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How to Utilize TMS Software Data To Control Shipping Costs

With rising costs, it's more important than ever that shippers have complete visibility to cost per shipment, market share, and other comprehensive data that provides an in-depth understanding of how they're spending money. 

In this deep-dive blog post, we'll explore the critical role of data in optimizing LTL shipping costs and we'll share actionable insights for businesses looking to optimize their freight management.


For LTL shippers, dredging through operational expenses and carrier rates can feel like navigating a labyrinth without a map. With each shipment representing a unique set of variables, it's crucial to have a robust system in place to not only track costs but also to understand the market dynamics that influence them. This blog post will guide you through the process of wielding data to expose hidden opportunities for savings.

The Need for Comprehensive Data

In the labyrinth of LTL shipping, data serves as the compass that can guide shippers toward cost efficiency. A deep understanding of factors such as cost per shipment and market share is non-negotiable in managing expenses effectively. Centralized data access is equally as critical, ensuring that every member of the shipping team can contribute to the larger goal of cost control and operational optimization.

Understanding Cost Per Shipment

Calculating cost per shipment might seem straightforward, but the devil is in the details. It's not just the invoice total that you need to consider; it's also the accessorials, fees, and surcharges that can escalate costs beyond the initial estimate. Comprehensive data should break down these costs by category, carrier, and even specific routes, providing a detailed, granular view that reveals spending patterns and outliers.

Understanding Carrier Performance

Access to a Carrier Performance Report is crucial for LTL shippers aiming to control costs. Vital metrics such as average transit time, cost per carrier, carrier market share, and average shipment weight, offer a granular view of performance trends.

By analyzing this data, shippers can identify reliable carriers who consistently meet delivery times and cost expectations. Additionally, insights into market share and weight metrics enable shippers to negotiate better rates and optimize shipment consolidation strategies. Ultimately, a Carrier Performance Report empowers LTL shippers with the evidence-based knowledge needed to make informed decisions, gaining a competitive edge in a crowded market.

Benefits of Consolidated Shipment and Carrier Data

When shipment and carrier data are consolidated in one place, the benefits are manifold. It's more than just a convenience; it's the catalyst for streamlined operations, the identification of cost control levers, and the discovery of optimization opportunities that would otherwise remain hidden.

Consolidated data and reporting eliminate time-wasters and error-prone processes like juggling spreadsheets, sorting through documents, and jumping between multiple systems. 

Streamlined Operations Through Data Integration

Manual data entry and juggling multiple spreadsheets slow the shipping process and increase the risk of errors. Integration and consolidation of data through a robust system enable a more efficient workflow, from order creation to delivery. By automating routine tasks and harmonizing shipping data, the whole logistics chain becomes more interlinked and coherent.

Identifying Levers for Cost Control

With cohesive data, it becomes easier to identify the primary drivers of cost in your shipping operations. Are certain carriers consistently more expensive for specific routes? Do particular types of products necessitate using more costly services or equipment? Are there optimizations that need to be made within your four walls? Armed with this knowledge, you can implement targeted strategies to rein in excessive spending and ensure that your resources are being utilized optimally.

The Path to Operational Optimization

Deep analysis of historical shipping data can help predict future trends, which is invaluable for planning and decision-making. By identifying peaks and troughs in demand, you can allocate resources more effectively, potentially reducing the need for costly rush shipments or excessive inventory. Proactive optimization based on solid data leads to not only financial savings but also enhanced customer satisfaction. 

Utilizing a TMS for Data Analysis

A full-featured transportation management system, like MyCarrier TMS, provides a central repository for high-value shipping data. This repository delivers the visibility needed to manage and measure costs, optimize pricing, and put control mechanisms in place that prevent overspending. With Advanced Analytics, shippers have easy access to shipment, carrier, and lane data that helps businesses make informed decisions.