Shippers depend on all sorts of cutting edge technology to keep their supply chains running smoothly.
Whether shipping just across town or routing a cross-border movement into Canada, technology now has the capability to streamline the entire process. Delegating tasks to a computer algorithm saves a ton of time over doing it all manually. And as the old saying goes; time is money.
The most widely used pieces of software to accomplish this is transportation management systems (TMS). In fact, this easily configurable software is employed daily by thousands of carriers, distributors, warehouses and retail businesses across the globe.
Find your way here because you are implementing your own TMS?
Great! Let's take a quick look at what they are and what exactly they do...
What are Transportation Management Systems?
TMS platforms are software platforms designed to complete a wide range of shipping functions. They handle everything from finding the best carrier rates to the actual scheduling the shipment, and just about everything in-between.
These platforms are most beneficial for larger warehouses and distribution centers. However, any company shipping goods on a regular basis can leverage the power of a TMS. Individually configured user-dashboards, real-time tracking tools, and the potential to reduce freight expenses make this type of software a no-brainer for most companies.
Additionally, most modern TMS platforms reside in the cloud. This enables users to access the platform from just about anywhere in the world through an authorized wireless device.
Want to know the top tasks in which transportation management systems truly shine?
Here are our top 4 picks...
Cost is always a concern for shippers.
In fact, when shippers choose a carrier, the cost is usually the primary concern. But the price of shipping is not the only factor up for consideration and many shippers are willing to pay a premium for improved performance, on-time delivery, and reliable shipping.
The TMS locates carriers based on customizable criteria. And it is this feature that allows shippers to rate carriers that fit their needs. This ability helps shippers narrow down the list of potential carriers rather quickly. Likewise, freight size, special handling, mode of transportation, destination, or delivery commitment criteria is searchable.
Scheduling pick-ups and deliveries is also a task that most modern TMS solutions focus on. Additionally, shippers can review carrier profiles and choose one that meets your standards for pick-up routes and windows or delivery services. Overall, with a single click of a button, you can schedule your pickups and deliveries.
As a cloud-based system, accessing shipping documents from multiple devices and locations is simple.
Bills of Lading, international shipping documents, and all required paperwork can be uploaded, filled out online, downloaded, or pushed forward to email. Additionally, some custom TMS solutions have the ability to push out notifications via SMS/MMS text messaging.
Notifications and Alerts
Likewise, users set up automated notifications and alerts that let them know when shipments are picked-up, delivered, or if there are any delays or shipping changes.
Want to Learn More About Transportation Management Systems?
Freight management systems help shippers of all sizes and scopes improve their logistics scheduling process. Working with a 3PL to customize one to meet and exceed your needs is invaluable.
Here at Redwood Logistics we work with multiple software developers to suit your individual needs, budget, and skill level.
If you’re preparing your 2020 fiscal budget and would like to learn about freight management systems, contact Redwood Logistics today.