Last week we kicked off our five-part series on how shippers can save on LTL freight. The series focuses on these five factors:
In our final installment, we examine technology and how transportation management systems can help you save on LTL freight.
Logistics Technology for LTL Freight
Shippers that take advantage of technology in the logistics and supply chain industry can reap real savings.
Inbound Logistics reports, “Businesses that depend on spreadsheets, paper documents, and emails are waking up to the advantages of more advanced tools.”
Many small and midsize businesses often lack the resources and expertise to implement sophisticated IT solutions on their own, according to the industry publication. However, they want the advantages—efficiency, visibility, and associated savings—that IT solutions provide.
Realizing they can no longer depend on paper methods to manage shipping and logistics, some companies turn to 3PLs (third-party logistics companies) to provide access to current technology.
Third-party logistics companies use TMS’s or Transportation Management Systems to provide huge amounts of data that is used to give its customers a multitude of shipping options. At LPS, our TMS was designed from scratch and allows for significant flexibility and rapid response to meet a shippers customized business needs.
Benefits of a TMS System for LTL Freight
- Procurement: Get freight quotes, manage bidding events and contracts with carriers
- Planning and optimization: Chooses the most efficient shipping modes and routes, and finds opportunities to implement efficient strategies such as load consolidation.
- Execution: Conducts day-to-day shipping activities, such as matching loads with appropriate carriers, tendering and dispatching loads, generating shipping documents, exchanging information with carriers, and monitoring and tracking freight progress.
- Freight bill auditing and settlement: Manages the financial aspects of a freight transaction.
- Reporting and analytics: Analyzes carrier performance, internal performance, and transportation costs.
Many TMS systems also allow shippers to integrate with their company’s own ERP system which greatly improves shipping processes and overall supply chain efficiency.
Market competition forces companies to be lean and quick. TMS and logistics technology provides shippers with data and analytics to help optimize supply chain operations, which helps companies save money overall.