The overall purpose of a TMS is to save time, money and improve customer service.
A TMS is a Transportation Management System. It is a software program that manages all incoming and outgoing shipments.
Freight movers use these software programs to manage, track, quote, and organize all shipping information. They can use this information to create reports to determine if there is any way to more efficiently run the logistics of there company.
One obvious advantage is to be able to instantly receive and compare freight quotes from multiple carriers. Each company may have a few preferred carriers and a good TMS will have the ability to limit their system to those specific carriers. It should also be able to open the system up to every available carrier if price is the major concern for the shipping company.
A good management system will also allow you to view the history of where your company has been shipping the most. This can give you the knowledge to notice if a particular customer has drastically decreased their orders or increased them. This information can then be used to increase sales and productivity.
Furthermore, if you have been shipping in great quantities to certain areas of the country you will have some historical data to fall back on if the company may be considering opening a new plant.
Transportation Management Systems are not limited to simple online freight quotes. They also can improve and stream line small parcel shipments. They can help you identify where you can skip zones or use a different carrier that may have better service to a certain area.
Any company that ships or moves freight with any type of frequency could benefit from a TMS. Like all software there are many different versions of Transportation Management Systems.