How to Automate Your LTL Operations
Increased efficiently and automation are high on most people’s wish list when investing in technology for their business. With increased competition and slimming margins in the LTL market, businesses are looking to automate most of their operations to compete and stay profitable. Here are a few ways businesses have implemented technology to automate their LTL operations:
– Pull LTL Freight Contracts Directly From Common Carriers: Building out freight contracts and managing the fuel surcharge can take a lot of time and resources to manage. Automating this process through Application Program Interface (API) calls with the common carriers will eliminate those tasks altogether.
– Electronically Dispatch to Common Carriers: This will save time from having to phone in an order or recreating a shipment in the vendor’s website to dispatch. Another big advantage to electronically dispatching LTL orders is to communicate your Bill of Lading (BOL) number to the carrier. This is an important step to automating your LTL operations because it sets the table to start linking incoming electronic shipment updates from the carrier to the proper shipment on your Transportation Management System (TMS)
– Retrieve Carrier Reference Numbers Electronically: Eliminate the extra call to the carrier to find out a shipment’s Pro Number after the order has been picked up. Common carriers can provide important reference information electronically such as: Quote Number, Pickup Number, & Pro Number.
– Record & Update Shipments Status Based on Electronic Tracking Information: Spend less time on check calls to get updated tracking information. As electronic tracking information is received from the carrier, that information can be automatically posted on a shipment activity log, the shipment location can be mapped, and update the actual shipment status of a shipment.
– Electronically Received Image Copies of Carrier Documents: Instead of logging into carrier’s websites to retrieve important shipping documents like a signed BOL, Proof of Delivery (POD), and Weight & Inspection (W&I) Certificates, some carrier make that information readily available from your TMS application through an open API.
– Auto Audit Incoming Carrier Invoices (EDI 210): Instead of auditing and entering every single carrier invoice that is received by snail mail, have carriers send their carrier invoices electronically into your TMS. This way incoming invoices can be automatically audited and modified if the price variance is within the accepted tolerance level that was preset on the TMS.
If you would like more information on how our Freight Broker Software can help you automate your LTL operations, please email me at jon.lansangan@efreightsolutions or call 877-261-4004 x130.