Transport Management System

The Transport Management System (TMS) is a logistics platform that uses technology to help businesses plan, execute and optimize the physical transportation of both inbound and outbound goods, ensuring that transportation complies with the law and appropriate documentation is on hand. This type of system is often part of a larger supply chain management (SCM) system.

Also known as transport management solution or transport management software, TMS enables timely delivery of cargo and goods while providing visibility into daily shipping operations, trade compliance information and documentation. Transportation management systems also streamline the shipping process, making it easier for businesses to manage and optimize their shipping operations by land, air or sea.


Transport management systems play a central role in supply chains, influencing every part of the process, from planning and procurement to logistics and lifecycle management. The wide and deep visibility provided by a powerful system allows for more efficient planning and execution of transport. This increases customer satisfaction. This leads to more sales and helps businesses grow. In such a dynamic global business environment where we live and operate, it is important to have a system that will enable you to navigate the complex processes of trade policies and compliance.


Businesses can purchase a standalone transport management system that can be integrated with existing cloud or on-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and SCM solutions. Some TMS solutions have business document preparation capabilities, or you can complement your TMS with a global trade management (GTM) application software. Other TMSs, often with less features, are available as modules in ERP and SCM product sets.


Transport management systems are primarily used by businesses that need to send, transport and receive goods on a regular basis, such as:

  • Distributors
  • E-commerce companies
  • Retail businesses
  • Companies that provide logistics services, such as third-party and fourth-party logistics (3PL and 4PL) companies and logistics service providers (LSPs)

Manufacturers have the right to use TMS, like the other items listed, that can be added to these items. Businesses in nearly every industry, from construction to life sciences, use a transportation management system. The most important users are businesses that spend $100 million or more per year on freight. However, the introduction of cloud-based TMS solutions has allowed smaller businesses to more cost-effectively take advantage of incorporating a transportation management system into their supply chain.

Standard TMS software modules consist of:

  • Load optimization
  • Route planning and optimization
  • delivery
  • Freight inspection, payment, etc.
  • Garden management
  • Advanced shipping
  • Order visibility
  • Carrier management


Customers’ expectations for not only on-time delivery, but within two days or even same-day delivery, continue to increase. You also have to share developments in real time throughout the shipping process. Ever-changing global trade regulations are also forcing supply chains to keep pace through innovation, often by investing in a transport management system.

Transport management systems must become more robust and feature-rich, providing faster responses to consumers and more detailed information to businesses. Machine learning makes transport management systems smarter, providing better recommendations and more accurate forecasts.

Companies can choose to integrate their transportation and global trade management systems with new technologies to further improve visibility and provide better customer service. Some of these innovative technologies you can use right now include:


Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors make real-time fleet monitoring a mundane business, including visibility of driving conditions, routes, and assets in transit. Companies can reduce fuel and maintenance costs, reduce delays and improve driver safety.


Digital assistants are often referred to as chatbots. They provide higher customer satisfaction by providing shipping information with instant, conversational responses.


By applying machine learning to historical data and trends, transportation management systems can more accurately predict shipping time, plan capacity, identify at-risk shipments (for example, end-of-life goods and time- or temperature-sensitive products), and even more possibilities. presents. Advanced artificial intelligence will also enable your transportation management system to offer more accurate and informed recommendations, such as alternative delivery routes during heavy traffic periods.


A TMS, and more generally modern transport management, provides many benefits to businesses. Some of the most important advantages are:

  • Lower costs for business and end customer
  • Streamlining supply chain processes across geographies, modes and carriers
  • Automation of business operations for faster and more accurate invoicing and documentation
  • Improved visibility and security, especially during transit
  • Time savings with less delays and faster delivery due to fewer manual steps
  • Freight tracking feature on a single platform, both locally and globally
  • Better regulatory compliance minimizing fines and shipping delays on imports and exports
  • New business insights by enabling faster action and process improvements through better reporting
  • Improvements in customer service and customer satisfaction with real-time improvements and less shipping delays
  • Ability to scale business by meeting and exceeding customers’ demands for fast, on-time shipping


A TMS helps the business choose the optimum mode of transport and the best carrier based on cost, efficiency and distance, including optimizing multi-stage carrier routes. A strong TMS can provide visibility into every stage of the supply chain. With its global trade management functions, it can provide information on trade and tariffs, possible delays due to customs and other trade regulations.


The execution features of transport management systems are very diverse. However, it may include functions such as freight matching and communication with carriers, documenting and tracking shipments, assisting with freight billing and payment processing. Some advanced TMS solutions also offer tracking and monitoring services, enabling real-time information exchange between carriers, distributors, warehouses and customers. Such advanced systems may also have functions to handle complex international logistics, including providing appropriate import and export documentation that ensures shipments comply with trade laws.


TMS optimization capabilities often include the ability to measure and monitor performance with reports, dashboards, analytics, and a migration decision support system.

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