A transportation management system (TMS) is an end-to-end piece of software that helps businesses manage their logistics and streamline their shipping. By reducing complexity and connecting all the players in your logistics ecosystem, it simplifies the different stages of the supply chain processes, capturing them in one tool. TMS solutions are one of the core technologies used in supply chain management today, having gained greater traction in the past decade. Gartner predicts an accelerated growth at least until 2025.
Traditionally, businesses have relied on manual processes – such as excel sheets, phone, and email -- or several independent software solutions to manage their logistics. For example, some shippers used a warehouse management system that follows items until they leave a dock. They then had a tracking system, provided by a carrier for each mode and each stage of the journey. However, this piecemeal approach leads to a highly complex and disjointed view over the process, where a single miscalculation can result in significant loss of time and decreased customer satisfaction. This simply doesn’t cut it in the 21st century.
TMS solutions are primarily used by businesses that need to ship, move, and receive good regularly, including manufacturers, distributors, e-commerce and retail businesses, and logistics providers (3PL and 4PL).
In most cases, TMS solutions can be integrated with existing cloud-based or on-premise ERPs and Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions to provide a broader overview of the processes within the business and its supply chain.