If your company produces enough goods to take advantage of truckload (TL) shipping, which is defined by a company’s ability to ship enough products to fill a full semi trailer before the products are shipped, you have three options for determining the best TL shipping solutions: hiring an in house logistics expert; contracting with a third party logistics (3PL) provider; or using TL logistics management software, which is also known as full truckload logistics software. From a distance, each option has its advantages: hiring a logistic expert brings the peace of mind of having a logistic expert on site; contracting with 3PLs offers the advantage of placing the worry over shipping logistics in the hands of a separate entity; and implementing logistics software brings the advantage of cutting the middleman (3PL) out of the logistics process at a fraction of the cost of hiring a logistics expert. Using the software’s user-friendly interface, employees can select TL shipping arrangements without possessing logistics expertise.
TL logistics management software is offered on either a SaaS (software as a service) model or as an internal software solution. In either case, it is offered by software development companies whose management has direct experience in the freight shipping industry, and is designed to immediately sync with a company’s present shipping process. Easily modifiable in either form, the software does the work of a logistics expert, allowing companies to both save money on the logistics function and take control of their shipping process. Traditionally, companies that don’t employ logistic experts outsource shipping logistics to 3PL providers, of which there are four types: standard 3PL providers, which offer basic shipping services; service developers, which offer more advanced shipping services than standard 3PL providers; customer developers, which handle a company’s entire shipping process but don’t propose new shipping solutions; and customer adapters, which handle the entire shipping process and develop innovative shipping solutions.
In the event that a company desires a TL shipping solution alone, standard 3PL providers and service developers are usually the options of choice. However, when you learn how standard 3PL providers and service developers usually operate, implementing logistics software becomes the better choice. While standard 3PL providers and service developers can provide truckload shipping solutions, the arrangement is the 3PL’s best interest and not the customer’s. Instead pairing their customers with carriers that best meet their TL shipping needs in terms of route analysis, route optimization, and loading optimization, 3PL’s connect their customers with carriers that offer 3PL’s a discounted service rate that 3PL’s then charge their customers over and above in order to profit. With logistics software, a company’s range of shipping solutions isn’t compromised by a middleman’s financial interest. Instead, companies uncover the full range of available TL shipping options and choose form among them with software’s guidance.