software, for example, is designed especially for small Freight Forwarders and Warehouse Management Companies. It can handle Ocean Freight, Air Freight along with Warehousing. Newest version releases have taken the request of customers in consideration and added the QuickBooks export support. That means that now you can easily export invoices to QuickBooks, saving time and reducing errors.

A lite suite version will be able to handle all the requirements of a Cargo Warehouse operation including Warehouse Receives, Warehouse Withdraws, Labels, On Hand Reports and Invoices. The Ocean Export and Air Export modules may provide an array of features like Quotes, Bookings, Manifest, Labels, Waybills (Houses, Masters, Directs) and reports that will let you keep track of your company operations at all times.

Still, if you can afford to spend more, there are more powerful softwares that will offer access to cargo status information directly through your company’s internet website, providing your customers with a powerful online shipment tracking tool. Authorized users can search, view and print information in various forms, such as: Warehouse Receipts, House Airwaybills, Master Airwaybills, House Bill of Ladings, Master Bill of Ladings and Cargo Manifest.

A complete featured suite offloads much of the administrative overhead associated with addressing client shipment inquiries, helping you to reduce cost and increase employee productivity. Also agents can enter POD information without having to call your office. They may also keep track of all cargo going to their office.

Usually, the software companies understand how critical it is for their clients to have their logistics software running 100% of the time. That is why they give their support department the higher priority. Any technical support team is committed to provide superior support service, and is available twenty four hours, seven days a week.

The companies’ staffs now understand that today is not only the software, but also the customer support that is critical to the clients. Their goal should be to build a relationship of trust with their customers and that is why 24/7 support is absolutely necessary to be provided. This kind of support can easily be achieved using the technology of the Internet. If one is interested in any of their products or services, he/she should be able to visit a contact page for more information, at least on how to get in touch with them. Also, if a customer has non-time critical issues or just has some questions, an e-mail should be provided for any inquires or an online support request form. Any problem should be resolved within a few hours, if the service is professional.

Think about the advantages of purchasing a logistics software! It will improve your time and experiences in your business area.