What is Transportation Management Software?

11/01/2021

What is Transportation Management Software?

I’m sure you’ve heard the term TMS before in logistics, but what does it stand for? The term TMS is short for Transportation Management System. The reason you’ve probably heard that term TMS is because it is the most common and effective way for shippers to manage their logistics in one place. This technology allows companies to manage their transportation in one place. Transportation Management software offers you a way to view insightful data, gain visibility, and better manage all the moving parts in the shipping process. While a TMS might seem daunting and expensive, it’s become an essential tool for businesses to be successful.  

Who uses Transportation Management Software? 

If you have a business in which you regularly need to ship, move, and receive goods on a regular basis then a TMS is a technology you should consider. Many companies use a TMS, such as manufacturers, distributors, e-commerce companies, retail businesses, and companies that provide logistics services (like us). A TMS is best suited for companies that spend more than $1 million in freight, use an array of transportation modes, have several locations, get a majority of your freight via the spot market, or manage most of your data through Excel spreadsheets.  

Why You Need Transportation Management Software 

Transportation management affects every part of your logistics process, from planning to procurement and more. It’s a large piece of the logistics puzzle. If you’re not using a TMS, what are those processes? Are you using programs like Excel and Outlook to manage your shipments? How do you gather and view data? How much visibility do you have into your logistics? Simply put, a TMS makes your transportation easier on you, enabling you to serve your customers better. To give you a better idea of how it helps, let’s look at the benefits.  

What are the Benefits of Transportation Management Software?  

There are so many benefits to using a TMS. Through a TMS, you can automate and optimize your processes, gain visibility into your logistics, and view valuable data.  

Automation 

A TMS allows your company to eliminate your manual transportation processes. A TMS offers you automation with your load planning and execution through its advanced algorithms. With this, it can optimize each shipment, allows freight tracking by using real-time updates, payment processes are simplifying and streamlining invoices are audited, and develops reports through its in-depth data collecting.  

Optimization 

A TMS is a perfect resource if you’re looking for your logistics to be more efficient and optimized. For one example, a TMS can analyze many batch shipments based on various sophisticated parameters and can determine the most cost-effective route plan for your shipment. A TMS can make recommendations for you on different factors like least-cost mode analysis, freight consolidation options, and continuous move opportunities. It can also account for many other factors, including your due dates, mileage, vehicle weight, stops during transit, and out-of-route parameters. The optimization engine of the TMS allows for dynamic, static, and closed-loop routing. 

Visibility 

Real-time visibility to your logistics data and activity are the primary value drivers for companies implementing a TMS.  A TMS can help you view data from internal systems, vendor systems, and get data that may not have been accessible before. Along with collecting data, visibility from a TMS allows your stakeholders access to update their part of a shipment and receive their own real-time. A TMS will essentially act as a virtual control tower for all your logistics updates and communications. Visibility has gone from being an optional benefit to a necessary one in logistics. Using a TMS can change visibility from being a challenge to a strength for your business. 

Reporting 

The reporting offered by a TMS is another huge value to companies. Access to data is becoming more of a necessity for supply chains, but it can be hard to gather it all. Most of the time it’s spread out among various platforms – e-mails, portals, laptops. A TMS makes it easier for you to compile and view your data through reporting. A TMS has multiple options and breakdowns to give you the best analysis of your data. TMS reporting can provide you with insight into your freight volumes, lane analysis, freight spend, RFP analysis, and so many more. You can dive deep into your data, breaking it down further by load route, price, and even state-by-state to see your load count and total spend as well. A TMS can also five you monthly metric reports, world reports, and various graphs and breakdowns to help you interpret your data for better performance.  

What Does Trinity Logistics Offer in Transportation Management Software?  

There are many different routes you can take in acquiring transportation management software. Simply put, you can choose to purchase transportation management software directly through a vendor or work with a logistics provider, such as Trinity, that offer it as a cloud-based service.  

A Trinity, we understand everyone’s needs are different, which is why we offer a highly configurable system. We offer you three main options to start with: software as a service (Saas), a managed TMS, or an integrated outsource TMS. If none of those options quite fit what you need, we can further customize your solution so you get exactly what you’re looking for.   

No matter your specific needs, you’ll gain access to our best-in-class technology backed by superusers with logistics expertise. Through our People-Centric service, you’ll gain valuable insight and support in your logistics management.   

Looking to learn more about what TMS solutions Trinity can offer you?  

Get a free supply chain analysis to see what you need.  

Looking FOR TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY BUT NOT A FULL TMS? 

We understand committing to a TMS is a big change, especially if you have no experience with one. That’s why we now offer you our Customer Portal, exclusively available for shippers working with Trinity. There’s no commitment or additional charges and you’ll get to experience a sample of our transportation technology. Track your shipments, request quotes, view your invoices, and historical quotes, all in one place.   

Start shipping with us today to gain access.  

Wait, I Still Need More Information on Transportation Management Software..  

We have plenty more educational resources for you to learn about a TMS.   

Download our Guide on Transportation Management Systems. 
Check out Albaugh's Case Study to see how a TMS helped their company.

Author: Turner Lee