10 Features to Look for in the Ultimate Freight Forwarding Software

The best qualities to look for in freight forwarding software includes technical support, scalability, and tools commonly used in logistics technology.

Logistics technology is the future that freight forwarders need to embrace in the present to ensure success in the coming years. Surveys indicate that manual operations are time-consuming, expensive, and drain human resources, reducing the overall efficiency and productivity of your business. The initial investment in freight forwarding software and lack of awareness surrounding the implementation of logistics automation may discourage companies from pursuing automated freight systems. Besides learning about the benefits of freight tracking software, you have to understand which logistics platform suits your business requirements.

Top qualities of software for freight forwarders

Every business has its unique demands, many of which depend on the preferences of their target audience. Similarly, freight forwarders have to consider the needs of the shippers they serve before selecting logistic software to streamline their operations. Your reasons for picking a certain freight forwarding system may include those related to geography, scale, transportation modes, and budget.  

1. Types of freight modes

Various associations are dedicated to industry stakeholders who operate within certain modes of cargo transportation. Think about the shippers who require your services and the different modes they depend on to handle their shipments. The best freight forwarding software allows you to organize your shipments based on the mode of transport. Intermodal and multimodal transportation is common in the shipping industry. Your selected freight tracking software should have the capability to track and trace shipments in air, sea, rail, and road modes. Regardless of the transportation mode, the dashboard of your logistic software should display all active shipments on the map on your screen.  

2. Real-time shipment tracking

The accuracy with which you can track the exact location of your shipment anywhere in the world is a major factor to consider when selecting the ideal logistics technology as a freight forwarder. GPS tracking is the most common method to monitor your shipment as it goes along its route. The end-consumer is an important piece of the puzzle, especially since shippers wish to upgrade their customer services. The tracking features of software for freight forwarders go beyond pinpointing the precise location of cargo on a map. Facilitating internal and communication, freight software allows you to send real-time notifications about shipment dispatch and delivery to the receiver.      

3. User-friendly interface

When you’re running manual freight operations, you notice excess burden on your employees, who’re assigned to perform tedious duties. Increased employee productivity is one of claims logistic software providers make towards freight forwarders. The only scenario that leads to shorter training times for your team members is one where you’ve invested in user-friendly freight forwarding software. Once the training period is complete, your employees should be able to manage automated process independently and troubleshoot issues without causing serious delays. The logistics technology supporting your operations is supposed to make things easier for your team, boosting productivity.

4. Software Integrations

Some software providers claim that they have everything you need to optimize your freight operations, but what about your existing setup? There should be a level of adaptability in freight tracking software that allows you to combine older systems with new ones. Several integrations are specific to an operational area and you’ve been relying on that tool for years. It doesn’t make sense to waste the money you’ve spent on older software. The logistic software that maximizes the potential of the system you already have is the right choice. Integrate the warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, and more with your flexible freight forwarding software to save on expenditure.

5. Instant notifications

Monitoring your shipments from a central dashboard isn’t possible without effective communication, which can take different forms. You might be sending messages between groups that are both not even on land or sea. The main purpose of logistics technology is to connect every team running freight operations, including third parties. You receive alerts every time your shipment crosses a milestone such as customs clearance. Since you get notifications about your cargo tracking in real-time you can make better decisions for your business using logistic software.

6. Technical support

You have an expert team of freight forwarders working in your company, but are you well-versed in technology that builds and runs freight forwarding software? Your answer is probably no, which is why it’s so important for your software provider to offer technical support to your employees. Consult your logistic software provider about training your employees and arranging a reliable stream of communication to ensure that your operations run smoothly.  

7. Scalability potential

You might be starting out as a small business, but you never know when your growth will accelerate to a point where you’ll have to scale up your entire operations. The logistics technology you’ve selected to optimize your operations should also have room to align with your company’s future growth. Make the most of the features present in your logistic software and add integrations to generate higher business revenue and manage large-scale operations.  

8. Automated reporting

Gathering data from different sources and organizing it according to categories in freight forwarding is quite difficult and you can’t expect your employees to get everything right. There’s simply too much data to deal with, especially when it’s coming into your system in real-time. Choose a freight tracking software that comes with features for data organization and automated reporting. You can quickly share reports with other stakeholders.

9. Rate calculations

It’s important to have accurate rate calculations and numbers are an essential part of your freight operations. It’s best to leave numbers and calculations to your logistic software. When you depend on an automated system for calculating rates and sending them forward, you don’t need several people to manage this one task.

10. Invoice management

It takes several employees to manage invoices manually and even then, the first draft of your invoice has mistakes because there’s always the margin of human error when people are handling paper work. Your freight forwarding software can eliminate the possibility of such human mistakes from your documentation such as invoices and don’t require corrections at a later stage. Automated invoice management saves your time, energy, and resources.

The freight tracking software you select for your business assists you and your customers in monitoring the progress of your cargo, optimizing route management, and assessing the reliability of carriers. You have an easier time handling invoices, data, reports, rate calculations, quotations, documentation, and more. But the logistic software you choose for your company should be user-friendly, economical, flexible, and updated with the latest technology to provide a satisfactory customer experience.