What is a Transportation Management System: Benefits, Features, and Main Providers

What a Transportation Management System (TMS) is

TMS receives data about the status of transported goods via API or EDI channels
  • shippers, manufacturers, and distributors
  • third-party logistics providers (3PLs).
Main TMS functions (planning, execution, and visibility) and corresponding processes within them

Transportation planning features

Order management

Tendering

  • least-cost, when it chooses the lowest rate and expands this offer to other carriers,
  • auto-award when shipments are always assigned to specific carriers,
  • allocations when using contractual percentages or by the load numbers (4 numbers to Carrier A and 3 numbers to Carrier B),
  • service-based when picking the best-performing carrier,
  • customer-based when picking the carrier that a customer prefers, etc.

Shipment rate management

Load planning

In SAP Load Planner, you can set up the load plan hierarchy and quickly relate to the items by color
Source:
SAP

Transportation execution features

Fleet management

Oracle Fleet Management has end-to-end support for fleet and asset management with driver education, CRM, and dispute management capabilities. Source: Oracle

Dock scheduling and yard operations

IntelliTrans TMS provides Dock Scheduling both as a part of their solution and as a stand-alone module

Transportation visibility features

Connectivity portals

Customer portal by MercuryGate TMS gives access to order details and shipping KPIs
Source:
MercuryGate

Route analysis

Tracking, tracing, and event management

Business intelligence and analytics

Overview of the main TMS vendors

  • all transport modes coverage: land, air, sea, sometimes rail, and intermodal;
  • capabilities for different use cases from shippers to 3PLs;
  • subscription-based payment model;
  • cloud deployment;
  • a mobile app.

Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) — complex and comprehensive

  • Business process automation capabilities
  • Optimization engine that finds you better rates and partners
  • Analytical dashboard with forecasts and milestone alerts
  • Fleet management and financial performance of your fleet
  • Automated payment and billing both for shippers and 3PLs
  • Optimized bid execution
  • A mobile app with interfaces for two different cases: private fleet drivers and third-party carriers
Watch a tour through the interface and features of OTM

SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) — undisputed choice for SAP users

  • Generating routing proposals
  • Synchronize sales and order scheduling
  • Managing driver resources in an interactive Gantt chart
  • Ensuring the safe transportation of dangerous goods
  • Automatically update freight documents
  • Advanced analytical dashboards running on SAP HANA.

MercuryGate — modular and beginner-friendly approach

MercuryGate customer portal

BluJay — easy to configure tools for the whole supply chain

Watch BluJay’s Transportation Management demo

Kuebix TMS — free option and many more

  • Track shipments
  • Compare rates
  • Book shipments online
  • Create shipping documents
  • Company-wide collaboration
  • Multiple users
  • CRM for carriers
  • Financial management
  • Analytics
Kuebix reports and analytics dashboard
  • Dock scheduler
  • Yard manager
  • Order and route optimizer
  • Collaboration portals
  • Container tracking and so on.

The custom way

The road so far and ahead

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store