Transportation management solutions (TMS) are used for planning, executing, and optimizing shipping routes. This software helps find and compare the services and prices for shipping a customer’s order and allows booking and tracking of shipments until delivery. These solutions also help improve shipping efficiency, cut down costs, increase real-time supply chain visibility, and ensure customer satisfaction. TMS supports single mode of transportation, multimodal transportation (various modes of transportation used in a single contract), and intermodal transportation (where a cargo container is carried by at least two modes of transportation).
Enterprise transportation management systems automate the current shipping processes of organizations and provide valuable, actionable insights that help save time and money. Enterprise TMS is suitable for large carriers that need customized solutions for their daily shipping processes.
TMS creates a depository of detailed information about the transaction and communication data of carriers. TMS works in collaboration with warehouse management systems (WMS) to better coordinate the tasks of warehouses and freight shippers, including palletization of goods, labor scheduling, yard management, and load building and cross-docking.
TMS can either be deployed on-premises or hosted using a SaaS model. On-premise deployments are usually preferred by large manufacturing and distribution firms that have stringent security requirements and a need to exercise day-to-day control of TMS servers. Cloud TMS has the advantage of providing ease in connectivity between TMS users, carriers, customers, and supply chain partners. Apart from advantages in connectivity, it offers potential savings in IT labor and infrastructure. Some vendors offer single-instance multi-tenant TMS SaaS, which has better cost and integration advantages over single-tenant TMS SaaS and private cloud options.
Advantages of Transport Management Software
Modern transportation management solutions provide several advantages over traditional transportation management tools, including:
- Lower warehousing and distribution costs through smoother fleet management
- Reduced costs for the business and the end customer due to a more responsive shipping process
- Ability to monitor and track shipments in real time throughout their lifecycle
- Automated, faster, and more accurate freight payments and documentation of supply chain processes across geographies, modes, and carriers
- Reduced administrative costs, minimized invoicing errors, and fewer manual steps leading to less wastage of time
- Improvements in customer service and customer satisfaction through real-time updates and assurance of on-time delivery of shipments
- Minimizing penalties and shipment delays through the tracking of freight, locally and globally, on a single platform
- Better reporting that results in faster decision-making and process improvements
- Improved import and export compliance
Transportation management systems play an important role in supply chains. Transportation management is inherently complex, and with TMS, paperwork, B2B transactions, regulatory compliance, and audits are swifter, easier, and considerably more streamlined.