What are LTL Software Solutions?
Managing people, maintaining payroll, and dealing with changes in supply chain regulations are just a few of the more major tasks faced by carriers.
While some carriers depend on manual, yet proven methods for maintaining operational efficiency, LTL carriers must go a step further. Less Than Truckload is probably one of the more complex beasts in the industry. So much so that scaling a completely manual LTL business would be quite a difficult endeavor.
To counter some of the complexity of it all, LTL carriers integrate innovative technology into their daily activities.
And this is where full-fledged LTL software systems come into play. These platforms are generally fairly robust and complete LTL management solutions. They feature all the tools and reporting functions needed to fine-tune routing, capacity, and communication efforts. LTL software can range from simple applications for load management to complete platforms for managing all aspects of business.
While there are several LTL software systems available for carriers, there are a few important benefits and features they all offer. Below, we’ll explain the basic tools and apps that can be customized based on the carrier’s size, scope, or customer’s needs.
Customer Freight Pickup
The movement of a customer’s freight begins with the pickup.
Shippers typically book LTL carriers when they don’t have enough freight to justify a full truckload. However, some opt for this freight movement because of its flexibility, more specifically, flexible pick-up windows. On the LTL side of the situation, this benefit often introduces challenges, especially communicating with drivers on the road.
An LTL software solution typically begins with a versatile and easy to navigate order pickup entry gateway that features EDI support and is accessible through a web portal. The system can also be configured with advanced visual route planning software that connects to the driver’s mobile devices to capture data every so often (most also allow manual images to be uploaded by the driver as needed).
Having this valuable information easily accessible allows the LTL carrier to better optimize pickups while reducing downtime.
It’s a challenge for many LTL carriers to stay on top of customers and vendors who are late with paying their bills.
This critical daily operational task is streamlined with robust LTL carrier software solutions. Packed with automated tools and advanced technology, LTL software platforms can be configured to provide local or remote bill cycle management. This enables them to be proactive with weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual billing.
Documents and invoices can be accessed remotely and forwarded to customers via their communication or billing preferences, whether it’s the shipper or a 3PL operating on their behalf.
A crucial component of any LTL carrier is cross-dock and yard management.
Terminals and loading depots are the lifeblood that powers LTL carrier efficiency. The more efficient and streamlined the operation, the fewer delays and reduced financial impact occurs. Smart LTL carriers utilize cross-dock management tools available in LTL software that helps them manage their transitional operations.
An LTL carrier operates with multiple delivery and pickup routes that must be optimized to save money on fuel, driver payroll, and vehicle maintenance. That’s not to even mention that CDL drivers are on short supply these days. This makes the task of route planning and optimization even more critical than ever before.
LTL software is packed with tools that help carriers review, plan, and optimize their delivery and pickup routes.
The software can be configured with visual planning for routing, loading, tracking, and line haul operations. Drivers can receive updates on their mobile devices when delivery or pickup windows change due to customer availability or other unplanned activities.
Customs Documentation and Processes
For LTL carriers that offer cross-border services, dealing with customs declaration and document processing is time-consuming, yet incredibly important to efficiently moving freight across borders. LTL software has multiple reporting and automated tools that help to expedite customs documentation processing.
Partner With Redwood Logistics to Help Integrate Your LTL Software
Arguably the best attribute of LTL software solutions is the flexibility of configuration.
Companies can create custom dashboards, personal user accounts, and apps that allow them to power individual teams. The best LTL software is typically customized and implemented by 3PL professionals like Redwood Logistics.
If you offer Less Than Truckload delivery service and would like to learn more about LTL software solutions that can help you stay on top of your game, you need to contact Redwood Logistics today.
Redwood has 30+ years of hands-on experience in every facet of the LTL industry. If we aren’t able to find the LTL software that best fits your company, it just doesn’t exist!