What Your Transportation Management System Should Provide

The transportation and logistics world is abuzz with the need for ever stronger and more diverse transportation management systems (TMS). This is apparently true for small and large shippers alike. And in today’s world of diverse rates and worldwide shipping operations, both inbound and outbound, the need grows stronger each year.

So what should a solid, viable TMS solution be able to provide?

  1. Select the lowest cost carrier for that particular shipment, mode, and accessorials. (Rating Engine)
  2. Should also indicate service level to further allow an accurate choice.
  3. Consolidate multiple shipments onto a string drop load or pool distribution network if needed and possibly from the data that day. (Optimization)

  4. If needed, create the bill of lading for the shipping point (be it an inbound vendor or outbound shipping department) and consolidate multiple orders for the same day and destination.
  5. Dispatch the shipments to the appropriate carrier. (Tendering/Booking)
  6. Confirm that the pick-up will be, or has been made, with the right carrier. (Tracking violations)
  7. Start tracking the location of the shipment from the moment of pick up to delivery.
  8. Verify the invoice received or produced by the carrier is accurate.
  9. Apply the correct account coding information on that shipment. (Use for Accruals)
  10. Produce reports to management on trends, totals, and on time transit factors for individual orders or a given supplier or freight carrier. (By product, by class, by locations.)
  11. Send reports automatically to anyone designated in the company or into an ERP system.

Anything less than the functionality listed would shortchange the retailer or manufacturer against what is possible and available from some of the best TMS providers. A database of consignees or vendors should also be retained to reduce the amount of time needed for entry and carrier/rate selection, as well as historical information so that special accessorials associated with a particular destination would be known in advance.

There should not be a limitation in the use of rate tariffs. Each carrier should be able to use their own private tariff and not have to be party to Czar or some other network. Fuel surcharge should be fully loaded with automatic weekly updates per government changes in the fuel cost factor.

Freight Management, Inc. (FMI) has spent over $2 million in developing its system. FMI’s software is more than just SaaS. It’s a full-service solution backed by experts and due to the ever-changing needs of their clients, the development process continues to stay ahead of those fluctuations. Additionally, the solutions are broken into working segments as to complement an existing program with little to no disruption. We invite demonstrations and webinars should anyone need further detail to make decisions for the future of their company in this chaotic world of transportation and logistics.

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