Anyone working in logistics knows the importance of on-time deliveries for business success. Yet, managing multiple carriers manually can quickly become a logistical nightmare. Picture scattered data, wasted hours and limited visibility into your shipments. It’s a recipe for inefficiency.

The game-changer? Carrier management software.

Carrier management involves overseeing the performance of your delivery partners, from selecting the right carriers and negotiating contracts to resolving claims and monitoring their efficiency. While it might sound straightforward, mastering effective carrier management requires juggling numerous tasks and staying on top of many moving parts.

What’s involved in carrier management?

  1. Choosing the right carrier. This is the foundation of successful carrier management. To do this, you need to define your specific criteria of what “good” looks like for your business needs. Think about your shipping requirements and research potential carriers to find the best fit based on reputation, service offerings and equipment capabilities. Don’t forget to check their track record, safety and financial stability.
  2. Negotiating contracts and rates. Once you’ve chosen your carrier, it’s time to negotiate a contract outlining pricing, payment terms, service guarantees and dispute resolution processes.
  3. Handling claims. Even with careful planning, unexpected issues happen. Having a clear claims handling process means you can resolve problems quickly, minimise disruptions and recover costs associated with lost or damaged goods.
  4. Proactive carrier performance management (CPM). Effective CPM ensures your carriers are delivering as promised. This involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like on-time delivery rates and order accuracy. If you identify issues, address them promptly with the carrier to prevent future problems. Use this data to make informed decisions and guide future contracting choices.

Why does manual carrier management fall short?

Some businesses might opt to handle carrier management processes without using software. There’s a few reasons for this – all of them valid.

Small businesses with low shipment volume, for example, might not see an immediate need for carrier management software. Business set-ups with tighter profit margins might not see past the price tag. Start-up business owners might simply be unaware of the benefits that carrier management software can deliver.

However, businesses that fall into these categories shouldn’t rule out carrier management software or underestimate the impact it can have. As a business grows, manual processes will become far too time-consuming and leave you wide open to errors, damaging brand reputation and customer experiences. Plus, errors cost money. So, while initial investments in carrier management might seem pricey, the cost savings and efficiency gains are worth it. And that’s without acknowledging the challenges of manual carrier management.

The challenges of manual carrier management

Multi-carrier management without a software solution has big drawbacks. Let’s break these down to see them clearly.

Without a central system, there’s data silos

Imagine shipment data scattered across endless emails, numerous spreadsheets and multiple carrier portals. Without a central system, getting a holistic view of your delivery KPIs and identifying trends makes it almost impossible to manage carrier performance.

Manual processes cost you time

Manually tracking shipments, managing contracts and filing claims is a tedious and error-prone process. Without software automating these tasks, businesses lose valuable time and resources.

Limited shipment visibility

Without real-time data, you don’t have enough visibility of your shipments. This means that logistics teams are unaware of potential delays and can’t intervene or communicate effectively with the carriers and customers.

Ship smarter, not harder. The benefits of carrier management software

With carrier management software, you can say goodbye to juggling multiple carrier portals and spreadsheets. A multi-carrier management system can simplify the entire delivery process, giving you total control and increased efficiency. There are many ways carrier management software makes delivery and carrier management easier.

1: Connect to multiple carriers with a single integration.

No more logging into different portals – manage everything from one central platform and integrate once. This saves you time and frees you from the hassle of maintaining multiple logins.

2: Gain complete control over your shipments with a user-friendly dashboard.

View, create and manage shipments, rules and settings with ease. A handy timeline keeps you updated on shipment progress and highlights any exceptions, allowing you to prioritise issues efficiently.

3: Offer your customers a wider range of delivery options.

Set automated allocation rules based on factors like cost, value, or weight and size. This helps you to select the most suitable carrier for each shipment, meeting customer expectations and potentially reducing costs.

4: Generate carrier-compliant shipping labels quickly and easily.

No need to request labels and custom documentation from each carrier. Generate customs documentation automatically, saving valuable time and reducing errors. (And with a label decorator, you can even brand your labels with a professional touch.)

5: Reduce costs and save on shipping.

Eliminate the costs associated with managing multiple direct carrier integrations. With accurate cost allocation for each delivery, you can negotiate better rates with carriers and make invoice reconciliation easier.

6: Gain valuable insights into your delivery performance.

Track key metrics like on-time delivery rates, carrier performance by region, and shipping location effectiveness. This data empowers you to identify areas for improvement and proactively address any issues before they impact customer satisfaction.

7: Make informed decisions based on real-time carrier availability.

Allocate shipments based on current conditions to avoid errors and delays. This ensures you consistently meet delivery promises and maintain high customer satisfaction scores.

In an increasingly complex logistics landscape, relying on manual processes is no longer viable for businesses aiming to scale and optimise their operations. Carrier management software offers a comprehensive solution, streamlining every aspect of your delivery process and providing the insights needed to make informed decisions.

By embracing automated carrier management, you’ll not only reduce costs and increase efficiency but also significantly enhance customer satisfaction. It’s time to transform your logistics operations and stay ahead in the competitive market.

Ready to revolutionise your delivery management? Explore how our carrier management software can drive your business forward with our CMS Playbook, and contact us for a demo and see the difference for yourself.