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


  • 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

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

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



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