Unless you still love fax-machines and booking LTL freight the old fashion way; there are some great fast-evolving ways to automate and simplify the process. Historically, freight organizations and shipping customers had to fax shipping related documentation and make endless phone calls to stay on top of their loads. Thankfully there are a whole host of new fast-evolving software and automation that have made the tedious LTL freight process a thing of the past.
Transportation Management Software
TMS or Transportation Management Software is designed to simplify and automate many of the most time-consuming LTL freight shipping tasks. From fetching quotes from multiple carriers in real-time. To caching data and auto-filling commodities you ship the most, addresses of clients you ship to frequently, and even remembering standing configurations and weights of the products you ship.
TMS software can also auto-generate the actual LTL Freight documentation or BOL. Ultimately, helping you disseminate the shipping documents and labels to wherever the actual load is picking up at and notifying the carrier to pick up. A Robust Transportation Management Software System can help make your shipping team truly efficient!
API Automation and Connectivity E-Commerce Platforms
API’s or Application Programming Interface technology is also allowing huge efficiency advances in the way we handle LTL freight shipping. API technology easily allows your Transportation Management Software to communicate seamlessly with your preferred E-commerce platform. Literally injecting your freight shipping rates and booking SOP’s into your website.
Allowing your clients to purchase products, select the freight price and carrier that works for them, and pay for the whole transaction in one shot at checkout. Many freight providers have fixed or standing freight API’s for top e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Woo-Commerce to make the connection and setup process painless and quick. However Restful APIs can generally be used to connect to just about any platform with a little bit of coding knowledge and time.
API Automation to ERP Business Software
APIs can also be used to easily connect and automate LTL freight shipping procedures to major ERP business software systems. Company’s such as NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, etc., can link via API to quote, book, and finalize LTL freight load booking procedures. Thus, allowing your team to focus their time and energy on higher-level tasks and improving overall efficiencies of the final logistical and supply chain process.
Tracking Automation Enhancement
In the era of Amazon, everyone expects seamless automated tracking updates on their purchases. Most technology-forward Transportation Management Software can provide these features. Allowing all pertinent parties to be kept in the loop electronically from the time the load is dispatched to final delivery. If properly used, these great new tracking automation can save your team tons of time. Eliminating the need to answer endless calls and emails about where customers’ goods are or possibly why they have not delivered yet.
TMS Systems that even quote freight and parcel shipping side by side
Some Transportation Managements Software systems even allow you to inject and shop your freight rates and parcel rates side by side in real-time. Allowing you to always know the exact cut off for which mode of shipping is most cost-effective, for the myriad of LTL freight shipping scenarios you might encounter daily. This can not only save your team time but ultimately a lot of money always shipping with the most cost-effective mode.
In summary, unless you love your fax machine and making countless calls to keep your LTL freight shipping organized. There are tons of new great fast-evolving software and technologies, that can help create massive efficiency for your shipping and operations teams. The only question is what are you going to do with all your cost savings and time you will have freed up? Maybe you can take over a whole new industry! Or just take that well deserved vacation!