The approximately 12 million trucks, locomotives, rail cars, and vessels that comprise the transportation network move a variety of goods for businesses each year. The planning and coordination of shipments requires some skill in logistics. Freight management software is one option that is favored by some dispatchers to help facilitate streamlined solutions to daily transportation headaches.
How Does Freight Management Software Help Streamline Planning?
For less-than-truckload, or LTL shipments, freight management software can help optimize loads. With so many moving pieces, it can be difficult to accurately determine what goods are going where in an effort to consolidate those trucks that might be finishing their runs at less than capacity. Of course, the added benefit to a software program is that everyone in the office can access it easily.
How Shipment Tracking Cuts Down On Wasted Space.
Trucks actually carry more shipments on a per-ton basis of fewer than 750 miles traveled as compared to shipments by rail. However, for shipments ranging from 750 to 2,000 miles rail travel is the clear winner. It is important to keep in mind that whether it is by truck or by rail, the transportation method will cost the same to transport a full load as it does a half-full one. When considering how to optimize a company’s shipments, saving money in a way that does not cut corners but instead improves efficiency, ranks high.
Loads that are LTL have extra space in the truck. Sometimes, this extra space is regrettable but allowed because the shipment needs to be expedited. Other times the extra space is a sign of poor planning. This might be a lack of clear communication about the needs of the customer, or poor planning on behalf of the transportation company.
Some offices insist that a breakdown in communication between the customer and the office dispatch resulted in the less-than full truckload. The addition of a transportation management system, or TMS, can increase or improve visibility of future shipments. Better visibility means knowledge, which translates to being better prepared to make informed decisions when attempting to optimize management of future loads.
How TMS With Load Board Integrations Can Simplify the Job.
Trucks don’t drive themselves just yet, and the truck driver of shipments is an important component of the transportation network. Finding good drivers can be difficult for some companies. That is why adopting a TMS with load board integration can be helpful. The prospective truck drivers seek out the jobs that they can do, instead of the dispatcher. It is an aspect of planning that is necessary, and yet some transportation companies find it is simplified with load boards.
Are There Possible Problems With Relying On a Software Program?
Some offices may dislike the idea of relying so heavily on the software program to help with shipments. It is true that the more integrated a program becomes to the daily work, the more workers come to rely on it to help. The issue that might arise with this scenario is an over-reliance on the software. If something were to go wrong with the software, it is important to have a form of backup procedures so that shipments are not interrupted.
Many dispatch offices seem to favor freight management software. The main reasons seem to relate to an improvement in load visibility to decrease LTL shipments, and to an overall streamlining of the process. The ability of the whole office to be on the same page so to speak with upcoming loads and planning is great for communication and improved rapport between the office and the customers.