Transportation & Logistics Software

Everything you need to know


This short guide aims to help you evaluate different transportation software by breaking down common features, buyer personas, and the advantages and challenges of adopting transportation management software.

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Everything you need to know

This short guide aims to help you evaluate different transportation software by breaking down common features, buyer personas, and the advantages and challenges of adopting transportation management software.

Here's what we'll cover in this section:

  • What is transportation software?
  • What problems does transportation software solve?
  • Key features of transportation software
  • What type of buyer are you?
  • Examples and comparison of transportation software
  • Benefits and potential challenges of transportation software

What is transportation software?

Transportation software covers several categories, such as fleet management systems, transportation management systems, and logistics software. Transportation software aims to improve the efficiency of logistics and shipping organizations while reducing costs. It also enables the exchange of information and data throughout several operational departments.

What problems does transportation software solve?

  • Eliminates silos between business departments, often spread globally
  • Reduces fuel and transportation costs
  • Optimization of carrier routes increases customer satisfaction
  • Reduces time spent manually analyzing large amounts of data

Key features of transportation software

Some common features of transportation software include:

FeaturesDescription
Automated carrier selectionDetermines the most cost-effective carrier options for deliveries.
Shipment consolidationCombines individual shipments into groups and maximizes load consolidation.
Route optimizationUses a variety of factors such as speed restrictions, fuel costs, distance, and traffic data to determine the optimal route for carriers.
Carrier contract managementTracks carrier agreements, including the terms and prices of contracts, and sends alerts for contract renewals.

What type of buyer are you?

Third-party logistics companies (3PL): These buyers need functionality for client onboarding and billing capabilities.

Shipping companies: Buyers in the shipping industry will need shipment management, driver management, and transportation management functionality.

Freight brokers: Software buyers in the brokerage industry will need route management, dispatch and shipment management, mileage and fuel optimization, and carrier portal capabilities.

Don't know what kind of buyer you are or what type of transportation software you need? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you a small or midsize business? If this is the case, look for vendors that offer products that cater to the needs of this business size.
  • What modes of shipping do I need the product to support?
  • What specific needs does my industry/company need the product to support?
  • Does my business ship internationally? If this is the case, the transportation system will need to support international logistics.

Examples and comparison of transportation and logistics software

  • Transwide: Offers shipping management, business risk mitigation, pay-as-you-go payment options, transport procurement, and scheduling.
  • 3G-TM: Supports freight optimization, contract management, cost estimation and tracking, performance monitoring, and assignment tracking.
  • Magaya Cargo System: Offers freight forwarding, LTL management, load optimization, rate management, and air/ground/ocean shipping.

You can get a side-by-side comparison of these apps here: Transwide vs. 3G:TM vs. Magaya Cargo System.

Benefits and potential challenges of transportation software

Here are some benefits of adopting transportation software:

Enhanced supply-chain visibility: Enables users to track their shipments and carriers in real time with status updates. This data can also be used to inform forecasting decisions.

Transportation order planning: Transportation software integrates well with several other systems such as order management and CRM, which help manage demand with the input of many departments.

Business intelligence: Offers insights into performance and helps determine where deficiencies lie, in order to help users initiate improvements to pinpointed areas of the business.

Reduction in manual errors: Automation of business processes such as invoice payments can help eliminate human error.

Here are some potential challenges associated with adopting transportation software:

Cost: Smaller businesses can be deterred from investing in transportation systems because of the associated costs - which start at around $10,000. However, around 40 percent of adoptees break even within 6 months to a year.

Choosing the right platform: Many transportation solutions are aimed at specific industries and include many features that other industries don't need. Additionally, many out-of-the-box solutions will need customization, which adds further potential costs.