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Table of Contents

What is a Transport Management Software

Transport Management Software is a management software for transporters empowering them to automate their business needs in terms of improved efficiency, reliability, and affordability. It helps in growing and managing the business by reflecting transparency in costs and resources and automating the entire process. The business owners are alerted in case of issues in the transport cycle to being solved at initial stages and keeping many more significant problems at bay.

Along with changing a business ecosystem, the transport management software can be optimized, integrated, extended, and scaled. The best transportation management system helps transport companies move goods from origin to destination efficiently, reliably, and cost-effectively using automated processes. It’s a software that accelerates interactions between the company's order management system, and its warehouse management system.

Transport management software is a type of software that helps companies with transportation operations and is mainly used to increase performance, and profit with logistics. TMS Software is considered as a subset of supply chain management system and can be a part of the enterprise resource planning system as well. 

In a nutshell, transport management software is used to plan, execute, and optimize the movement of goods, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the logistics process. Software for the transport business also helps in keeping the inventory lean, which reduced the lead time and storage costs. 

TMS serves as a logistics management tool in a collaborative network of shippers, carriers, vendors, and customers. Their modules include route planning, and optimization, load optimization, execution, goods audit, and payment, inventory management, advanced shipping, order visibility, and career management.

Using transportation management software, a company can reduce costs through better route planning, load optimization, and mode (air/road/ocean) selection. They improve accountability by adding visibility to the transportation chain process.

Types of Transport Management Software

Transport order management system is available in various kinds ranging from transport order management system for small businesses to enterprise transport management software. Since all types of software for the transport business perform the same function, you can use one that suits your business requirement.

In general, transportation management solutions for beginners offer limited functionality compared to enterprise transport management software; therefore, prefer enterprise solutions if you want enhanced functionality. If you are running a small-scale transportation business, you can settle for beginner-level transportation management system software as well.

Benefits of Using Transport Management Software

If you are in the logistics business, you need transportation management solutions to improve the logistics operations and improve the overall efficiency of your business. Here are a few benefits of using a cloud-based transport management system. 

1. Reduced Cost

One of the significant benefits of using a transport management software is reduced freight spurge. A good transportation management system software can provide you with analytics and optimization solutions, which will enable you to reduce the overall operations cost. Software for the transport companies not only identifies the problems but suggests solutions, and provides useful data to make your operations more cost-effective.

2. Real-time Delivery Tracking

A cloud-based transport management system enables you to track shipments and locate drivers in real-time. Having an accurate location of purchase does not only provide information about the expected delivery time, but it can also help you with creating an efficient route schedule. Moreover, transport management software also compares between drivers and routes to identify which driver is faster, and which direction is suitable. 

3. Better Customer Service

Transportation dispatch software enables you to monitor real-time performance, which helps you improve customer service. Moreover, with the help of two-end transport management tools, your customers can track their orders in real-time as well, which makes the delivery process more convenient for the company, and the customer. This functionality improves customer service, which enhances overall customer satisfaction levels. 

4. Improved Productivity and Warehouse Efficiency

A well-organized warehouse is essential to facilitate a constant incoming and outgoing inventory smoothly. Transportation tracking software, when combined with a WMS, can provide loads of value by recording, and tracking orders, along with their location in the warehouse. Therefore, it will be easier for you to review the entire process and make sure everything is efficient. 

5. Enhanced Supply Chain Efficiency

When reduced cost, customer satisfaction, and improved productivity & warehouse efficiency are summed it, it turns out to be an improved supply chain management process with reduced inefficiency. 

6. Enhanced accessibility

Every partner involved in the transportation process is onboard the platform. Live data about the shipment is streamed to all the individuals involved leading to accurate information.

7. Improved visibility

Transport management software allows real-time communication between every party involved. Details such as the location, what is happening, how, where, and why along with other performance metrics, leads to much better visibility.

8. Efficient Collaboration

Since vendors, shipping organizations, and carriers are on the same platform, information can be shared across various parties involved quickly. Sharing transport details, scaling, and collaboration are incrementally boosted.

9. Increased Customer Service 

A typical TMS software improves customer service by monitoring real-time performance, and also tracking of shipments, and identifying service failures, thus developing overall supply chain visibility.

10. Simplify the billing process

Electronically tracking your entire transportation management system leads to more efficiently handling the payments. The amount of time you’ll save on paperwork makes transportation management software worth the investment!

Key Features of Transport Management Software

If you are looking for software for the transport company, the features it offers are one of the primary points to consider. Since we have discussed the benefits, let's dig in to find how does a transport management software functions. Some of the critical features of transportation dispatch software are discussed below. 

1. Robust Optimization Engine

Not all, but most of the transport management tools are equipped with optimized engines. Optimized engines identify, and create a shorter, more efficient route plan that reduces time & cost improves overall customer satisfaction. Transport management software with the optimized engine also allows you to satisfy multiple constraints without compromising on a vehicle's maximum capacity. Some standard optimization engines that are included in transport management software are:

  • Carrier Selection Engine that arranges carriers for shipments according to costs, business shares, and allocations 

  • Strategic Freight Management Engine that allows you to arrange carrier bids for long-standing contracts according to value, risk, and capacity. 

  • Route Optimization Engine that enables you to plan shipments efficiently by considering available shipments and convenient routes. 

  • Load Optimization Engine that helps in arranging pallets or packages on the vehicle in action by considering rules, and factors like stackability.

2. Real-time Tracking

Transport Software provides real-time tracking for products as they move around the network. It helps you stay updated with regards to the location, and enables you to get a comprehensive view of every stage of your shipment, and transportation process. The real-time tracking function helps you accurately track, monitor, and deliver the shipment, which in turn improves, and automates the overall management process. 

3. Management of Career Contracts

Transportation tracking software provides you with the ability to consolidate the contracts in an electronic database by offering you access and decision support tools for managing the transportation team. It also enables you to use the negotiated lanes and preferential terms. 

4. Seamless Integration

You can incorporate transport management software with private sources of data like WMS, ERP, and OMS, which helps your business attain complete transparency in the shipment process. You can integrate the entire supply chain management process into a single portal, which offers a single point of reference for transportation & supply chain management. This integration process helps you improve the strengthen end-to-end visibility across the various warehouse, and shipping functions like record access, general ledger information, and order processing. This comprehensive and inclusive view results in better coordination, planning, and management. 

5. Optimizing and consolidating the route 

The software should be designed to display the best ideal route for shipments. Simultaneous planning and route execution for numerous carriers by combining the multimodal transport system is a crucial feature of the TMS. This saves costs and eliminates the needless extra trips, thereby reducing transport costs.

Selection of mode and carrier – Automated selection of the type of carrier, and method of transport based on parameters such as cost, distance, service demands, and efficiency. Taking into consideration the past performance, value, and requirement, the most suitable carrier method is selected from the available central pool of data.

6. Integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Real-time data about the warehouse inventory entry and exit movement, tracking of goods, carrier dispatching are easily accessible. Integrated Warehouse Management System enables improved decision making.

7. Integrated audit and payment

This includes calculating available service options, freight charges, overheads, and spotting the critical areas of improvement. The organization quickly identifies the pain points and solve these issues with the customers and the shipment. The transport management software should enable the efficient and automated management of payments.

8. Multi-mode transportation

Does the TMS support geo-coding, multi-transport routes such as air, road, and ocean, and enable international transport? These features should be looked for in an ideal software.

9. Visibility

This feature provides a comprehensive view of the entire transportation process. The supply chain’s vital information is visible all the time to better manage the supply and demand of the goods to be transported. There’s significant transportation cost reduction.

10. Business intelligence and analytics

Allows generating reports about data warehousing such as collecting, analyzing, and summarizing the demand and supply of goods. The existing strategies can be better evaluated, the pain points in the process are identified, and this leads to making informed data-driven decisions.

11. Hazard Management

If you're in the business of transporting hazardous materials, the TMS helps in avoiding universal (international) delivery risks via automating audit processes, generating reports, and ensuring due diligence with in-country regulatory programs or cross-border customs requirements.

Factors Consider When you Choose Transport Management Software.

Choosing the best TMS software can be a hassle, especially when you have so many options to choose from. However, here are a few factors to consider before investing in online transport software. 

1. Objectives

The most obvious consideration to keep in mind before choosing online transport software is whether it meets your business requirements or not. Some business owners might need TMS Software for warehouse management, whereas, some may need it for tracking, and improving shipment accuracy. Therefore, consider your business plans and objectives before finalizing an online transport management system to ensure you receive the best results. 

2. Pricing

When you invest in software, you look for a good ROI. TMS Software can vary in price, and some might be too overpriced for your business. Therefore, figure out your revenue, profits, etc., and determine the amount you can invest in an online transport management system.

3. Billing Procedure

Transport software should support multiple billing functionalities, ranging from cards to eWallets. Different customers use different payment modes, and if your transport software allows limited billing options, you will miss out on a considerable amount of profits. 

4. Integration

For enterprises and companies, transport software alone cannot manage the entire business process. To ensure the whole supply chain management process is efficient, transport software should support integration with other software like ERP, OMS, etc.

5. Carrier contract management

Tracking of all agreements, alerting when a contract expires, and for discount coupons. Displays the total cost offered by different vendors, and helps to select the lowest cost vendor.

6. International logistics functionality

For businesses dealing with international transport, this feature keeps them updated on the country’s regulatory rules, international freight charges, and supports the foreign currency.

7. Item visibility

To have all the parties involved in the shipment process on a single platform so that they know the progress of the goods during the transport cycle. 

8. Business intelligence

Analyses shipping procedure and available data to identify areas that can be improved to make better decisions based on accurate predictions.

Apart from these considerations, here are a few trends in trends in transport software that you can consider before selecting one for your business. If you transport software offers one or more of these features, it would be a significant advantage for you. 

  • Outsourcing payment management and freight data with the help of SaaS systems and big data analysis. 

  • Addressing truck driver shortage by offering a strategic approach to logistics

  • Inter-management, and collaboration with the trends in transportation management, which helps in reducing shipping costs, and promotes return on investment

  • IoT support to fix logistic problems by improving the warehouse processes

Software & Services Related Transport Management Software

With the transportation industry proliferating, the demand for transport software has also increased. This rise in demand has resulted in saturation of the transport software market, which makes it difficult for companies to identify the best transport software for their business. If you are one of them, here are the five best transport software that is capable of catering to all your logistics and transportation needs. 

1. Route4Me

Route4Me is one of the most-used best transportation management systems, optimization, and route sequencing software for businesses of all types and sizes. It offers the creation, management, and optimization of routing plans, making it easy for you to reach your clients quickly and efficiently. The features of Route4Me include:

  • Routing & Scheduling

  • Fleet / Equipment Management

  • Driver Management

2. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne provides an integrated suite of ERP solutions that helps you automate operations and improve business decisions. This software is an excellent pick for manufacturing, projects, and service industries. Some major features of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne include:

  • Enterprise resources management

  • Supply chain management

  • Routing & Scheduling

3. MyRouteOnline

MyRouteOnline is a route optimization solution that helps you extract, and utilize a route plan, and then share it with multiple sources and platforms. It allows you to create various routes and provides you features to balance your workload. Some features of MyRouteOnline are:

  • Dispatch Management

  • Inspection Management

  • Maintenance Management

4. Snappii

Snappii provides various solutions for making the logistics, and transportation process efficient, and convenient. From mobile solutions to web apps, Snappi offers an array of features that are suitable for all sizes of businesses ranging from fresh startups to Fortune 100 companies. 

Some standout features of Snappi include:

  • Customer Management

  • Dispatch Management

  • Driver Management

5. TAI TMS

TAI TMS is a solution for transportation management that helps logistic companies with load tendering, traffic analysis, document management, and dispatching. It offers cloud-based solutions that are powered by Artificial Intelligence to ensure the transportation system receives the ideal supervision, consulting, and intelligence. Some features of TAI TMS include:

  • Billing & Invoicing

  • Carrier Management and Customer Management

  • Load & Order Management

  • Dispatch and Shipment Management

Statistics & Forecast of Transport Management System Market

The global transportation management system market is on the rise, mainly due to factors like the industrial revolution, digitization, increasing congestion, and urbanization. Moreover, the rise of technologies like IoT and big data has resulted in huge demand and growth opportunities in the transportation sector. The global transportation market was estimated to be valued at USD 78.20 Billion in 2017, which is expected to rise to USD 202.14 Billion by 2022 (CAGR of 20.9%). 

Some of the major market dynamics in the transport management market are

  • High integration and installation cost

  • Digital advancements in transport

Sectors that utilize transport management systems the most are

  • Transportation management system vendors

  • Government agencies

  • Application developers

  • System integrators

  • Information Technology (IT) managers

  • Managed networking solution providers 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Ans. Transport management includes the utilization of various tools, software, and solutions to improve the overall logistics and transportation process. Transportation management includes scheduling and routing, real-time tracking, warehouse management, etc.
  • Ans. The purpose of using transport software is to provide operational efficiency to the transportation and logistics process, along with reducing shipment costs and increasing customer satisfaction. A transport system provides utilities like driver tracking, routing, warehouse management, etc. which sums up to improve the overall efficiency of the process.
  • Ans. Several TMS offer various integration options ranging from ERP to OMS. However, you should prioritize the ERP integration as it improves the supply chain management process.
  • Ans. SAP transport management system is a transport process that includes the export of objects from the source SAP system and their import into the target system. SAP transport management system is a solution for managing termed transports on SAP systems.
  • Ans. Yes, most of the TMS is integrated with billing & accounting Software to ensure seamless payment processing. Most TMS also supports multiple billing options to make sure multiple payment modes do not affect your business.
  • Ans. Supply chain management focuses on manufacturing, purchasing, and transportation. Since transportation is a part of supply chain management, and TMS helps improve the transportation process, it directly contributes to improved supply chain management.

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Payal PatilBy Payal Patil | Last Updated: October 20, 2020

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