Affordable Shipping Software
In the not too distant past, shipping software was the exclusive realm of very large enterprises. Advancement in programming has now made Shipping Software also referred to as Logistics Software accessible even to companies with modest freight spends. Hosted transportation management software also means very little overhead on a company’s IT department.
There is Shipping Management Software available for as low as $200.00 per month if you do not require integration. Integrated Shipping Software begins at about $500.00 per month and up and is usually priced on a base number of shipments and a per shipment basis once the base is exceeded. Good Shipping Software will contain many individual modules. Below we will talk about some of the modules available:
LTL rate comparison used to be very tedious if done by logging into individual carrier websites. Now you login once, enter shipment information once and through the use of a powerful LTL rating engine, check all your carriers (why limit it to three?) and see their rates displayed on one screen. You may then choose your carrier and an electronic shipment tendering routine automatically advises the carrier you have a shipment waiting for them at the dock. Pallet rates, linear foot rates and specially negotiated spot market rates are easily managed.
Enhancements to a basic shipping software solution include the ability to preprint (and barcode) the carrier’s pro number on both the bill of lading and shipping labels, greatly increase efficiencies in shipment handling. From there, more advanced systems will continuously track the shipment and alert you to any transit problems. Another nice feature is the ability, should you choose, is to send your customer (or anyone else you choose) an email with tracking information imbedded in it.
LTL rating software, if it is advanced enough, continually monitors the shipment for changes in expected freight charges due to carrier inspections. A reweigh as a for instance can dramatically change the actual freight charges. Guess what, carrier reweighs aren’t always correct and some carriers seem to have a thumb on the scale or maybe an enterprising dock man on your pallet. You can challenge reweighs and have a shipment scaled at the destination terminal for validation of a reweigh and sometimes even your customers have scales.
A variance report can tell you when the low-cost provider was not selected for a shipment. Usually our customers have reason codes that need to be selected when the low-cost provider is not used as a for instance it could be transit time or possibly a preference by your customer.
An address book is also an important but often overlooked enhancement. Why? One reason was referenced in the last paragraph, your customer may have a preference on what carrier is being chosen. In some cases, customers require a certain carrier, retail stores come to mind. Another feature of the address book should be type of equipment needed or that a lift-gate is required. Having the ability to know assessorial charges before a shipment leaves your dock is important because assessorial charges vary from carrier to carrier. If you don’t have the complete charges displayed on a shipment, you may not be selecting the lowest price because your data was incomplete.
A comprehensive reporting module is important both for internal management purposes but also for use when it comes time to send out an RFP for new bids on your transportation. Fully flexible and if needed, automated reporting greatly simplifies month end reporting. If ShippersEdge freight audit is enabled, month end freight accruals are as easy as point and click.
For incoming transportation, you can price your vendor freight and send them a bill of lading for use with your shipment. ShippersEdge gives you end to end supply chain visibility. Finally, a TMS that can give small and medium sized business a feature that is so needed for running a distribution or manufacturing company. ShippersEdge is not just shipping software, it is a lightweight transportation management system.
Full truckload rate comparison is also provided. Generally full truckload rates are loaded into the logistics software and a rate is retrieved with integration to a mileage program like PC Miler. The rate and miles are computed as well as fuel surcharge. If the carrier has the ability to let us hook up to their server, tracking can be monitored. If not we have an email workaround for the carrier to update the status of a shipment. There are also cell phone based tracking systems available and the feed can be displayed and monitored within our system.
ShippersEdge also has a consolidation module for multi-stop truckloads. It will optimize the routing and warn you if your consolidation is too much weight or floor space for the trailer being used. A customized cost allocation algorithm can make allocating shipment costs in a consolidation a breeze.
Spot market rates from brokers on full truckload and partial truckload shipments are easily organized when using ShippersEdge. Through the use of embedded links in emails generated by ShippersEdge, the broker(s) enter their rates so you can make an informed selection. ShippersEdge also retains the other rate quotes for the non-selected broker for your records and to use in future negotiations.
Lane intelligence is a feature of ShippersEdge to show you what you had been paying for similar shipments in the past. This can give you the intelligence to provide reliable shipping estimates on truckloads and spot market partials.
Integration is a Godsend to busy shipping departments. We can integrate with your existing software to import shipment data so you don’t have to rekey information already available in a digital format. ShippersEdge can also send data back to your existing software. Appending the freight cost to an order was never easier. If you choose, ShippersEdge can also upload freight bill payment information to your accounting system, saving keystrokes and enhancing accuracy.
ShippersEdge has the ability to receive and store your freight invoices and backup paperwork. You can eliminate bothersome filing and use ShippersEdge to become paperless when it comes to freight invoices.
If your company marks up the freight charges to your customers, ShippersEdge can do that automatically for you through any formula you like. The markup can be a customer specific markup or generic freight markup. We advise that you use the term “shipping and handling” and not simply “freight” to keep your markups completely legal.
Deployment in sales, customer service or other departments complete with controls as to who can do what and who can see what, is commonly done with ShippersEdge. This can eliminate emails and phone calls to the transportation department for rate quotes and tracking information. Anybody with a web browser can be given login specific access. Also, multiple shipping locations can be filtered so they only see the shipping they are responsible for.
ShippersEdge is Affordable and Capable contact us at 952-777-4421 or click on request a demo