Leading Edge Transport Management Solutions

Interactive Freight Systems

Interactive Freight Systems Pty Ltd (IFS) knows transport management software intimately. For the past 16 years, the Australian based business has been providing market leading Transport Management Software Systems to some of the world’s most prestigious companies.

IFS was founded by long time industry insiders who recognised an unmet need in the transport sector. “They saw the gap, and then created the company and developed the software to meet that gap in the industry,” says IFS’ Global Channel Manager, Ben Woodward. Now, the team delivers its innovative electronic transport management solutions to clients throughout Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. With over $475 million per annum in freight under its management, and more than 10,000 users, IFS processes 45 million+ individual items of freight each year, both domestically and internationally through its software.

IFS earned its place as industry leader in the early 1990s when it introduced its generic multi-carrier freight despatch system, IFS SmartFreight®. The suite of Freight Management Software Systems provides Multicarrier shipping solutions to anyone who moves items to customers or other businesses. The products increase efficiency and deliver dramatic cost savings. In fact, clients often find that the route optimisation functionality that the software provides allows them to reduce costs by over 25 per cent.

The scalable software systems have the right fit for every level of business. IFS SmartFreight® Express (SFX) provides basic dispatch functionality to low volume shippers. Ideal for smaller businesses on a budget, the low cost Transport Management System prints to a laser printer so there is no need for specialized labelling hardware. Freight data can be downloaded into the customer’s Head Office databases for national reporting. Web Service integration is also available.

IFS SmartFreight® Professional (SFP) is designed for a mid-sized customer shipping anywhere between 1,000 to 5,000 consignments per week. IFS SmartFreight® Enterprise (SFE) is designed for major players shipping over 5,000 consignments a week. Both of these locally installed, networkable Transport Management Systems boast a full suite of modules that can be easily configured to suit each client’s specific needs. The systems also seamlessly integrate with ERP/WMS solutions again with an option for Head Office based databases to provide visibility of consignment information from remote warehouses.

IFS SmartFreight® Cloud (SFC) is a web hosted Global Transport Management System that supports the dispatch of freight from one country to another – no matter where these countries are located. The product delivers Route Optimisation and compliant labelling for the “final mile” domestic transport provider for a “warehouse floor to customer’s door” solution. IFS SmartFreight® Online (SFO) is a Web-Hosted Online Pricing Solution that provides online retailers with real-time but more so, accurate pricing of freight in their web sites to ensure accurate cost recovery.

IFS’ innovative suite of solutions has earned the company substantial industry recognition. In 2013, the company won awards for Product Value, Product Excellence, and Best Software at the Australian Business Awards, a national awards program that recognises organisations across all industries and sectors. IFS had won two awards for Product Value and Product Excellence the previous year and took home awards for Best E-Business Product and Best Software Product in 2011.

Mr Woodward believes that IFS’ people are the secret behind the company’s tremendously successful software. “One of the catch phrases that we use in our business is ‘it is good software, but it is the excellent and very smart people behind the software who support and design it,’” he explains. “We are winning these awards and we are winning more business because of the calibre of our people who develop, design and market [it].” The team’s depth of experience adds to their competence. “What also adds value to the marketplace is our people within the company who have over 50 years’ experience in transport and logistics,” Mr Woodward points out.

The team has just added a brand new product, SmartFreight® Tracker4Transport, to its suite of solutions. This software gives small to medium transport companies the ability to provide track and trace visibility to their customers, allowing them to go toe to toe with the industry giants. “The need for customers to have visibility of their online orders at all times has become critical,” Mr Woodward points out. He explains that the biggest challenge that most small transport companies face is giving visibility to shipments at any given time. Moreover, their customers are also left in dark, which is an unacceptable situation. “These smaller carriers can provide a great service,” Mr Woodward insists. “They deliver the package on time, but when they pick up the package, it goes into a blackout zone until it is actually delivered. They don’t know where it is for days, hours, or weeks. Our solution, Tracker4Transport, is meeting this challenge and allowing the smaller transport providers to provide the same reporting and track and trace ability to their customers as the big boys.”

Most of the smaller transport providers cannot afford the high costs associated with standard track and trace solutions. “They want to give visibility to their customers but these guys don’t have the money to invest in the systems, therefore they can’t compete. They lose business because [customers] want to be able to see right across the freight journey where their items are.” SmartFreight® Tracker4Transport delivers this visibility for an affordable price. “It provides a proof of delivery solution without them having to spend on infrastructure that they would need to maintain. It allows the transport carrier to compete by providing tracking events to their customers and electronic proof of delivery for a minimal and transparent cost.”

To be sure, SmartFreight® Tracker4tTransport is a good fit for both transport companies and shippers of freight operating their own fleet. The parcel tracking app provides seamless real-time connectivity with a company’s customers and customer service team through a branded Web Portal. “With our web portal, we can give their customers – and their customers’ customers – access to see where their shipment is at any time throughout the process.”

The software solves a major industry challenge in a remarkably simple way. “Whether a satchel, carton, skid or pallet, if fleet drivers have access to a smartphone, IFS can provide real-time visibility via your own branded Web Tracking Portal,” Mr Woodward explains. “[The technology is] accessed by a URL embedded in your branded Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) email sent directly to the receiver customers by IFS or accessed via an Android / iPhone App. Utilising the latest in QR barcode technology, IFS SmartFreight® Tracker4Transport provides world leading tracking capability without the need for costly investment in hardware or technology infrastructure.”

SmartFreight® Tracker4Transport will be unveiled at this year’s International Truck Trailer & Equipment Show, which will take place from 3rd through 6th April at the Melbourne Showgrounds. “It is a great opportunity for us to meet transport companies and couriers alike,” Mr Woodward remarks. “We are going to launch the product there and be available to give demonstrations.” The event is the largest truck show in the southern hemisphere, making it ideal for the debut of IFS’ exciting new product.

IFS has a wide range of innovative, game changing products, but the team is eager to keep pressing forward. The next area of focus will be online retail. “We are integrating with ecommerce platforms,” Mr Woodward shares. “We see the online world as a key strategy in the success of IFS as a smart freight product.” With so much already accomplished, the future looks bright for a company already recognised around the world as a market leader.

For more information about Interactive Freight Systems, please visit http://www.smartfreight.com/

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