Welcome back once again to Freight Forwarders where in this article we'll explain some of the many aspects of freight forwarding software and how it is used within the industry.
This specialized type of software is generally used by the industry for tracking a consignment of goods, however large of small to keep an eye on its progress and to verify delivery has taken place. This information is often vital for the customer, but is also heavily used by the companies involved as a means of keeping tabs on everything and identifying problems before they get out of hand.
There are several varieties of this kind of program that can be used by a transportation company and can either be bought off the shelf from a software company or developed in-house by the transportation company themselves.
Shipment Tracking Programs
Of the commercial versions of software that can be purchased from third party programming houses, these can be ready to go, straight out of the box, or they can be tailored to a specific company's needs depending upon their main line of business and the types of transport they work in. So if a company specializes in air freight, then a specially tailored program can be developed to focus mainly on airlines, air traffic variances, timetables and schedules and all the world's air freight lines. This would provide invaluable up to the minute information on air transportation prices and schedules enabling the transport company to choose the most economic air routes for its goods consignments.
The same principle applies to all types of shipping, whether it be overland or ocean transportation. Being able to run a shipment tracking program that can track not only a goods consignment but also to be able to pre-determine the most economical routes by bringing up freight shipping rates and monitoring the many shipping lines balanced against time constraints and load sizes and weights can save a freight forwarder company a great deal of money. This can increase profits while enabling them to pass on some of the saving to the customer. All of this makes them more all the more competitive within the industry.
The other alternative is in-house development of specific transportation software that is totally tailored to the company and its specific business model. For many cargo forwarding companies, this option is generally not feasible due to the size of the company and the structure of its staffing levels.
Few companies have the luxury of being able to afford to pay a team of software developers a full time wage to work in-house, but some of the very largest businesses can do this on a contract basis. This way, a company can have its own specialized programs developed and built from the ground up making it totally specific to their business and able to do exactly what they require of it without a whole host of extra features that they might not need or ever use.
This makes for a more economical code build, although with the cost of propriety software becoming ever more affordable, this option is generally less utilized these days, especially considering the on-going maintenance and continued developments to keep pace with the constant changes in the industry.
As a company looking for software options, it is generally the best rule of thumb to look at several alternatives to see which one best suits your own business model as well as having guarantees of future upgrades to keep pace with a constantly changing and fluid industry.
Comment by: Davey
I thought this was a very interesting post on shipping software, as I've been considering taking on something like this myself. Thanks for writing it!
Comment by: webmaster
Thanks for the in-your-face sales pitch Eric. I removed the link from your comment as that's just taking the mick - you already have a link associated with your name. I don't much like comments that are nothing more than "come to my site" blurbs. Instead, why don't you try a different approach, like actually commenting on the article before mentioning your own business? You might get more comments approved intact that way.
Comment by: Eric Crespin
If you want to see an example of what an integrated Freight Forwarding software does, please go and see our site. Our Viva!Soft software does accounting, operations (documentations, shipment profit management (billing & costing), sales, tracking, etc... all in one solution. It is dedicated to small & medium size companies in US and Canada.