Monthly Archives: July 2017

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.

Top Five Reasons It Makes Sense to Consider an Integrated Endicia Shipping Software Solution

Endicia is one of the oldest and most respected electronic postage providers, in competition with only a few others, which include Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes. You could say that Endicia was the original purveyor of electronic postage, a claim that their moniker makes which can be traced back to the late 80s, when founders Amine Khechfé and Scott Montgomery launched the company. By 2007, the company would be acquired by Newell Rubbermaid for an undisclosed price. Today, Endicia serves millions of customers daily, offering them a cost effective electronic postage solution that can drastically trim the price they are paying for postage. It is one of the top favored solutions for ecommerce store owners. Plenty of eCommerce shopkeepers are unaware that many of the remedial pack and ship processes they experience daily can actually be fully automated by integrating an Endicia shipping software solution. The top five reasons to consider doing so will be explained in this article for you.

Reason One: Easy Label Printing

While there are options to print shipping labels from Endicia, are they compatible with your elected shopping cart or order management system? If they are not, you could find yourself manually copying and pasting your orders in. This can equate to a large amount of time that you have to spend and can also contribute to increased order errors in the shipping process, which result in returns and dissatisfied customers, ultimately eating into your bottom line. Integrated software can talk to the Endicia API and that API of your online store to automate the shipping information to and from your shopping cart and Endicia, allowing you to easily print accurate and professional shipping labels using the electronic postage provided by Endicia.

Reason Two: Faster Pack & Ship Process

The more orders that you can fill, the happier that your customers will be. By extricating the tedious pack and ship process, as outlined in reason one, you can more accurately fill more orders each day. A software solution can allow you to better expedite your shipping process by speeding up the packing side of the process, so you can get outbound orders out the door sooner.

Reason Three: Fewer Ship Order Errors

Order errors can eat up your profits in a jiffy. When wrong items are shipped, or when items are shipped to the wrong address, they result in costly returns. What’s more is that your customers crave accurate shipping. With an integrated software powering your shipping and order fulfillment process, you can fill more orders more accurately. Furthermore, the best solutions have error flaggers that will find and flag order errors before your shipments are sent out.

Reason Four: Less Time Consuming Status Updates

Your customers need to know when their orders have been shipped. If Endicia can’t talk to your API (in your shopping cart or order management system), then the ship statuses have to be updated manually. Software, however, can automate this process and updated ship statuses, amend or add comments and even send automated tracking numbers to customers once the orders have been shipped out.

Reason Five: More Integrated Order Fulfillment & Management

A good software solution will do more than just talk to your Endicia account and your shopping cart; it will also talk to any order management system that you have in place. This means that you can run multiple stores, for example, and still retain an accurate inventory as the orders are fulfilled in real time. This can eliminate the costs of a fulfillment house while empowering you to take full command of your order and fulfillment processes.