The Ability to Track and Manage Carrier Contracts
Part of what makes carrier selection and rate comparison so complex is the wide variation in carrier contract terms—particularly when it comes to accessorial charges (for example, fees for the use of lift gates or “lumpers,” temporary workers who assist with freight loading or unloading). A single customer will have many different lanes they ship to/from. Therefore, it is important for a robust TMS—like 3PL 360—to support multiple carriers with built-in rates that are maintained by the TMS.
The Ability to Handle Freight Settlement
The logistics manager’s job doesn’t end once the freight has been loaded onto the vehicle. There are still invoices to be reconciled and bills to be paid at the end of the cycle. To streamline the process, 3PL 360 can audit and pay freight invoices. Our TMS system has the capability of taking invoices as they come in and matching them to loads in the system. It then compares the rated amounts to invoiced amounts based on established rules. Once the invoices are approved, the software applies the necessary general ledger codes to the trucking charges to ensure proper accounting.
The Ability to Provide Item Visibility
When it comes to the whereabouts of their freight, today’s customers are no longer satisfied with assurances that the shipment is en route. Complete transparency is now the expectation, and companies expect their suppliers to be able to pinpoint the exact location of their freight at any given moment. In today’s TMS platforms, especially with the ability to integrate via EDI with a carrier, auto pick up and automatic notifications should be standard.
The Ability to Provide Business Intelligence
In addition to increasingly processing routine freight shipping tasks, 3PL 360 has the capability to analyze the user’s shipping practices and identify opportunities for improvement. It does this by capturing data and using it to develop key performance indicators (KPIs)—metrics showing how an operation is performing in areas like on-time delivery or damage in transit. With 3PL 360’s embedded analytics it provide valuable information for tasks like carrier selection. For instance, a shipper could use the KPIs to create a carrier scorecard, which it then might use to handicap or rate the carriers. For example, if the scorecard showed that a carrier offered the lowest rates but had poor on-time delivery, the shipper would know to divert a time-sensitive shipments to a potentially higher-cost carrier that had a better service record.
Integrated Freight Management Services
While technology solutions can offer many benefits, such as an increase in data and cost-saving automations, a technology solution is typically not the end all be all. When implementing a TMS, one should always ask about further logistics services such as freight claims, dedicated customer service reps, and an account manager who can work with you over time to continue driving down costs & process efficiencies in your logistics department.
For more information and demo of our 3PL 360 Software or any other logistical and supply chain needs call 1.877.660.3362 to speak to a 3PL Links representative, or fill out our contact form.
“Not only did we realize a 15% reduction in freight spend in our first year, but we soon realized that we could never approach the level of expertise that 3PL Links brings to the table.”
– Richard Boyer, Solowave Design
"We could never approach the level of expertise that 3PL Links brings to the table."