Six Distinct Advantages Of Vendor Routing PortalsWritten by Neal Willis
The days of routing freight least cost through the use of paper routing guides (maps) are a thing of the past. Carriers are pricing freight more granularly, and even the slightest change in shipment characteristics can affect pricing drastically, especially on shipments under 1,000 and 500 lbs. where carriers are inflating pricing. If you’re not routing shipments in real time, then you’re probably leaving savings on the table, especially on the inbound side where vendors often add a markup to the freight.
What Is A Vendor Routing Portal?
Vendor routing portals are online sites vendors can log onto for obtaining real time shipment routing instructions for your shipments based on your requirements, whether it’s routing the freight by least cost carrier or fastest transit time.
Advantages Of Using Vendor Routing Portals
Vendor routing portals offer six distinct advantages over paper routing guides (maps) for inbound and drop shipments: 1) ensure least cost routing, 2) visibility of shipment detail, 3) rapid invoicing of freight charges, 4) automated exceptions reporting, 5) cost and time savings, and 6) a specific vendor contact for each shipment.
Ensure Least Cost Shipment Routing Of Inbound Freight
With a vendor routing portal, shippers have visibility of shipment detail information, including the expected freight bill amount, so they can easily spot vendors who aren’t routing least cost. Additionally, by having vendors route the freight via your carriers and specifications, you help to ensure you aren’t paying more than you should be paying because of vendor markup.
Visibility of Shipment Detail Information
By having your vendors utilize routing portals, you gain visibility into virtually every aspect of your inbound and drop shipments. This gives you valuable upstream insight in your supply chain, which can be used to gain a comprehensive understanding of your overall shipping operations. The data can also be used to gain a more detailed understanding of your customers’ buying patterns, receiving requirements, and it can even be leveraged in carrier rate and service negotiations.
Rapid Invoicing of Freight Charges
With a vendor routing portal, you not only have the ability to see information for shipments, but you’re also able to see the expected freight charges for those shipments. This gives shippers the advantage of being able to invoice their customers for freight as soon as the day after a shipment leaves a vendor’s dock.
Automated Exceptions Reporting
Instead of manually matching freight bills to rate quotes, vendor routing portals give shippers the ability to automatically detect discrepancies in quoted vs. billed amounts for freight charges. In order to obtain routing information, vendors are required to enter a number, usually a purchase order or sales order number that ties a rate quote to a corresponding freight bill. Through that number, an exceptions report can automatically detect and flag discrepancies in quoted freight charges vs. billed freight charges for every order.
Save Time & Money
By giving your vendors access to routing instructions online through a vendor routing web portal, time your staff has traditionally used for running rate quotes and relaying routing information to your vendors can be drastically reduced and/or eliminated, which allows them to focus more on internal receiving and outbound shipping operations.
Point of Reference at the Vendor
Before they can obtain routing information, the vendor is required to enter an email address, which gives shippers the capability of easily tracking down a specific person involved with a shipment at the vendor in the event there is an issue.
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