Best Logistics Software in 2018

These solutions service the transportation industry and perform all sorts of supply chain management tasks. They help drivers and dispatchers to schedule, track, optimize and manage the transportation of goods across all industries. For example, you can organize an entire returning route and all the specific tasks attached to it, from loading to delivery on both ends. These specific tasks include inventory and asset tracking and management, GPS tracking, order management, warehouse and dispatch management, logistics, etc. GPS and cloud-based computing make most of these programs accessible through mobile platforms and offer capabilities that streamline the scheduling process and improve the performance of cargo and goods transport.  Read the full software guide...


Logistics Software guide

What is Logistics Software?

Any application designed specifically for logistics service providers to help them manage and execute the movement of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption can be called logistics software.

The terms ‘logistics’ and ‘supply chain’ are often used interchangeably, but logistics is actually a subset of supply chain management (SCM). While logistics management focuses solely on the movement and storage of physical products, SCM involves much more—from the manufacturing, production, and distribution of goods to the management of data flow through the supply chain.

The key functionalities of logistics software include transportation management, warehouse management, fleet management, inventory tracking, and route optimization, among others. Some products even help in risk management. For instance, the software may help analyze driver history or automate the insurance claim process in the event of an accident or freight loss.

More advanced products feature the ability to handle payments and invoicing, manage currency exchanges, calculate taxes on goods, provide multi-language support, and help consolidate shipments to make your product delivery faster and more cost-effective.


Types of Logistics Software

Depending on their area of focus, logistics management solutions can be categorized into the following types.

  • Transportation management – Products focused on transportation management help automate route planning, dispatch scheduling, and carrier selection. This type of software also allows you to identify load consolidation opportunities, so you can bundle multiple small cargoes and ship them together for cost-cutting. Some products even help you estimate shipping costs based on the mode of transport, shipping distance, and weight of cargo.
  • Warehouse management – This type of logistics software helps manage cargoes as they move through the warehouse. Storehouse managers often use the software to plan and execute the receiving, storing, picking, and packing of goods in the warehouse. Products focused on warehouse management often use barcode or RFID scanning technology to track items and store inventory data. Some products also help managers to keep track of the performance of the warehouse workers.
  • Fleet management – Products focused on fleet management often come with the GPS tracking feature to help track the shipment vehicles in real time. You can also use these products for load optimization, route planning and optimization, fleet scheduling, and fleet maintenance.
  • Freight forwarding – These products allow users to get price quotes from multiple carriers and help select the best carrier for a particular shipment based on cost, route, and specialty of a carrier. Most products also assist in shipment tracking and route planning. More advanced products offer import/export support. For instance, the software may help you manage the necessary documentation for international shipping or help comply with trade regulations in a foreign country.
  • Route planning and scheduling – While most transportation management solutions offer this functionality, you’ll also find products focused exclusively on route optimization and scheduling. This type of software helps plan routes based on traffic data, vehicle capacity, priority stops, delivery types, and fuel price. Additionally, it allows you to send routes directly the driver’s mobile phone. The system also helps assign the right order to the right driver based on their location, availability, and specific skill sets.
  • GPS fleet tracking – With GPS tracking software, you can track your vehicles’ current location in real time. Most products come with the geofencing feature that triggers an alert when your vehicle enters or leaves an area. You can also track vehicle speed and journey progress through GPS technology.

How to Choose Logistics Software

The logistics management needs of transportation companies vary depending on the size of their business and the nature of their operations. Third-party logistics (3PL) providers, for instance, take care of the entire logistics operations for their clients. So they often look for an integrated suite of transportation and warehouse management applications, along with inventory control, accounting, and CRM functionality.

Businesses focused on one particular area of the supply chain often look for a best-of-breed solution. For instance, If you run a small courier service company that operates locally, you may simply need GPS fleet tracking software or route planning software. On the other hand, a shipping company may opt for a comprehensive transportation management solution.

Products designed exclusively for specific buyer types are also available. For instance, freight forwarding software is designed to serve freight brokers and freight forwarders. Buyers can narrow down their search further based on their exact requirements. For instance, unlike freight brokers, freight forwarders often offer warehousing facility. As such, they typically need a product that not only helps in bidding and contract management but also offers inventory control and warehousing functionality.

If you are a large enterprise looking for logistics software for your in-house transportation wing, consider choosing an ERP-focused solution. You need a product that integrates with the existing applications in your organization.

Fleet operators of any size often use fleet management software for fuel management, route planning, driver management, maintenance scheduling and tracking, load optimization and dispatch, and scheduling.

Some third-party logistics companies look for products focused on warehousing so that they can automate most of their warehousing tasks, such as picking, packing, inventory tracking, bin slotting, and cross-docking However, not all 3PL companies need a dedicated warehouse management solution. For some companies, a simple order fulfillment solution or an inventory tracking solution may suffice.

More advanced logistics management software offers business intelligence. For instance, some products auto-suggest ways to save money on fleet operations based on the company’s historical data, while others have the capability to conduct predictive analysis to measure profitability.

Other important factors to consider when choosing logistics software include ease of use, scalability, customer support, overall performance, integration, and multi-user capability.


Benefits of Logistics Software

  • Saves money – Logistics software helps lower shipping costs in many ways. For instance, shipment consolidation helps bundle and ship multiple shipments together, while route optimization helps determine the shortest and most fuel-efficient route.
  • Improves customer service – Logistics software provides real-time visibility into the goods being transported. Your customers can also check price and delivery status and get notifications for any possible delays. This helps improve customer satisfaction.
  • Helps make informed decisions – Logistics software helps shippers decide the best carrier or shipping mode for each delivery. Some products also help make better scheduling decisions and storage location decisions.
  • Mitigates shipment risks – Using the right logistics management software, managers can analyze the behavior patterns of drivers and identify any potential risks.
  • Helps analyze the performance of operations – Advanced logistics software generates reports on performance and profitability, which helps you identify opportunities for improvement.

Overall, logistics software helps businesses within the transportation industry to save money and improve operational efficiency.


Common Features of Logistics

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Inventory Tracking Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Order management Manage the fulfilment of sales and orders for goods and services.
Product Catalog Allows for the digital catalogization of large amounts of products.
Route Optimization Optimize transportation routes, often involving complex processes to determine which route is most cost-effective. Route optimization technology tests multiple 'what if' queries to find the optimal route.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Shipping Management Automate time-consuming shipping issues for goods manufacturers and vendors.

Latest User Reviews of Logistics

Badger Maps
William Cordero, -
"Fantastic tool to simplify and maximize yo..."

I was using other mapping software, and decided to use the trial and found it to be f...

Badger Maps
Isabel Buñuel Rubio, LIFESTYLE AND FASHION INTERNSHIP - XXL COMUNICACIÓN
"Personal opinion"

After Streets and Trips ended their service I felt lost. Now I use Badger Maps and it...

Badger Maps
Brandon Davis, Sales Specialist - Bone Growth Stimulators - Synergy Orthopedics
"Great App for Organizing Sales Accounts"

Intuitive, easy to use, allows for last minute adjustments to schedule. Visually appe...

Badger Maps
Christian Jimenez, -
"Badger Mapping is great"

badger maps provides everything you need if you are a sales representative. it has an...