The Most Agile Transportation Management Software

Transportation Management Software (TMS) is at the core of most freight brokerage operations. TMS can rate shipments, dispatch loads, and use electronic tracking to give an Amazon experience to delight customers.

At 3PL Systems we like to build our TMS to innovate based on trends we are seeing in the market. Our software development team is agile delivering new software enhancements to solve real-world problems.  

The Premier LTL Rating Engine for Freight Brokers

Plug and play with up to 60 different carriers using 3PL Systems proprietary API for 60 different carriers for Less Than Truckload (LTL) rating, e-dispatching, tracking, and document retrieval.

No need to contact a support rep to set up these services simply plug in your credentials. We are constantly adding to this list as carriers develop this technology. We make freight brokerage easy.

New Feature Electronic Signatures

Running an efficient freight brokerage is key to being profitable. Give your shippers the convenience of electronically accepting your rate quote native in BrokerWare TMS. Say goodbye to printing, signing, scanning, uploading, and emailing back. Convenience is a competitive advantage.

We have the same ability for your carriers to accept your freight shipment via electronic signature. If you’re interested in learning more of the innovative features our engineers are working on contact us for a demo.

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE: WHAT THAT MEANS FOR FREIGHT BROKERS

Let me paint you a picture.

You’re in your office – maybe it’s a home office, maybe you have a business location with a handful of team members, or you’re big enough for a full scale office building.

Regardless, you’re at the office, and you’re scrambling.  A customer – big or small – called and they want to know about their bill of lading.  Or maybe they’re asking about the invoice for their shipment.  Or they want the documentation about their specialty shipment.

Whatever it is they want, you have a problem.

You can’t find it.

Someone filed it somewhere, you’re pretty sure, but where they filed it and how you can find it right now is the big worry on your mind.  You might have kept the customer on the phone while you looked, but if you don’t find that document soon, you’ll have to tell them you’ll call them back or email it to them when you get it.

You probably won’t tell them the reason you don’t have an immediate answer for them is because you can’t find one pesky piece of paper, but they’ll know anyway.

Small or large, all freight brokers run into the same growing pains.  Systems that worked when the brokerage was small (or just smaller) don’t scale with your business as it grows.  A one or two (wo)man team can take care of a handful of shipments with plain old pen and paper tracking, but to grow, you need something more sophisticated.

YOUR TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SHOULD BE DOING THE WORK FOR YOU.

Imagine a different scenario.

That same customer calls, wanting to know some details about a specific document.

Instead of hunting through your filing cabinets, or emailing your assistant, Carol, you can just click in to your BrokerWare™ portal, search for the customer’s name, and find the exact document they’re asking about.

In a matter of seconds, you’ve found the document, answered their question, and the customer has left the call feeling confident about their choice to use you for their freight shipment needs.

That’s what a transportation management system should do for your brokerage.

There’s plenty of day to day needs that your brokerage has that a TMS should be able to handle for your business without a hitch.

But it’s that moment when you really, really need a piece of information right now that differentiates the software that gets you by, and the software that helps set you apart.

You’ll still need to manage the filing of physical documents, but why worry about where they are once they’re filed when you could have digital copies right at your finger tips?

Why print out each document, each time, for each customer, when you could generate them digitally and email them to the customer for each shipment?

Save time, save paper, save that ridiculously expensive printer ink.

Plus, your customers feel informed about their shipment, which builds trust in your freight brokerage – meaning more repeat business.

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE STARTS WITH EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION.

When you first started your brokerage, it was fine to have stacks of papers on your desk that were related to all of the shipments you managed.

Maybe you were a bit more technologically sophisticated, and scanned in or created digital copies of the documents you needed, sorting them on your computer into tidy folders.  Maybe those tidy folders are covering your entire desktop wallpaper, because the good intentions you had for organization went out the window as your business grew.

There’s a better way.

Stop cluttering your desktop with folders for each of the customers you manage, and actually see that nice picture of your family that you set as the background two years ago.

Instead, let your TMS organize it all for you.  Assign documents to shipments or customers, and let the software do the heavy organizational lifting for you.

Manage a team that needs access to all of these things?  No problem.  Each user you grant access to within your BrokerWare™ portal gets access to exactly what you allow them to – so they can manage the documentation they need to, and you can still see it all at a high level.

MORE THAN JUST MAKING YOUR ADMIN TASKS MORE EFFICIENT, YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE HAPPIER, TOO.

Organizing documentation for your brokerage in an efficient, easy to access way that’s accessible online, anywhere, does more than just make your office more efficient.

Your customers are able to access the information relevant to them, too.

When you use a TMS such as BrokerWare™, you can provide a customer portal for your clients to log in to and check on their shipments.

That scenario from earlier?  It never had to happen at all.  The customer could have logged in and checked for the document they needed themselves, saving you the time of taking the call and looking it up.

Sure, they can still call and ask you to do it, and it’ll still be a matter of seconds to find the document you need.

But giving your customers the option to find the information they need, when they need it, is something they’ll appreciate in a major way.

ARE YOU READY FOR A BETTER WAY TO MANAGE THE ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE OF YOUR FREIGHT BROKERAGE?

There’s a reason our customers rate us as the #1 software for transportation management.

See it for yourself – request a demo by entering your information below:

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WHY YOUR CUSTOMERS NEED THEIR OWN PORTAL FOR BOOKING LTL SHIPMENTS

One of the main reasons your customers choose to outsource their freight shipping is because they can’t get the same rates or deals that you can for shipments.  In addition to that, they place their trust in your business that you can find and coordinate the best rate, best route, and best carrier(s) for their shipments.

After all, that’s the main benefit in working with a 3PL, right?  Less stress, less worry, better quality shipping.

That might have been enough for the last few decades, but recently, customers are getting more demanding.

It’s not enough anymore to simply let them know the rates for shipments.  Now, they want tracking information, they want to be able to view and decide on rate quotes for themselves, and they want to handle everything for their shipments on their own.  They don’t want to call you every time they make a shipment anymore – they want the ease of taking care of shipments themselves.

booking LTL shipments

WHAT EXACTLY IS A CUSTOMER PORTAL?

In any transportation management system (TMS), you or your team will log in to your own portals to review all the data for running your brokerage.  Software like BrokerWare™ shows you pretty much everything you need for your business in one place: accounting, documents, quotes, shipments, tracking information, etc.

The portal itself is just how you log in to that software – since BrokerWare™ is hosted in the cloud, you can log into it from any computer, anywhere.  This makes it monumentally easy to manage your business: log in from home, work, or any location you have to work for the day.  If you hire someone new, there’s no installing the software locally – you simply confirm that you need to add a new user, and you can have them onboarded in a single day.

The ability for each user to have their own portal (and associated permissions) is what makes BrokerWare™ so popular among our customers, and their customers, too.

Your office staff can have their own portals, with their own permissions, which you set at an admin level.

Your customers can also have their own portals, with access only to the carriers and rates you’ve chosen.

It’s those customer portals that are so valuable.

CUSTOMER PORTALS ARE JUST ONE TOOL THAT ENABLE YOU TO PROVIDE A SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

Shippers today want an integrated, easy experience that’s reminiscent of how they ship things in their every day life.  You and I both know that shipping FTL or LTL isn’t at all like ordering a package from Amazon, but the average shipper doesn’t understand why that isn’t the case.

If Amazon provides tracking updates for their individual packages, and they can just log in to check them, why can’t they get similar updates for the shipments they book at work?

By using the BrokerWare customer portal, they can log in and check tracking information. 

Just like how Amazon’s tracking updates come in each time packages go through a check point (changing trucks at a distribution center, etc), you can provide similar insights for your customers by granting them access to a customer portal.

Seems almost absurdly simple, but it’s the kind of insight customers are starting expect from their 3PL providers.

You can provide that for your customers, increasing their satisfaction with the service you provide – and ensuring you retain their business.

More than just keeping your current customers, improving their satisfaction with your business is one of the best ways to get those all-important word of mouth referrals.  Happy customers tell others about your business, which of course, means you get more customers.

See what the customer portal is all about – enter your information below to request a demo:

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3PL SOFTWARE — GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND SET YOURSELF APART FROM THE CROWD

A Transportation Management System is an integral part of the freight brokerage business. More often than not, a good TMS is the deciding factor of who wins and who loses in this industry.

Tools have been essential to humanity since the dawn of time. Unsurprisingly, that is no different in today’s business world. TMS is the essential tool for our industry.

WHETHER YOU’RE A NEW FREIGHT BROKER OR YOU’VE BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR A WHILE, TMS SOFTWARE CAN IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS

TMS software like BrokerWare™ isn’t an add-on to your business or a bonus like it used to be — it’s a necessity to work efficiently in this industry.

For freight brokers who are just starting out,getting a quality piece of TMS software is probably the only way they’re going to be able to achieve a high level of efficiency without having to hire a whole bunch of people.

It’s a key to growth in a variety of ways. First, because it is going to automate many different tasks, you simply need less employees, which means that overhead costs stay low from the beginning.

Any freight broker with any sort of experience in the industry understands the value of this. Brokers run on razor-thin margins, margins that can often turn into losses when something goes awry on a shipment. Choosing carriers and matching them with shippers can be a hazardous undertaking, and when things don’t go the way they should, a high overhead can suddenly become a very large problem.

By keeping business processes slim and efficient from day one, the new freight broker can establish themselves as someone who can get the job done without having to worry immediately about paying a truckload of salaries every few weeks.

BUT BUSINESS GROWTH IS ONLY THE TIP OF THIS ICEBERG

Another really important (vital, really) benefit of working with a TMS isn’t a benefit to you — it’s a benefit to your customers!

Gone are the days when the only way to make any sort of order was to pick up the phone and make a call. Even the days of sending a series of emails are gone.

As a population, we’ve been spoiled by large shippers of consumer goods like Amazon. Many shippers these days want the ability to schedule a shipment entirely online without ever once having to send you an email or make a phone call or send a fax.

They want you to pair them with the right carrier at the right time (which is usually right now), and they want to do so from the comfort of their own computer.

Practically speaking, most 3PL software should be able to do this, but it’s not always the case — not every TMS includes API integrations, and not every TMS is able to connect to all the major load boards (let alone sort through them all to find you the best carrier with the best rate for the shipment and lane). Without something like RateShare™, you’re relying solely on the integrity of your contacts to make sure you can offer the best rates to shippers — and without a customer portal, it’s like you’re operating back in the 1980s.

Being able to offer a customer portal — a website where your customers can login and schedule a shipment, especially repeat shipments, quickly and easily – can be an incredible way to set yourself apart from the crowd of brokers who all claim to be doing basically the same thing that you do.

Shippers today just don’t want the hassle of having to call or fax or send an email every time they want to schedule a shipment — and there are a lot of brokers out there who are willing to remove that hassle for customers in order to get their business.

You probably should try to be one of those brokers.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS, AND YOUR BUSINESS WILL THRIVE

BrokerWare™ is one of the top-performing pieces of 3PL software in the brokerage industry.

Contact us today to see how we can help you set yourself apart from the competition.

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INSURING AGAINST ACCOUNTING ERRORS: HOW TMS INTEGRATIONS PREVENT MAJOR MISTAKES

Roadrunner Transportation has been in the news lately due to their need to restate their financial statements for their quarterly earnings as far back as 2014. They’re investigating errors in unreconciled balance sheets, as well as issues with their internal controls.

These errors are adding up to huge adjustments – somewhere between $20 and $25 million.

Your company may not be as large as Roadrunner Transportation, but you may be at risk of similar errors.  Small mistakes in cash, receivables, and driver payables can add up to major financial discrepancies by the end of the year.

So how can you safeguard your company against the same pitfalls the giants have run into?

STOP ENTERING YOUR DATA MANUALLY FROM ONE TOOL TO ANOTHER.

It’s a small thing, but you remove a massive amount of risk by having the various tools you use for your business integrate with each other.

By syncing QuickBooks with your transportation management system, you’ll be able to see invoices, who has a positive balance with your company, and who still owes you money.

You’re also removing the chance for human error from the equation: no more double entering the information into QuickBooks, and then again into your TMS, or again into your document management system or warehouse management system.

It’s all seamlessly managed in a single portal from your TMS.

Your TMS does offer QuickBooks integration, right?

ALL THE DATA YOU NEED IN A SINGLE PLACE:

Handle your dispatch and operations completely within your TMS, and ensure that your customer data is synced up properly with your QuickBooks integration.

This means you create your quotes, book shipments, and handle all aspects of the shipment from the portal – and all of the necessary information about financials sync up with QuickBooks.  You don’t have to keep post it notes all over your computer monitor to remind you of who’s requested a quote, who to follow up with, or who you need more information from.

With a properly structured system, one that allows for simple document and data management of your clients, you run a much lower risk of missing the little expenses that have caused so many problems for Roadrunner Transportation.  Instead, you can review each customer’s status, and set efficient workflows for your team to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

It all starts with data management, and your TMS should be a major asset in how you manage that data.

ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO CHECK THEIR OWN DATA TO MINIMIZE ERRORS

One of the best ways to prevent errors in data entry is to allow the people who know what the correct information is to review it themselves.

BrokerWare™ enables your business to set up Customer Portals, which not only allow for a more efficient way for them to track shipments, but enables your customers to check their data for errors.  No one is going to spot an error as quickly as the person who will have to deal with the repercussions later.

Additionally, this level of insight into shipment status and checking rates gives your customers a feeling of greater control over their shipments.  Happier customers are profitable customers – they’ll be more willing to ship with your company again and again, as they know exactly what’s happening with their shipments as data is made available.

ABOVE ALL – YOU NEED TO ROUTINELY CHECK YOUR FINANCIAL DATA

Without inside knowledge of exactly what happened at Roadrunner Transportation, it’s hard to say exactly what went wrong in how they managed their financials.

You can avoid the same pitfalls by reviewing your own financial information on a regular basis.  Reports offered within your TMS can help you get a bird’s eye view of your status, and that essential integration with QuickBooks means your data is always up to date.

Review the same issues that were a problem for Roadrunner – will they impact your business the same way?  Make sure drivers are paid out, that your accounts receivables are organized, and check that all COD or similar transactions are also noted correctly in the system.

It may take you a few hours each month, but that’s far better than an audit that requires weeks or months to complete.

See it for yourself – enter your information below to get a personalized demo:

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VALUE VS. COST – WHAT’S THE BEST 3PL SOFTWARE FOR THE MONEY?

Looking for a new third party logistics software can be a headache, especially once you start comparing the pricing.  What’s worth paying more for?  What’s not?

What’s worth paying for at all? 

When it comes to the 3PL software that keeps your business running smoothly, free isn’t likely to be the best option.

FREE IS RARELY ACTUALLY FREE.

The best software options aren’t free for a reason – it takes money to make a quality piece of software, and it takes money to maintain it.  The people it takes to build software, the servers it’s hosted on, all of the moving parts all require money.

If something is being offered for free, it’s because the company offering it is getting something else from you in return.

This often takes the form of charging you for specific actions you need to complete a shipment or manage your accounting, or simply to upsell you to a higher priced version of their software.  Most “free” transportation management software options really are only free to install – to actually make them worthwhile and useful, you end up paying more and more over time.

So instead, you’re better off looking at software options that don’t try to hide their cost.  It’s more honest, and it allows you to set an appropriate budget for what you need.  No surprise charges when you need to call support, no fees for using loadboards or limits on the number of shipments you can process each month.

YOUR BUSINESS SHOULDN’T HAVE TO FIT AROUND YOUR TMS – THE TMS SHOULD FIT AROUND YOUR BUSINESS.

So if you’re not going to just go with the freemium TMS that looks the prettiest, how do you choose the best TMS for the price?

First and foremost, you need to look at what exactly you need from your transportation management software.  Are there things you haven’t considered from your TMS that maybe you should?

Things like safety – an extremely valuable offering you could be providing your clients is the ability to know the up to date insurance and safety ratings of your carriers.  A TMS that integrates with tools such as SaferWatch or DAT Carrier Watch ensures that you and your clients know exactly how safe your carriers are.

What types of shipments does your business handle most often?  Do you prefer (or most often book) LTL shipments?  Or are full truckloads where most of your business comes from?

Each type of shipment has its own nuances, and LTL in particular can be incredibly fickle.  Rates and available trucks change constantly, and you need to be able to post available trucks easily.  Can your TMS integrate with the biggest and most used load boards out there?

You shouldn’t have to pay extra for integrations with load boards such as Truckstop.com, DAT solutions, 123 Loadboard, GetLoaded, or Post Everywhere – and you should be able to post to all of them at once.  Not having to copy and paste the loads you need to fill to each and every load board is a huge time saving option.

WANT TO SEE BROKERWARE™’S ABILITIES FOR YOURSELF?  REQUEST A DEMO HERE.

One that not all transportation management software options provide.  BrokerWare™ does.

HAPPIER CLIENTS MEANS MORE SHIPMENTS – WHICH IS MORE MONEY FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

Would it be helpful to your business to allow your clients to login and book shipments themselves?  Does the TMS you’re looking at offer a client login portal?

Have you considered just how happy a login portal would make your clients?

They can log in to their own portal and check on shipments, get quotes, and book their own shipments.  You no longer need a massive sales team to call or talk to each and every client – they can book shipments on their own.

Time saved for your team, allowing your salespeople to seek out new business.

And money made for you – more efficient booking means more loads you can facilitate, which of course, means more profits.

Client portals can be tricky, but with the right TMS, they’re easy to set up, and easy for your clients to use.  You can even integrate BrokerWare™ with LiveChat or BoldChat, allowing for your team to easily provide customer service exactly when your clients need it.  Online chat options can be significantly lower in their costs to manage, especially compared to phones.

Not all clients want to call you every time they need to book a shipment.  They know what they need to ship, or they make the same shipments every week or every month, and they know what information to provide to book the shipment.

With their own portal, they can just book those routine shipments.  No need to pick up a phone – they can continue to efficiently run your business, and as their 3PL provider, you’re the freight broker they’re happy to use because it’s so easy.

If you’d rather still talk personally to each and every client, then you don’t necessarily need to provide a client login portal.

Chances are, however, that they’d prefer it.

WHETHER YOUR ACCOUNTING TEAM IS JUST YOU, OR AN ENTIRE DEPARTMENT, YOUR TMS ABSOLUTELY MUST INTEGRATE WITH IT.

Does your TMS integrate with your accounting software?  Whether it’s QuickBooks Online, desktop QuickBooks, or Sage Software, your TMS must integrate with it to be as effective as possible.

This valuable integration ensures you don’t have accounting errors as a result of double entering information from one form or screen into another.  It also saves valuable time – not just from simplifying your data entry, but by combining all of your necessary documents and data in one place.

If you’re still keeping track of things with good, old-fashioned pen and paper, then this isn’t likely to be much of a help for you.

But if you are using accounting software, then ensuring that the TMS you use integrates with that software is vital.  It’s really not an optional feature if you want to remain competitive these days.  Clients are unforgiving of billing errors, and double-entering your data from your freemium TMS to your accounting software is a huge risk for errors being made.

YOU CAN’T FORGET THE POTENTIAL FOR ADDITIONAL REVENUE STREAMS:

Not confident that your carriers are providing you the best rates?  Have a request for a shipment that’s outside of your usual shipping lanes?  You need a TMS that can allow you to check shipping rates for lanes outside of what you normally use with your regular carriers.

BrokerWare™ allows you to utilize an option called RateShare, which lets you check for the rates of other carriers that you don’t currently have a negotiated rate with.  Find something that allows you to set a higher profit margin and still remain competitive?  Book it through RateShare!

A single portal, a single place, with everything you need to manage your freight forwarding business.

If your TMS isn’t aiding your business in growing and increasing your profits, is it really doing what it should?

If the new option you’re reviewing isn’t a step up – just a different version of the same limited options – maybe it’s time to invest in a quality software that will actually help you make more money.

See it for yourself by entering your information below:

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RATESHARE: THE FREIGHT BROKER’S SECRET WEAPON

I get it, you’re busy.

But that’s no excuse for not utilizing one of the easiest, and fastest ways you could be getting better rates on each of your shipments!

RateShare is one of those advanced features you don’t get from free transportation management systems.  It’s more than just finding the lowest rates from your current carriers, displayed in an easy to navigate dashboard.

YOUR CARRIERS DON’T ALWAYS HAVE THE BEST RATES FOR EVERY SHIPPING LANE YOU NEED.

Your carriers need to cover their costs, pay their people, and still try to hit their own revenue targets.  No one can blame them for that.

It does mean, though, that not all carriers operate at the same rate for the same shipping lane at any given time.  While you may have contracts with carriers you’ve negotiated with, there’s nothing to say there isn’t another carrier in that same lane who is able to do it at a lower rate.

That’s where RateShare comes in.

It’s access to carriers you don’t currently have contracts with.  You don’t have to search for them, call them up, or negotiate contracts before you can get access to the better rates that you see on your screen.  You just book through your portal the exact same way you normally would.

Available trucks and the rates change all the time.  That’s why you use a transportation management system to manage your carrier relationships and find rates in an efficient, timely fashion.

You don’t have to limit yourself to only the carriers you have contracts with, though.

Which means you might find a carrier that provides you with a better profit margin in your current lanes.  You can still choose to use the carriers you’ve established a relationship with – or you can get the lower rate from somewhere else.

Even better – it could mean that you can source competitive rates in lanes you couldn’t compete in before.  If your carrier can’t offer competitive rates for a geographical region outside of their main area, there’s no reason for you not to find a carrier that can.  And that’s what Rateshare is there for.

Simply put, RateShare provides access to a marketplace within BrokerWare™ to buy or sell LTL rates.

WAIT A MINUTE – DID YOU SAY SELL LTL RATES?

Yes – you could sell your LTL rates (and your built in margins) to others within the BrokerWare™ ecosystem.  An entirely new stream of revenue and you barely need to lift a finger.

When other brokers use your rates, you still make your margin from that shipment, even if you didn’t have anything to do with the customer, shipment, or management.

How’s that for an easy way to increase revenue?

It’s not complicated.

Either way, whether you’re buying or selling a rate, you’re increasing your profits.

You can’t lose.

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