Technology has dramatically impacted the shipping industry and can help companies reduce LTL costs and save time when managing their supply chain. You can integrate visibility and optimize your shipping strategy if you learn how technology can benefit your shipping needs.
LTL Shipping Costs
Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping is an excellent resource for smaller companies to use when trying to save money on frequent and sporadic shipments. There are many ways to reduce LTL shipping costs, and technology seems to be the best solution.
Over the years, the average cost of LTL shipping has stayed the same. The price will vary depending on the freight, weight and density, base rate and discounts, minimum charges, and more. You can stay updated on the national average freight rates using DAT’s Trendlines report, which is updated weekly.
How Technology Affects LTL Costs
Technology is everywhere and especially in the logistics industry. It allows companies to have efficient supply chains and meet every customer’s demands. LTL costs have become better for customers due to technology and what it’s doing to make it easy for everyone.
Transportation management systems (TMS) are vital for collecting data and proper decision-making among well-known innovations. It allows you to gather and organize all the information about the shipping process and analyze and draw the correct conclusions about your company’s shipping efforts. Accurate forecasting and real-time shipment data can save shippers lots of money. A TMS is a universal, multi-functional tool that can upgrade the company’s performance to a higher level. Accurate forecasting and real-time shipment data can save shippers lots of money. A TMS is a universal, multi-functional tool that can upgrade the company’s performance to a higher level.
Outsourcing to a third-party logistics service can be very beneficial, as they offer helpful assistance and possess a wide range of automation tools. Many businesses do not have the time and resources to invest in building and maintaining an in-house transportation management system and instead choose to work with a 3PL provider that can help take the burden off the company’s shoulders.
Many LTL carriers use dimension equipment as another beneficial way to reduce shipping costs. The dimension equipment, otherwise known as a dimensionalizer, determines the volume of three-dimensional objects (like boxes), which assists the carrier in accurately calculating shipping costs. The shipper must provide the weight of the item. With the weight and volume measurements, the carrier estimates the shipping cost for the shipper. Dimension equipment can help any business, but specific reasons stick out to shippers the most.
In the supply chain process, you must process a large amount of shipping data and predict what comes ahead for your supply chain. You can use industry trends, historical data, and pricing analysis to make those predictions. Artificial intelligence (AI) increases the accuracy of these predictions. AI can help you prepare for the future of your supply chain more efficiently with increased accuracy and data processing speed. AI can save you money in the long run, so you don’t have to pay yourself out of a supply chain issue.
Another trend in LTL shipping is real-time visibility of shipments using technology. The definition of excellent service is expanding with the excessive growth of e-commerce and its impact on the logistics industry. Shipment visibility via new technology keeps customers aware of the freight location and notifies them quickly about the circumstances that require immediate feedback. People find LTL shipping a lot easier due to how technology simplifies the process.
Logistics Technology Tools to Reduce LTL Costs
Mobility is an obvious advantage. With mobile apps, different parts of the supply chain can communicate instantly. Wireless data transmission, voice controls, and robotic procedures are a considerable progression in logistics. Handheld devices like smartphones and tablets have amplified the practicality of mobile tech options for supply chain operations.
SaaS, or cloud-based software, provides advantages for companies because it has a low installation cost, fees based on usage, reduce IT expenses, and can scale use based on business needs. This software is highly accessible, bringing shippers and carriers together to create network collaboration. The most discussed advantage of SaaS applications is that it allows smaller companies to access types of software previously beyond their means. Oracle’s CEO recently said that 80% of all applications will be cloud-based by 2025.
The budding applications of big data cannot go ignored:
- Accurate demand forecasting
- Real-time and historical visibility
- Specific metrics of performance and cost data
As big data collects information from various sources, shippers can identify efficient patterns, disruptive trends, optimization opportunities, or unnecessary costs.
When a company examines data from internal and external sources, it might learn that some Data Collection Systems (DCS) aren’t needed. Armed with this information, the company can develop a strategy to service popular DCS more frequently and DCS that distributes less regularly. With more data comes more operational transparency. Leveraging big data enables organizations to catch pain points or adeptness that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
LTL in the Years Ahead
As quality customer service depends on speed and quick feedback, the future of LTL shipping is heading toward automation. While GPS and hands-off devices are nothing new, the Internet of Things (IoT) still spreads confusion. The IoT is the term for connecting various digital devices to the internet that gather data, such as temperature, humidity, speed, and other metrics. Such operations make the shipping process faster and easier to operate, so you can immediately react to updates on the shipment. Mobile apps simplify the transportation process for shippers and carriers, so you can immediately respond to updates on the load. Mobile apps simplify the transportation process for shippers and carriers as well.
Considering all the benefits businesses can get from utilizing new technologies, staying updated on the latest industry trends is essential. Applying some of the mentioned technologies can reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Reduce LTL costs with PLS Logistics Services
At PLS Logistics, we strive to give you data-driven transportation insights that will streamline your transportation strategy. Our brokerage team has over 30 years of experience in the LTL freight shipping industry and stays up to date about the changes occurring in the industry. Get a quote with us today to ship your freight with real-time data!