Global supply chains continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there's no doubt that even after it ends, there will be a shift in the way the logistics industry does business forever.

As the virus took hold, supply challenges began to arise in China in February 2020, impacting worldwide demand as the economy shut down across the globe. This supply chain breakdown revealed vulnerabilities in the logistics systems many of us have taken for granted over the years.

Trade restrictions and shortages of essential products like personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, and other critical supplies have made it apparent that logistics processes and freight operations need to be streamlined to help freight forwarders and shippers keep track of cargo from end to end.

What else is inspiring this change?

  • New infrastructure and technology
  • Richer, more visible logistics data
  • Mounting pressure to limit costs and increase velocity

Amidst all the chaos, there does remain some consistency. What hasn't changed? Consumers want low prices, especially during a recession.

Brands cannot pivot to domestic manufacturing without impacting prices or becoming less competitive.

Logistics companies and freight forwarders need to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency to remain competitive and keep the supply chain intact.

Much like the leap to third-party logistics a generation ago, there's a new shift happening in the freight forwarding industry, one that stands to have a wide-reaching impact. The shift? Moving away from specialized logistics management systems and transportation management software toward implementing logistics software that can cover operations throughout the entire origin-to-destination supply chain.

Are you thinking of consolidating your tools and adopting a single-platform logistics management software solution? Let's review why this is a smart move to improve your business operations.

Control Costs With Scalable Cloud-Based Logistics Software

On-premises logistics software tends to drain resources, and while modern solutions can be managed locally, more and more logistics businesses are choosing to leverage the cloud.

Many of these logistics teams are migrating to a single-platform cloud logistics service. They like that they don't have to manage the equipment and servers, which typically accompany on-premises infrastructure. Operations can scale to meet the demands of the business and keep up with the supply chain, and logistics providers are able to pay on a cost structure that scales with the company. Cloud computing provides the freedom and security that modern logistics providers need to focus on their customers and on efficient supply chain operations instead of server and software management.

What can be done with a solution powered by the cloud?

  • Real-time inventory management to respond to shifts in demand. Data flow from the cloud offers precise information about inventory levels while still maintaining enough inventory for emergencies.
  • Eliminate the need to pay for multiple supply chain management software licenses by controlling transport management processes from end to end in the cloud with a single platform.
  • Use accurate data models and synchronized transportation management processes to coordinate shipments from multiple suppliers.
  • Access to data anywhere and anytime. Logistics optimization is accessible throughout the entire company, which many find beneficial in a socially distanced, remote-first environment.

Unify Operations: Automate and Streamline Your Processes

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that "the transportation-and-warehousing industry has the third-highest automation potential of any sector."

Automation technology has come a long way. Warehouse automation increases efficiency, eliminates costly errors, improves your return on investment with faster processes, and can even measure and document pallets and send corresponding documents off to the right transaction automatically.

As a logistics service provider, your customers count on you to be the expert in logistics process optimization, so you need the right enabling technology to maximize efficiency across the board.

A single platform acts as a centralized foundation, which can simplify your processes and improve operational efficiency by leaps and bounds. From warehouse to freighter and through customs to the final destination, tracking for each step of the journey is handled in one place. Even customs, duties, tariffs, and multiple customs regimes can be managed by the same software.

A single management platform can also help freight forwarding teams manage a single warehouse or multi-country customs and compliance. This gives companies the ability to cut costs, reduce the time it takes, and minimize compliance fines and other complexities in the supply chain.

Operations, order management, accounting, tracking, connectivity, inventory control, and compliance? All of it can be funneled into one place, meaning logistics managers and teams are better-equipped to work more collaboratively from one single, unified platform for a seamless workflow.

The Benefits of a Single Logistics Management Software Platform

Logistics management software provides features to enhance logistics companies' operations, including:

  • Forecasting to anticipate customer demand to prioritize shipments
  • Transportation management to plan, execute and optimize the movement of cargo
  • Warehouse management software that works in perfect harmony with freight forwarding operations
  • Built-in accounting features built for the specific needs of freight forwarders and third-party logistics providers
  • Freight management workflows that optimize efficiency in booking, quoting, shipments, and every step of the origin-to-destination supply chain

Companies are leveraging single-platform logistics management software to gain a competitive edge in what is becoming a very challenging market. The siloed warehouse management systems, supply chain software, and transportation management software of yesterday have been replaced with a modern, unified platform. With the ability to connect to the cloud and see shipments from end to end, having a unified logistics software solution opens doors, cuts costs for suppliers and consumers alike, and equips logistics teams for success in a modern world.

To learn more about how a single-platform logistics solution can benefit your operations from top to bottom, request a demo today!

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