For shippers large and small, maintaining strong relationships with a reliable network of carriers is essential. While working with just a select few carriers every time can be tempting, it can also leave shippers in a bind if those carriers are unavailable at critical moments. And if the shipper isn’t diligent about assessing the market, they may struggle to discover whether they’re still paying a competitive rate.
Working with a larger network, on the other hand, offers shippers the chance to solicit more quotes and ensure they’re getting the best price. But a larger network brings its own set of logistical problems—like increased time spent on the phone to access and compare rates.
In the modern era, shippers don’t have to choose between cost-effectiveness and convenience. A robust transportation management system (TMS) can streamline the carrier selection process, offering an easy-to-use web portal that makes it simple for shippers to find the best possible rate, communicate with carriers, and keep a record of the transaction from start to finish.
Here are a few reasons to consider adopting this software.
Compare and contrast rates
Without a TMS, getting rates from a large number of carriers can be incredibly time consuming. Staff are left hunting down phone numbers and email addresses, sitting on hold, and chasing down responses. As a result, they often rely heavily on their go-tos. But if those carriers don’t usually handle a particular route, they may struggle to deliver within the time frame and price range that other carriers could offer. And without checking with a dozen other carriers first, the shipper may never know that they’re overpaying.
By implementing the right TMS, shippers can leverage a competitive bidding environment to gain access to the best rates with ease. Through the web portal, carriers now vie for the attention of shippers—not the other way around.
This also makes it easy for shippers to assess carriers based on factors other than price alone. With all the rates laid out plainly in front of them, they can weigh up things like a carrier’s reputation and time estimates before making a final decision. This means they can make the optimal choice, every time.
Simplify the lead-up process
Using a web-based TMS portal doesn’t just make the carrier selection process easier. It also streamlines and simplifies shipment management.
Through the portal, shippers can communicate electronically with their carriers—ensuring necessary documents are completed, important details are shared, and potential issues are ironed out. This eliminates the chaotic back-and-forth messages that shippers may have had to send in the past, while also helping to ensure that mistakes aren’t made.
The ability to contact the carrier electronically also greatly improves communication once the truck hits the road. If a customer sends updated information about the correct entrance to their warehouse, for example, the shipper can rapidly fire this information off to the driver, avoiding confusion and keeping the customer happy.
Automate busy work
One of the biggest benefits of adopting a TMS is the amount of busy work it can cut out of employees’ days.
A TMS with built-in data capture technology will automatically pull and log important information about each shipment. Because documentation is filled out electronically, data elements required for invoice validation are captured every time, including PO and freight cost details. Shipment and bill of lading (BOL) records are mapped to the freight audit system for matching—eliminating costly human data validation efforts.
This can lead to more accurate documentation and records, and less time spent filling in this information manually. Staff have more time to focus on value-added tasks, rather than menial actions, and shipping information is stored in a centralized location where it can be quickly and easily accessed by all parties.
Simplify, streamline, win
Shippers of all sizes can benefit from adopting a TMS. Not only can this software help shippers gain access to the best rates for every shipment—it can also help them boost communication, efficiency, and visibility across their operations.
At CTSI-Global, we’ve been a leader in logistics and supply chain management technology for more than 60 years. Our leading-edge TMS helps shippers maintain strong relationships with customers and carriers alike—while bringing their costs down and sending their productivity soaring.
Leave the old ways where they belong—in the past. Contact us today to find out more.