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5 Ways Enterprise Shipping Software Reduce Costs and Mitigate Risks

Enterprise shipping software solutions have been around for quite a while, but some shipping companies including NVOCCs and logistics providers may not have fully understood their impact on modern shipping. Well, when it comes to reducing operational expenses and improving profitability, shipping software plays an essential role.

Here are five key benefits of using integrated software solutions for shipping:

1. Prevent cargo loss or damage by allowing both shipping companies and customers to have complete container visibility while in transit or in carrier-operated warehouses.

This is especially useful for overseas transactions where goods and containers pass through complex supply chain logistics cycles that usually take weeks to complete. Container tracking software give carriers a real-time view of cargo movement, which allows them to track, monitor, and control the entire shipping process. They also make sure that orders are delivered on time and in best condition. Also knows as logistics tracking software, this application enables both carriers and suppliers to give their customers peace of mind by keeping them updated about the exact location and status of their orders.

2. Make best use of container and stowage space to maximize profit.

Operating cost and profit are major considerations when shipping goods. These are also among the reasons large companies idle their smaller vessels and deploy larger, more fuel-efficient carriers, or automate their operations using shipping management software. Doing so enables them to carry greater volumes of shipment in a single port call, which practically reduces their expenses on fuel and maximizes their profit through economies of scale.

At some point, shipping companies have to deal with awkward cargoes that are hard to fit into regular containers. This often results in broken stowage and dead or unutilized container space. Container management software quickly solves this problem. Designed specifically for container fleets, this application automates cargo load planning, optimization, and distribution of container stocks, which improves organization and increases the storage capacity of each container. For non-container cargoes, shipping software companies have also developed customized applications such as bunker management software designed for bunker carriers.

3. Pinpoint existing and potential container damages before they become completely irreversible.

Container damages can result in serious problems during shipment and or transshipments. Container repair software can help carriers pinpoint potential problems in containers and manage the labor-intensive repair process. This includes automating the associated paperwork, sending estimates, tracking status, and billing. Most importantly, this software application enables carriers to act quickly before those problems turn into expensive and extremely dangerous situations.

4. Streamline communication between ships, carriers, and ports, to facilitate seamless execution of everyone involved in the logistics network.

Cheap and streamlined communication is part of every successful shipping transaction. Shipping line software provide easy ways for logistics managers to send and receive messages using various communication devices and channels such as voice, SMS, and email. When problems arise, notifications can be communicated instantly across the supply chain, and those in charge can implement solutions to address issues and keep all operations on track. This capability is extremely important for cargo consolidators who use NVOCC software to constantly communicate with vessel operators from the shore.

5. Ensure that trade rules and regulations are strictly followed.

Every country has its own set of trade regulations for shipping. Sidestepping those regulations can result in penalties that include hefty fines, cancellation of trade license, or even imprisonment. Liner principal software streamlines the trade compliance process by eliminating paperwork to make the whole process fast and hassle-free. Carriers equipped with integrated shipping agency software receive updates on compliance requirements in each country or trade route. This helps to ensure that every segment of the supply chain has been appraised and well-informed of compliance requirements.

They say “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. This saying is worth some serious reflection especially when it comes to container or bulk shipping where small glitches can easily develop into extremely expensive and irreversible damages. The initial investments for liner shipping software implementation can be overwhelming at first, but when long-term profitability and competitiveness are on the line, it is certainly worth serious consideration.

The Various Benefits of Shipping Software

Many carriers and ship operators have to deal with problems like huge bunker costs, labor costs, huge charter costs, poor tracking system and costly communication between the vessels. If such problems are not efficiently addressed, shipping operations are likely to encounter huge losses. Apart from the financial loss, such issues can harm the company’s reputation and goodwill. Shipping software allows carriers and ship operators to reduce expenses and get considerable cost benefits by minimizing the various tasks involved like time consuming and labor-intensive processes like redundant data entries, documentation, inventory, invoicing and much more.

In the last few years, the shipping industry has seen a considerable change as the tasks involved have become less time consuming and labor intensive. This means that all the shipping procedures have become error free, efficient and faster. As different business organizations have their specific needs and requirements when it comes to the shipping operations, the companies have come with various types of shipping software solutions which can serve specific functions as per the business needs and requirements.

With the advancement of internet and technology, the shipping industry has seen a significant change and thus helps simplify various important shipping operations which, requires considerable time and a lot of expertise. The shipping software offers scalable and efficient solutions to enable carriers maximize profits and reduce operational expenses. It also helps shipping lines in controlling shipping activities between different ports. A number of multinational corporations, today necessitate an efficient heavy duty team which offers them excellent and cost effective shipping operations. However, the most important factor here is comparing the different shipping rates. Business organizations need to choose a reputed and reliable company which delivers cost and quality which are definitely business friendly.

Selecting an efficient and cost effective company means saving profits and reducing operational costs to a significant level. Also, before choosing any company, you must consider the international shipping rates, compare the quotes offered and then select the one which suits your needs in the best way. The services you choose must help you to gain success and ensure cost effective and absolutely safe transportation. Many business organizations today use USPS software to ensure that mailing services are completed in an efficient and easy way. These mailing solutions make postage quite easy and safe as well. Thus, choosing a reliable and reputed company with efficient shipping software which integrates with your business operations and contributes in business growth as well as sustainability is quite an important task.

Frequently Asked Questions

Manufacturing companies have three logistical options for the shipping process: they can hire full time logistics professionals; they can outsource their logistics to third party logistics (3PL) providers; or they can implement freight shipping software, also known as truckload logistics-software. When shipping companies become large enough, they usually hire in house logistics professionals to manage a privately owned shipping fleet. But until that time, the cost of running and maintaining a shipping fleet is usually prohibitive, leading shippers to choose between the more economical solutions of 3PL and logistics software. Traditionally, small to midsize companies choose 3PL over freight shipping software. But they often do so based on misconceptions about the software. Below, we tackle four common misperceptions of freight shipping software.

It Requires Special Knowledge to Operate

From a business standpoint, the basic premise of logistics software is that it allows small to midsize shipping companies the opportunity to become their own logistics provider. Therefore, the software offers an easy to use interface that does not require logistics expertise. In fact, any employee that is familiar with his or her company’s shipping process can usually navigate the software with relative ease. Because the logistics process can be complex, logistics-software is designed to make it as easy as possible, putting the power of the logistics function in the hands of smaller shipping companies to help them save money without compromising the quality of their logistics solutions.

It Doesn’t Offer As Much Expertise as 3PL

In terms of expertise, logistics software and 3PL are equivalent. Logistics experts devise 3PL solutions, but logistics experts also devise the solutions offered by logistics software. The only difference is that logistics software allows you to choose your own solutions based on logistics expertise that has been developed to apply to your company’s specific shipping process. Logistics-software providers are software companies. But they employ full time logistics experts as well as top business veterans of the freight transportation industry.

It Doesn’t Offer as Much Specificity as 3PL

The belief that logistics software can’t meet a company’s specific shipping needs stems from the misperception that the software is pre-designed to apply to certain situations and therefore offers little flexibility. But in reality, logistics-software is designed to meet the specific needs of each company that uses it. When a company opts for logistics software, the software provider performs an in depth analysis of the company’s shipping process and tailors the software to reflect specific findings.

Freight Shipping Software Costs more Up Front than 3PL

The idea that logistics-software has a significant start up cost is based on the misperception that it is only offered as an internal software solution. While logistics software is available as an internal solution, it is also available on a SaaS model. Therefore, implementing logistics software does not necessitate purchasing computer hardware and hiring a computer expert to perform installation services.

Why Shipping Software Is Crucial in Modern Maritime Industry

Liner vessels carry more than 60 percent of cargoes transported by sea each year. Transporting these cargoes involves a network of ships, trucks, and trains moving through several transfer points known as intermodal connectors. Any problem or disruption anywhere in the network can result in shipment delays and increased costs – issues that hurt many shipping companies even until now. Eliminating such problems is the reason why more and more liner ship operators invest in liner shipping software.

Liner vessels such as Roll-on / Roll-off (RoRo), container ships, and break bulk vessels are capable of moving thousands of truckloads of cargo on a single voyage at full capacity. However, managing cargo transport operations can be complicated and may require hundreds of workers to manually perform routines from packing, to warehousing, inventory, loading, transshipping, and discharging of consignments. Integrated shipping software automates time-consuming and labor-intensive processes involved in tracking and managing cargo transport process resulting in increased efficiency, profitability, and reduced overhead.

Marine software solutions can be purchased off-the-shelf and at affordable price from many software houses in the market. These are easy to install, can be customized to fit different business requirements, and can be easily integrated into existing business platforms. Additionally, modern shipping line software have built-in “switching” feature which ensures that operators and their customer are not forced to use on-size-fits-all system.

One example of maritime software application which can be found is container tracking software. Operators use this software application to provide their clients visibility on the actual progress of the cargo transport process, giving them peace of mind knowing that their shipments are in good hands and are delivered on time. It captures real-time reports on container movements including departure, transshipment, and discharging.

To maximize profitability, shipping companies use voyage calculation software to forecast operational costs and income they will generate from each voyage or port call. Also known as voyage accounting software, this application enables operators to calculate all possible expenses including port costs, cargo costs including voyage and bunker costs. Operators can use this information to identify desirable and undesirable freights, manage their cargo mix, increase or decrease volume when necessary, and choose the most cost-effective deployment and rotation of a vessel to ensure profitability. Additionally, operators can use this application to run multiple calculations simultaneously and compare rates in order to determine options with best commercial value.

Shipping software companies continue to develop solutions in order to provide operators with tools they need to automate critical processes and develop strategies to effectively streamline and simplify their operations, reduce overhead, and improve their services. Operators must evaluate their business carefully and decide on the right type of shipping software solution to use.

Ground Breaking Software Solution For Seamless Shipping

Business operations in today’s interconnected market has evolved significantly. With the rising international and commercial trade, tracking incoming and outgoing goods from different locations has proven to be a challenging task for a lot of businesses. In order to achieve harmonized shipping operations, good shipping software is required.

A reliable shipping software solution seamlessly merges into your business’ processes and work flow. The goal for using such software is to automate all labor intensive functions as much as possible.

In the shipping industry, there is a need for a flexible solution that can efficiently aid in managing and overseeing shipping functions with the use of the Internet. A unified administration system controls cargo flow management from a central location which offers the capability to control agents, vessels, and equipments. All involved parties are able to trace the shipment’s movements in real-time.

What is important about a shipping software solution is that it can be tailored to automate existing procedures and provide built in best practices at the same time. You can enforce selected modules that conforms to your shipping needs regardless if you are a large container carrier or a local feeder operator. If the company wants to improve the utilization of their existing container stock, an off-the-shelf equipment control system will come with built in modules for container tracking, container forecasting, turn around analysis, lease management, and demurrage detention billing.

The use of a voyage calculation software will provide complete control over voyage revenues and expenses to maximize profitability. It will automatically calculate voyage and port cost related fees and expenses and reconcile supplier invoices against actual volumes and agreed supplier tariffs. This will avoid costly mistakes and helps to ensure an integrated information flow between operations and accounts payable.

Shipping software provides features that will allow shipping companies to automate processes that have been hard to control and that still rely mainly on manual procedures. An all-in-one system ensures that all the important operational elements in this industry are managed in the most efficient way. The primary objective of having shipping software in place is to have a completely organized shipping process that increases productivity and reduces operational expenses. The complexity of transportation processes to and from any part of the world should be reduced considerably for greater ROI. Shipping software solutions help in achieving excellent customer service as well as streamline operations.

With adaptable off-the-shelf solutions accessible to gain competitive edge, it is vital for shipping agencies and shipping companies to utilize modern software technology in their daily business.

Introduction of Shipping Software and SaaS

Introduction

Shipping software solutions automate the process for manufacturers or fulfillment organizations from packaging, shipment processing, tracking and tracing to invoice editing. The system delivers shipping and logistics processing, export compliance, and customer service functionality in one integrated application, all from the convenience of a desktop PC. Shipping software solutions on web portals, can be accessed any time from any location by the customers to track their orders. The solutions also provide secured layers of technologies for web host servers to communicate over the Internet.

In today’s economic climate where organizations watch every penny, staying up-to-date on the latest requirements and regulations and freedom of choosing carriers, is the need of time. Using the shipping solution, allows real-time access to major carriers such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL. It also provides rate-shopping, freight pickups, appropriate labels and documentation generation, and also real-time status of shipments that helps to track shipments not delivered on time.

The shipping software solutions provided can collect and store activity information and make data available through reports as per the customers’ requirement. Due to these solutions organizations realize and achieve value from their technology investments and manage the forever changing challenges in a volatile market.

Integration and Monetary Gains

Organizations can maximize savings by integrating the solutions into their business practices, where all cost-analysis and rate-shopping is done automatically, leaving more time and money at their disposal. Integration can be done with systems such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Sage ERP X3, PeopleSoft, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP R/3, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, and others. Time is saved due to the automated order processing with minimal data entry and eliminates re-keying of data during the delivery of the product/order to the customer (fulfillment process).

Cost-effective Software as a Service (SaaS)

The entire software industry is moving towards service-based products (SaaS) rather than one-time purchases and major investment in technology. One of the biggest advantage to an organization is the ability to reduce IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the SaaS provider. Market trends point towards improving business-to-business connectivity that helps organizations in streamlining communications with their customers. Many shipping system vendors have started to offer the option to deploy applications at their customer (manufacturers or fulfillment organizations) site or host the software system through the vendor’s own server.

New Solutions Meet Target

It is critical an organization understands where improvements can be made throughout their process and get the right tools to effect these changes. Organizations who understand the importance of investing in technology and more efficient processes have their eye on the required goal – a return on investments by meeting all the customer requirements.

Benefits of Using Packaged Shipping Software

It’s hard to imagine a shipping business without an IT department nowadays. As technology becomes more and more advanced, carriers keep up by taking advantage of the latest innovations and best practices in the industry in order to remain competitive. Forward thinking operators have taken advantage of the rapidly changing technology by using advanced shipping software solutions to enhance their competitive advantage. However, when it comes to choosing the right software solution, the shipping industry is divided between in-house and packaged solutions. Shipping companies need to analyze their unique requirements to determine the type of business solution that will bring more advantage to their daily operations.

Global operators seem to have conflicting views with regard to the cost-effectiveness of building in-house IT systems compared with buying ready-made, customizable platforms. Both have their own advantage when it comes to streamlining operations that have direct effect on the cost-efficiency of a shipping business. Understanding the specific differences between these two systems can help operators make more informed decisions in using their resources.

Bespoke System

Many operators prefer hiring programmers and software developers, and build customized software to fit their specific business requirements. Doing this gives them full control of software development. However, bespoke or in-house systems will require time until they are working live, which will delay the positive impact of automation sometimes up to 3-4 years as seen for bigger implementations. It will also consume resources on the carrier side not only from the IT but also from the involved departments.

In addition, the fact that technology evolves rapidly, software solutions that have been custom-tailored to support a specific function may date quickly and not work on newer platforms, necessitating a painful upgrade that may include an expensive migration process. For the same reason, in-house systems require skilled IT staff which results in increased operational expenses – something that does not sound interesting in a slumping economy.

Packaged System

Generally, ready-made shipping software are a lot cheaper and easier to implement when compared with in-house systems. In fact, buying off-the-shelf solution can be 10 to 50 times cheaper than developing a bespoke system. In addition, modern packaged software incorporates a switching capability, which allows the user to customize each application to handle specific requirements without any expensive re-programming. Once customized, packaged software have the capability to automate time-consuming and resource-intrusive business processes.

Modern packages solutions are flexible enough to work for almost any carrier, regardless of size, specialization, or local requirements. This capability makes it even more appealing for vessel operators to buy off-the-shelf instead of commissioning expensive in-house solutions.

Packaged software solutions are widely available in the software market and can be purchased at very reasonable prices. In addition, many software companies offer excellent guarantee periods for their products during which any software issues are fixed without extra cost.

Change can be Painful

Despite the impressive features of packaged shipping software solutions, many carriers are still stuck with bespoke systems because of perceived difficulties that accompany a change in IT infrastructure. In most cases, these difficulties have something to do with legacy systems which often control key areas of a shipping business. Change in this case must be managed properly using correct methodologies avoid common problems that usually come with the process of implementing a new business system.

Shipping goods involves too many complicated processes that require focus and expertise in all aspects. To be more productive, operators must focus on their core business which is operating ships. They should not divert large amounts of resources to other activities outside their expertise to avoid uncontrolled expenses that can hurt their business in the long run.

Benefits of a Shipping Software Solution

Traditional ways of managing shipping activities often lack real-time tracking and information which requires a lot of face to face interaction among employees. The advancement of technology has provided every available option for shipping and logistics companies to manage and improve their business more efficiently. To gain a competitive advantage in the rising market, every shipping company should ensure that the best technological tools are adapted to assist in improving their business process activities.

Since global trade has been increasing over the past years, it is important for shipping industries to utilize a shipping management software based on a company’s specific needs. Customized software that are essential for a company’s operation are developed and designed for different shipping operations such as liner principals, liner agency, feeder operators, NVOCC, surveyors, container terminals and claim handlings. Shipping software has helped companies in various parts of the world enhance their productivity and competitiveness through better and organize planning and management of their operational activities.

Save on Costs

One of the main concerns of every company is the high operating costs involved in their day to day activities. By having software that generates an automated solutions, costs and expenses condition are visible, making them easy to monitor, control and track properly. Hiring a shipping software provider eliminates the need for an additional in-house IT expert or another worker to fully navigate the various components of the software. An overall user friendly interface, functional menus and other features with the highest quality standards are combined in one system which can be completed in a couple of minutes than the usual work hours as compared to the traditional process. Most of these software providers have their own technical support team which can assist and answer questions and concerns regarding their software.

More Efficient Operations

Shipping software covers various business activities ranging from bookings, operations, documentation, managing distribution and other back office support. Transaction inflows and outflows are processed and documented more easily without the need for time consuming and tedious retyping of data. Redundant processes are eliminated thereby a more simple and efficient handling of operational activities is possible. All of these activities are incorporated into one system which provides an economical resource in managing a company’s needs.

Implementing an information technology platform allows a shipping company to provide a faster and more precise process in facilitating the flow of a business operation. The importance of having an automated tool no matter how big or small a shipping business is it can improve the efficiency of a company’s operation. In providing the best solution for any shipping and logistics company, continuous investment in the latest technology should always be a priority. Having an up to date and right process is not only beneficial for a company but is also of value to their customers. Utilizing a shipping software provider can be the best solution for a shipping company. It doesn’t just reduce costs; it also leverages control and improves the overall process thereby increasing productivity.

Advantages of Shipping Software Solutions

Over the past few years, automation of business processes has been accepted by almost every industry, be it, telecommunication, aviation, banking and many more. Shipping industry also accepted it as automation simplifies many crucial shipping operations that requires expertise and is consumes a lot of time. Choosing shipping software that integrates with your work flow and for a long-term business growth and sustainability is a crucial task.

Below I have listed out few points to elaborate the advantages of shipping software.

1. Comprehensive

Shipping software is more comprehensive as removes the change of human error and is an innovative approach to shipping process.

2. Affordable

Traditionally most of the large-scale shipping companies still rely on 3rd party logistics or hiring a logistics expert to manage their logistics operation. Hiring a logistics expert or a 3rd party logistics requires huge and recurring investment. But shipping software can be implemented by any small or big business owners as it is cost effective, simple to use and gives appropriate results.

3. Full control of shipping arrangements

Most of the shipping companies face the problem of lack of communication when their logistics operation is handled by 3rd party logistics company. A logistics or shipping software effectively place the power of logistics function in the hands of shipping companies by providing an easy user-customer interface, making it an ideal transportation management program.

4. Excellent delivery time

Logistics software benefits the companies by improving their shipping time and reducing the cost of shipping process including warehouse management. It examines the optimal integrated transportation solution that suits the transportation of goods.

5. Record Maintenance

A logistics or shipping software maintains a database to store the records required for keeping a track of the various processes associated with the supply chain. The software can manage, distribute, keep a check on warehousing, maintain inventory, transportation details and expenses and also presents a customer-friendly service option.

Marine Operations Made Easy With Integrated Shipping Software Solutions

International shipping presents new challenges every day. With these challenges, ship operators are constantly finding better ways to simplify every aspect of daily operations, improve efficiency, and maximize profit. Good thing, these benefits, which seemed impossible to achieve 20 years ago, are now widely available with the development of integrated shipping software.

Many ship operators and carriers find themselves dealing with high bunker costs, high charter costs, high labor costs, expensive communication between vessels and poor tracking systems. If these issues are not addressed at the right time, shipping operations become prone to encounter high losses. When any of these happens, beside the financial impact the company risks damaging its reputation and eventually loses customers.

Shipping solutions software> enables ship operators and carriers to minimize expenses and gain significant cost benefits by reducing the amount of work involved in moving cargo across international borders. This is done by automating a number of tasks that are labor-intensive and time consuming processes such as redundant data entry, inventory, documentation, invoicing, etc…

Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to shipping operations, shipping software companies have developed different kinds of marine software solutions with their specific intended functions. Advanced software applications for shipping such as container management software allow merchants to easily control and manage container activities across multiple vessels. This enables operators to track the status and location of containers to minimize damage or loss.

Two other important kinds of marine solutions software are Voyage estimation software which calculates the length of time it will take for each shipment to reach its destination, and voyage accounting software which can be used run calculations of transaction costs. Using these solutions, operators can rate shop between carriers, compare routes, and identify commercial options with best revenue potential. Vessel operators use these software applications to compute bunker costs, chartering costs, port costs, canal fees, and load/discharge expenses, helping them to avoid expensive routes, evade risky procedures, and ensure that deliveries are always on time.

In addition, modern carriers are also using container tracking software which is used to show the exact locations of container. Container tracking software also records transaction details such as exact times certain shipments leave the port, transshipments, and load/discharge activities. Using this software helps ensure visibility and minimize loss of consignments.

To recapitulate, shipping solutions software is the key to success in modern-day shipping. It streamlines complex processes and removes bottlenecks throughout the shipment order cycle. Most shipping software can be integrated into existing platforms and customized to best serve specific purposes.