Order entry: create shipping orders digitally

Bastian Späth, CEO/Vorstand EIKONA AG
Laptop with open order entry of a forwarding agency.

Freight forwarding customers can use an online application to enter orders without a direct interface. The application digitally transmits the data to their freight forwarder and helps prepare for the pickup of the goods by generating package numbers and printing shipping labels. Local transport providers can then pick up the shipments directly.

A web-based order entry system captures all important information from a spreadsheet or through manual entry and makes it available for downstream coordination processes. This connection allows the shipper and freight forwarder to effectively prepare the transport. The web order application offers logistics professionals the following benefits:

  • Data entry using a simple structure
  • One master data base containing the addresses of regular consignees
  • Automated generation of package numbers
  • Connection to a dangerous goods database
  • Printing of transport labels.

A digital order entry system offers customers and freight forwarders a host of benefits, including less organisational effort, faster processes and significant time savings from the smooth flow of information.


Order entry for shipment preparation

Transferring digital forwarding orders online with software lets customers prepare a shipment effectively by printing transport labels and transport lists, labelling packages and creating shipping documents. In addition the app keeps customers from simultaneously booking services that are mutually exclusive. The online solution is connected to the logistics service provider's transport management system (TMS) by a standard interface. All the companies in the supply chain can easily use this service in a web browser. The order entry process differs depending on the procedure. Companies that place transport orders for a large number of shipments like to use the data import function. They can transfer order data straight from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in a CSV file. They essentially use a form interface. If, on the other hand, a logistics team only handles a few packages a day, they will usually enter the data manually.


Generate order data online

Small business employees enter orders quickly and easily on input screens in a web order app. Service providers can create user accounts in the program and then activate different functions for different contact people using a rights management tool. The solution contains predefined order types with fields for all required information such as product size and weight. Freight forwarders can also define mandatory fields in the order entry form, including the customs tariff number for international freight shipments. This approach can be used for categorising a shipping or procurement order, too. Customers can also order value-added services and additional products. To speed up data entry, the application includes a customer management function with customer master data that is automatically completed when a few letters are entered. A dangerous goods database is connected to the module and autonomously inserts important dangerous goods information in the orders and identifies transportation prohibitions.


From order entry to order monitoring

Once the data has been entered, a freight forwarding customer can do things such as save orders in the software, request prices using a shipping calculator, and approve the shipments at a later date. In addition, searches can be run in the system depending on the user rights. If the order archiving application is linked to a document management system, accompanying documents, rate information, proofs of delivery (PODs) and billing can also be viewed. Users can also use the order numbers right in the shipment tracking system to monitor their orders. In short, the advantages of entering orders digitally are:

  • A digital flow of information
  • The simple provision of data for all users
  • Transparent information through integrated data
  • Fast order processing

Digital order data for more efficiency

Customers and freight forwarding companies alike benefit from order entry software. The order data is available to the freight forwarding employees at an early stage in an online app. The shipper can generate labels and attach them to the packages before they are picked up. This streamlines pickup and shipment processing in logistics.

Bastian Späth
Bastian Späth

As a college-educated computer scientist, Bastian Späth understands how IT solutions are developed from the ground up. For more than 15 years, he has spent every workday collecting requirements, finding ideas, developing designs, setting up projects and getting them safely across the finish line.

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