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.