What is TMS and what benefits does it bring to transport companies?

19 January 2021

goodloading-what-is-TMS

Transportation management systems are becoming more and more popular. They aim to support companies in planning and optimization of transport in order to reduce costs.

What are transportation management systems?

Transportation management systems are tools implemented in transport and forwarding companies, which facilitate work of supply chain managers. They provide support at each stage of transport – from accepting an order, through planning, monitoring and settlement of transport. The systems are intended to improve business operations and provide more effective customer service.

TMSs gather the necessary data and allow for its management, as well as planning of routes and checking the use of the vehicle fleet. Some systems also offer billing and invoicing functions, which makes them a comprehensive tool that will satisfy all the software requirements of the company. Versatility of transportation management systems results from the possibility of integrating many tools in one place.

TMSs available on the market are provided in the form of a file which should be installed on a computer or using one’s own server or web-based transportation management systems, i.e. accessible from a web browser. The latter are the most popular solutions as they do not require IT knowledge and the whole responsibility for the functioning of the application lies with the company providing the system.

TMS functions:

  • calculation of transport costs
  • transport planning
  • customer service
  • easy communication with the driver
  • route planning and optimization
  • vehicle fleet management
  • monitoring and handling of transport orders
  • integration with other systems, e.g. telematics
  • monitoring of the location of loads using the GPS system
  • organization of loading and unloading
  • access to reports
  • settlement of payment

As not all TMSs offer the same functionalities, before implementing a given system, we need to ensure that it is compliant with the requirements of our company.

Transportation management system – benefits

Reduction of transport costs is the most frequently mentioned benefit of using TMSs. Based on gathered data and its analysis, TMS systems can suggest how to reduce expenditures and optimize transport processes to generate savings.

TMS may prove useful in companies which work with many tools supporting business – route planners, cost calculators, applications for loading optimization and settlements. Transportation management systems can be integrated with other tools to provide users with all the necessary functionalities in one program. It saves time as all data is available in one place, which decreases the risk of errors that may occur during a data transfer from one program to another.

Connection between TMS and telematics systems allows for monitoring of the fleet and provides the system with various data, such as combustion, driving parameters or the driver’s working time. Telematics helps with sending important documentation, and communication with the driver, whereas integration with the GPS system allows for checking the exact location of a load. Providing such data to the system also allows for the analysis of routes in order to optimise them for the next orders, i.e. search for better and more effective routes.

Better customer service is another benefit from TMS. Analysis of established collaborations allows for checking how they went – in terms of a price or timeliness of order execution.

Using transportation management systems helps increase efficiency of the company thanks to automated processes.

Other benefits include:

  • quick access to information, possibility to analyze data in order to improve results
  • management of orders
  • speeding up order processing time
  • smaller risk of error related to the human factor

If TMS is integrated with the Warehouse Management System (WMS), movement of goods between warehouses can be organized more efficiently. It is also possible to view every single item – from the shelf in the warehouse to the exact location during transport.

Integration between TMS and a load planner

With the use of API, a transportation management system can be integrated with Goodloading, a load planning application. In result, the user gains access to functionalities available within the application:
– calculation of free and occupied space,
– the method of arranging loads on a truck or container,
– access to visualization of the prepared project and load animation,
– indication whether the designed project exceeds axle loads.

Use of the well-matched tools allows for a better management of business, increases efficiency, minimizes costs and saves time. If you are looking for a system with the load planner functionality – email us at info@goodloading.com