Unless you still love fax-machines and booking LTL freight the old fashion way; there are some great fast-evolving ways to utilize automated LTL freight shipping processes and simplify the process. Historically, freight organizations and shipping customers had to fax or email shipping related documentation and make endless phone calls to stay on top of their loads. Thankfully there is a whole host of new fast-evolving software and automation that have made the tedious LTL freight shipping process a thing of the past.
TMS or Transportation Management System or Software is designed to simplify and automate LTL freight many of the most time-consuming LTL freight shipping tasks. These automated LTL freight shipping functions include fetching quotes from multiple carriers in real-time, caching data and auto-filling commodities you ship the most, address of clients you ship to frequently, and even remembering standing configurations and weights of the products you ship.
TMS software can also auto-generate the actual LTL freight documentation or Bill-of-Lading (BOL). Ultimately, helping you disseminate the shipping documents and labels to wherever the actual load is picking up at and notifying the carrier to pick up. A robust Transportation Management Software System offering automated LTL freight shipping processes can help make your shipping team truly efficient!
API’s or Application Programming Interface technology is also allowing huge efficiency advances in the way we handle LTL freight shipping. API technology easily allows your Transportation Management System to communicate seamlessly with your preferred E-commerce platform. This automated LTL freight shipping process is literally injecting your freight shipping rates and booking SOPs into your website.
The automated LTL freight shipping process of API integration and connectivity from the TMS to your e-commerce platform, allows your clients to purchase products, select the freight price and carrier that works for them, and pay for the whole transaction in one shot at checkout. Many freight providers have fixed or standing freight API’s for top e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Woo-Commerce to make the connection and setup process painless and quick. Additionally, Restful APIs can generally be used to connect to just about any platform with a little bit of coding knowledge and time providing for more automated LTL freight shipping processes not only in e-commerce but in other aspects of LTL freight shipping that have seen changes, namely the final mile.
APIs can also be used to easily connect and create automated LTL freight shipping procedures to major ERP business software systems. Companies such as NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, etc., can link via API to the TMS to provide quote, book, and finalize automated LTL freight shipping booking procedures. Thus, allowing your team to focus their time and energy on higher-level tasks and improving overall efficiencies of the final logistical and supply chain process.
In the era of Amazon, everyone expects seamless automated tracking updates on their purchases. Most technology-forward TMS can provide these features. Allowing all pertinent parties to be kept in the loop electronically from the time the load is dispatched to final delivery. If properly used, new tracking automation can save your team tons of time. Eliminating the need to answer endless calls and emails about where customers’ goods are or possibly why they have not delivered yet are a great benefit of automated LTL freight shipping processes.
Some TMS even allows you to inject and shop your freight rates and parcel rates side by side in real-time. This automated LTL freight shipping process empowers shippers always know the exact cut off for which mode of shipping is most cost-effective, for the myriad of LTL freight shipping scenarios you might encounter daily. This can not only save your team time but ultimately a lot of money always shipping with the most cost-effective mode.
In summary, unless you love your fax machine and making countless calls to keep your LTL freight shipping organized, there are tons of new great fast-evolving software and technologies, that can help create massive efficiency for your shipping and operations teams via automated LTL freight shipping processes. The only question is what are you going to do with all your cost savings and time you will have freed up? Maybe you can take over a whole new industry! Or just take that well-deserved vacation!
Jeremy Curran is the Founder & CEO Of Easy Logistics Management. The company’s primary focus is on creating unique, flexible, and highly scale-able freight shipping and supply chain distribution solutions for markets that they believe in, are their passions in life, or hopefully make the world a more sustainable, cooler, or more fun place to be hopefully.
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