Mastering Freight for IBM i Shippers: Changing the Game in Pre-Shipment Load Optimization

Learn about advanced shipping software and how it works to automate your pre-shipment load planning process

It’s a massive industry where every minute and every mile count, and the difference between success and stagnation often lies in the efficiency of operations. What are we talking about, you ask? Freight shipping.


Picture this: A bustling warehouse swarmed with activity and trucks lined up as far as the human eye can see. It’s a scene where time is money, and the pressure for fast deliveries is through the roof. However, in an industry where efficiency reigns supreme, manual processes just don’t cut it anymore, especially for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users. Automation is the name of the game, reshaping the freight shipping industry in real-time.


With automation leading the charge, shippers can navigate logistics complexities with unparalleled ease and accuracy. Load planning has become a seamless process and route optimization is as easy as a few clicks of a button. Cutting costs and saving time are important goals to help maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving landscape. Outside of these more concrete goals, meeting shifting customer demands is paramount.


Let’s dive into the intersection of technology and modern freight shipping, exploring how it’s revolutionizing the competitive landscape and enabling new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings.

A crucial factor that decides a business’s success is its operational efficiency. Therefore, reliance on manual processes in freight operations, especially load and route planning, can be a significant obstacle. Without utilizing automated solutions, freight shippers face several pain points that can negatively impact their efficiency, productivity, and bottom line, including:

  • Inefficient Load Building: Manual load building is a time-consuming and tedious process that often relies on outdated software and spreadsheets. When shippers lack the ability to consolidate separate shipments, it can result in underutilized capacity and increased transportation costs.
  • Suboptimal Route Planning: Selecting the optimal route for each shipment requires close attention to several considerations including delivery deadlines, distance, and carrier preferences. Manual route planning takes an extensive amount of time, falling short of the precision and efficiency offered by automated processes. This can lead to missed opportunities for cost reduction, decreasing carbon emissions, and inefficiencies in delivery schedules.
  • Failure to Meet Customer Demands: Automated technology ensures customer’s delivery requirements and routing guide compliance rules are met for each shipment. Without it, shippers risk failing to meet customer expectations. Relying on manual processes can result in human error, leading to incorrect carrier selection, missed delivery deadlines, and unsatisfied customers.

The reliance on manual processes in freight operations threatens companies with significant complexities, holding them back from thriving in the ever-evolving modern industry of logistics. Without leveraging the benefits of automated technology, shippers will continue to incur unnecessary costs and fall short of meeting customer expectations.


Fortunately, there are automated solutions available to help forward-thinking businesses avoid pitfalls like these and stay competitive. Solutions like multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) offer invaluable benefits such as reduced costs, streamlined operations, improved productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction. By leveraging the power of automated shipping software, IBM i (AS/400) Power shippers can overcome the pain points of outdated and manual processes, enabling them to master freight shipping in the modern world.

Freight shippers are always seeking ways to optimize their operations and future-proof their strategy. This is where multi-carrier shipping software comes into play as an indispensable tool. By utilizing the capabilities of top-tier MCSS solutions, freight shippers can streamline their shipping processes, access multiple carriers and service levels, and make informed decisions to drive efficiency and profitability.


Varsity Logistics offers an industry leading suite of IBM i-native multi-carrier shipping software solutions and modules tailored to meet the unique needs of freight shippers. This provides businesses access to advanced features and functionalities designed to optimize their shipping operations. Additionally, Varsity’s advanced software integrates seamlessly with all major existing IBM i Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), as well as in-house and home-grown systems, enabling a simple plug-and-play experience for shippers.


Part of Varsity Logistics’ top-tier software, the FreightPlan module is a cutting-edge solution revolutionizing the way businesses across the country ship freight, providing the key to streamlining pre-shipment load planning for both inbound and outbound freight.

As a pivotal component within Varsity’s comprehensive suite of supply chain execution modules for IBM i (AS/400) Power shippers, FreightPlan is designed to seamlessly pair with Varsity’s ShipSoft-Freight solution. FreightPlan offers various invaluable functions to streamline freight operations at every step.


By automating recommended shipping plans and optimal routes, dynamic load building and order consolidation, and online review and acceptance of load plans, it empowers users to achieve greater operational efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional service to their customers. Additionally, FreightPlan considers customer delivery requirements, reducing transportation costs and meeting customer expectations.

Logistics is an industry where every minute counts and every decision is imperative. That is why FreightPlan is far more than just a tool – it’s a strategic asset for freight shippers striving to maintain their competitive edge in today’s market. There are many important benefits businesses can leverage from utilizing FreightPlan, including:

Key Benefits of FreightPlan

  • Dynamic Load Building and Consolidation: FreightPlan offers advanced capabilities for dynamic load building and order consolidation, often into larger multi-stop loads. By intelligently aggregating orders traveling to the same destination and optimizing the allocation of shipments, FreightPlan maximizes transportation capacity and minimizes empty space, resulting in cost savings and increased efficiency. FreightPlan’s load planning is available for truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) moves, ensuring the most efficient geographic route is taken.
  • Recommended Shipping Plans: With FreightPlan, users can generate recommended shipping plans tailored to their specific needs. Leveraging sophisticated algorithms and user-defined parameters, FreightPlan analyzes critical factors such as delivery deadlines, transportation costs, and service standards to produce optimal shipping plans that meet both business and customer requirements.
  • Incorporation of Customer Delivery Requirements: One of FreightPlan’s standout features is its ability to incorporate customer delivery requirements into the planning process. By working with user-defined parameters and customer-specific criteria, FreightPlan ensures that each shipment is customized to meet the unique needs of the recipient, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Online Review and Approval of Load Plans: FreightPlan facilitates seamless collaboration and decision-making through its online review and acceptance feature. Users can review the results of each analysis, compare alternative options, and select the optimal shipping plan with confidence. This transparent and user-friendly feature streamlines the decision-making process and enables shippers to make informed choices.

Varsity Logistics stands as a significantly unique provider of top-tier multi-carrier shipping software for both parcel and freight shipping execution, as it is the only holistic solution built exclusively for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users. Varsity offers a comprehensive suite of advanced supply chain execution modules, addressing a variety of challenges in the freight shipping environment, including:

An industry that lives in such a competitive and evolving space demands advanced technology and innovative strategies to survive. That is why the automated capabilities of Varsity’s FreightPlan are not only designed to alleviate the complexities of freight shipping, but also to revolutionize the way we ship while empowering businesses for success in the long-term.


With a solution like FreightPlan, you have the leverage to power up your freight operations, reduce transportation costs, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. So why wait? Take the first step towards success and contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a pressure-free demo to learn more about how Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping software can propel your organization ahead in this competitive industry.

Varsity Logistics: Multi-Carrier Shipping Software for IBM i Power Users

Discover Varsity Logistics – the only multi-carrier shipping software built exclusively for IBM i

Is your IBM i (AS/400) system causing shipping headaches? Juggling multiple carriers, manual processes, and outdated software can be a nightmare. Varsity Logistics is here to help. As the only native IBM i multi-carrier shipping software, Varsity streamlines your entire shipping operation. Reduce shipping costs by leveraging multi-carrier rate shopping for parcel and LTL freight and boost efficiency with automated order fulfillment, tracking, and containerization tools. Shippers gain greater control with advanced analytics and auditing capabilities. Plus, Varsity integrates seamlessly with your existing IBM i system and ERP/WMS software. Stop wasting time and money! With proven reliability and experience, Varsity is the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i.

[Shipping Automation] How IBM i (AS/400) Users Avoid Manual Carrier Selection

Discover how Varsity ShipSelect eases pain points associated with the carrier selection process

Two things are certain when it comes to the logistics landscape today: the major growth of e-commerce over the past several years and the ever-dynamic conditions of up-and-coming and traditional shipping carriers. Therefore, the efficiency of logistics operations plays a crucial role for businesses striving to meet customer demands and maintain a competitive edge. And, with the exponential growth of e-commerce in recent years, the importance of fast and reliable parcel shipping has never been such a necessity.


However, with what seems like an unlimited variety of carriers to choose from, and several variables involved in the shipping process, selecting the optimal carrier for each parcel can be a logistical challenge.

E-commerce businesses thrive on efficiency and speed. Every step of the fulfillment process needs to be optimized to meet customer expectations and stay ahead of the competition. However, carrier selection in a traditional, manual setting can become a significant bottleneck. Businesses must juggle a complex web of factors for each shipment, including:

  • Carrier Availability: With a vast number of carriers offering services, finding the right fit for every package size, weight, and destination requires extensive research.
  • Cost Comparison: Different carriers offer varying rates based on factors like distance, weight, delivery destination, and service level. Manually sifting through quotes to find the most cost-effective option is a time-consuming task.
  • Delivery Speed: Balancing cost with desired transit times is crucial. To determine which carrier offers the best combination for each shipment, many businesses must resort to manual comparisons between separate carrier systems, potentially leading to delays if the optimal option is missed.
  • Compliance Considerations: Shipping regulations and compliance requirements can be intricate and are ever-changing. Manual compliance verification of each label for each shipment adds another layer of complexity and risk of errors.

This tangled web of considerations makes manual carrier selection a slow, error-prone process that can negatively impact shipping costs, delivery times, and overall customer satisfaction. Manual processes only complicate these issues, slowing down operations with inefficiencies, human error, and delays in finding the most cost-effective carrier and service level for each parcel or LTL shipment. Even more, fluctuating transportation costs further exacerbate the complexities faced by businesses. As margins grow thinner, every dollar spent on shipping directly impacts businesses’ bottom lines.


Fortunately, innovative solutions like automated carrier selection tools can help businesses navigate these complexities. These tools factor in variables like transit times, costs, and compliance to ensure the perfect fit for each shipment, while eliminating time-consuming tasks and potential errors associated with manual selection. Varsity Logistics’ ShipSelect module is a powerful example of such a tool, optimizing carrier selection for businesses in today’s dynamic e-commerce landscape.

When used with Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel or ShipSoft-Freight solutions, ShipSelect offers a comprehensive tool, designed to alleviate the pain points associated with carrier selection during the shipping process. For various modes of transportation including parcel, Less Than Truckload (LTL), Truckload (TL), and rail, ShipSelect automates the entire carrier selection process.


The module goes beyond the conventional approach of carrier selection solely based on cost. While cost is a crucial factor, ShipSelect accounts for the multifaceted nature of logistics decision-making, considering critical criteria such as:

  • Transit time
  • Carrier preference
  • Transportation cost
  • Transportation mode
  • Carrier performance
  • Carrier service types

By weighing these important factors, ShipSelect creates an output of the most optimal carriers based on user-defined preferences. This ensures each shipment is sent with the carrier best suited to meet the specific requirements of both the business and its customers, while also conforming to routing guide requirements and shipping compliance at the time of order placement.

ShipSelect empowers shippers to efficiently select optimal carriers for their shipments, driving efficiency and value across their logistics operations. By automating the carrier selection process, it soothes the many pain points associated with manually finding the carriers best suited for your business and customers. This invaluable solution not only provides overall logistical enhancement, but it also minimizes transportation costs, ensures your business remains compliant, and saves you time on managing inefficiencies and costly human errors due to manual processes. Not to mention, insights into carrier performance empowers shippers to make informed decisions and remain competitive in the dynamic supply chain landscape.

Key Benefits of ShipSelect

The ShipSelect module offers several key benefits that significantly improve logistics efficiency and reduce costs for shippers, including:


Reduction in Shipping Costs: ShipSelect analyzes various factors such as package destination, carrier rates, and package weight to optimize shipping costs. By applying weight breaks (the weight at which the shipping cost changes based on how much the package weighs), ShipSelect ensures businesses get the best carrier option for cost without compromising service quality.


Mitigation of Costly Violations: Ensuring your shipments are compliant with complex routing guides (documents dictating how and by whom shipments should be handled and transported) and shipping instructions is crucial, as penalties for misalignment can be costly. ShipSelect automatically verifies each shipment adheres to these requirements, helping businesses avoid the risk of violations and maintain streamlined shipping operations.


Significant Time Savings: The process of manual carrier selection is not only labor-intensive but also highly prone to human error, causing inefficiencies and operational delays. ShipSelect completely automates this process, keeping operations moving and enabling businesses to allocate their time and resources to other valuable areas.

Varsity Logistics is the only holistic multi-carrier shipping solution built for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users who need parcel and LTL shipping capabilities. Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel and ShipSoft-Freight shipping platforms automate the parcel and LTL shipping processes at every step, serving as a centralized control center for each of Varsity’s supply chain execution modules, whether your supply chain includes parcel and/or freight:


Parcel-Specific Modules:

Freight-Specific Modules:

ShipSelect isn’t just a tool designed to alleviate the challenges of the carrier selection process, it’s a transformative solution that empowers businesses to enhance their shipping operations like never before and set themselves up for long-term success.


Ready to wave your shipping woes goodbye? Contact Varsity’s team of shipping experts or schedule a no-pressure demo to learn more about how ShipSelect and Varsity’s other parcel and LTL solutions can revolutionize your operations and meet your unique business needs.

Optimizing Parcel Packing: How ShipOptimizer Transforms Containerization

Unlock cost-efficient and streamlined warehouse operations with automated containerization software

Anyone in the e-commerce and logistics space is familiar with the vast array of, what seems like, never-ending challenges. Especially when it comes to packaging, where complexities are ever-present. As each order is unique with a different number of items, shapes, and sizes, finding a way to efficiently pack goods into shipping containers can quickly become a nightmare for businesses. The pressure to find cost-effective and space-efficient packing solutions is no easy feat.


Traditional packing and shipping procedures often fall short, leading to increased shipping costs, inefficient use of space, and even unsatisfied customers who may receive damaged goods or excessive packaging. What shippers need is an innovative solution to tackle the pain points of efficient packaging. What shippers need is containerization.

At its core, containerization is a process that optimizes the way goods are packaged, reducing any wasted or extra space in the container, or package. This eliminates the inefficiency of shipping empty space, often referred to as “paying for air.” In a world where every penny counts, utilizing containerization software for efficient packaging can produce significant savings on a company’s bottom line while also ensuring the secure transportation of consumer goods.


Dimensional (DIM) weight is a calculation used by shipping carriers to assess the combined weight and volume of a package. Consequently, even lightweight, bulky items can incur higher shipping costs due to the space they take up in a delivery vehicle. DIM weight calculations frequently pose challenges for businesses, introducing unexpected high shipping costs and logistical complexities.


The process of containerization accounts for several factors such as dimensions, weight, and compatibility with other items like fragile goods. By coordinating and analyzing each of these factors, businesses can determine the most efficient way to package items into their parcels, eliminating excess packaging, reducing the risk of damaged items, and ultimately lowering shipping expenses. For any business who experiences the pain points associated with parcel packaging, considering the implementation of an automated containerization software, like ShipOptimizer, could be a game changer in shipping speed and efficiency. [Learn more on how to tackle unexpected shipping costs due to box size variance.]

A module in the Varsity Logistics ShipSoft-Parcel Suite, a multi-carrier shipping software for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users, ShipOptimizer is a revolutionary solution to the all-too-familiar challenges of parcel shipping packaging. Developed to address the complexities of modern e-commerce and logistics, ShipOptimizer enables businesses to overcome the obstacles of efficiently and cost-effectively packing consumer goods.

How ShipOptimizer Works

At the time of order entry, ShipOptimizer accurately predicts shipping expenses, providing businesses upstream visibility before actually shipping the product, streamlining the fulfillment process and optimizing container packing procedures. This transformative solution empowers businesses to quote freight costs in real-time, streamline warehouse operations, and improve the ordering experience for your customers, making it a must-have tool for companies looking to stay competitive in modern logistics.

Key Features

The ShipOptimizer module delivers several key benefits including:


Address Changes in Order Profiles: ShipOptimizer is equipped to handle changes in order profiles, accommodating both full-case and split-case picking processes. This adaptability ensures that businesses can efficiently manage these orders without compromising packing efficiency.


Efficient Carton and Pallet Building: With ShipOptimizer, businesses can develop an efficient plan for building cartons, pallets, and trailers, ensuring companies can streamline their distribution processes and eliminate wasted space.


Automated Carton Selection: The ShipOptimizer solution automates the selection of cartons based on item dimensions, weight, and compatibility, ensuring that each shipment is packed in the most efficient way possible. This automated process saves both time and resources while also reducing the risk of manual error and extra costs.


Meeting Complex Processing Requirements: ShipOptimizer enables businesses to meet complex processing requirements, such as those related to order customization and special handling instructions. By efficiently managing these requirements, ShipOptimizer helps companies save time, packing materials, and container space, ultimately reducing operation and transportation costs.

A top tier multi-carrier shipping software solution for shippers on the IBM i (AS/400) Power systems platform, Varsity Logistics offers an impressive suite of advanced supply chain execution modules, designed to tackle even the most difficult parcel shipping challenges including:

The ShipOptimizer module is a unique and revolutionary solution to help businesses offset growing transportation costs and improve overall shipping efficiency. By automating the containerization process based on various package factors, Varsity ShipOptimizer plays a critical role in lowering shipping costs and streamlining warehouse operations.


Ready to take your warehouse packaging strategy to the next level? To learn more about ShipOptimizer or Varsity Logistics shipping software solutions, contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a demo. Take the first step towards long-term success with the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i.

[How It Works] Varsity Logistics Shipping Software and Your Tech Stack

Discover how Varsity software’s integration works and discover its comprehensive set of features

Shippers operating on IBM i (AS/400) Power platforms often grapple with the complexities of managing complex logistics processes, and handling multiple systems involved in your shipping operations can present intricate challenges. Varsity Logistics recognizes the hurdles LTL and parcel shippers face, which is why we encourage shippers to utilize a meticulously crafted, all-encompassing solution like Varsity Logistics multi-carrier shipping software.


Varsity’s ShipSoft suite of shipping software solutions provides a transformative and streamlined experience utilizing just one centralized platform. Our multi-carrier shipping software seamlessly integrates with IBM i (AS/400) Power systems technology, bringing unparalleled efficiency to your shipping processes. Shippers, say goodbye to the complexities of juggling multiple disjointed systems, as our software empowers you to optimize your logistics journey from start to finish.

Varsity Logistics How It Works Brochure

Our How It Works Brochure presents a comprehensive look into the innovative approach allowing you to wield the power of a single system, offering seamless shipping capabilities to optimize, rate, ship and validate with any parcel or LTL carrier. Inside you will discover…

  • Information on the Varsity ShipSoft™ API
  • A list of platforms compatible with our software integration
  • Varsity’s unique features that set us apart from competitors
  • A detailed technical diagram showcasing the software workflow with the IBM i native interface

Varsity Logistics Empowers Shipping Success

Want to learn more about how our industry leading shipping solution for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users can transform your parcel and freight shipping operations? Contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a demo today.

[Webinar Recap] How to Tackle Unexpected Shipping Costs Due to Box Size Variance

Check out the on-demand webinar with Varsity customers Waytek and Concordance Healthcare Solutions

Varsity Logistics was thrilled to be invited to participate in this year’s ProS Who Know 2023 Virtual Webinar Event, hosted by ProShip Inc. This is the fourth year for this annual virtual event, which brings together a diverse panel of supply chain professionals, industry leaders, and top-notch shipping and logistics experts. Throughout 5 live webinar sessions over two days, attendees enjoyed an engaging lineup of discussions diving into pressing industry topics, strategies for success, tools for streamlining operations and more.


Varsity Logistics shared the spotlight with expert speakers from Varsity customers, Waytek and Concordance Healthcare Solutions, and a guest from Cubiscan in their session: “[Waytek Wire, Cubiscan & Concordance] How to Tackle Unexpected Shipping Costs Due to Box Size Variance”. The speakers offered a high-level look at what’s effecting shipping costs in the current shipping environment and then took a deeper dive into strategies and tools to mitigate some of these financial discrepancies. Waytek and Concordance speakers were able to provide firsthand experience with some of these issues, while Cubiscan offered depth and knowledge into one of the tools that helps to address these cost issues – automated dimensioning technology.

[Watch the full version of the Waytek, Cubiscan & Concordance session on-demand!]

Session Overview

A common issue many shippers face today is receiving overcharges and unexpected costs. First, shippers must dive in to find the source for these frustrating parcel shipping chargebacks. Often, however, it is a result of discrepancies between the box size declared by the shipper and the actual size determined by parcel carriers. With the dim factor always changing, these issues can affect both low and high-volume shippers. But there are advanced supply chain technologies out there that can help businesses overcome challenges like these.


This webinar brought together 5 experts to discuss these supply chain obstacles further in-depth as well as provide insight into tools and technology that have proven beneficial in mitigating overcharges and streamlining overall shipping operations.


In the on-demand session recording, you will discover…

  • The intricacies of dimensional weight pricing and its role in common shipping cost discrepancies
  • Customer testimonials on shared challenges and solutions
  • Strategies and tools, like automated dimension capture technology and multi-carrier shipping software for IBM-based (Power I, AS400) systems, to cut overcharges and improve shipping operations

“When we first started this, when we would ship our small parcels like UPS and FedEx, our average cycle time was over three minutes. By changing to add automation, now we’re under a minute on an average package and what that does is help all of our customers, whether external or internal, show that we’re controlling our costs. We’re presenting accurate information and I think that’s a key that for every customer, if we’re shipping on some other customer’s account number, we want to make sure they’re getting billed correctly and not getting audited by manual. Humans don’t try to make mistakes, but whenever there’s a human process in there, there’s going to be mistakes.”

– Tim Mark, Warehouse Operations Manager at Waytek

Is inaccurate-dimensional information causing delays in getting shipments to your customers? Listen in to learn more!

Meet the Expert Speakers

Tim Mark, Warehouse Operations Manager | Waytek

Travis Peltier, Director of Sales and Marketing | Cubiscan

John Bouillon, Director, Freight Management | Concordance Healthcare Solutions

Charlie Hawkins, Director of Sales | Varsity Logistics

Tom Reber, Director of Business Development | Varsity Logistics

Why Varsity Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

Varsity Logistics’ multi-carrier shipping software serves as the cornerstone for tackling the challenges shippers face such as excess costs from box size variation. Want to learn more about how Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping software solution for IBM-based (Power i, AS400) system users can help remove some of these manual processes and avoid chargebacks to enhance and streamline your shipping operations? Contact our team of experts today or schedule a demo to transform the way you ship!

The IBM i (AS/400) Guide to Handling Increased Parcel Throughput

Learn how IBM i (AS/400) Power users can streamline their shipping operations and increase their parcel throughput with ease

Up and running since 1988, IBM i (AS/400) operating systems (now Power Systems), are a cornerstone of many businesses’ shipping operations. In fact, the AS/400 platform is used in over 100,000 companies including Fortune 500 companies that use IBM i Power systems. As these systems have stood the test of time, their reliability, scalability, and durability have remained strong, which is why they are still relevant in today’s modern business environments. IBM i (AS/400) Power systems act as a central hub for various business functions, including those related to shipping and distribution. For those in the parcel shipping industry, these systems play a critical role in managing the various aspects of daily shipping operations.


E-commerce and customer expectations have surged over the last few years. This has caused the pressure for shippers to handle increased parcel throughput to grow in tandem. As businesses find themselves grappling with the challenge of managing an increased volume of packages, they must find an efficient solution to help them navigate this quickly changing environment to remain competitive. For shippers relying on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, there are strategies and solutions that can empower your business in tackling the ever-growing demand for efficiency. Let’s start by looking at potential challenges you may face if you fail to adapt your strategy.

The Challenges of Handling Increased Parcel Throughput

While increasing your business’s parcel throughput can point to many positives, such as business growth, improved customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage, it is not always an easy undertaking. A quick spike in orders can stretch a company’s staff and resources thin without proper planning. Operational bottlenecks and a slow down or halt in tasks due to inefficient processes can result in order processing delays, late shipments, and unfulfilled customer expectations.


As mentioned previously, there has been a substantial increase in consumer demand and expectations surrounding the delivery of their products and customer service. Because of this, there is a heavy pressure on shippers to ensure they meet order fulfillment timelines and delivery promise dates. This requires businesses to adapt their shipping operations quickly to meet high order volumes and keep their customers satisfied.


As a reliable system for over 35 years, it is no wonder that the IBM i (AS/400) Power system is one of the world’s “most popular business computing systems”. However, because it has been around for so long, it is considered a legacy system by many – mainly because of other, newer solutions that have been released since. In fact, many companies with IBM i (AS/400) Power systems still have homegrown shipping solutions that may not be as adaptable or efficient, making it hard to keep up with increased throughput demands. Because of this, it is crucial for shippers to find scalable and efficient technologies that can seamlessly grow with their operations and provide the adaptability they need to keep up with such a dynamic parcel shipping landscape.

Strategies to Handle Increased Parcel Throughput Like a Pro

While the challenges of managing increased parcel throughput are evident, there are several strategies for shippers utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to empower them to tackle these obstacles effectively.

Automating Order Processing

Order processing automation is crucial for businesses experiencing an increase in demand. Implementing the automation of tasks such as order entry, address validation, and order routing can minimize the need for manual data input. Overall, this significantly reduces the possibility of human error and allows businesses to handle increased parcel throughput with ease. When integrated into IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, order processing automation substantially improves the precision and seamlessness of order fulfillment, delivering a streamlined processing of orders and efficient dispatch of shipments.

Rate Shopping

Rate shopping is an invaluable strategy for shippers utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to efficiently handle the challenges that come with increased parcel throughput. Rate shopping technology gives shippers the ability to compare and select the best carriers and rates for each shipment, allowing them the opportunity to stay cost-effective for both their business and their customers. Incorporating rate shopping into the shipping process also guarantees a reduction of overspending on shipping costs while ensuring users can make well-informed decisions in real time, guarantee timely deliveries, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Real-Time Tracking for Customers

With the high expectations consumers hold today, real-time tracking and visibility to their orders is extremely important. Shippers can utilize their technology to provide their customers with tracking information, providing them insight into every step in the shipping process of their order. Notifications of early, on-time, or shipping delays make deliveries more convenient for consumers, as well as builds trust with the business, enhancing the overall customer experience. IBM i (AS/400) Power users can achieve this through integration with shipping software, like a multi-carrier shipping software solution, ensuring real-time tracking and visibility for their customers.

Dimensional Weighing

Incorporating dimensional weighing technology can significantly boost your company’s parcel throughput. This strategy is critical for IBM i (AS/400) Power users to integrate in order to get accurate rate calculation and cost-efficient shipping. It ensures accurate pricing based on the dimension and weight of parcels, minimizing discrepancies between manifest weight and actual weight. Not only does this technology lower shipping costs and allows businesses to handle increased parcel throughput, but it also results in substantial labor savings. [Learn more about dimensional weight pricing and unexpected shipping costs.]


The list of strategies for shippers using IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to handle increased parcel throughput goes on, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was one comprehensive platform that combined all of these strategies into one helpful solution?

Introducing: Varsity Logistics’ Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Solution

Varsity Logistics has stood as a top-tier supplier of multi-carrier shipping software for companies in need of parcel shipping capabilities for over a decade. Designed exclusively for IBM i (AS/400) Power users, our comprehensive parcel shipping suite is seamlessly integrated, hosting various top tier supply chain execution modules engineered to handle even the most intricate small package shipping.


Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel seamlessly integrates with ERP, legacy, and Order Entry systems running on IBM i (iSeries, Power, AS/400) systems. It delivers a unified and automated shipping solution that ultimately eliminates manual data entry and significantly reduces shipping costs for your business. This solution incorporates several technologies to apply the strategies for businesses to handle increased parcel throughput discussed above.


Within Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel solution, ShipSelect automates the carrier selection process based on factors such as transit time, cost, and carrier service. It chooses the optimal carrier for every shipment, following business requirements and routing guides. ShipOptimizer technology finds the ideal containerization process and accurately predicts shipping costs before processing the order. SpeedWeigh allows shippers to automatically retrieve the package weight from the scale which is pulled into the system at the time the order number is scanned. This eliminates the need for an additional get-weight barcode scan or manual entry, ultimately saving your business processing time and money.


Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping solution is a unified platform that encompasses automation, order processing, dimensional weighing, real-time tracking, and more. This all-in-one solution optimizes operations, improves efficiency, and guarantees the effective and successful management of increased parcel throughput for those operating on IBM i (iSeries, Power, AS/400) systems. To learn more about Varsity’s Parcel shipping solution, the additional execution modules, and how our software can transform your shipping operations, contact our team of shipping experts or request a demo.

How IBM i (AS/400) Power Users Can Reduce Shipping Errors and Overcharges with Automated Auditing

Learn how to automate the once time-consuming process of uncovering errors and overcharges in your shipping process

From inaccurate charges to overlooked errors, the numerous ways your parcel and freight shipping invoices can quietly drain your company’s finances are as widespread as they are costly. All it takes is a simple miscalculated surcharge, an incorrect shipping address, or an unnoticed billing error before you are hemorrhaging money that could have been invested elsewhere in your business.


Regardless of the reason for your increased shipping costs, often times they aren’t identified until after the fact. Fortunately, today’s methods of auditing shipping charges have improved significantly due to automated intelligent audit software provided via some multi-carrier shipping platforms. For companies utilizing IBM I (AS/400) Power systems, using a tool like this can revolutionize the way businesses audit parcel and freight shipping invoices, ensuring precision and substantial cost savings.


Let’s take a look at a few ways companies can perform these audits.

In the Beginning: The Manual Audit

Manual auditing has been the traditional approach and common way to start evaluating parcel and freight shipping invoices. However, like any job done manually, this process has its fair share of flaws. Not only is it a time-consuming process, but it also demands a high attention to detail, leaving room for human error. This, unfortunately, is unavoidable as it’s human nature for even the most meticulous auditors to overlook an error or record something inaccurately.


The manual auditing process may work initially, but once the volume of orders rises to a certain level, it can become impossible to keep up. This is especially true if employees have their hands full with other job responsibilities. Things start to be missed, and the percentage of error starts to increase, thus costing your business dollars that could and should be spent elsewhere. Labor shortages also raise concern for manual tasks as we currently have 1.4 million fewer Americans working than we did in early 2020. These flaws place a spotlight on the urgent need for a more advanced approach to parcel and freight auditing so what else do you try? Enter the consultant.

We Can’t Take It Anymore: The External Audit

Auditing companies have been established for a long time and serve a crucial function in helping businesses ensure financial accuracy and adhere to regulatory standards in various areas of their operations. They make money by keeping a portion of compensation from the businesses that use their auditing services. Although they may do a better job of keeping up with high volumes than an internal team, auditing companies still have their own flaws.


While you may be saving on shipping costs by receiving more accurate audits on your parcel and freight invoices than you were with manual audits, you are still paying for an outside service. [Learn more about FreightAudit solutions]. At this point, you may be feeling a lack of control over the money spent on not only shipping, but also monitoring shipping. The reality is you could have paid for automated auditing software several times over by now, reducing excessive costs and unnecessary errors. If you want more visibility, but are unwilling to return to a manual process, it’s time for the next step. Enter auditing software.

Keep It Simple: The Automated Audit

Top shipping software solutions provide easily integrated and automated auditing solutions as a core component of their offerings. These software solutions go beyond the traditional auditing methods mentioned above as they leverage algorithms, data analysis, and technology to examine various kinds of records. Typically, they work by analyzing data invoices, receipts, and shipping records against rules agreed upon by contract to detect any discrepancies or errors in real-time. Doing so prevents your business from paying for things like overcharges, duplicate bills, and invalid charges. This solution also empowers businesses to improve their competitive edge, streamline their operations, and reach substantial cost savings. What’s even better is that there are multi-carrier shipping solutions strategically built for shippers who are on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems. This is key when trying to find a solution that integrates properly into your Enterprise Software Stack (ESS).

Feedback Loop: The Continuous Improvement Benefit

When your automated auditing software discovers errors, particularly those that cause expensive accessorial charges, the fault doesn’t always lie with the carrier. There are many potential errors that your shipping software and/or your employees can help you avoid. These include, but are not limited to, dimensional weight pricing, residential surcharges, address corrections and more. [Have more questions about dimensional weight pricing? Watch this webinar to learn more about tackling unexpected shipping costs with automated technology.]


Having auditing software can help recoup carrier overcharges and with the right shipping software in place, brands can identify the types of overpayments that are internal. For example, a package might have been sent via Regular Delivery to a residential address, causing a surcharge, when it could have been sent via Home Delivery. Additional employee training to reduce internal errors can be another beneficial way to minimize shipping costs. An elite auditing program will surface the examples you need to help your staff learn.


While rising shipping costs will continue to be an area of concern for most companies, keeping a close eye on costs with internal auditing software can help make the most of shipping budgets.

The Industry’s First IBM i (AS/400) Power Shipment Auditing Solution: ShipAudit™

There’s only one solution for IBM i (AS/400) Power customers looking to ensure accuracy on their parcel shipping invoices, as well as save money on their transportation spend. Varsity Logistics’ ShipAudit™ software helps shippers find a quick ROI on their investment by reconciling pre-negotiated contract rates against actual carrier invoices as they are received electronically. Once the invoice is audited, everything that aligns is marked ready for processing and sent automatically to the finance or accounting department.


All the details related to any exceptions, duplicate charges, and accessorial fees are collected and presented together, along with recommendations to pay or deny, and charges that require an adjustment based on contract rates. After a quick review, legitimate exceptions are paid and the details for the contested charges are submitted back to the carrier for correction.


Varsity’s ShipAudit™ software offers many other benefits in addition to cost savings and eliminating manual data entry and audit processes. Other benefits include erasing the need for costly third-party involvement and ensuring contract rates and incentives are correctly applied to freight bills. Plus, there is one additional benefit from keeping your audits internal: a well-trained shipping staff.


Ready to learn more about how Varsity Logistics’ ShipAudit™ software can help you? Contact our shipping experts today to schedule a ShipAudit™ demo & see how auditing software can revolutionize your shipping process and help you avoid costly shipping mistakes.

For VAI S2K Users: Single System with Any Parcel or LTL Carrier via Varsity Logistics

Discover the seamless integration between Varsity Logistics and VAI S2K and how it can optimize your shipping strategy.

In the world of shipping and logistics, convenience and efficiency are not only characteristics that companies seek out, but they are necessary for supply chain success. Picture a scenario where shippers handling high volumes of outbound packages daily can effortlessly connect with multiple carriers, all thanks to a pre-built, user-friendly integrated solution. This is not just a dream; it’s a reality meant to revolutionize the way VAI S2K enterprise users operate and serve their customers. 

Varsity Logistics, the #1 shipping software solution for IBM i, is thrilled to provide a pre-built integration with VAI to existing VAI S2K customers requiring outbound shipping services for 100 packages or more per day. Varsity is proud of their recognition as VAI’s selected shipping software partner, offering S2K enterprise customers a single unified system to ship with any parcel or LTL carrier. These two technologies work together seamlessly to optimize Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and shipping processes, by streamlining operations and enhancing the customer experience.

Benefits of Varsity Integration

This proven, pre-written integration offers a number of benefits.

  • Carrier selection based on each company’s unique business rules
  • Enhanced visibility of detailed shipment information 
  • Multi-carrier shipping from a single unified platform within S2K (Parcel and LTL)

Varsity Logistics x VAI S2K Brochure

Join other successful VAI S2K customers using Varsity’s Shipping Software Suite! View the Varsity VAI S2K brochure to learn more.

Ready to Talk Shipping? 

As an industry leading shipping solution, Varsity Logistics offers robust and comprehensive parcel and freight shipping software for shippers who utilize IBM i for IBM Power® servers. With this seamless integration, VAI S2K users can leverage the partnership of VAI and Varsity’s technologies to optimize their shipping processes.

Interested in learning more about taking your supply chain strategy to the next level with shipping software? Contact our team of shipping experts to discover how Varsity Logistics can enhance your logistics operations.

What to Know Before You Invest: 7 Key Questions About Shipping Software

Shipping software is an important supply chain investment – do you have all the answers?

Rising transportation costs, labor concerns, and ever-changing customer demands for faster and free deliveries make shipping one of the most critical and costly areas of the supply chain. Because of this, the role of shipping software to gain efficiency and stay competitive has become increasingly pivotal. From optimizing resource allocation to ensuring consistent customer satisfaction, the right shipping software can make a significant impact on the cost savings you find as well as the overall success of your business. 

This leads us to the question: How do you ensure that your shipping software is a good fit? Before embarking on the journey of selecting the perfect shipping software solution, it is important to take a step back and consider your answers to a series of valuable questions. We’re sharing seven questions you should ask before deciding if a multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) solution makes sense for your IBM i/AS400 system.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Shipping Software

Shipping software is an important supply chain investment. Here are the top things to consider before choosing a multi-carrier shipping software solution for your business.

1. Are we doing too many things manually?

If your business is using separate, carrier-supplied systems and website searches to find the best shipping rates, you can likely add automations to your process with a new shipping solution. By fully assessing the manual effort required, you can determine the potential cost savings a MCSS solution could provide. Shipping software improves accuracy and reduces errors, avoiding costly consequences that can arise from manual tasks.

2. Are our shipping costs accurate?

It is important to audit your shipping invoices to ensure they match your contract rates, so you avoid overpaying. Cost auditing can also reveal inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your current shipping operations, allowing you to pinpoint areas where redundant tasks may be causing unnecessary costs. When you identify the areas of cost savings, you can better allocate your budget for a more efficient operation.

3. Do we have good visibility of shipments once they leave our facility?

Now more than ever, customers have high expectations for shippers to meet estimated delivery dates and provide updates throughout the shipping process. Top-tier MCSS solutions integrate seamlessly with your carriers and have options to allow real-time tracking and status updates for your customers. MCSS visibility also helps reduce risks, like supply chain delays or disruptions, which can prevent substantial financial losses for your company.

4. Do we have an efficient number of shipping staff?

Evaluating your labor force can help you allocate your resources effectively, especially in today’s labor-constrained warehouses. Industry-leading MCSS are single, fully integrated systems that seamlessly connect with your existing carriers and ERP or WMS systems, replacing inefficient carrier-provided systems. Using advanced shipping solutions can save your team time and effort, allowing them to dedicate it elsewhere. This results in improved productivity and a competitive advantage.

5. Can we scale up as needed?

Scalable shipping software integrates seamlessly with your existing software systems, ensuring that as your business scales, everything scales together cohesively. MCSS gives you the ability to automate carrier selection to find the best rates for your customer’s needs from the start, and as your business grows, you can add modules or features such as auditing, pick/pack integration, and custom filings. Investing in scalable shipping software is also a way of future-proofing your business operations, avoiding costly frequent software upgrades and keeping up with shifts in customer expectations.

6. How accessible is our shipping data?

The ability to analyze and evaluate transactional and historical data is essential for operational success. Choosing shipping software that allows you to easily view and/or export your data is the key to monitoring day-to-day shipping operations, ensuring accurate order processing and optimal resource allocation. Historical data gives great insight to performance evaluation and customer behavior, leading to data-driven strategies for future success and effective cost management.

7. How quickly will our investment pay off?

Estimating the time to achieve ROI helps align your investment with your financial goals and business strategy. This allows your company to effectively plan and allocate resources. Leading shipping software solutions, like Varsity Logistics, see their customers recoup 5-15% in overcharges and realize an ROI in just a few months. The combination of benefits that MCSS provides, like streamlined processes, automated rate shopping, batch processing, and reduced shipping errors, lead to immediate bottom line cost savings for your business.

Learn more about Varsity Logistics multi-carrier shipping software for IBM i/AS400 systems

Interested in learning more about the long term cost savings and increased operational efficiency with multi-carrier shipping software? Varsity Logistics offers a robust, industry-leading freight and parcel shipping solution for IBM i/AS400 systems that integrate seamlessly into your existing business infrastructure.

Contact our team of shipping professionals to discover how Varsity Logistics can step-up your shipping operations and revolutionize your supply chain game.