Best Shipping Software

Shipping Software

Are you looking to ship a large number of orders at a faster rate? GoodFirms has listed best shipping management software that will help you achieve this goal cost-efficiently. Whether you are looking for a small business shipping software solution or an enterprise-level shipping system, we have got everything covered for you. GoodFirms rankings and genuine client reviews will help you find the right shipping software for your business. So, just explore below our top recommendations from the shipping industry to pick the best fit for your business:

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List of Top Shipping Software Solutions Providers

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List of Top Shipping Software Solutions Providers

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Buyer’s Guide

Introduction To Buyer’s Guide For Shipping Software

For any business enterprise, delivering products in a cost-effective manner, on-time, and in compliance to local and international regulations is a challenging task. However, by picking up the right shipping software, the organization can mitigate all their shipping related issues and leverage the advantage of smart features like shipment tracking, drop-shipping, intelligent routing, automated print labeling, etc. With the emerging trend of e-commerce business, the modern-day shipping software are also getting advanced in its operation and ensures that they ship efficiently now and well into the future.

Different businesses have different requirements, and filtering out the best shipping software from the pool of shipping software demands a lot of time and research. To save enterprises valuable time behind software selection here is the buyer's guide for shipping software.

This buyer's guide for shipping software is created to help business owners, shippers and third-party logistics understand the important aspects of shipping software, and things to consider while choosing the best shipping software for their business. 

What Is Shipping Software?

Shipping Software is a tool that helps businesses to automate and streamline the shipping related activities that includes right from product shipment, generate and print labels, shipment tracking, claiming insurance, till billing and payment.

The advanced shipping software monitors the entire process of goods delivery and ensures it is completed at a scheduled time. Shipping software can immensely help in maintaining a high standard of customer service and operational efficiency.  The shipping software can be deployed either as an on-premise solution or as a cloud service; some even prefer using a hybrid version.

Who Needs Shipping Software?

Shipping software spans a wide range of industries, but industries that have a huge demand for shipping software includes;

  • E-commerce business
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Retail Industry
  • Third-party logistics and distribution
  • Health care sector

Each of these sectors has different shipping needs and they could pick one of the below mentioned shipping software types. 

Types Of Shipping Software

  • Multi-carrier shipping software:  Multi-carrier shipping software enables users to select carriers and prepare documents from a single system. It helps shippers to switch between carriers easily as well as compare carriers to secure the best rates, transit times, and arrival dates. The software is used separately, or it comes bundled with regular shipping software.
  • e-Commerce Shipping Software: e-Commerce shipping software is one of the popular shipping software types. It is specially designed for ecommerce business. Most of the ecommerce shipping software has an API that integrates easily with e-Commerce Platforms.
  • Shipping Label Software: Shipping label software allows users to create and print shipping labels right from their desktops.  Based on the unique details of each shipment, the labels are printed in a specific format. It may sound simple, but export shipping cartons and containers have to follow the strict markings and labelling rules. A small error in printing can block the delivery process.  The modern and advanced shipping system software comes with inbuilt labeling features and does not require buying this software separately.
  • Freight Management System Software:  Freight management is a subset of supply chain management. It allows to rate, book, and track shipments; it is generally used by wholesalers, retailers, distributors, ecommerce organizations, shippers and logistics service providers.
  • Shipment Tracking Software: Shipment tracking software tracks customer’s goods continuously and allows customers to view their current status at any time of the day. Besides shipment tracking, the parcel shipping software allows shippers to book containers, manage ocean freight rates, find a specific voyage, submit shipping instructions, compare container rates, etc.
  • Freight Broker Software:  Freight Broker Software allows brokers to manage customers' freight, invoicing, and paying the carriers.
  • Freight Forwarding Software:  A freight forwarding software assists freight companies manage cargo and create documentation to move shipments from point A to point Z via a single or multiple carriers. On top of that, it manages CRM, quotes, accounting, etc.

Why Use Shipping Software?

The globalization of the market has bolted the consumers' purchasing power, which results in the growing demand for products and the necessity to fulfill those demands on time. This revolutionary transformation of the business has brought the shipping software trends into action. A shipping management system can easily gel with the current business trend and can meet modern-day consumers' expectations.

  • Choice of best carriers: The logistics are no more about delivering an object from point A to B but delivering the goods quickly in a cost-effective way.  The shipping software programs give users the flexibility to choose the choice of their carriers that provide faster service at a lower rate.
  • Easy documentation: Documentation is the biggest challenge in the traditional shipping techniques; it invariably adds unnecessary cost besides delaying the shipping process. With shipping software programs, most documents are converted to e-copies, and it is easy to store and process. Even small business shipping solutions can facilitate e-documentation and help users to cut costs on paper documents.
  • Examining the bottlenecks: Shipping software programs can provide users with the data that point out the existing bottlenecks in the shipping process.
  • Laser-sharp accuracy: The parcel shipping software ensures the customer receives the right product at the right location.
  • Customer management:  The shipping management system enables users to manage customer details and use them for building a long-term relationship.  A well-managed customer data helps users identify purchasing trends, categorize customers, and target them with more relevant campaigns.
  • Improve product with continuous feedback:  The shipping system software can collect continuous feedback from the customers and identify the area for improvements. 
  • Customization: Some shipping software gives the customization option, and users can configure the features to add more carriers, generate custom reports, and additional tools to streamline the checkout and delivery processes.

Key Integrations To Consider For Shipping Software

  • E-commerce platform:  Shipping software trends have become quite evident in almost all sectors, especially in the e-commerce business. Shipping software systems that support  e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento can make multi-courier shipping effortless and easy.  The best shipping software for ecommerce syncs orders from e-commerce platforms to automatically create labels and send the shipment tracking information. To deliver the best customer experience, every online business should be interlaced with the best shipping software for ecommerce.
  • Sales Channel: Integrate all your sales channels with shipping software to import your orders and ship them out efficiently. 
  • Multiple shipping carriers: By integrating multiple shipping carriers with the shipping software, the business owners can ship orders efficiently and effectively. The shipping software for small businesses often comes with the facility to integrate with multiple shipping carriers.
  • 3PL tool: The shipping software integrated with the 3PL tool can save time for users chasing down quotes for shipping carriers.    
  • Accounting: By integrating accounting tools with shipping software, the business owner can eliminate the need to enter manual journal entries.  The users can manage everything from revenue and expenses to sales tax right through their shipping software.
  • Online Payment: The shipping software supporting various payments API can make it easy for shippers to release payments while bypassing the traditional banking system.
  • Marketplaces: The growing trend of e-commerce business and drop-shipping demands to connect the users with some leading online marketplace like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc.

How Does Shipping Software Supplement Other Needs?

Holistic shipping software embedded with other tools like warehouse management or inventory management increases the efficiency of the shipping process, and users do not have to buy that software separately.  Such software can supplement actions like;

  • Email Marketing:  The shipping software with an email marketing tool can overcome the hassle of managing extra tools and remembering the payment date.  Besides that, syncing and managing customer contact through a marketing tool becomes relatively easy.
  • Inventory management:  Top shipping software comes with an inbuilt inventory management system.  Inventory management involves three main components - product management, supplier management, and purchase order management. The best shipping platform allows users to track all the inventory behind the scenes, fulfill the orders and restock products.  It also automatically updates and syncs product quantities across each of its sales and suppliers channels.
  • Shipping Insurance: The shipping industry is well aware of the risk associated with freight transportation, and therefore it is necessary to  ensure they have proper insurance coverage. The shipping software solutions partner with insurance companies to provide the best and discounted insurance coverage to their customers.
  • Warehouse management: There is a direct correlation between inventory, warehouse, and shipping. The warehouse system embedded with parcel shipping software can lead to an improved shipping process.
  • Drop-shipping: Drop-shipping features with shipping software enable users to process drop-ship orders from multiple channels.
  • Barcode scanning: A shipping app with barcode scanners enables workers to scan product barcodes through mobile phones.  It can document damaged or absent shipments in real-time.
  • Lead Management: Some online shipping software solutions allow storing customer and customer interactions, which can be accessed by different departments within the company. It can be used to categorize the potential customer based on their shipment history.

Benefits Of Shipping Software

  • Fast shipping and fulfillment process: Efficient shipping software solutions can move orders in less time with high accuracy.  It helps to speed-up the shipping process.
  • Reduce inbound queries Real-time shipment confirmation sent to customers keeps them informed and reduces the customer queries.   
  • Automating repetitive tasks:  Automation can take away a lot of burden from the business of performing repetitive tasks.
  • Compare rates: The shipping management software integrated with multiple carriers allow users to compare the rates and services and choose as per need. Besides that, the customers have more flexibility in delivery options like pick-up/drop-off options.
  • Reporting: The shipping solution with detailed analytics and reporting options can help business owners to make better decisions as they can analyze important metrics on products, customers, geographies, carriers, etc.
  • Intelligent routing and reduce freight cost:  A multi-carrier shipping solution can help in smart routing, which helps to reduce transportation costs. It also reduces the labor cost invested in managing the warehouse system.
  • Integration with third-party tools:  The shipping management software supporting third-party software widens the scope of software usability.  The business owners can manage their accounts, tax, sales, and various other processes with their shipping solution. 
  • Bulk printing options: The shipping software gives the flexibility to print hundreds of packing slips and shipping labels with one click.
  • Return management: Whether returning a single product or a bulk order, the process is a tedious task.  It involves a lot of documentation, and sometimes, it can take weeks or months to settle the number of return goods.  The best shipping platform with simple return policies can pace up the goods returning process and settle the amount quickly. 
  • Integrated Audit Trail: Shipping software with an integrated audit trail is useful in analyzing all the transactions in detail like Shipment carrier, origin, past and present order, etc. 

What Are The Essential Features One Must Look For In Shipping Software?

  • Bulk printing options
  • Customizable labels ( reprint shipping labels)
  • Easy return management process
  • Reporting tools
  • Robust data security
  • Automated billing and payment
  • Auto-updates and notifications
  • Search shipments by shipping carrier
  • Compare rates across shipping carrier
  • User-level permissions and restrictions
  • Multi-channel orders shipping
  • Scan signature

All the above-mentioned features of shipping software can give shippers a bird eye view over the software selection, but there are few tips that further help users to filter the best shipping software. Read the following segments for the same.

Tips To Choose The Right Shipping Software

  • List the requirements: Listing the requirements is a pre-requisite step to choose the right shipping software. As a shipping solution seeker, you need to prepare a checklist of all the business requirements and then analyze which shipping management software is relevant to the requirements.  They can also opt for shipping software comparison.
  • Pricing: Shipping software gives many options on the pricing based on the features and shipping capacity. However, the users have to ensure while buying shipping software that there are no hidden charges for the software. The shippers can also ask for an additional discount based on the volume and frequency of the shipments.
  • API access: If a business has specific shipping requirements, then the business owner can use shipping software with API access. Many shipping software offers access to the shipping API to customize the software as per the business needs.
  • Real-time rates: The shipping software should allow business owners to calculate shipping rates by integrating directly with the shipping companies. Shipping carriers can also offer a real-time rate.
  • Carrier stability: While choosing the carrier for shipping, users should ensure that it integrates well with the shipping software and consistent in its services. 
  • Integrations: Top shipping software supports seamless integration of 3rd party tools.  It is essential that the shipping software integrates well with leading accounting software, e-commerce store, payment software, and shipping carriers for its smooth functioning. 
  • Handling international shipping: If the business is operating worldwide, the business owners should ensure that the shipping management system is capable of calculating all the duties and taxes for international shipments, including generating customs forms and other required documents.
  • User-friendly interface: A user-friendly interface is one of the key traits of the best shipping platform.  It allows users to quickly move around various functions and use them effortlessly. A complicated interface can put off users easily, no matter how much effort it took to build the software, especially when it is e-commerce shipping software.
  • Plugin-support: If the user is using online shipping software, then it is critical to identify the plugin-support too. For instance, certain online shipping software supports a plug-in that displays the calculated rates at the store checkout. It helps customers to see the cost of the shipment without having to contact shippers for a quote. 
  • Automation: Make sure the shipping software allows setting up automatic rules for various shipping related works like printing labels or automatically emailing customers about the product delivery. The small business shipping solutions may not come with full automation features.
  • Security and data recovery:  Top shipping software comes with an automatic data backup and recovery facility. Also, make sure the software has robust security features and data access on a permission basis.
  • Manipulate order data: Efficient shipping system software should allow the users to make changes to the order data right from the selling platform. Besides that, it should route orders to the preferred fulfillment process and shipping selections. 
  • Fulfillment from multiple locations: If the business owner is dealing with multiple fulfillment locations, then it is favorable to choose the best shipping software that automatically routes the order to the right location. Not just route the order, but it should also enable real-time tracking of orders throughout the fulfillment process.

Future Trends That Can Enhance The Shipping Processes

  • Voice assistant:  Some of the shipping software has already integrated the voice assistant like Alexa in their software to get order information, pick lists, and batch print labels. So far, its applications have minimal use, but this can be used on a large scale in the future.
  • Blockchain technology: Due to the open ledger system, blockchain technology promises complete transparency of the transaction.  It also makes it the most secure place to store confidential data. In the coming days, blockchain technology could be used for drafting third party contracts and compliances involved in the shipping process. 
  • Autonomous vehicle: The future of shipping will include large autonomous trucks, ships, and drones. These vehicles are linked with powerful sensors (IoT) and AI technology that will further improve the business supply efficiency and provide the data set that was previously hard to fetch.  The autonomous vehicle can save time and cost on shipping by calculating the fastest route to the delivery place.
  • Digital Twins: Digital twins allow companies to create a virtual replica of the products or processes, which in turn, helps to anticipate errors based on past data and optimize operations. In the shipment sector, the digital twin can be used to replicate the existing process and identify potential weaknesses in it. For instance, the business owner can learn how different packaging can affect a particular product and steps to minimize the damage to the product.
  • Augmented Intelligence: Augmented intelligence can be used in various ways to optimize shipping functions.  It can handle complex processes such as optimal carrier selection or helping shipping companies calculate fuel consumption on the trip.  It may completely change the shipping software trends.
  • Enhanced GPS technology: GPS technology is already used by logistics services to track goods delivery and route delivery. In the future, this technology will be equipped with a live feed of the traffic data and accurate geo-positioning.

What Is The Average Cost Of Shipping Software?

The average cost of shipping software lies anywhere in between $9/month - $349/month or more. The huge variation in the shipping software pricing may be because the software comes either as standalone software or as an enterprise solution bundled with Inventory Management Solution, Warehouse Management Solution, or Logistic solutions.

Shipping software for small business or start-ups: The low range software is usually standalone shipping software, and it is ideal for small organizations dealing with limited numbers of shipments and does not have advanced features requirement like support for automatic label generation, fulfillment & drop shipping, or e-commerce integration. Shipping software for a small business like ShipStation and StorePep with a starting price of $9/month could be a good choice for start-ups or beginners. However, the price may rise as users add more features to it. ShipStation offers a 30-day free trial, whereas Storepep offers a 14 days free trial option.  These tools may get through the user’s expectation looking for the best shipping company for small business.

Shipping Software for mid-sized and large enterprises:  The medium-range shipping software with the full range of functionality is ideal for mid-size and large enterprises. The users can scale up their software features as per their requirements. It enables users to take complete control over their freight delivery and all other tasks related to it. Tools like Orderhive with a starting price of $44.99/month is an all-purpose tool for managing inventory, ordering, and shipping goods.  The tool stands-out well as the best shipping software for ecommerce with its advanced features like shipping workflow automation and multi-channel order shipping. The tool offers a 15 days free trial on all its variants; however, Shopify users can have the leverage of using the tool for completely free. The other tools like Multiorders with a starting price of €45/month and Ordero with $59/month equally equip users with a comprehensive shipping solution.  

If you are looking for a shipping software that can offer a comprehensive insight about their shipments on a granular level, then a premium range of shipping software is perfect. The premium range tools offer advanced features like automated order splitting, smart replenishment reports, and geo-routing.  Tools like Freightview come with a starting price of $99/month and go up to $599/month as per user requirements, whereas iLobby Delivers is available at a starting price of $199/month. Both tools offer free trial options.

Apart from the above-mentioned options, the best free and open source shipping software can help business owners to tap on the evolving shipping software trends and explore its true capabilities without any investment.

Why refer to GoodFirms' list of best Shipping Software?

GoodFirms is a popular review and rating platform for IT solutions.  It has been listing various software products to help the organization improve its efficiency and fine-tune its existing process. The products listed by GoodFirms are reliable and are specifically prepared by the experts with several years of experience. The software products are listed based on the pricing, features, and usability. The transparent rating system followed by GoodFirms allows consumers to analyze and pick a reliable product all under one roof.

Conclusion

The evolving trend of businesses from traditional brick and mortar to an online store has forced business owners to administer fast product delivery and better customer service. Holistic shipping software could be the answer to all their worries. Before finalizing the shipping software for your business, do not fail to check the comprehensive list of the best shipping software.