LTL Freight Management Solutions: What an Experienced 3PL Can Do for You
Are you still wondering why so many shippers are partnering up with third-party freight management companies? It’s because, at the end of the day, partnering with a solid 3PL will always save you time and money. The advanced freight management solutions that they provide streamline processes, reduce overhead and increase efficiency in your supply chain.
Don’t believe us? Check out these top solutions that a 3PL can provide to your company, at nearly no cost to you.
Freight Rate Contract Negotiation
The most basic LTL freight management solution a 3PL will provide is freight rate contract negotiation. LTL pricing agreements are consistently becoming more and more complex and without extensive knowledge of LTL contracts, shippers are leaving savings on the table. Working and negotiating with carriers requires vast industry knowledge, reputability and leverage – all characteristics a reputable non-asset based 3PL should have.
Your logistics service provider can negotiate rates to your specific lanes so you never have to wonder if you’re getting the best deal out there. At the time of your shipment, you will be able to access and select carriers that meet your cost, insurance, and delivery time needs through a transportation management system (TMS) that has your predetermine, custom rates built in.
Freight Technology: The TMS of It All
Currently, only 35% of shippers are using a transportation management system. It is safe to say that those shippers, in turn, have a much more efficient supply chain when it comes to their shipping.
A TMS provides so many advantages essential to effective LTL shipping:
Better route planning, load optimization, carrier mix and mode selection
Flexibility to make changes in delivery plans
Accurate data for analytics and reporting
Data to plan for on hand inventory
Cash flow improvements through proper freight accounting
Visibility into the transportation supply chain
A 3PL will have a TMS already in place that will become available to you and your company. On top of that, the 3PL will have already vetted the software to know that it runs smoothly and effectively.
Freight Data Analytics & Reporting
3PL’s are constantly improving and creating new technology for their customers. Giving them access to copious amounts of information that can be used to make better business decisions when it comes to cost savings.
These reports can grade your carriers, allowing you to see who not only gives you the best price but also delivers their shipments on time every time. An important factor when you consider how many customers the late shipments of the less expensive carrier might be costing you.
This data can also help you identify sales trends and geographic trends, allowing you to focus efforts on untapped regions or focus on marketing during slower months. Once you start incorporating big data analytics, you can also begin to forecast more accurately and predict inventory needs.
LTL Freight Accounting
Freight accounting is a major area that can negatively affect a shippers bottom-line. In fact, one out of every four freight bills contains an error, and manually auditing hundreds of invoices a week is highly time-consuming. A 3PL will implement an automatic and manual freight invoice auditing process, instantly saving you dollars by catching unnecessary charges and inaccuracies. On average, this auditing has a 6-8% recovery of errors.
For additional savings, your 3PL will be able to drastically cut wasted time on invoice payment through consolidated freight invoicing and payment.
Personalized Customer Service: Freight Claims and Track & Trace
The value of hiring an outsourced freight management services provider is more times than not they come with a personalize customer service mentality and team. They will provide you with a direct contact who is responsible for any customer service related issues, with the goal to reduce the customer’s workload in any way possible. This team will handle claims management, track and trace, expediting, data procurement, reporting, invoicing, and auditing.
If you’re currently working with a logistics service provider that isn’t providing you with the above freight management solutions, it may be time to start looking into a new, more innovative provider. If you aren’t using a 3PL at all, maybe it’s time to start seeing what 3PL might be a right fit for you. Either way, if you’re interested in learning more about how someone can help implement these solutions into your supply chain, our LTX team is happy to help. So, contact us below!