Freight Logistics Software Vs Third Party Logistics: Which Is Better?

Today, two types of freight solutions appeal to shippers that rely on carriers: logistics software (a.k.a. TMS software) and third party logistics (3PL). Logistics software allows shippers to become their own logistics provider by using a software program, while 3PL providers negotiate arrangements between shippers and carriers. Frequently compared and contrasted, logistics software and 3PL each offer unique benefits. However, the former has the following important advantages:

Less Expensive

Standard 3PL providers and service developers, which offer particular services and not comprehensive solutions, are usually quite affordable. When you hire a provider that offers innovative management of the shipping process – namely, a customer developer – the cost can compare to hiring an in-house logistics department. Logistics software provides logistics through a software as a service (SaaS) platform. It can also be implemented as an in house solution. Instead of relying on a costly customer developer, you can save money and realize more control by using a software solution.

More Control

A top complaint of 3PL customers is they feel distanced from their shipping process and the entity that manages it. Different 3PL providers have different approaches, but few of them integrate the shipper in the shipping process in a formal capacity. For some shippers, having the shipping process fully managed by another entity is appealing. Due to its expense and vendor issues it involves, most shippers wish to be involved in the process. Freight logistics software does more than “involve” shippers in their own shipping process; it puts them in control of it.

Better Options

3PL providers make freight arrangements by listing an available load in an electronic posting system, where it can be matched with an available carrier, or by negotiating with carriers that don’t use a posting system. Because the former method is usually the easiest, many 3PL providers use it to arrange the largest percentage of shipments – a scenario that limits shippers to carriers who use a posting system. Logistics software removes this barrier and exposes you to more carrier options. In some instances, a shipper misses the best carrier option because the carrier who could provide it will not work with the shipper’s 3PL.

Greater Security

No shipping process is as secure as one that the shipper handles on its own. When outsourcing to a 3PL, shippers naturally lose the capacity to scrutinize the carriers with which their loads are placed. Although 3PL providers select carriers with the customer in mind, they also select them with themselves in mind – a dichotomy that can jeopardize the interests of shippers. Freight logistics software alleviates security concerns by putting you in control of the shipping process.

Conclusion

Logistics software is a viable replacement for 3PL, particularly for shippers who wish to control their own shipping process. Next to payroll, shipping is the second largest operating expense for most shippers. This means that rejuvenating a stale shipping process with better carrier options can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line – an impact that logistics software allows you to achieve.

Logistics Management – Handling Your Business Can Be Complicated

Managing logistics is one of the main ways that a company can learn to get ahead. Whether you have a trucking company or some other type of transportation company, there are choices for you when it comes to how to handle your logistics management. One of the things you can do is get a consulting or managing company to help you with your needs. If you do that, you’ll have professionals on your side and they can often give you better suggestions as to how you can streamline your company and make it more efficient.

Logistics management often involves the use of computers, too, because computer programs that handle information much faster and more accurately than human beings are becoming increasingly popular in the trucking industry. You can use a program, a company, or a combination of the two in order to get the information you need and keep your business moving in the right direction. Companies that focus on logistics are often better at staying competitive, because they’re able to provide better service for their customers. Their deliveries are more reliable than those of other companies, and they have the ability to track those deliveries more easily.

When you decide to get someone to help you with logistics management, be sure that you choose the right company. There are plenty of consulting and managing companies, but they don’t always provide the same services. In addition, you’ll want to get a company that’s been in business for some time and that’s used to working with the trucking and transportation industry. If you find a company like that, you can get what you need with as little hassle as possible. That can give you peace of mind and also help you feel like you’re not overpaying for what you’re receiving.

Handling logistics alone can be hard, and it’s often stressful. By letting a logistics management company help you, you’ll have time to focus on other aspects of the business. That can help you keep up with your competition and can also give you the opportunity to look at expanding your business through mergers or acquisitions. When it comes down to making choices for your business, the best choices are the ones that will keep you competitive and allow you to move in the right direction. When you have professionals helping you, there is less trial and error in your business choices.

Logistics Software Helps Companies Achieve the Optimal Freight Bid

Whether your company’s success depends on shipping a large amount of goods or a small amount of gods, chances are that your shipping process can benefit from the implementation of logistics management software. Also referred to as freight transportation software, logistics management software uses the power of logistics to increase the delivery time of a company’s products and cut its shipping costs in the process. While logistics software can benefit companies of any size, it remains ideal for small to midsized companies that don’t have the IT infrastructure to support a full scale shipping system and must therefore rely on third party shipping for the delivery of their goods to and from warehouses, to and from manufacturing locations and ultimately to store shelves. By using logistics software, companies can examine the shipping process from a variety of vantage points, including accounting, billing, dispatching, payroll, driver settlements, carrier settlements and shipping route efficiency, allowing them to realize the optimal freight bid.

In addition to the shipping process benefits that logistics software offers companies, perhaps its greatest advantage is that you don’t have to have a background in logistics to understand and operate it. On the contrary, the software comes with an easy to understand user interface that reduces learning curve, and the software can easily be integrated into a company’s already existing transportation procedures. Logistics software can be accessed from any computer location through the Internet and offers a variety of customized modules that allow all employees associated with the shipping process to view the process from their particular vantage point. Some of the module areas commonly offered by logistics software are accounting, customized reporting, scheduling, shipping management, purchasing management, labor management, job management, order management, inventory management, data import and export, cross currency management and labor management.

One scenario where logistics software regularly benefits companies by improving their shipping time and reducing the cost of the shipping process involves warehouse management. In some cases, companies that lack logistical capabilities end up choosing the shortest shipping route in terms of distance without considering the number of warehouse stops that are made along the route. Consequently, their goods take longer to reach their destination than they would have if shipped on a longer route that didn’t contain as many warehouse stops. In addition, more warehouse stops equals increased warehouse fees, and logistics software may discover that the additional fuel charges that result from a longer route are less expansive than the total warehouse fees of the shorter route.

Another scenario where logistics software helps companies improve delivery time and save money involves evaluating alternate means of transportation. Although a company might be used to moving its products by freight, logistics might reveal that it could improve delivery time and saving money by air shipping their products. Although traditionally more expensive than ground shipping; in some situations, air shipping can prove more economical than grounding shipping due to the collective expenses associated with ground shipping routes. Regardless of your company’s current shipping arrangements, examining them using logistics is certain to save you time and money by allowing you to realize the optimal freight bid and/or integrated transportation solutions.