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Rising logistics costs means automation on the rise

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Mid-size shipping and logistics providers have been dealing with rising industry costs for years, and now a report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals confirms: Spending on shipping and logistics broke records last year. Over the course of 2017, nearly $1.5 trillion was spent on these services, a more than 6 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Mid-market shippers have been impacted by rising costs across the board, including for gas and fuel, road and rail transportation, and parcel, air freight and storage. And, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out, according to the Council's annual State of Logistics report, costs aren't expected to fall any time soon.

Guide to Transportation Management Systems

So, what's a mid-market shipper to do?

Enter: Automation

Here's where things can get exciting for small- to medium-size shipping and logistics firms. Sure, there are all kinds of technological assets being offered out there, but only one strategy has proven to provide the type of cost savings, visibility and management that today's shippers require: automation.

Within the shipping and logistics industry, automation translates to the ability to quickly and easily find the best price for shipments without having to go through extensive manual steps. Automation makes it possible to track shipments in a simple and streamlined manner, as well as providing robust reporting that enables analysis of overall spend, carrier performance and more. 

Automation within shipping and logistics translates to less manual work, access to the most up-to-date information seamless performance analysis. 

As rising transportation and freight costs continue to put pressure on mid-market shippers, technology that can save time, reduce the need for manual work and help ensure accuracy and timeliness is absolutely key.

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How automation helps shippers save

Let's take a closer look at the ways in which automating critical operating processes helps small- and mid-size shipping and logistics providers address rising costs and save:

check_markReal-time freight rate information: Automation can help ensure that shippers always have access to the most up-to-date freight rate data, a considerable boon for choosing the best carrier partner and achieving the best rate. Even small savings on individual jobs can really add up and help balance out rising freight costs.

check_markReal-time tracking in a single place:
Automation can also be applied to shipment tracking. With the right technology in place, supervisors can access shipping updates and red flag notifications from a single platform. With automation, the days of manually tracking down shipments and making sure they're on schedule are long gone.

check_markCustomized reporting and analysis: Leveraging automation in connection with shipping and logistics also means decision-makers get access to in-depth reports, and can analyze the efficiency of shipments and spend across every mode and carrier partner.

check_markInvoice auditing: This is one of the most powerful and beneficial ways to use automation - by automatically auditing each and every invoice. With this powerful capability, shippers can easily spot and correct any invoice errors, duplicate charges, or incorrect weight, classification or fees.


With costs related to shipping and logistics increasing, mid-market shippers must have superb visibility into their processes, and be able to automate tasks that don't require manual intervention. In the current industry, automation is critical, and the best way to access powerful, automated features like those described above is with a best-in-class transportation management system (TMS).

To find out more about automation for shipping and logistics, and how this is possible through TMS software, connect with our experts at FreightPOP today.

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The Effects of Amazon's Prime Day on Shippers
Freight of All Kinds (FAK) & Class Exceptions
Transportation Management Systems: Reducing Shipping & Freight Costs
Freight & Shipper Optimization Guide - Carrier Rate Shopping