Logistics Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Logistics Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Logistics Software

Due to globalization, businesses are handling multiple markets and various demographics. This wider approach has set a higher benchmark for the enterprises to provide goods and services efficiently to their clients and customers. Businesses require proper planning to carry out their logistic services smoothly. 

Though there are many challenges in the logistics and supply chain industry, but with the help of advanced technology, it is easy and manageable to deal with the difficulties so that the best of the services can be provided to the end-users. 

First, let’s discuss the challenges in the logistics industry.

What are the challenges in the logistics industry?

The challenges faced in the logistic industry are:

  • Fuel and transportation costs – The transportation costs can increase for shippers due to higher fuel prices. The logistic manager needs some strategy that can help in simplifying the challenges.
  • Deals with the data management process– The logistic manager has to deal with a large number of figures and data. They have to coordinate with the smooth discharge of operations. It is tough for logistic managers to cross-check route maps, sanction fuel bills, and ensure the safety of the fleet and the staff manually. 
  • Business Process Improvement- It is tough for the logistics industry to stay on the top without investing in new advances in the business processes. The logistics sector needs the latest and updated technology to remain competitive in their business dealings. 
  • Workforce management and driver shortage – Managing workforce is a challenging task in the logistics industry. It requires an efficient manager, a platform for quality communication, and the smoother movement of the goods. There is the issue of hiring and retention of drivers in the logistics industry. 
  • Better customer Service- From the online stores, the customers prefer certain features. They want to receive tracking information, real-time updates, faster shipping, and information regarding the delivery journey. The logistics industry needs to satisfy their customers. 
  • Inventory control and visibility- To gain control and the profile on the inventory is the challenging task for every e-commerce and retail business. With the help of technology, the 3PL (third party logistics) can provide visibility in the warehouse. 
  • Customized and segmented services- The logistic managers have to deliver goods on time. They have to offer customized services to different suppliers and customers in terms of packages and pricing. 
  • Reverse Logistics – The e-commerce business these days uses a reverse logistic strategy that can be challenging and costly if it lacks the right support. 

We have seen that there are many challenges in the logistics industry. Businesses can cope up with these challenges by making use of the logistic software that can meet their logistic and supply chain demands efficiently.  

What is logistic software?

Logistics means the flow of things from the point of origin to the consumption by customers or businesses. Logistic management is the part of the supply chain that employs the process of planning and implementation that helps in storing and delivering goods and services to the customers. 

The logistic management system involves the functions of inbound and outbound transportation management, warehouse management, and fleet management, processing orders, inventory control, planning supply, demand forecasting, and managing third-party logistics service providers. The logistic software is used for managing and scheduling of mailing; tracking of letters, packages, and equipment along with shipping. The logistic software aims to deliver goods and services to the end-user by employing the right means.

logistics

What are the features of logistics software?

There are many useful features of logistic software that helps in managing the entire supply chain operations. The main features of logistics software are as follows:

  • Transportation Management – The logistic management software has the function of dispatch scheduling, automated carrier selection (to decide the smartest shipping method for each delivery), route optimization, shipment consolidation, and real-time tracking of cargo. 
  • Costing and Invoicing Control- The logistic software solution features the advanced capability to process and apply policies like service contracts effortlessly. The customers are invoiced on time. It also incorporates the features of shipping tasks, receiving, and storage. 
  • Risk Management – The logistics system simplifies the accident or calamity management, insurance claims, lost freight, and other incidents. It has the facility to identify potential areas to lessen the risk, for example, a proper system to analyze driver history.
  • Supply Chain Analytics – The logistic operations are offered by the analytics tools that help in capitalizing the existing data. The reforms are introduced based on a substantial number and proven facts. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools can power the latest analytics and data-crunching devices. 
  • Mobility solutions- Logistic firms can have a clear overview of the business management process due to mobility solutions. The real-time updates are delivered on mobiles that help in providing critical information to all the stakeholders.
  •  Inventory Management- The vital aspect of logistics is to optimize the inventory management that helps in ensuring that the organization can store stock goods, raw materials, and supplies which in turn helps in the proper flow of goods. 
  • Client Web Portals- The third-party logistics can view product histories, inventory figures, and shipment records remotely by making use of his feature. The third-party logistics companies get complete inventory control even when they are off-site due to the functionality of client web portals. 
  • Integrated Accounting- The logistics system maintains the seamless information transfer between the management of freight and payment by handling quotes, expenses, billing, invoicing, receivables, and even currency transactions. 
  • Warehouse Management- The logistics software includes barcode or RFID scanning inventory transfer and smart storage tools that help the warehouse manager regarding storage location decisions and support with picking and packing.

Other required features of logistic software:

  • E-commerce integration
  • Multi-client architecture
  • Parcel Carriers
  • Real-time visibility
  • Billing Management
  • Shipment Tracking
  • Costing and Invoicing Control
  • Order Management
  • Forecasting tools for efficient planning
  • Seamless integration (ERP system integration and e-commerce integration)
  • End-to-end supply chain visibility
  • Optimization tools
  • Import/export support
  • Track and trace
  • Customer Relationship Management

logistics

Why is logistics software essential?

The Logistic Management system plays a vital role in resolving any supply chain problems. The logistic solution highlights the company to its biggest competitors. You can go through the below-mentioned  points to understand the importance of logistic software:

  • Positive business results – The logistics industry can gain its reputation based on speed, safety, and efficiency. As the customer base is spread on a large scale, there should be well-coordinated deliveries so that customers get their deliveries on time and in perfect condition.
  • Automate functions- Logistic management software can automate services related to load tendering to carriers, paperwork, and load planning. The process of automation helps in working more effectively and more efficiently. 
  • Shipping - The route maps are created with the help of logistics software that carries out shipment work smoothly. There is the optimum usage of shipping mode, and correct carriers are selected to carry out the logistic operations. Through better shipment planning and handling, the shippers can reduce expedited shipments with the help of logistic software. 
  • Connect shippers – The logistic software connects shippers with carriers that help in offering the right mixing and stacking strategies for a particular type of freight. The logistic software solves the problem of the breakage of the products in the shipping process. 
  • Real-time freight data- The logistic software can run reports and make more efficient business decisions based on history and previous trends. You can get the total cost of your business decisions and help you in lessening the poor freight management decisions.
  • Reduce cost and improve efficiency- The businesses can work with highly professional and reliable logistic companies by providing faster delivery of a product which in turn helps in improving efficiency. The logistic software helps in providing improved customer experience and higher working efficiency. 
  • Key to success with supply chains- It gets easier to build and maintain a positive public image with the help of reliable logistic services. Companies with a high inventory turnover ratio depend on logistics to serve customers on time. The logistics and supply chain processes mainly affect sales and profits, so they are significant for businesses. 
  • Timely delivery of the product at the right place- Business entrepreneurs can ensure quick and safe shipping with the help of an experienced team of professionals. Businesses can answer short-time requirements with the help of professionally organized logistics. With the help of logistic software, the companies can ensure that their products get to the right place on time. 
  • Reduces costly errors- The right logistic software will save you from repeating mistakes that can cost you a lot of money and labor in the long-run. You can have access to storage and retrieval features that can provide invaluable growth and maintenance to your business.

logistics

What are the latest trends in the logistic system?

The logistic system is switching from paper-based processes and rigid legacy systems to digital supply networks. In logistic and supply chain operations, the concept of robotics and automation is widely implemented. You can see the following latest trends in the logistic system:

  • Blockchain – The decentralized distributed technology is designed to help in transforming business operations, records transactions, and create assets. The documents involved in the logistic process can be managed by creating a transparent and efficient system.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) - The logistics industry integrates the solutions of AI for transportation, route planning, and demand planning in their operations. The latest logistic technology provides benefits to shippers, carriers, suppliers, and consumers. 
  • Augmented Intelligence- Augmented Intelligence solutions are implemented by logistics companies to allow logistics professionals to do their tasks quickly. This technology can reduce mistakes and create cost-savings schemes.
  • Supply Chain Digitization- In logistic practices, the process of digitization is used to improve speed, dynamics, and resiliency of the supply chain operations that result in more excellent customer responsiveness and higher revenue. 
  • Wearable devices- In the logistics industry, warehouse managers can make use of wearable devices that help in providing a fast and accurate collection of inventory data. It keeps track of manufactured, stored, and distributed products. The companies can maintain control of their inventories by employing wearable technology.
  • Autonomous Vehicles- Autonomous vehicles like trucks or drones are used in the logistics industry. In fleet maintenance, autonomous vehicles are used. 
  • Digital Twins- In logistics, digital twins technology is used to collect product and packaging data. Future operations are improved by identifying potential weaknesses and recurring trends. The digital twins' technique is used to increase efficiency, to improve delivery times, and to provide real-time information. 

Other latest trends are:

  • Warehouse Robotics
  • Sustainability Powered by technology
  • Rising investment into logistics start-ups from VCs (Venture Capital) and enterprises
  • The increasing significance of industry newcomers
  • Data standards and advanced analytics
  • Use of Software-as-a-service(SaaS) model in logistics management
  • Secure collaboration in the supply chain process
  • More attention on risk management and supply chain resiliency
  • Focus on circular supply chain concept
  • Customer segmentation
  • Globalization and Compliance
  • Technologically Savvy workforce
  • Security with cloud technology
  • Omnichannel logistics facilities
  • Supply chain operations
  • RFID (Radio-frequency identity chips) for real-time tracking information
  • Embedded Integration Technology

After knowing the importance of logistic software, you must be eager to pick the best logistic software that can meet your business demands effortlessly. If you are into a small business, then the option of a free and open-source logistics management system is apt for you. With open source logistics software, you can customize the coding of the software as per the requirement. 

In case your business has a low budget cost, then the ideal option is to have free logistic software. In this article, you will get accustomed to the list of top-notch quality of free and open-source logistics management systems. Let’s move ahead to explore the same. But, before that, let's have a quick look at the comparison chart of free and open-source logistics software.

comparison chart

Free and open-source logistic software solutions

1 OpenTCS (free and open-source)

OpenTCS is the free logistic software that helps in controlling the vehicles efficiently. This open-source logistic software serves as the fleet management system that manages automatic vehicles effortlessly. This logistic software can be used with other automated vehicles like mobile robots or quadcopters. 

The pluggable vehicle drivers of OpenTCS implements the communication protocols and a graphical frontend that helps in making and visualizing the logical models of areas the vehicles are moving in. 

openTCS(Source: OpenTCS)

Highlights:

  • Platform independent
  • Vendor independent
  •  Pluggable vehicle drivers
  • Independent of vehicle manufacturer or vendor
  • Replaceable strategies for routing and scheduling of vehicles
  • The flexible, usable control system
  • Customer Management
  • Tracking
  • Warehouse Management

2 OpenLMIS (open source) 

OpenLMIS is a powerful open-source logistics management system that efficiently manages health commodity supply chains. This software helps in improving data accuracy and data timeliness. This open-source logistics software can increase accountability, along with data visibility. 

This user-friendly software can effortlessly reduce manual data entry and hand calculations. This cloud-based electronic logistics management information system provides complete, accurate, and timely data for decision-making that helps in lowering stockouts, manage waste and losses proficiently and operates an effective and well-organized supply chain.

OpenLMIS

(Source: OpenLMIS)

Highlights:

  • Barcoding/RFID
  • Shipping Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Modular architecture for extensibility
  • Requisitions (Ordering)
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Stock Management and local fulfillment
  • Vaccine Management
  • Standard-based approach

3 Open Door Logistic Studio (open source) (free)

 Open Door Logistic Studio is the open-source logistic management software that serves agencies and start-ups. This free logistics software can effortlessly manage geographic customer data. The software efficiently provides end-to-end solutions to users. For sales or delivery territories, the ODL Studio (Open Door Logistics) Studio can perform territory design and territory management. It plans routes for your fleet of vehicles by making use of an Excel spreadsheet. The software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops.

open door logistics studio

(Source: Open Door Logistic Studio)

Highlights:

  • Territory design 
  • Territory Mapping
  • Vehicle Fleet Scheduling
  • Colour Coding
  • Geocoding
  • Labeling
  • Map Creation
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Customer Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Tracking 
  • Transportation Management

4 OpenMAINT (Open source) (free)

OpenMAINT is the open-source logistics management system that is based on CMDBuild (the open-source environment for configuring customized applications for asset management). This free logistics software manages the movement of consumable material used for maintenance activities. 

The software manages the consumables registry, record handling documents of consumables and the list of the materials involved. This software serves as the database of warehouse and warehouse items. It helps in handling stuff that is used in maintenance activities.

openMAINT

(Source: OpenMAINT)

Highlights:

  • Text and graphic browsing
  • Document file
  • Workflow Engine
  • Data import and export functionality
  • Web-based user interface
  • Barcoding /RFID
  • Dashboard
  • Shipping Management
  • Tracking
  • Transportation Management
  • Record handling documents of consumables
  • Print the current stock of consumable
  • Manage consumable registry

5 CargoApps (free)

CargoApps is the free logistics software that helps in digitizing and automating the transport logistics. It is a quick transport solution for freight forwarders, carriers, and shippers. This logistics software solution can manage transport handling from small carriers over medium-sized forwarders to medium-sized shippers. 

The software plans, controls, and monitors the system of order processing. The transport management process can be standardized and automated with this user-friendly software. 

Cargoapps(Source: CargoApps)

Highlights:

  • Barcoding /RFID
  • Dashboard
  • Tracking
  • Manages transport digitally
  • Handles subcontractors
  • Plan truck routes
  • Analyze sales and routes
  • Calculate toll
  • Manage digital orders
  • Receive a proof of delivery
  • Organize your carriers
  • Analyze costs

6 ShippingEasy (30 days free trial)

Shipping Easy is the cloud-based logistics management software that is suitable for small to midsize e-commerce businesses. The users can customize shipping labels and packing slips so that branding can be managed easily. 

The software provides print labels, packing slips and pick lists quickly. ShippingEasy automates the shipping process effectively. It provides advanced reporting to the users. This software offers excellent customer service and is apt for the online seller and eCommerce businesses. 

ShippingEasy

(Source: ShippingEasy)

Highlights:

  • Customer Management
  • Dashboard
  • Barcoding /RFID
  • Invoice Management
  • Order Management
  • Rate Management
  • Shipping Management
  • Tracking
  • Transportation Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Customer Marketing
  • Inventory Management
  • Returns Management
  • Label Customization

7 Linbis (14 days free trial)

Linbis is the cloud-based logistic software that can organize and ship efficiently. This logistics management software can make your logistic operations easy, quick, and cost-effective. 

The businesses can manage large quantities of inventories and operations with the help of Linbis. This software is apt for meeting the requirements of the logistics and supply chain industry. Companies associated with freight forwarders, third-party logistics, airlines, and ocean carriers can make use of this software to increase productivity and to gain huge profits.

Linbis

(Source: Linbis)

Highlights:

  • Customer Management
  • Barcoding/RFID
  • Dashboard
  • Order Management
  • Shipping Management (Air, Ground, and Ocean shipments)
  • Tracking
  • Transportation Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Accounting
  • Supplier Management
  • Cross Docking
  • Inventory Management

Apart from the above mentioned free and open-source logistics management system, there is also one more popular software named CarLo that can provide you with advanced features of logistic management. The article below highlights the prominent functionality of CarLo. Let’s move ahead to have a look at this software. 

CarLo (Popular)      

If you are looking for ideal logistic software for shippers and forwarding (logistics) companies, then CarLo is an apt option for you. This software has a modern design and intuitive user interface. This software allows businesses to cover all their forwarding processes.  

The software is a comprehensive solution that helps in efficient planning, controlling, and tracking of the transports. The automatic tour planning feature of this software takes care of the entire pre-planning of tours for larger fleets and order numbers.

CarLO

(Source: CarLo)

Highlights:

  • Order entry and calculation 
  • Shipping Management
  • Tracking 
  • Transportation Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Barcoding/RFID
  • Customer Management
  • Dashboard
  • Automated tour planning
  • Freight documents and Invoices
  • Advanced rights management
  • Telematics fully integrated

Wrapping up 

The logistics operations include the process of physical distribution, warehousing, handling of materials, processing of sales orders, packaging along with inventory and production planning. With the help of logistic software, businesses can coordinate all the supply chain activities effectively. The companies can control their logistics and supply chain operations by employing logistics management solutions. 

Effective logistic management is possible with proper planning, adoption of automation, warehouse management, and efficient transportation. The logistic network can be optimized by employing free and open-source logistic software solutions. It becomes easy and simple to ensure customer satisfaction and increase productivity with the help of high-quality open-source transportation management systems. 

The open-source supply chain management software allows organizations to produce good results with noticeable enhancement in the process, operations, and delivery. The logistic management software mentioned in this article can help you in managing the flow of things effectively so that the right product reaches the customer within a specific time. If you prefer more advanced features of logistic software solutions, then explore the GoodFirms platform that has curated the list of best logistic management software solutions available in the market. In case you have come across any of the above mentioned free and open-source logistic software solutions, then feel free to share your valuable reviews on the same. 

If you are looking for other software categories, then click here

Andrea Hernanadez
Andrea Hernanadez

Andrea Hernandez is a tech blogger and content marketing expert. She writes about disruptive tech trends counting blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Presently, as a senior writer, she is associated with GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review and rating platform. Follow her on social media for valuable information on the software.

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AloyAditya Sen
October 31, 2020 14:39

Good research by andrea .... this is quite helpful thanks

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