5 Ways Enterprise Shipping Software Reduce Costs and Mitigate Risks

Enterprise shipping software solutions have been around for quite a while, but some shipping companies including NVOCCs and logistics providers may not have fully understood their impact on modern shipping. Well, when it comes to reducing operational expenses and improving profitability, shipping software plays an essential role.

Here are five key benefits of using integrated software solutions for shipping:

1. Prevent cargo loss or damage by allowing both shipping companies and customers to have complete container visibility while in transit or in carrier-operated warehouses.

This is especially useful for overseas transactions where goods and containers pass through complex supply chain logistics cycles that usually take weeks to complete. Container tracking software give carriers a real-time view of cargo movement, which allows them to track, monitor, and control the entire shipping process. They also make sure that orders are delivered on time and in best condition. Also knows as logistics tracking software, this application enables both carriers and suppliers to give their customers peace of mind by keeping them updated about the exact location and status of their orders.

2. Make best use of container and stowage space to maximize profit.

Operating cost and profit are major considerations when shipping goods. These are also among the reasons large companies idle their smaller vessels and deploy larger, more fuel-efficient carriers, or automate their operations using shipping management software. Doing so enables them to carry greater volumes of shipment in a single port call, which practically reduces their expenses on fuel and maximizes their profit through economies of scale.

At some point, shipping companies have to deal with awkward cargoes that are hard to fit into regular containers. This often results in broken stowage and dead or unutilized container space. Container management software quickly solves this problem. Designed specifically for container fleets, this application automates cargo load planning, optimization, and distribution of container stocks, which improves organization and increases the storage capacity of each container. For non-container cargoes, shipping software companies have also developed customized applications such as bunker management software designed for bunker carriers.

3. Pinpoint existing and potential container damages before they become completely irreversible.

Container damages can result in serious problems during shipment and or transshipments. Container repair software can help carriers pinpoint potential problems in containers and manage the labor-intensive repair process. This includes automating the associated paperwork, sending estimates, tracking status, and billing. Most importantly, this software application enables carriers to act quickly before those problems turn into expensive and extremely dangerous situations.

4. Streamline communication between ships, carriers, and ports, to facilitate seamless execution of everyone involved in the logistics network.

Cheap and streamlined communication is part of every successful shipping transaction. Shipping line software provide easy ways for logistics managers to send and receive messages using various communication devices and channels such as voice, SMS, and email. When problems arise, notifications can be communicated instantly across the supply chain, and those in charge can implement solutions to address issues and keep all operations on track. This capability is extremely important for cargo consolidators who use NVOCC software to constantly communicate with vessel operators from the shore.

5. Ensure that trade rules and regulations are strictly followed.

Every country has its own set of trade regulations for shipping. Sidestepping those regulations can result in penalties that include hefty fines, cancellation of trade license, or even imprisonment. Liner principal software streamlines the trade compliance process by eliminating paperwork to make the whole process fast and hassle-free. Carriers equipped with integrated shipping agency software receive updates on compliance requirements in each country or trade route. This helps to ensure that every segment of the supply chain has been appraised and well-informed of compliance requirements.

They say “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. This saying is worth some serious reflection especially when it comes to container or bulk shipping where small glitches can easily develop into extremely expensive and irreversible damages. The initial investments for liner shipping software implementation can be overwhelming at first, but when long-term profitability and competitiveness are on the line, it is certainly worth serious consideration.

Top Five Reasons It Makes Sense to Consider an Integrated Endicia Shipping Software Solution

Endicia is one of the oldest and most respected electronic postage providers, in competition with only a few others, which include Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes. You could say that Endicia was the original purveyor of electronic postage, a claim that their moniker makes which can be traced back to the late 80s, when founders Amine Khechfé and Scott Montgomery launched the company. By 2007, the company would be acquired by Newell Rubbermaid for an undisclosed price. Today, Endicia serves millions of customers daily, offering them a cost effective electronic postage solution that can drastically trim the price they are paying for postage. It is one of the top favored solutions for ecommerce store owners. Plenty of eCommerce shopkeepers are unaware that many of the remedial pack and ship processes they experience daily can actually be fully automated by integrating an Endicia shipping software solution. The top five reasons to consider doing so will be explained in this article for you.

Reason One: Easy Label Printing

While there are options to print shipping labels from Endicia, are they compatible with your elected shopping cart or order management system? If they are not, you could find yourself manually copying and pasting your orders in. This can equate to a large amount of time that you have to spend and can also contribute to increased order errors in the shipping process, which result in returns and dissatisfied customers, ultimately eating into your bottom line. Integrated software can talk to the Endicia API and that API of your online store to automate the shipping information to and from your shopping cart and Endicia, allowing you to easily print accurate and professional shipping labels using the electronic postage provided by Endicia.

Reason Two: Faster Pack & Ship Process

The more orders that you can fill, the happier that your customers will be. By extricating the tedious pack and ship process, as outlined in reason one, you can more accurately fill more orders each day. A software solution can allow you to better expedite your shipping process by speeding up the packing side of the process, so you can get outbound orders out the door sooner.

Reason Three: Fewer Ship Order Errors

Order errors can eat up your profits in a jiffy. When wrong items are shipped, or when items are shipped to the wrong address, they result in costly returns. What’s more is that your customers crave accurate shipping. With an integrated software powering your shipping and order fulfillment process, you can fill more orders more accurately. Furthermore, the best solutions have error flaggers that will find and flag order errors before your shipments are sent out.

Reason Four: Less Time Consuming Status Updates

Your customers need to know when their orders have been shipped. If Endicia can’t talk to your API (in your shopping cart or order management system), then the ship statuses have to be updated manually. Software, however, can automate this process and updated ship statuses, amend or add comments and even send automated tracking numbers to customers once the orders have been shipped out.

Reason Five: More Integrated Order Fulfillment & Management

A good software solution will do more than just talk to your Endicia account and your shopping cart; it will also talk to any order management system that you have in place. This means that you can run multiple stores, for example, and still retain an accurate inventory as the orders are fulfilled in real time. This can eliminate the costs of a fulfillment house while empowering you to take full command of your order and fulfillment processes.

Benefits of Using Packaged Shipping Software

It’s hard to imagine a shipping business without an IT department nowadays. As technology becomes more and more advanced, carriers keep up by taking advantage of the latest innovations and best practices in the industry in order to remain competitive. Forward thinking operators have taken advantage of the rapidly changing technology by using advanced shipping software solutions to enhance their competitive advantage. However, when it comes to choosing the right software solution, the shipping industry is divided between in-house and packaged solutions. Shipping companies need to analyze their unique requirements to determine the type of business solution that will bring more advantage to their daily operations.

Global operators seem to have conflicting views with regard to the cost-effectiveness of building in-house IT systems compared with buying ready-made, customizable platforms. Both have their own advantage when it comes to streamlining operations that have direct effect on the cost-efficiency of a shipping business. Understanding the specific differences between these two systems can help operators make more informed decisions in using their resources.

Bespoke System

Many operators prefer hiring programmers and software developers, and build customized software to fit their specific business requirements. Doing this gives them full control of software development. However, bespoke or in-house systems will require time until they are working live, which will delay the positive impact of automation sometimes up to 3-4 years as seen for bigger implementations. It will also consume resources on the carrier side not only from the IT but also from the involved departments.

In addition, the fact that technology evolves rapidly, software solutions that have been custom-tailored to support a specific function may date quickly and not work on newer platforms, necessitating a painful upgrade that may include an expensive migration process. For the same reason, in-house systems require skilled IT staff which results in increased operational expenses – something that does not sound interesting in a slumping economy.

Packaged System

Generally, ready-made shipping software are a lot cheaper and easier to implement when compared with in-house systems. In fact, buying off-the-shelf solution can be 10 to 50 times cheaper than developing a bespoke system. In addition, modern packaged software incorporates a switching capability, which allows the user to customize each application to handle specific requirements without any expensive re-programming. Once customized, packaged software have the capability to automate time-consuming and resource-intrusive business processes.

Modern packages solutions are flexible enough to work for almost any carrier, regardless of size, specialization, or local requirements. This capability makes it even more appealing for vessel operators to buy off-the-shelf instead of commissioning expensive in-house solutions.

Packaged software solutions are widely available in the software market and can be purchased at very reasonable prices. In addition, many software companies offer excellent guarantee periods for their products during which any software issues are fixed without extra cost.

Change can be Painful

Despite the impressive features of packaged shipping software solutions, many carriers are still stuck with bespoke systems because of perceived difficulties that accompany a change in IT infrastructure. In most cases, these difficulties have something to do with legacy systems which often control key areas of a shipping business. Change in this case must be managed properly using correct methodologies avoid common problems that usually come with the process of implementing a new business system.

Shipping goods involves too many complicated processes that require focus and expertise in all aspects. To be more productive, operators must focus on their core business which is operating ships. They should not divert large amounts of resources to other activities outside their expertise to avoid uncontrolled expenses that can hurt their business in the long run.