Quick Guide to LTL Trucking Software
Less than load (LTL) freight shipping has been especially beneficial for shippers looking for a more cost-effective, flexible, and environmentally friendly way to move various shipments. This is why LTL trucking has been on the rise within the industry.
However, despite the rise of the business offering, it’s still a very complex operation that comes with its own set of challenges for carriers — determining rates, optimizing load and capacity, finding the right partners or drivers for the moves. That’s why it’s critical for logistics managers to invest in quality LTL trucking software.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the challenges of LTL trucking and how the right software can make all the difference in mitigating these challenges. We’re also going to talk about how to find the right LTL shipping software for your operations.
Read on to learn more.
Using an LTL TMS Software
A transportation management system (TMS) is a platform designed to improve the efficiency of your operations. An LTL TMS Software built for LTL shipping will help streamlining the entire transportation process – from managing the complex rating to leg-based planning. A TMS allows LTL managers to automatic the entire process, so they can spend more time focusing on the other tasks at hand.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using a LTL TMS Software:
TMS software allows you to track your LTLs legs at all times. When you know what the status is at all times, you can better communicate with customers and suppliers, creating better accountability.
TMS software can generate data reports quickly, which will give you better insight into your LTL shipping activity as well as your business outcomes. Having valuable information at your hands, such as which legs, lanes, or customers are most profitable, will help you make better business decisions in the future based on hard data rather than your gut. Rose Rocket customer, Experior Logistics, talks about how they use the analytics module in our TMS to report on their business in their customer story. Learn how they leverage the reports to keep the team informed of what's going on day to day.
A robust TMS will offer you technological benefits such as real-time LTL freight rates, governance, and organizational control. This will allow you to make choices based on speed and scalability, and as you ship more freight, your TMS will grow with you, streamlining the entire transportation process.
Simplified Data Entry
With a modern LTL TMS, order entry is automated between Google autofills, customer imports, or customer-submitted orders. You’ll never have to worry about inputting the wrong information as you would with manual data entry. With TMS software you’ll have the advantage of things like automatic storage of entries like fuel surcharges and accessorials.
TMS software also takes care of your transportation accounting, such as invoice retrieval, consolidation, and audits. A TMS like Rose Rocket integrates with your accounting software, which helps streamline your accounting processes even further.
This is incredibly helpful when you have multiple freight shipments and locations each week—that’s a lot of invoices to be managed, paid, and audited correctly.
When you choose a cloud-based TMS, automatic document storage is part of the deal. That means any discussions you have with customers, drivers, and partners, will be logged and saved for future references.
The software also allows all parties to communicate in real-time, so if and when things go wrong, everyone will be notified and there will be fewer missteps in finding a solution.
What to Look for in TMS Software
Not all TMS software solutions are created equally. In that same sense, not every LTL trucking company will require the same features. Therefore, it’s important to address your needs before narrowing down your choices. Overall, you want TMS software that will complement the resources and capabilities of your operation.
Having said that, here are the general features you need to consider when choosing a LTL trucking software:
- Complex Planning and Dispatching: LTL operations are complex for a reason. Picking a software that allows for planning by splitting your order into different legs, will allow for you to plan and dispatch at the same time.
- Internal Rating Engine: Your LTL rates can depend on a lot of factors, your TMS should allow for that flexibility.
- Partner Carrier Management: Your customers may request for lanes you don't cover, so your TMS should allow for some level of partner management so that you can dispatch to the right partner and keep customers satisfied.
- Contract Management: The software should also allow you to track any existing contracts with individual carriers in real-time. Bonus points if it also displays the total costs for each so you can pick the most cost-efficient carrier.
- Shipment Consolidation: It’s also ideal to go with a TMS software that maximizes your load consolidation by scheduling and arranging shipments in the most efficient sets, which will further cut your shipping costs.
- Freight Estimates, Settlements, and Payments: Even a basic TMS software should be able to calculate your delivery costs based on shipping method, distance, and cargo weight. It should also allow your accountants to work on all invoices, create payments, allocate costs, reduce any related errors, and allow for tolerances when it comes to match-pay settlements.
- Tracking Capabilities: Your TMS platform should provide you with real-time exchange of distribution data between the carrier, customer, and supplier.
- Product Visibility: Your TMS software should allow you to view your shipment status at all times. Bonus points if it allows you to rate and route your packages.
- Warehouse Management: TMS software should allow you to oversee all operations in real-time from warehousing to distribution facilities and even manufacturing.
Keep in mind that your operations may require even more features than listed above—or less. That’s why it’s crucial to map out your needs before narrowing down your search.
If you’re in search of a robust TMS software provider for your LTL trucking company, look no further. Rose Rocket was built LTL first, allowing for complex planning and dispatching that will save you hours every day. Contact Rose Rocket today to learn more about our LTL specific features that will help your team operate better and faster.