If you’re fortunate enough to operate a thriving shipping company, then you’re also unfortunate enough to experience the ins and outs of trying to find the best shipping solutions. While it’s easy to call a third party logistics provider and have it overtake your shipping process, this usually doesn’t result in the best rage of shipping options or the most money saved on the logistics process, particularly if you hire a customer adapter or customer developer. A better option, many companies think, is to hire a logistic expert. Certainly, having an in house logistic expert is preferable to dealing with 3PLs from a distance. But hiring that expert could increase your payroll between $70,000 and $90,000-a small price, some would say, for the potential cost saving solutions that could be developed.
Yet, if the goal of logistics is to arrive at the best shipping solutions while saving as much as possible on the logistics function, the answer lies neither in 3PL or in house logistics experts; it lies in logistics management software-also known as freight management software-which can be implemented for a fraction of the cost of hiring a logistics expert or a 3PL provider. For companies that have long relied on 3PLs, the prospect of using logistics software to fully manage the shipping process can seem daunting. But that’s exactly what the developers of the software-all of whom have first hand knowledge of the shipping industry-expect you to do, and it isn’t as hard as you think.
While freight management software isn’t new, its proliferation as a user friendly logistics solution began in the software as a service (SaaS) movement, in which the prospect of offering businesses software solutions that could be operated by non-expert users dramatically increased the market for various types of programs, and freight management software included. Essentially, the software functions as a logistics expert, presenting shippers with an unlimited range of ranked shipping solutions that take into consideration their shipping needs, including warehousing needs, freight packaging and handling needs, delivery time, etc. The shipper then chooses solutions as a 3PL provider once did, cutting the middleman out of the logistics function and saving money.
Although a company owning its own shipping fleet and logistics experts is viewed as the ideal shipping situation, freight management software is beneficial to large and small companies alike; and, in the case of companies that own their own fleet, a tremendous cost saving measure compared to hiring one or more logistic experts.