Software Used by Logistician: What I Know

Many people have been asking me what kind of software they should learn if they want to work in the logistics field. I do not know the answer because different companies or different departments will use different software.

If I have to give you one suggestion that is good at Excel. The majority of the logistics software is based on Excel or has similar functions as Excel. Once you are good at Excel, you can learn any new software much quickly.

I have worked in two world-class international freight companies for around 15 years. During the 15 years, I have been appointed to different positions starting from warehouse, then ocean department, domestic department, etc. I have to learn different software in different departments.

Below is a list of logistics software I have used and my feedback.

ERP-Enterprise Resource Planning

– Used this software during my internship –

I took an ERP class at college and used it again during my supply chain internship. After my internship, I still feel there are many functions I do not know.

Each company’s ERP software is different. They are all customized to fit each company’s special request.

ERP software is popular but not a must. I have not used this software in my career except internship. It sure helps you grasp other software quickly if you have ERP experience. It is not a big deal if you knew nothing about it. You still can be a logistician without any knowledge of ERP.

What I like about

  • Comprehensive
  • Efficiency
  • Customization
  • Integration
  • Popular

What I dislike about

  • Complexity
  • Cost
  • Training
  • Data security


– Used this software at the warehouse –

Highjump is the first warehouse management software I use. This software is straightforward and easy to use.

What I use most of this software is printing inbound and outbound receipts. What I like most is the search function to search for items inside the warehouse.

It is quite often we have receipts but can not find the pallet inside the warehouse, because whenever new freight comes, warehouse workers have to move things around. After moving several times, nobody knows where is the last pallet.

What I like about

  • Streamlined supply chain management
  • Increased efficiency
  • Comprehensive inventory management
  • Better collaboration

What I dislike about

  • High cost
  • Steep learning curve
  • Dependence on IT support
  • Limited customization

Cargo wise

– Used this software at the Ocean and air department –

The special feature of cargo wise is a cloud-based software. This software allows my colleague in another country to work on the same freight with me.

If your company handles international freight, you probably use it a lot. Cargo wise is medium difficulty to me. You need to have some training before you are comfortable using it.

What I like about

  • Wide range of functionalities
  • Customization
  • Real-time tracking
  • Collaboration

What I dislike about

  • Complexity
  • Cost
  • Maintenance

Mercury gate

– Used this software at the domestic department –

This software is for domestic shipments so it is mainly for truck shipments nationwide.

The special feature of this software is that you can create several legs under one shipment. For example, if you move cargo from California to New York, might make 2 or 3 stops during the trip. You can add all these stops to the software. It is supposed easy for you to control the whole shipment with the visibility of different legs.

Personally, I do not like this software. I feel this software turns easy things more complex.

What I like about

  • Flexibility
  • User-friendly
  • Integration
  • Automation
  • Real-time visibility

What I dislike about

  • Cost
  • Implementation
  • Customization
  • Customer support
  • Upgrades


– Used this software at my current job –

Netsuite is a type of cloud business management ERP. Netsuite is a special kind of ERP. Maybe my company did many customizations on this software to make things easy, so I like Netsuite better than regular ERP.

Netsuite is also a cloud-based software, so that means anyone from anywhere around the world can edit the same shipment.

I used this software to process invoices, quote, manage inventory, and manage vendors. I use it daily.

What I like most about NetSuite is its dashboard. I save many shortcuts that I used constantly on my dashboard, such as monthly due invoices, warehouse due payments, etc., One-click I can get to the page I want to. The dashboard is really helpful in my daily work.

What I like about

  • Comprehensive solution
  • Real-time visibility
  • Customizable
  • Scalable
  • Integration

What I dislike about

  • Cost
  • Complexity
  • Customer service
  • Data migration
  • Third-party add-ons

load bar

– Used this software at the transportation department –

This software is also mainly for the domestic truck department. It is easy to dispatch freight using load bar software.

I only used this software a couple of times, so generally speaking, easy software to use. Once you use it a couple of times, you are ok on your own.

What I like about

  • Real-time tracking of shipment
  • Accurate inventory management
  • Cost effective
  • Increases efficiency

What I dislike about

  • Technical difficulties
  • Limited functionality
  • Security risks

TMS-Transportation management software

— Used TMS a lot at work–

I had some training on this software. This software is powerful and has many functions for customer control and freight control.

What I like most about TMS is its category can go down to many layers. You can categorize customers based on product, then country, then region, then credit line, etc. the more subcategory the easier for you to find what you need.

I like TMS better than Mercury gate. I strongly believe that software should make your job easier, not harder.

What I like about

  • Streamlines processes
  • Enhances visibility
  • Reduces transportation costs
  • Improves customer service
  • Optimizes inventory

What I dislike about

  • Cost
  • Complexity
  • Integration
  • Maintenance
  • Limited flexibility


– Have not used this software at work –

I am sure SQL and R are used in logistics if you are a logistics analyst or supply chain analyst. You need these programming languages to pull data and analyze data.

I had a little training in SQL and R programs, but I never used any of these at my work. I am a logistician, not an analyst.

SQL is a basic programming language. Personally, I feel SQL is an advanced Excel. Many functions in SQL are pretty similar to Excel but more advanced. R is the powerful and complex programming software.

You can use SQL to select or compare data, but you cannot draft well. R program has strong visual functions such as ggplot. If you want to show off your research, and make your presentation more vivid, you should use R.

What I like about

  • Easy to learn and use for simple database highly reliable and widely used

What I dislike about

  • Steep learning curve for beginners with no programming background
  • Can be slow and resource intensive for large data sets

Final thoughts

You do not need to have any software experience you can still be a fabulous logistician. Even if you know one or two software, once you switch jobs or companies, you are going to learn a different system. You might need to learn different software working at the same company but in different departments.

Software should be the last thing on your list to worry about as a logistician. I would suggest you think about how would you handle the after-hours phone call, or stress at work first.

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