Shipping Receiving Software: A 3PL’s Guide

shipping software plays a crucial role in supply chain management

  • Written by Ellie Kwon
  • Published on September 19, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes


Shipping receiving software is also known as warehouse management software or logistics software. It’s a type of application designed to streamline and optimize the processes of shipping, receiving, and managing inventory within a warehouse or distribution center.

Shipping receiving software is like a traffic control system for a busy city. Just as a traffic control system manages the flow of vehicles on roads, shipping receiving software manages the movement and organization of goods within a warehouse or distribution center. It ensures that shipments arrive and depart smoothly, tracks inventory like traffic flow, and prevents bottlenecks or congestion in the supply chain, much like a traffic control system helps avoid gridlocks on the roads. Both systems aim to optimize the movement and coordination of resources efficiently and effectively. 

It plays a crucial role in supply chain management, allowing businesses to efficiently handle goods, track shipments, and maintain accurate inventory records. Additionally, shipping receiving software helps warehouses and distribution centers work better. Thus, it makes shipping, receiving, and managing inventory easier. Essentially, this software is crucial for managing the supply chain.

Key Features of Shipping Receiving Software

Inventory Management

First, it helps track how much stock you have, where it is, and when you need to restock. It allows businesses to monitor stock levels in real-time, and automate restocking. This way, you can avoid running out of things or having too much.

Order Processing

Next, this feature helps with fulfilling orders. It ensures that the correct items are picked, packed, and labeled for shipping.

Shipping Management 

The software works with shipping companies. Thus, you can create shipping labels, track orders, and know how much shipping will cost.

Receiving Management 

Next, it helps with getting new goods into the warehouse, keeping records up to date, and ensuring you get the proper inventory.

Barcode and RFID Integration 

This feature uses special codes to track inventory accurately. Further, these can be barcodes or radio frequency identification (RFID). It helps automate warehouse tasks, making them faster and more reliable.

Reporting and Analytics

Also, the software gives you helpful reports and insights. This tells you how well your warehouse performs and helps you make intelligent decisions.

Mobile Support 

Finally, many modern shipping receiving software programs have mobile apps or work well on smartphones and tablets. This makes managing the warehouse easier on the go.

Using shipping receiving software makes warehouses run better. Further, it reduces mistakes, manages inventory well, and makes the supply chain more efficient. Thus, it’s great for e-commerce stores, retailers, manufacturers, and distribution centers with lots of inventory and shipments.

Integration with Other Systems 

The software can connect with other business tools like ERP. Also, it connects you to order management and e-commerce systems. Thus, everything works together smoothly.

How to Choose a Shipping Receiving Software

A graphic illustration demonstrates that shipping software connects all aspects of the business from warehouse to delivery

Picking the correct shipping receiving software is essential for third-party logistics (3PL) companies. It affects how well they work, how accurate they are, and how happy their customers are. Here are some things 3PLs should think about when choosing their software:

Compatibility and Integration 

First, the software must work smoothly with warehouse and order management systems. This way, data moves around quickly, and everything runs automatically.


Then, the software must be able to handle the current shipping and receiving volume and be ready for more growth in the future. This helps to avoid expensive and time-consuming changes later on.

User-Friendly Interface

The software should be easy to use so the team can use it quickly. This reduces training time and mistakes when getting used to it.

Real-time Tracking and Reporting

Look for software that shows shipping and inventory updates right away. Detailed reports and analytics help you see how things are going and what needs improvement. Real-time is the best time.

Carrier Integration

Ensure the software works with many shipping carriers so you can offer various shipping options to customers. For example, popular carriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and others should be supported.

Customization and Flexibility

The software should be adjustable to match the unique ways each 3PL works. Further, flexibility is key to keeping up with changes in customer needs and industry trends.

Support and Training 

Good customer support and training resources from the software vendor help the team use the software well and solve any issues faster.

Security and Compliance

The software should keep sensitive data safe, like customer info and financial details. Following security and compliance rules is vital to secure data and customer trust.

Mobile Compatibility

Using the software on smartphones or tablets is handy in a fast-paced logistics setting. Further, it lets the team do tasks on the go or while on the warehouse floor.

Cost and ROI Analysis

Understand all the costs involved, like setup, subscriptions, and other charges. Figure out how the software will save money and make things work better in the long run.

Customer References and Reviews

Check what other 3PLs say about the software. Further, they learn from their experiences to make an intelligent choice.

By considering these things and doing proper research, a 3PL can choose shipping receiving software that matches their needs and goals. This leads to happier customers and a more efficient operation overall.


In conclusion, selecting the correct shipping receiving software is vital for third-party logistics (3PL) companies. By carefully evaluating these factors, 3PLs can make an informed choice. This means alignment with their operational requirements and business goals. A well-chosen software solution can significantly enhance efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction. This leads to improved productivity. Further, this provides a competitive edge in the logistics industry. Embracing the power of advanced shipping receiving software empowers 3PL companies.

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