A shipping integration connects all your shipping information between systems, so that your data is all synced in real time. Shipping integrations can be plug and play, or out of the box, or they can be custom. Plug and Play freight integrations refer to a simple integration that can easily be downloaded into your system and the connections between two systems are already built. This is most commonly used for eCommerce, ERP and Freight Management system integrations, as the data that is shared between the systems is often very standard, and includes things like customer name, address, item details, cubed weight, freight price etc. Examples of plug and play freight integrations include a Netsuite Freight integration, an SAP freight integration, or a Microsoft freight integration.
A custom integration is an integration between two systems, however it can be customised to the exact requirements a company may have. This allows far more complex integrations between two systems. It also is used when a company may be using an internal custom build, or not a well known ERP, WMS or eCommerce site.
API’s, or Application programming interface, is the definitions required to integrate a software. If a software has open API’s this means that it has API’s that are available for another system to integrate with.
A shipping API integration refers to the integration that is for the freight functionality. The data that is often shared between two systems includes freight pricing, freight ETA, freight carriers available, customer names and addresses, freight tracking and real time POD’s.
Integrated freight systems, including both Freight Management software and Transport management software, improves the quality of service in a number of ways. Firstly, there is no double handling of information, which reduces the chances of errors being made when entering data. Secondly, by having all the data available in the one central freight system, significant time savings are made, which improves the overall service. Lastly, by having this information readily available, companies can provide their customers with the most up to date status, ensuring they give their customers an excellent freight experience. The integrated logistics solution can cover both your third party carriers, as well as your own fleet through a transport management system integration to Cario Connect.
Logistics within Australia and New Zealand is complex. For companies to scale, they need to be able to simplify this complexity and provide the most streamlined freight service for their customers. Integrating your freight software allows a company to do this. It ensures your systems all rely on the same source data, and streamlines your freight processes. It allows companies to process very large data sets, which means they can grow with systems and not have to hire more and more people.
If a company wants to grow and scale, they need a Freight management system that can scale with it – and integrate into their existing systems they use. This will give them a competitive advantage over other companies that rely on multiple bespoke systems.
An integrated freight system provides you with many key capabilities from a freight management system into your existing ERP or WMS solution. Firstly, you are able to obtain accurate quoting, by validating both sender and receiver addresses along with the correct consignment details. This same data used for quoting can then be used to create a consignment with the carrier you want – and then print the freight label – all from your existing ERP or WMS interface. Then when it comes time to monitor the freight, all the tracking and status data such as POD’s can be viewed within your existing system. Financials can also be integrated. For example, if you have a Netsuite Integrated freight system, you can then have these real-time freight costs back into Netsuite against the item fulfilment. Or if it’s an SAP integrated freight system these costs can be seen back inside SAP.
An integrated freight system, allows you to access all the functionality that freight management software provides – but through your familiar and known internal system.
Information in an integrated freight solution ensures that all the information flows through seamlessly, connecting your ordering and financial system, and freight system. This information flows both ways, between the systems. For example, in a NetSuite integrated freight solution, you can get different delivery options from within the Fulfilment screen of Netsuite. If you have a SAP integrated freight solution you might choose to have a full native integration where all the Cario data is used within SAP, and you may only use Cario to manifest to the carrier. The level of integration really depends on what your environment looks like, and the desired level of freight integration. This will then determine the information flow, and how this can best be implemented for a seamless freight experience.