Global TMS Platforms Are the Key to Full Supply Chain Optimization
Published on Dec 21, 2022
Transportation Management Systems are a bit like the Swiss Army knives of the shipping world. These platforms can help shipping companies choose the best carriers and providers to fulfill their orders, track shipping progress, and even find the most efficient routes available. Global TMS platforms are especially important for international shippers as they help them navigate through multiple transportation markets, shipping types, and complex international shipping schedules.
As high shipping costs and global supply chain shortages continue to keep the pressure on the global supply chain, a good global TMS can be crucial in helping shippers, manufacturers, and retailers gain an edge in the market by staying on time and within budget.
What does a Global TMS do?
Let's get the obvious out of the way, first.
A global TMS platform, as the name implies, covers tasks involved in the entire global shipping market. It integrates with shipping and procurement software to suggest the fastest and best-priced international routes using air, ocean, rail, and OTR shipping. It will also tailor the recommended shipping options based on whether a load is a full truckload (TL) or less than a truckload (LTL). Additionally, these platforms enable fast tendering and communication with providers, and provide the data needed to choose the best provider for each job.
Once the order is out, the TMS provides fleet tracking, monitoring of the shipping status, dock scheduling, and yard management features. The global TMS will then manage billing and payments, documentation, and provide a full report on the shipment.
Essentially, a global TMS platform provides a sort of control tower that gives the user a global view of their entire supply chain. This view can then be zoomed in to view the status of individual shipments in real time. The platform also collects and organizes all of the data and helps make suggestions for further optimization.
What are the benefits of a TMS?
A global TMS can greatly reduce your administrative work, allowing your staff and resources to be spent on other activities. In short, your TMS simplifies the shipping process. Through monitoring of different shipping regions, with different carriers, and on different modes of transportation, a TMS platform can greatly reduce the risk of human error.
We mentioned specifically the reduction of administrative work. A TMS can track all carrier agreements, charges, costs, and delivery times, as well as freeing up human resources. All of these things contribute to greatly increased efficiency across the board.
A global TMS improves cost efficiency when managing global supply chains, providing shipping companies with greater competitiveness in the market. As you continue to use your TMS platform, the data generated will help your company develop new key performance indicators (KPIs) and create predictive models to help manage any upcoming potential supply chain issues.
In optimizing a global supply chain, logistics providers must deal with multiple legal jurisdictions and customs processes. This is not to mention varied time zones, currencies, and languages as well. A well-built global TMS can help streamline and simplify that complex situation with relative ease.
How to choose a Global TMS
When choosing which TMS platform to implement for your supply chain, there are a few things you should consider.
For starters, you need to ensure that the platform provides robust support in the regions that you most often work with. The system will already be optimized to provide competitive providers and manage local regulations. However, it should also support the currencies in those countries and provide you with up-to-date info on taxes and fees along your most common routes.
If you routinely transport hazardous materials, choose a global TMS that can help you meet the specific regulatory requirements for those materials throughout the routes covered by your global supply chain.
Look for a global TMS that provides good visibility on your shipments and items all along the supply chain. It should also provide data and modeling that will allow you to continually optimize that supply chain as unforeseen global situations arise and as your business moves into new territories.
A global TMS platform gives you a birds-eye view of your global supply chain and is a powerful tool for achieving both full supply chain visibility and optimization. It can enable logistics providers to achieve greater efficiency, reduce administration and paperwork, track shipments, choose the most reliable and cost-effective shipping partners, and manage local regulations and payments in different currencies.