Freight forwarder software is driving change in the transportation sector. As technology becomes more able to expedite orders, automate once labor-intensive processes and provide valuable analytics, the opportunities to increase revenue and profits multiply. But how do you know which freight forwarder software is right for your company? The software industry offers a wide variety, from out-of-the-box solutions to customized systems.

When deciding on a freight forwarder software provider, consider these seven key factors.

Consider the types of freight forwarder capabilities

First, we need to consider the basics. Freight forwarder software companies design their systems for specific transportation modes, including air, ocean, truck and LTL. Some software is geared toward a specific mode, while others may integrate with multiple modes or even all modes. Because of price differentials, it’s important to acquire the software you need but not pay for features your company would never use.

Does it come with a free trial?

Many software companies offer a free trial, which allows you to test the software’s functionality and ease of integration with existing IT infrastructure.

Invoice capabilities

Every company needs invoice capabilities. Many software programs provide customizable invoices and email invoices. They also store past invoices and provide a library of historical invoices. These capabilities can integrate with accounting software in many cases. The accounting department can use these capabilities to mark paid invoices, generate receipts and track unpaid invoices. Invoice features enhance efficiency, resulting in improved customer service and increased margins.

Consider the ease of quote creation

We’ve all experienced what its like to be a quote machine. At times, it can seem like quoting leads nowhere, but if you stop vying for business, the end result is stagnation and decline. Freight forwarder software can help. It streamlines the quoting process, so you can generate the quotes you need to earn new business without taxing your staff and expending more money on quoting than you sometimes receive in return.

Finding a software solution that allows efficient quotes is as simple as reviewing technical capabilities and determining how they mesh with your company’s operations. Many applications include email templates for quote requests and one-click shipment generation. Potential clients appreciate the speedy response and are apt to reward it with orders.

Is the software customizable?

Some freight forwarder software comes right out of the box. For some companies, the capabilities offered by a standard software application may work, but many companies need to customize the software to suit their operations. Many software providers offer various levels of software customization, from budget friendly applications with a few adjustable components to highly sophisticated systems that can be practically built to spec.

For example, some plans include customizable data entry, including adding, removing and repositioning fields. In addition, rules for mandatory fields can be custom programmed, validations can be created according to company needs and unique email templates can brand communications and create standardized content.

Customizable freight forwarder software improves efficiencies, speeds up productivity and provides flexibility and scalability.

Profit and loss analytics

Freight forwarding is a complex and competitive business. Properly analyzing the profitability of individual orders and operations as a whole often makes the difference between a profitable and expanding enterprise and a business on the cusp of falling into the red. Freight forwarder software applications can provide management with a bird’s eye view and drill down on specific facets of the company.

Profit and loss analytics tools range from basic to advanced to state-of-the-art. Even the most basic program should include profit analysis for shipments and at the overall company level. Many also include profit/loss figures by service.

Advanced profit/loss software options often include tools that assist in managing shipping expenses. These may include estimation of shipping costs that are factored into quotes and actual costs that can be added to invoices.

At the state-of-the-art level, customizable solutions keep your company constantly updated with automated profit/loss statements and even tracks international shipping costs. Most providers allow a free trial and provide the flexibility to change plan levels according to needs.

Freight forwarder software is fast bringing increased automation to the transportation business. To ride the wave of automation to higher profits, freight forwarder software is a necessity. Choosing the right provider takes time and research. By analyzing each product’s features and determining how they fit into your company’s operations, you can find the freight forwarder software solution that modernizes your company, improves operations and drives profitability.

CSA Software is a developer of state of the art, Cloud-based software solutions for freight forwarding, transportation management, air freight, ocean freight, and logistics organizations. We offer comprehensive custom software solutions to handle special requests and customer specific requirements, because no two companies are alike. Contact us today if you would like a Free Demo of our software!