The capacity crunch in the shipping industry has tightened shipping demand and emphasized the need for more efficient use of available resources – particularly for LTL freight shipping. Transportation management systems (TMS) answer this need by giving shippers better access to information that helps them streamline the shipping process, create efficiencies in the supply chain and navigate the challenges of limited capacity.
A transportation management system improves the freight shipping process in many ways:
Easily Find the Most Cost-Effective Option
An online TMS allows shippers to quickly compare quotes from multiple LTL freight carriers to find the most cost-effective option. This helps businesses better manage their shipping budgets, particularly as rates continue to increase due to tightened shipping capacity.
Optimize Transit Times
In addition to comparing costs, TMS tools help you quickly analyze transit times to identify the carrier that will get your shipment where you need it, when you need it. This allows shippers to better plan and control their use of limited resources.
Enhance Shipment Tracking and Visibility
Shipment tracking is one of the biggest challenges for freight shippers – especially when limited capacity leads to missed pickups and delayed deliveries. TMS tools empower businesses with real-time data that gives transparency to their shipping processes, allowing them to mitigate delays due to capacity and better manage their shipping schedules. Shippers can check the history of all of their recent shipments, view their scheduled pickups and more to improve the efficiency of every aspect of the supply chain.
Using an online TMS also allows businesses to improve their workflows:
- Quickly compare and manage shipments all in one place, with one login
- Quote and book LTL freight and air freight shipments, plus request FTL freight quotes
- Instantly convert quotes to bills of lading (BOL)
- Easily add insurance at the time a freight shipment is booked
- Import address books and create a commodities list of most commonly shipped goods
By simplifying their shipping processes, businesses free up more time to focus on strategic decisions that make the most of their shipping resources.
Use Reporting to Identify Opportunities
Speaking of strategic decisions, a transportation management system stores historical data about shipments. Businesses can analyze that historical data to identify shipping trends and determine solutions to reduce costs and make their shipping more efficient. This is where a shipping partner can also step in to provide a comprehensive shipping audit.
With TMS technology such as Unishippers’ online Freight Manager®, shippers have the tools to improve the efficiency of their shipping programs and better survive the challenges posed by limited shipping capacity.
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Freight Class Tips to Know
When you schedule a shipment without first determining the proper freight class, there’s a good chance your shipping quote won’t match your final invoice. By taking time to understand the freight classification system, you’ll be able to classify your freight correctly and avoid surprises down the road.