TL Logistics Management Software – Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Shippers Use TL Logistics Management Software?

In most cases, shipping companies that regularly produce enough products to fill a full semi trailer use truckload logistics software, as “TL” refers to truckload, or full semi trailer. However, it’s important to note that TL logistics software actually refers to a service option within logistics software as a whole. In other words, companies that have less than truckload (LTL) shipping needs and use logistics software to meet them can have a TL logistics option added to their package at a later date, particularly if their software operates on a software as a service (SaaS) model.

Does it Make Sense to Combine LTL and TL Management in the Same Package?

A company can have as many logistics management options within a software package as it wants. But the fact that more options result in higher fees usually deters companies from adding more options than they presently need. However, if a company can benefit from having its LTL shipments combined into TL shipments and transported to a break station, then having LTL and TL shipping options within the same package could be beneficial.

Is it Better to Implement Logistics Software on a SaaS or an Internal Basis?

Although some companies have policies that require software solutions to be implemented on internal basis, most companies receive the greatest benefit from implementing logistics software on a SaaS model. To implement the software on an internal basis, you typically incur the following costs, which are eliminated by SaaS: software purchase, hardware purchase, system maintenance fees and system upgrade costs. In addition, implementing logistics software as a web-based application offers the advantage of letting system users access the system from any Internet terminal worldwide, whereas internal solutions function like an intranet.

Can TL Logistics Management Software Replace the need for a Logistics Expert?

Perhaps the greatest misconception about logistics software is that you need expertise in logistics to use it. On the contrary, logistics-software does the work of a logistics expert, presenting a shipper with optimized shipping options across the entire shipping process. One of the main selling points of logistics-software is the remarkable affordability that it brings to the logistics function, which comes from its replacing the need to hire in house logistics experts or high level third party logistics (3PL) providers.

Isn’t 3PL the Still Best Option If You’d like to Dialogue With a Logistics Expert?

The top complaint of 3PL customers is that they feel kept on the outside of the shipping process due to lack of contact with their 3PL provider. Furthermore, most providers of logistics-software allow their customers the option discussing logistics issues whenever necessary. With logistics software, you essentially become your own logistics provider, which is as close to the logistics function as you can get.

TL Logistics Management Software – How Does It Compare to 3PL?

TL logistics management software is a solution that allows companies to cut the middleman out of the logistics function, saving them money on shipping and allowing them to take full control of their shipping arrangements. For most companies, the “middleman” that logistics software replaces is a 3PL (third party logistics) provider, who handles a company’s shipping needs according to the type of 3PL it practices.

Currently, there are four types of 3PL providers: standard 3PL providers, who offer basic 3PL services but don’t practice 3PL as a core function; service developers, who offer more specific services than standard 3PL providers; customer adapters, who manage a company’s existing shipping process; and customer developers, who manage a company’s shipping process and propose innovative shipping solutions.

As one might expect, hiring a customer developer would be the optimal 3PL option for achieving the best truckload shipping solutions in terms of shipping integration. But hiring a customer developer can be as costly as hiring an in house logistics expert. As a result, small to midsized companies typically choose between hiring standard 3PL providers or service developers and implementing TL logistics management software.

The validity of hiring a standard 3PL provider or a service developer depends mostly on a company’s range of shipping needs. For example, if a company needs a singular solution for TL shipping, then hiring one the 3PL providers above can make sense. But if a company has more than one shipping need-and most companies do-implementing logistics software makes the most sense in terms of cost and integrated shipping solutions.

Prior to the release of logistics software, smaller shippers often spread their shipping solutions among two or more 3PL providers, which ensured that the solutions would never be integrated, combining road, rail, air or sea shipping into a fluid process that improved delivery time and reduce cost of delivery. Today, however, logistics software allows smaller companies to realize such options.

When choosing between 3PL and logistics software, it’s important to realize that logistics software doesn’t require logistics expertise of its users. Instead, the software does the work of a logistics expert, allowing users to choose from among recommended shipping options by accessing a user-friendly interface that features data fields that acquaint with a company’s unique shipping needs.

If your company currently uses 3PL and would like to improve its shipping process, contacting an experienced logistics software provider is the first step toward markedly reducing shipping costs. According to recent studies, shippers that implement logistics software realize a 10 percent reduction in shipping costs in the first year alone.