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What Is a Transport Management System (TMS) and What Does It Do?

What Is a Transport Management System (TMS) and What Does It Do?


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What Is a Transport Management System (TMS) and What Does It Do?

12 Aug 2021

Aptean Staff Writer
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Those working within a complex supply chain environment will be acutely aware of the perils of ignoring your transportation operations. Get it wrong, and not only is your profitability directly affected, but you also risk losing your most valuable asset: your customers.

But what exactly is a transportation management system (TMS), and what difference can this technology make for your company?

Adapt Business Operations With Transportation Management Systems

Today, customers are just as concerned with how well you can adapt to their changing demands as they are with how much you charge. Flexibility and visibility within the supply chain are crucial to staying ahead of the competition and ensuring your customers remain loyal.

A TMS can help you achieve this agility. It is a one-stop piece of software allowing you to better plan, organize and assess where each stage of the transportation distribution cycle is up to. This involves driver management and in-cab communications, through to signature capture and carrier integration. In the long term, this enables you to quickly make informed decisions based on past performance and future forecasts—further increasing your company’s profits.

So how exactly does a TMS enable you to achieve this?

Dynamic Optimizing and Planning

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), nearly 30% of truck journeys are running empty loads. Reducing that percentage could significantly improve profit margins as well as contribute to green trucking objectives.

A TMS considers your varied and changing distribution needs , enabling you to utilize your fleet for multiple customers seamlessly and efficiently. You can effortlessly plan the best routes based on fleet location and schedule collection and delivery times. It’s also easy to maximize backhauling, automatically schedule cross-docking and even post unallocated loads onto portals for sub-contracting.

As well as increased efficiency, customers are kept satisfied and penalties for missed deliveries are reduced.

Increased Visibility and Management of Orders and Communications

According to a survey by Transport Intelligence, only 17% of logistics service providers and shippers have end-to-end visibility covering all partners and links in the supply chain. Not surprisingly, 54% of respondents were making plans to invest in IT infrastructure and improve visibility. With so many companies working on digital transformation strategies, you cannot afford to get left behind. Remaining competitive means implementing the right systems.

Transportation management software allows much better visibility and control for you and your customers. Multiple TMS users can place, amend and plan orders based on many different parameters.

During the delivery stage, the TMS integrates seamlessly with in-cab telematics, electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) and driver debriefing. This means you know which deliveries have been made. And you know when, what the outcomes were, and if any returns were received. All this information can then be passed on to the warehouse.

Pallet and Container Tracking

Transport management software allows you to track pallets, totes bins, roll cages and other delivery containers. Containers that are left with customers for return as well as the spare quantities at each depot are monitored automatically. Automated reports and alters allow you to chase overdue containers to make sure they are returned, reducing wastage.

Admin and Profitability Planning

TMS solutions allow you to easily charge for your logistics services based on a flexible tariff structure that accounts for all types of customer contracts. You can then analyze your transportation costs and determine issues such as cost versus revenue by customer or contract.

How Our Integrated Transport Management System Can Help

Our industry-specific routing and scheduling softwareAptean Routing & Scheduling, is specially built to improve efficiencies in the supply chain - providing you with the ability to keep track of deliveries and seamlessly integrate with other systems like warehouse and proof of delivery software.

Are you ready to discover more? Get in touch with our team of routing and scheduling experts to find out how an advanced TMS can drive profits and keep your customers happy.

Ready to start transforming your business?

We've got the specialised TMS solutions you need to conquer your industry challenges.

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