Logistics software manages the supply chain of products from the point of origin to the point of consumption via transportation, inventory, warehousing, material-handling, and packaging features. Also known as logistics management software (LMS), these solutions help businesses streamline shipping, track vehicle maintenance, optimize routes, and provide warehouse management capabilities for quick and efficient workflows.
Some logistics solutions are further categorized as:
All of the software solutions on this list improve business processes by letting logistics companies manage the operations related to warehousing and shipping goods via trucks, airplanes, boats, trains, and more. However, logistics management offers end-to-end control of your supply chain.
Whether your business deals with inbound logistics (linear flow of raw materials from suppliers into a warehouse) or outbound logistics (storing, transporting, and distributing goods to customers), web-based logistics software providers can help your business streamline real-time operations.
The perfect end-to-end logistics software will match you with the correct carrier depending on the type of freight, find the best shipper dependent on the services offered and the cost, and automate all of the busy work needed along the entire supply chain. When utilizing a logistics management system, you’ll can enjoy the following benefits:
Logistics software can refine your transportation methods by managing your data correctly. Shippers can reduce expected delivery timelines by using automation software to schedule shipments in a convenient, predictable path for your employee’s existing workloads.
Automation within your logistics process can also help make your business become more predictable. This predictability can lead to improved data on your freight management, allowing you to make real-time adjustments as needed. Quality logistics software will let you run reports and let you make more informed decisions based on your trends and history.
Logistics software can help combat rising transportation costs and save money by comparing different shipping services, delivery agents, and shipping methods to find the most cost-effective option possible. Implementing an online logistics software can provide real-time rates of various carriers, which can let you select your preferred carrier based on a number of factors, including cost.
Using software, your company may also find logistics service providers offering expedited shipping, which can improve the planning of your shipments and lead to higher customer satisfaction; benefits that should help make you a more profitable organization over time.
Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, has been on the rise in nearly every industry. In the logistics industry, cloud-based software can help give a more visible and transparent view of your operations. And user-friendly mobile apps provide you with continual, real-time visibility into your logistics no matter where you are. Companies implementing SaaS logistics options to be more flexible, robust, and affordable.
Cloud technology is always connected to your resources and integrated with all departments. Important data such as carrier rates, party screening data, and your vendor list can be updated frequently with the most up-to-date information. This is particularly useful for eCommerce companies which need constant online visibility.
Not only does cloud software give access to your employees from any location, but it also provides a more affordable way of paying for the software. The most cost-effective logistics management software products are billed on a subscription-based pricing model, meaning your organization only pays on an annual or monthly basis.
As previously mentioned, there are several categories of logistic management software. Here are some of the top options:
Freight forwarding logistics software helps freight companies manage cargo receipt, storage, and delivery. It also creates documents needed to move shipments such as air waybills and bill of lading through quotations, bookings, and pickup orders. Freight forwarding works with air, ocean, and ground shipments. These solutions give step-by-step guides on how to handle your cargo and freight forwarding operations on a daily basis.
Logistics software for freight forwarders gives real-time access to information throughout the entire shipment process. Whether the logistics process is still in the order entry and purchasing stage, through bookings, customs processing and security, or at the final shipment and delivery stage, freight forwarding logistics software will streamline the documenting of the shipping and transportation process. Software combines all areas of the logistics process to create unified effort between procurement, inventory management, vendors and carriers.
Also known as trucking dispatch software, this subset of logistics software is made for trucking companies to automate the route optimization and scheduling processes for drivers. This includes tools for monitoring orders, trucks, trailers, and drivers from a centralized program. These solutions are designed to reduce the overall cost of running your fleet on top of improving productivity.
Some fleet management companies may rely on trucking software. Fleet management businesses will have more of a focus on local transportation rather than long-haul. Usually, these businesses deal with shorter driving distances, so efficient route planning is a must. They also have strong asset management features that cover preventive maintenance on their vehicle fleet.
Dispatching tools within logistics software can ensure orders and deliveries are being fulfilled in a specified time slot. Dispatchers can monitor the locations of trucks via GPS tracking capabilities. This shows how far along routes drivers are from nearing their destination, which helps detail the big picture of whether your business is operating on schedule or not.
Scheduling and dispatching tend to go hand-in-hand. When one driver is completing an order, they can instantly be scheduled into an available slot depending on their location and if they are the most optimal person to handle the delivery.
Third-party logistics software (3PL) is the use of a third-party business to outsource distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services. Many 3PL businesses need their own logistics software to manage their clients and the variety of outsourced logistics services they are providing them.
3PL software allows these fulfillment operations to complete orders, manage their warehouses, coordinate their shipping, track what is in their inventory, and establish billing. 3PL software and logistics management software are almost identical in functionality, but 3PL software will provide more of a focus for third-party logistics operations.
Some of the top benefits of 3PL software include improved warehouse management and inventory control, labor management, efficient workflows, finding cheaper and reliable shipping, accurate billing, and document management.