The Trend in Freight Management SystemsWritten by Neal Willis
Technology is changing freight management systems into more complete supply chain solutions with added value from end to end. Companies are grasping the fact that freight management systems are no longer simply about low freight rates and lowest freight cost. In today’s world of eCommerce, convenience can make or break a sale and giving consumers choices along with visibility and low cost freight options is a necessity. Shippers and consumers are becoming increasingly connected through the web and eCommerce, and 3PLs and shippers are becoming more closely aligned and implementing more comprehensive freight management systems that give both vendors and consumers heightened visibility of shipments and freight data. As eCommerce continues to grow by leaps and bounds, so does the demand for more flexible and robust freight management systems with both 3PLs and shippers alike.
Rather than the traditional focus on cost savings through freight rates alone, 3PLs are enhancing their freight management systems by incorporating cutting edge technology applications into their freight management systems as part of their overall solution for shippers to save money and improve efficiencies. 3PLs are realizing the importance of the technological aspect of their service offerings and, from mode and route optimizations to least cost routings, their freight management systems and portfolio of solutions are expanding and evolving to meet customer demands.
Traditional freight management systems and software have required expensive and ongoing maintenance costs with frequent software and hardware upgrades required for users. As opposed to traditional in-house software that’s historically been installed and housed onsite, shippers and carriers are collaborating more than ever and implementing web-based freight management systems that allow users to gain real time access to shipments and freight data from virtually anywhere in the world.
As technology continues to evolve and improve at alarming rates, cloud based freight management systems are becoming more popular as companies are recognizing the need for freight management systems to be both flexible and scalable. Rather than having to purchase different software applications from various different vendors, both 3PLs and shippers are understanding the need for state-of-the art software applications to be easily incorporated into their freight management systems through solutions such as XML and APIs.
As consumers become more demanding, the need for customizable freight management systems tailored to individual shipper needs continues to grow as well. With emerging technologies such as block-chain, 3-D printing and autonomous vehicles on the horizon, freight management systems are sure to become more of a hot topic for companies of all sizes.