Logistics Software

Logistics Software

Do you need logistics software that can sleek down the hassles involved in the process? Worry no more! GoodFirms have prepared a list of best Logistics Management Software, well-rounded to manage the flow of products/services efficiently. Time and productivity are crucial to the transportation biz. Thus with rising demands and complex customer behavior, technology solutions are disrupting the conventional processes. A suitable logistics operation is needed that would deal to simplify the supply chain of your business, to have effective control, and thus profitability, over the efforts. With over a ton of logistics software or logistics apps available in the market, check out the below list of logistics systems:

116 Software

List of The Best Logistics System | Top Logistics Management Software

FilterReset
Back IconBack
Filter Reset
Popular Features
Select
Pricing Model
Select
Devices Supported
Select
Deployment
Select
Business Size
Select

List of The Best Logistics System | Top Logistics Management Software

Filter
compare software image

Buyer’s Guide

Introduction to the buyer’s guide for Logistics software

Complex processes, high-competition, ever-changing custom regulations, and substantial capital requirements make logistics one of the world's most challenging businesses. Moreover, the logistics marketplace is facing continuous disruptions due to shifting global patterns and new entrants. 

Today B2B customers demand greater transparency and efficiency in deliveries. With the evolution of ecommerce in industry 4.0, B2C customers demand as fast as one-day deliveries. These changes in customer expectations have compelled logistics service providers to remove their capacity constraints by adopting new technologies. Digital fitness is no more a choice for the logistics industry but a necessity to consolidate their asset-heavy balance sheets. 

A logistics software equips logistics businesses with the tools essential to provide exceptional services to customers expecting faster, customized, and reliable deliveries. However, choosing the best logistic software solution requires a comprehensive understanding of multiple parameters associated with the logistics applications. This buyer's guide intends to assist the logistics software seekers in making a prudent buying decision. 

What is Logistics? What are the types of common logistics services?

Definition: Logistics is the part of supply chain management that implements and controls the flow and storage of goods from origin to the destination. Logistics involves handling, packaging, warehousing, security, and transportation of goods.

The logistics business industry predominantly comprises of three business models:

Logistics service providers (LSPs): 

Logistics service providers (LSPs) are the freight forwarders or third-party logistics providers for the manufacturing industry, wholesalers,  retailers, and ecommerce companies. These 3PL (Third Party Logistics) providers are outsourced by shippers and manufacturers to take care of their warehousing and transportation needs.  With the increasing trend of outsourcing logistics services, the LSPs implement more strategies to meet the growing demand.

Carriers

Carriers are the freight companies (rail, sea, air, road) that provide freight services to LSPs. It is a commercial company specializing in transporting goods, managing shipments, and legal formalities related to the cargo.  

Courier/ Express/Parcel Companies (CEP)

CEP companies provide courier services, express deliveries, and parcel services to retailers, manufacturers, private customers, and other businesses. The emergence of ecommerce has paved the way for significant growth opportunities for CEP companies. According to Forrester's research, ecommerce will drive 66%  growth in Parcel deliveries in the next few years.


 

What are the elements of logistics management?

Logistics management refers to the management of storage, movement, and reverse flow of goods. An effective logistics strategy reduces service disruption, increases error-response time, and expedites shipping procedure. 

Typically the logistics management system includes the following:

Inbound and outbound transportation management

Transport is the most important element of logistics operations. Inbound logistics refers to the process of transported goods to the warehouse for storage. It is a movement of goods between manufacturers and suppliers. However, if the goods are transported to end customers, it is outbound logistics. 

Fleet management

Fleet (vehicle) management includes vehicle leasing, licensing and compliance, insurance management, vehicle tracking, fuel management, driver management, speed check, and safety measures. Logistics fleet managers manage all asset information and ensure compliance across an entire fleet operation.

Warehouse logistics management

Warehouse logistics encompasses the movement of goods in and out of the warehouse.  Warehouse logistics management refers to the processes required to keep goods moving in, around, and out of the warehouse. Inventory management is also a part of this module.

Packaging management

All goods delivered by the logistics service industry have to be packaged properly to ensure their safety during trips. Logistics providers have to take care of refrigeration and vacuum requirements for certain products and ensure water-proof, moisture-tight, and shockproof packaging. Logistics companies use standard box sizes, reusable, and eco-friendly packaging material to reduce costs and meet compliance.

Managing third-party logistics service providers

Sometimes logistics companies don't have their own freight forwarding service and depend on third-party freight carriers. Managing them comes under this module. 

Other modules:

Apart from the above modules, logistics also encompasses:

  • Customer relationship management
  • Supply Chain management
  • Planning and order processing
  • Human Resource management 

Logistics Process: Then and Now. How has the logistics process changed over time?

Logistics has its roots in military processes. It developed as a process for carrying arms and ammunition for the military.  Later, with industrialization, the need for intact supply chains was felt all around the world. It led to further developments in logistics and brought a major change in the way goods were procured. Earlier retailers and wholesalers procured goods from local suppliers; then, with time, they started purchasing from regional or national suppliers. When globalization kicked in, it paved the way to fetch goods from international suppliers. 

The evolution of a global supply chain added further improvements and also complexities to logistical processes. Then came ecommerce. Ecommerce compelled the logistic service providers to upgrade their existing infrastructure, add technology and software applications to make deliveries affordable, and meet customer expectations. Amazon's one-day delivery concept revolutionized the logistics industry further. 

Today, with technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, robotics, cloud computing, big data GPS tracking, RFID autonomous vehicles, etc., logistics has gained rapid advancements and increased its efficiency by manifold. 

What are the challenges faced by logistics service providers?

Managing Fuel costs

The ever-fluctuating fuel costs make it difficult to estimate the operating costs for the logistics industry. 

Planning and risk management

Planning the logistics and ensuring capacities across fleets is also a challenge. Moreover, quoting accurate rates to clients is also difficult.   

Managing reverse logistics

Dissatisfied customers, clients, retailers, etc. return goods. Logistics cannot be a one-way process. The logistics service providers have to create a mechanism for reverse logistics. Without a reverse logistics mechanism, companies can lose potential customers. 

Gaining Freight control and real-time visibility

LSPs find it difficult to provide real-time status of the shipments to their clients. It is also challenging to gain complete shipment control.

Processing huge amount of data   

Compliance to local and global logistics regulations is vital for meeting logistics commitments. However, ever-changing regulations make it a challenge for transport companies to keep pace with all regulations and meet complete compliance.  

Meeting customer expectations  

Customers prefer to receive tracking information, real-time updates of their parcels, etc. Preventing delivery delays and ensuring customer satisfaction with faster deliveries is a challenge for the logistics industry. 

Green Logistics Challenges:

Protecting economy and ecology, reducing environmental impact, and creating sustainable supply chain models are huge challenges faced by businesses striving for green logistics. Traffic issues in urban areas, poor roads, unavailability of cheap alternatives for fossil fuels make it difficult for the logistics industry to implement environmental policies. 

Driver shortage and retention

To date, logistics is a driver dependent industry. Costs of drivers’ wages are a major portion of operating costs. Moreover, the industry faces constant issues of skilled driver shortage and retention. 

Economy Disturbances

Economic disturbances and sudden changes in government regulations disrupt supply chains beyond measures. Uncertain political environments and maintaining freight status and timely transportation become a challenge for Logistics service providers.

Technological Glitches:

Poor technological infrastructure and poor investment in R&D may cause constant glitches and the logistics industry may face difficulties in providing the intended customer experience and operational stability. According to the 23rd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study: The State of Logistics Outsourcing,” 93% of shippers believe that IT capabilities are a necessary element of 3PL expertise.

What is Logistics Software?

Logistics software is a set of application suites that streamline and synchronize the complete logistics processes from origination to destination. Logistic software improves allocation planning and operational efficiency by allowing companies to monitor shipment flow and control distribution channels proactively. It helps businesses synchronize procedures, coordinate information, handle fleet, warehouse transportation, and many more.

It also helps businesses define their journey of logistics excellence by focussing on five parameters:

  1. Automation 
  2. Centralized functions
  3. Integrations
  4. Collaboration
  5. Profitability

What are the various types of logistics software?

Web-based or online

Third-party online logistics software providers offer web-based online logistics management solutions with necessary integrations that can be accessed from anywhere with internet accessibility. Admins can log in to their accounts and control their logistics operations online from a single dashboard. 

Cloud-based

The cloud-based logistics software is hosted through a third-party cloud service provider. The cloud-based logistics solutions store data in cloud servers for massive storage capabilities and high-speed interface. 

Open source

Open source logistics software comes with a free source code that can be modified according to the logistics service providers' needs. Many free and open source logistics solutions are available in the market. 

What are the benefits of logistics software?

Faster and timely delivery

With route optimization, driver profiling, regulation compliance, and automated processes of logistics software, companies can save time and ensure faster delivery of goods. 

Minimized errors

With automated processes and no manual work, the logistics system brings the chances of errors in operations to almost zero levels. Also, with constant access to critical information, logistics managers can quickly prevent errors from happening. 

Reduction in revenue leakages

With billing, receipt generation, entry of fuel charges, etc. happening automatically, any leakage of revenue can be prevented easily. 

Reduced operating costs

With the predictive analytics features of logistics software, real-time reports, and necessary logistical data in hand, managers are in a position to reduce the operating costs by making prudent decisions. 

Increased profits

Broader visibility, timely actions, cost reductions increase market share, and profitability for logistics service providers. 

Complete control over freight movement

With integrated GPS monitoring and real-time updates about location, organizations gain complete control over their freight movement. 

Real-time data for business analytics

It analyzes shipping trends, customer feedback, Key performance indicators, etc. It helps companies decide on the scope and rationale for improvements and changes. 

Increased order-fulfillment capacity

Logistics software has algorithms to decide how a shipment would be processed? It helps in deciding total costs, fix terms and conditions, generate order receipts, and choose the fastest mode of transportation for order-fulfillment.  

Compliance

Logistic software has features to help LSPs form, align, and execute a global logistics strategy with local and international regulations compliance. Many essential forms, such as Airway bills, VAT letters, TSA Latter, Release Orders, Certificate of Origin, etc., required for compliance, are automatically generated. 

Streamlined communication at all levels

Your sales department may take orders for products and commit delivery dates without consulting the logistics team. This may be a huge blunder when the logistics department is already busy or doesn't have fleets to manage the new deliveries. However, logistics software keeps everyone on the same page by its approval process. Without logistics team approval, the sales team won't be able to commit to deliveries. 

Predictive analytics: 

The predictive analytics feature of logistics software brings accuracy to the decision making process. For instance, the global logistics giant DHL uses predictive analytics to predict air freight transit time delays, and average daily transit time. The tool based on predictive analytics can identify the factors causing shipment delays and enables proactive mitigation. 

Offer personalized  services

The ability to offer personalized services, tailored shipping arrangements, and customized packaging is a business differentiator in logistics. With the assistance of logistics software, companies can offer hyper-personalized experiences to customers. Allowing customers to choose delivery dates and time, nickname their consignment, create watchlists, track the status of shipments, etc. create a great customer experience. It leads to greater customer satisfaction.


 

How can logistics software help the following types of businesses?

E-commerce

Logistics software is used by ecommerce businesses to provide varied delivery options to their customers. (For instance, standard, express, two-days, same-day delivery options). It also tracks live package location, delivery status, etc. Customers get automatic notifications about their package's position. It aligns similar packages for better utilization of space. Logistic software also lets ecommerce businesses optimize their routes, field agent management, set priority fulfillments, generate order delivery reports, etc. 

Manufacturing Industry

Logistics software for manufacturing industries reduces the inbound and outbound logistics costs. It provides visibility of logistics expenditures for better decision making. It provides an interface to interact with vendors, suppliers, customers, etc. Most of these software solutions are based on cyber-physical systems principles and provide capabilities of complete logistics automation to manufacturing units. 

Full-load transport business

The full-truckload is when a completely loaded truck is transported from source to destination. Mostly heavy equipment, sensitive goods, dedicated shipment, etc. from a single vendor is transported by this method. Logistics software allows users to register new bookings with complete details, track the truck in real-time, deliver automated updates to the clients, generate automatic lorry receipts/proof of delivery (POD),  and many more. 

Part-load transport 

Part-load transport is when multiple vendors book a single truck for shipment of their goods on a sharing basis. The logistic service providers charge each vendor based on the space their goods occupy in the truck. Logistic shipping software enables the users to register multiple bookings on a single truck, activate GPS monitoring, track delivery, issue multiple receipts at different stops, etc. 

Parcel business

Parcel shipment business refers to the delivery of small-sized shipments. Mostly industries such as healthcare, pharmaceutical, courier services, require quick deliveries of parcels. It is a high-volume business where a large chunk of revenue comes from B2C customers. Logistics software assists logistics services providers in tracking multiple shipments, assessing the price per shipment by weight and urgency of delivery, sending current status, and delivery notifications to the customers, etc. 

Small-businesses

Logistics software for small businesses makes life easy for emerging companies. Minimizes manual work for small companies, increases delivery efficiency, reduces transport expenses by route optimization, and improves customer satisfaction.

How can logistics software assist you in managing your global logistics business?

Logistics is the bridge that connects global businesses and makes entrepreneurial activities between two businesses around the world possible. The multi-trillion dollar global logistics industry was around 6.52 billion USD dollars in 2018 and is estimated to grow to 12.25 trillion dollars by 2022. 

Extreme global volatility creates immense pressure on operational practices of supply chain logistics.  Outdated technology and poor software infrastructure put further strain on fleet operations. Therefore, upgrading business with smart logistics software is essential for hassle-free international logistics operations. Integrated logistics software solutions provide high-performance global capabilities to the logistics industry. 

Logistics software helps in managing international shipments by:

  • Defining profit thresholds and keeping freight rates up to date
  • Creating workflow tasks based on international route and trade variables
  • Tracking and tracing shipments throughout the journey
  • Providing custom reports, documentation, etc. 
  • 24/7 support and assistance across all time zones and countries

What is the role of logistics software in an autonomous supply chain ecosystem?

Organizations focus on the availability of data throughout the supply chain for transparency and synchronized demand and supply. In this respect, logistics software with embedded artificial intelligence creates an ecosystem where data crucial for demand forecasting is continuously available for optimization of the processes. 

Autonomous supply chains strive to connect all data points and internal functions into a common integrated network. Logistics software connects the physical shipment and data flow between logistic partners, suppliers, manufacturers, and customers in real-time. 

Autonomous dynamic supply chain segmentation based on smart algorithms helps to achieve greater customer-centricity. 

It removes bottlenecks such as inefficient paper-based operations, lack of internal collaboration, issues in data integration, and ensures an uninterrupted autonomous supply chain.

What are the key trends in the logistics industry?

Artificial intelligence

For global logistics corporations, AI combined with robotic process automation can reduce clerical back-office work in logistics. In logistics operations, AI is used to augment the physical demands of work. For example, AI-enabled robotic sorting is used to scan and sort millions of parcels, letters, and other shipments every year. This is of particular use when the inventory turnover ratios are high and companies need automated systems to scan fast-moving inventory. AI-Powered Visual Inspection is used to identify damaged logistics equipment and assets. 

It can also detect any financial anomaly or fraud by any third party contractor, fake invoices, false addresses, etc. It increases the predictive capabilities of companies and helps them gain logistics contracts by accurate rate analysis.

IoT in Logistics: 

IoT enables an improved supply chain through connected devices. IoT is used for tracking vehicle status, driver activities, freight delivery information, etc. Products stored outside temperature cause a  $15 billion loss to the pharma sector each year. IoT enabled sensors have helped the pharma sector to safeguard their products during transportation.  FedEx uses IoT device Sensaware to detect temperature, humidity, light exposure, shock, barometric pressure, location, and route of its shipment. 

Drones/UAVs 

Drones will be used for freight surveillance, instant delivery, and to solve last-mile delivery issues. Currently, drones are used for special delivery cases in remote locations and mostly for providing medical supplies. 

Autonomous vehicles

Driverless technology will bring a revolutionary change in the logistics industry. The unmanned vehicle will bring workforce reduction and increased efficiency in delivery. 

Blockchain

Multiple logistics inefficiencies are solved by blockchain technology. Logistics service providers use blockchain technology to create a transparent system that records all transactions and track freight movements efficiently. It manages all documents involved in the freight process. Blockchain enables faster and leaner logistics in global trade.

Big data 

LSPs are improving their last-mile delivery using big data. Big data also brings transparency in operations by analyzing each vendor, supplier, customers, etc. Big data is helpful for route optimization and decision making.  

Warehouse Robotics

Automated robots in warehouses to handle inventory and drones to deliver shipments enhance logistics performance.

Elastic Logistics

Elastic logistics refers to the ability of logistics to expand or reduce capabilities with changing supply chain demands. It is the capacity and agility of the logistics industry to handle the volatility in demand, production, shipping, etc. Elastic logistics select carriers and dispatch processes automatically. It depends on automation for rapidly exchanging data, solving issues, and bringing more visibility and efficiency in processes. 

  

What are the key features of logistics software?

Operations Management

The Logistics system is designed to manage the complete transport network and manage shipment orders, allot proper Vehicles, plan schedules, assign routes to each vehicle, etc. It also makes load management and selection of the carrier mode based on load. Other operational requirements, such as documentation and billing, are also taken care of the logistics software.

Quote  Management

It records every earlier quote; therefore, you don't need to run through multiple documents to retrieve or make a new pricing quote.  Compare rates and get real-time quotes from multiple freight carriers. If you are negotiating with multiple freight carriers, then all quotes will be visible on a single page after consolidation.  

Account and Finance Management

Logistics software solutions have a standard accounting system for automated rate calculations, profit & loss reports in CSV or Excel formats, accounting expenses, invoice management, billing, etc. The accounting system is capable of working with multicurrency, multi-payment modes, and multi-segment options. Users can get financial statements and financial reports with just a few clicks.

Order Management

Logistics software manages the entire order management process. It adds orders, designs workflow for processing orders, and automatically creates all transport documents required for order fulfillment.  

Report Management

It creates reports and metrics for visualizing individual trip profits, business trends, delay reports, performance reports, etc. 

Fleet Management

Logistics system ensures that your freight carrier passes through all tolls hassle-free by maintaining comprehensive toll documentation and record.  It comes with vehicle tracking features, route optimization, service reminders for vehicles, etc. IoT enabled logistics software can identify engine defaults prior to a complete breakdown. It also records fuel expenses for each vehicle, identifies fuel theft, and drivers' bad driving habits. Railcar operations, wagon mapping, container tracking functions are available.   

Communication

Logistics software also offers a chat system to communicate internally with your employees and externally with vendors and freight carriers.  

CRM 

The in-built CRM module for logistics service providers helps them manage their customer relationships, enhance customer service practices, and win more leads. It helps them to tap more opportunities and close more business deals. 

Delivery and dispatch

Logistics software gives shippers the tools to minimize parcel shipping and dispatch costs, manage all of the carriers on a single platform,  apply analytics to parcel shipping data, optimize shipping processes, and maximize profits.  

Document management 

Many robust logistics software solutions come with a document management system for automatic data-filling, sharing, and e-mailing freight-related documents. 

Human resource management

It monitors the history, critical incidents, and performance of drivers and freight employees. It also keeps records of all cargo employees, drivers, back-office staff, etc. 

Other Features:

  • Real-time last mile tracking on a map interface
  • Resource capacity planning
  • Third-party integrations such as CRM, AI, blockchain, etc. 
  • Delivery route planning and route optimization
  • Multiple pick up-multiple drop planning
  • Automatic calculation of Estimated Time of Arrival (ETAs) based on the change in traffic and other conditions
  • Electronic proof of delivery
  • interactive dashboards
  • Re-routing based on traffic and weather conditions
  • Automated delivery allocation

How to choose the best logistics management system?

Consider the following factors about the logistics software you are planning to purchase:

  • Can the logistics management software integrate with other technologies such as blockchain, AI, machine learning, etc. ?
  • How secure is the logistics data, and does the software provide the required storage capacity? 
  • Is the logistic tracking system user-friendly and easy to navigate?
  • How many important global locations and regulations it currently monitors?
  • Is the logistics management system scalable to accommodate more features?
  • Is the logistics solution accessible on multiple digital devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones? 
  • Is the software compatible with GPS, RFID devices, and related technologies?
  • Are there any hidden costs, installation, and application training charges? 
  • Can the logistics system work smoothly with low bandwidth internet connectivity?
  • Whether it provides 100% compliance to the existing regulations?

Whether below functionalities available?

  • Acceptance of multiple currencies for payments
  • Automatic Lorry Receipts
  • Multiple languages,
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Free software upgrades
  • Free training
  • Free trial or Free demo

What is the average cost of buying logistics software?

The costs of the best logistics management software depend on a large number of factors such as:

  • A number of trucks, locations, and freight fleet to be monitored
  • Features and functionalities it offers
  • Type of installation provided: Cloud-based, Web-based, or open-source.
  • Quality of service and user support offered 
  • The scale of automation it offers
  • Privacy and the data encryption it provides 
  • User interface and experience
  • Inventory and assets it can monitor

These variations can significantly alter the pricing estimations of the logistics software. 

The enterprise version of Transcount will cost you around $200 a month for unlimited users, while its basic plan with one user comes at $15 a month. 

Logistics software such eLogii s will cost $225 per month for unlimited users for its Starter plan, and $1900 a month for unlimited users for the professional plan.  EasyCargo comes for $49 a month for its license plan for one user. 
 

ShippingEasy is a free logistics management software with limited feature plans. For more features, you can upgrade to their premium and paid plans. If you are looking for free and open source logistics software, then go with OpenTCS. For other logistics management software or more free logistics software such as Cargo365cloud, BridgeLCS, CargoNet, Carlo, Linbis, Ramco Logistics,  and many others, you need to contact the vendor for detailed pricing. Get the updated list and complete information from the GoodFirms Logistics Software page.

Why refer to GoodFirms’ list of top Logistics Software?

GoodFirms is one of the finest frontline IT market research companies providing buying assistance to B2B IT service seekers.  Meticulous research and astounding analysis form the basis of GoodFirms listing criteria for the  IT products and services.  GoodFirms currently hosts a list of more than 9000 top-notch software products and services. 

GoodFirms presents more than 15000 unbiased and genuine reviews taken from the users of the services. These reviews, combined with the research findings of GoodFirms experienced team, can provide the buyers an extraordinary glance into the usage, brands' credibility and reliability, features, merits, pricing, capabilities, and many more aspects of the listed software products and services. 

The readers of this buyer's guide for logistics software are advised to navigate the list of thoroughly researched market-leading logistics management software solutions that provide immense features and best services to manage their logistics operations.  You logistics software reviews here.