Yes, fuel prices will stay low through 2017, but that means traffic is only going to get worse. And back in 2011 when traffic was comparably light, traffic delays cost the U.S. economy an estimated $121 billion. And with a vulnerable infrastructure, congested trucking and rail routes, and the global financial downturn, many shippers and transportation companies are looking to cut costs. And the primary way your competition is doing that? Transportation management software.
But what do you look for in the best transportation software? How can you be sure you’re getting everything you need to keep costs down? Here’s what the best transportation software can provide:
- Compare Rates and Routes: We wish we could say that everyone knows that shopping for the best freight rate is one of the most time-tested methods for cutting costs. But sadly, up to 80% of shippers overpay because they don’t compare rates. And in the 2015-2016 business cycle, that means it’s essential to compare rates and routes with advanced software. If you’re looking to reduce freight cost this year, here’s where you start.
- Electronic BOL Creator: An electronic Bill of Lading creator can vastly simplify your operations, saving you time and money while also helping compile actionable data about your company. Not only can you auto-fill the BOL, you can email, download, print, transfer, edit, and export to Excel at the push of a button.
- Integration: The best transportation software isn’t just one program, but rather an integrated transportation management system. What does that mean? You want to find transportation management software that not only offers customization for your needs, but software that can be integrated with the other networks and programs you already depend on.
- Electronic Shipment Notification: Automatic shipment notification allows you to instantly alert your customers about the status of their shipment. Plus, you can find electronic shipment notification software that acts as a white label service, so you can have your company branding on each and every notification your customers or clients receive. This software can even link with the carrier you’re using, linking to real-time tracking data. Let your customers know that you’re monitoring their shipment 24/7.
Of course, these are just four of the services the best transportation management software can provide to shippers. As domestic and international shipping becomes more vulnerable to fuel prices and congestion, it’s crucial to optimize every segment of your operations. And there’s no better way to do that than by investing in the best transportation management solutions.