How To Select The Right Shipping and Logistics CompanyWritten by Neal Willis
When it comes to selecting the right shipping and logistics company, you’ll want to make sure you partner with one who can offer a healthy balance of functionality, cost and security with regards to freight rates and technology offerings, such as transportation management software (TMS) and freight rate integration with eCommerce. The right shipping and logistics companies provide shippers with much more than just a good freight rate and carrier to pick up and deliver shipments.
Shipping and logistics companies often specialize in a certain mode of transport, like LTL or full truckload freight, and some shipping and logistics companies also specialize in certain technology offerings as well, like proprietary transportation management software (TMS). TMS software can help optimize cost savings by allowing shippers to rate shop shipments with multiple freight carriers for determining the least cost carrier(s) and/or the fastest transit time(s). TMS software can also help with centralizing freight data for easy access and reporting purposes.
Shipping and logistics companies can offer a more cost effective means for shippers to access TMS software, rather than going it alone, however, customizing a software integration to the point that it provides the functionality a shipper is looking for can often be outrageously costly and time consuming. Another challenge with using proprietary TMS software offered by some shipping and logistics companies can be the minimal customization capabilities, which can limit performance and functionality.
Before evaluating logistics software provided by shipping and logistics companies, shippers should first evaluate their own needs to make sure they’re looking for the right solutions to address their pain points. When selecting a shipping and logistics company to meet your software and technology needs, it’s a good idea to ask several questions before making any commitments or signing any contracts. Especially for ecommerce companies, it’s important to partner with a shipping and logistics company that has the systems in place for ensuring connectivity to the internet in the event of a natural disaster and/or an equipment failure.
Finding shipping and logistics companies who provide respectable freight rates with technology offerings that are customizable, and balance functionality and security can frequently prove to be a challenge. It’s important to choose the right shipping and logistics company that can provide you with the specific solution(s) you need, rather than simply giving you access to services that look neat but don’t really offer any benefit or functionality. The right shipping and logistics companies can help you manage your freight operations more efficiently and allow you to focus more on growing your business, rather than having to focus on your freight.