Our Top Picks

3G-TM
3Gtms
  • GPS tracking
  • Quote management
  • Support during business hours and online
3Gtms is a scalable transportation management software from 3G designed for shippers, asset-based carriers, freight forwarders and logistics service providers. It enables users to handle fleet management, reduce annual freight expenses and overhead costs and manage routing challenges. The solution can be deployed on-premises or via the cloud.

The software’s core features include:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Reporting tools
  • Route optimization
  • Order management
  • Freight audit and payments
  • Contract management module
  • Performance management
  • Automated scheduling
3Gtms assists in planning shipment management by automating repetitive tasks and preventing typical errors from occurring. The platform lets users find low-cost options after comparing the expense for several modes and carriers. It also offers a built-in self-service tool that enables carriers to connect with their clients using predefined templates.

The vendor offers a demo to allow users a sneak peek into the software’s workings, but there’s no free trial. Pricing is only available via a custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Manages the complete transportation lifecycle
  • Detailed reporting feature
  • Suitable for small and large companies

Cons

  • Lacks geofencing and fuel tracking features
  • No free trial

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • GPS tracking
  • Quote management
  • Support during business hours and online
AVAAL
AVAAL
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, Android and on-premises deployment
  • Third-party integrations
  • 24/7 live support
AVAAL is a solution that offers different modules for all-round transportation management, including dispatch, freight brokerage, container and auto hauler software. It’s explicitly designed for freight forwarders, logistics providers and brokers. The software can be customized to meet your unique needs.

AVAAL’s salient features include:

  • Reporting tools
  • Route optimization
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Quote management
  • Dispatch management
  • Shipment tracking
  • Live driver tracking
  • Fleet management
  • Customer management
AVAAL is a fully integrated and industrialized software suite developed to help businesses reduce their operational costs and boost revenue by leveraging analytics and process management tools to optimize capacity.

The vendor offers a free demo to illustrate the software’s workings. Pricing is available on a subscription-based model, with costs starting at $19.99 for the Super Lite package and topping out at $349.99 for the Standard package.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides great information visibility
  • Effective collaboration tools
  • Broad solutions for transportation management

Cons

  • No geofencing or GPS tracking features
  • No free trial

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • $99 for Lite
    • $149.99 for Basic
    • $349.99 for Standard
    • $19.99 for Super Lite
    • $49.99 for Ultra Lite
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, Android and on-premises deployment
  • Third-party integrations
  • 24/7 live support
JDA-is-now-blueyonder
Blue Yonder Luminate Logistics
  • Third-party integrations
  • Route optimization
  • Reporting tools
Blue Yonder Luminate Logistics offers an end-to-end execution platform that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to drive autonomous distribution networks. It’s deployed in a SaaS environment on Microsoft Azure, and Windows and Mac installation options are also available.

Blue Yonder Luminate Logistics core features are:

  • Labor management
  • Logistics network
  • Warehouse management
  • Robotics hub
  • Warehouse tasking
  • Analytics and insights
  • Data management
The software solution serves clients across a range of supply chain industries, including auto, retail, aerospace, food and beverage, TPL and consumer goods. It’s built to enable users to integrate warehousing, labor and transportation into a seamless information and execution platform.

The vendor provides a demo, but a free trial isn’t available. Pricing is only accessible via a custom quote, meaning potential customers have to call or request a quote online. Customer support is available online.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Integrates warehousing, labor and transportation into a single platform
  • Identifies problems before they occur
  • Offers machine learning-based recommendations

Cons

  • Lacks GPS tracking, geofencing, fuel tracking and quote management features
  • No live support

Summary

JDA-is-now-blueyonder
Blue Yonder Luminate Logistics
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    No
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Third-party integrations
  • Route optimization
  • Reporting tools
Blujay-solutions
BlueJay GTN
  • GPS tracking
  • Geo fencing
  • Air transportation
BlueJay GTN is a cloud-based transportation management solution offering a comprehensive suite of tools for simplifying, coordinating, augmenting and rendering great visibility into your transportation activities. It centralizes the entire process by bringing together all modes of transportation into a single system.

The software’s main features include:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Analytics and reporting tools
  • 24/7 live customer support
  • Support available online and during business hours
  • Global Trade Network
  • Secure multi-tenant architecture
  • Centralized control
  • Supply chain planning
  • Execution and settlement transportation
Users have access to BluJay’s Global Trade Network, linking them to various connected partners. The software is scalable and ideal for businesses in industries such as food and beverage, automotive, pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

The vendor offers a free demo to help potential buyers preview what to expect when they buy the software. However, a free trial isn’t available, and pricing is only accessible via a custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Access to the software’s Global Trade Network
  • Provides actionable business intelligence data
  • Detailed reporting features

Cons

  • Lacks route optimization tools
  • No fuel tracking feature
  • No quote management feature

Summary

Blujay-solutions
BlueJay GTN
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    No
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    No
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • GPS tracking
  • Geo fencing
  • Air transportation
CargoPlanning
CargoPlanning
  • Quote management
  • 24/7 live customer rep
  • Cloud and on-premises deployment
CargoPlanning is a freight management software designed to facilitate the management of transport and logistics processes, mainly for manufacturing and commercial businesses. The centralized platform helps streamline daily shipment processes, as well as handle inbound and outbound operations. It comes with three modules; CargoTender, CargoPlanning and CargoSlot, which can be used independently or integrated to cater to different process requirements.

The software’s salient features include:

  • Route optimization
  • Reporting tools
  • Customer management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Shipment tracking
  • Live driver tracking
  • Dispatch and order management
  • Fleet control
The CargoPlanning module enables companies to improve communication with transport partners, manage bids and carriers and track shipments in real time, while the CargoTender module assists with optimizing budgets and extracting reports and analysis of submitted tenders. CargoSlot helps with managing inbound and outbound logistics.

The vendor offers a demo but doesn’t provide a free trial. Pricing is available only through a quote request.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Customized reports
  • Email and SMS alerts
  • Controlled company data access by partners

Cons

  • No GPS and fuel tracking
  • No geofencing
  • Lacks third-party integrations

Summary

CargoPlanning
CargoPlanning
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    No
  • Integrations
    No
Features
  • Quote management
  • 24/7 live customer rep
  • Cloud and on-premises deployment
Descartes
Descartes
  • Third-party integrations
  • Reporting tools
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, Android, Windows and Mac deployment
Descartes is designed to help organizations optimize their transportation operations across modes such as air, truck, ocean, pool distribution, parcel and private fleet. It allows users to connect digitally with customers and suppliers and access the Descartes Global Logistics Network for global carrier coverage.

Descartes’s core features include:

  • GPS and fuel tracking
  • Geofencing
  • Quote management
  • Route optimization
  • Customer support during business hours and through a 24/7 live rep
  • Contract management
  • Freight audit
  • Load planning and optimization
  • Parcel shipping
Descartes has a multitude of the capabilities necessary in syncing transportation operations, controlling costs and enhancing service quality. It also provides extended features to run modern multimodal transportation operations, such as dock scheduling and yard management.

The vendor offers prospective clients a free demo to give them a basic view of how the software operates. However, a free trial isn’t available, and pricing is only accessible via a custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Feature-packed
  • Supports inter-enterprise collaboration between shippers and carriers
  • Offers connectivity to hundreds of transportation providers

Cons

  • No free trial

Summary

Descartes
Descartes
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Third-party integrations
  • Reporting tools
  • Web-based, cloud, SaaS, iOS, Android, Windows and Mac deployment
FreightPOP
FreightPOP
  • Route optimization
  • Quote management
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation management
FreightPOP is a cloud-based transportation management software that can also be deployed on-premises through Windows and Mac PCs. It caters to the needs of distributors, retailers and manufacturers, helping them manage the entire freight shipping cycle. It allows users to easily shop for the best shipping rates, manage shipping, track inbound and outbound shipments and audit transportation management across ocean, air, parcel, LTL and FTL modes.

FreightPOP’s core features include:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Reporting tools
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Shipment tracking
  • Order and discount management
  • Carrier management
  • Scheduling
  • Live driver tracking
The centralized platform allows users to view freight carriers from the dashboard, track vehicle locations, schedule pick ups, generate filters on shipping details and notify users of issues that arise anywhere in the pipeline.

The software comes with a demo, but a free trial isn’t provided. Customers have to contact the vendor for pricing, and customer support is available online and during business hours.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Integrations with existing CMS, ERP, WMS and inventory systems
  • Helps manage invoice audits and generate reports
  • Connections to over 300 carriers, brokers and marketplaces

Cons

  • No GPS and fuel tracking tools
  • Lacks geofencing feature

Summary

FreightPOP
FreightPOP
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Route optimization
  • Quote management
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation management
Informore
Informore
  • Third-party integrations
  • Ocean transportation
  • Route optimization
Informore is a web-based supply chain and logistics management solution designed to help logistics companies and shippers manage transportation, procurement and financial control and reporting processes.

Its core features include:

  • Reporting tools
  • Customer support online and during business hours
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment
  • Carrier and order management
  • Shipment tracking
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Customer and supplier management
  • Order fulfillment
The platform enables users to easily manage orders and obtain detailed visibility of shipments in execution, including supply chain event management (SCEM). You can define your dedicated views, events and status to be monitored, as well as optimize load build and routes using the Ortec plug-in.

A free demo is available to prospective clients who want to understand the software’s workings. However, the vendor doesn’t provide a free trial, and pricing is only obtainable via a custom quote. Training is delivered via documentation, webinars and live online or in-person sessions.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Collects and securely stores transport data
  • Offers data backup and failover systems
  • Links to over 135 third-party software

Cons

  • No GPS and fuel tracking features
  • No geofencing tools
  • Lacks quote management tools

Summary

Informore
Informore
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    No
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Third-party integrations
  • Ocean transportation
  • Route optimization
JD-Edwards-Enterprise
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Third-party integrations
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Route optimization
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an integrated suite of applications from Oracle deployed via the cloud as a SaaS solution. It’s ideal for businesses of all sizes, including those in the manufacturing, distribution and services industries.

JD Edwards EnterpriseOne core features are:

  • GPS tracking
  • Geofencing
  • Reporting tools
  • Shipment tracking
  • Fleet and order management
  • Carrier management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Customer management
  • Customer support online and during business hours
With the solution, businesses can integrate their logistics functions to cost-effectively plan and track their products’ distribution and delivery. They can manage all shipping types from a centralized point, including truckload, LTL, private fleet, public carrier and multimodal transportation.

The vendor offers prospective clients a free trial that they can use to assess if the software meets their needs before they decide to purchase it. The vendor provides a subscription-based licensing model that starts at $999/month for base access, along with $99 per month for additional users.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Collects real-time data
  • Makes insight gathering easy and fast
  • Broad range of built-in modules

Cons

  • No fuel tracking tools
  • Lacks quote management feature

Summary

JD-Edwards-Enterprise
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Starting Price
    • starts at $999/month for base access + $99/user/month
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Third-party integrations
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Route optimization
Kuebix
Kuebix
  • Ground transportation
  • Third-party integrations
  • GPS tracking
Kuebix is a transportation management system that employs freight intelligence to let companies meet simple through complex supply chain requirements. The tool is designed for carriers and shippers involved in inbound and outbound logistics.

Its salient features include:

  • Reporting tools
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment
  • Route optimization
  • Quote management
  • Geofencing
  • Carrier and order management
  • Shipment tracking
  • Customer management
  • Dispatch and fleet management
  • Scheduling
  • Live driver tracking
The software offers a multitude of add-ons that can be used by companies worldwide, as well as a range of third-party business applications like Infor, Quickbooks and Oracle NetSuite. Users can access the software on their mobile devices to create and manage shipments from remote locations.

The vendor provides a 60-day free trial to allow prospective clients ample time to sample the software and determine if it suits their needs. Free and paid versions of the software are available, with pricing for the latter accessible via a custom quote. Customer support is available online and during business hours.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free version available
  • Numerous third-party integrations
  • Real-time freight shipping rates comparison tools

Cons

  • No fuel tracking feature

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • free version available
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Ground transportation
  • Third-party integrations
  • GPS tracking
Manhattan-WMS-logo
Manhattan
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment
  • Reporting tools
  • Customer support online and during business hours
Manhattan is a robust, hybrid transportation management system that focuses on helping organizations optimize their transport technology execution. Users can leverage the software’s multimodal inbound and outbound capabilities, which are essential in creating utility within a supply chain or transportation network.

The tool can be deployed via the cloud or on-premises to help organizations manage every transportation function across different modes and network sizes, and includes freight tracking, tracing and billing conciliation capabilities.

Manhattan’s core features include:

  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • GPS tracking
  • Geofencing
  • Fuel tracking
  • Route optimization
  • Third-party integrations
  • Fleet management
  • Transportation procurement
  • Driver support
  • Invoice and carrier management
Users can rely on the software to consolidate orders and manage inbound and outbound shipments in real time. Manhattan is ideal for industries such as manufacturing, retail and wholesale, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

The vendor offers a demo, but a free trial isn’t available. Customers have to request pricing directly from the company either by calling or filling in an online form.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ensures safety and compliance
  • Supports better decision making
  • Comprehensive suite of solutions

Cons

  • Lacks quote a management feature
  • No free trial

Summary

Manhattan-WMS-logo
Manhattan
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Web-based, cloud and SaaS deployment
  • Reporting tools
  • Customer support online and during business hours
MercuryGate
MercuryGate
  • 24/7 live customer rep
  • Reporting tools
  • Route optimization
MercuryGate provides transportation management solutions that support all transportation modes on a single platform, including air, ocean, rail, truckload, LTL, parcel, and intermodal. It’s suitable for businesses of any size in a range of industries and can be deployed as a cloud-based or on-premises solution.

MercuryGate’s key features include:

  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Third-party integrations
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Fleet and dispatch management
  • Shipment tracking
  • Carrier management
  • Live driver tracking
  • Scheduling
  • Customer management
MercuryGate has a set of tools that give users global reach capabilities, including multicurrency billing, time zones and interfaces to automated export systems and border and customs patrol. The system can also be configured to enable clear end-to-end communications and visibility regardless of the user location or culture.

The vendor offers a free demo to allow prospective buyers to understand the software’s workings before making a purchase. However, a free trial isn’t available and pricing is only accessible via a custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extensive global reach capabilities
  • Supports all transportation modes
  • Multiple deployment options

Cons

  • No GPS and fuel tracking features
  • No geofencing tool
  • No quote management feature

Summary

MercuryGate
MercuryGate
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • 24/7 live customer rep
  • Reporting tools
  • Route optimization
Samsara
Samsara
  • Third-party integrations
  • Fuel tracking
  • GPS tracking
Samsara is a cloud-based fleet management solution designed to cater to the needs of small to large businesses in industries such as transportation logistics and construction. It’s cloud-based and features apps for native iOS and Android apps. The software focuses on helping users track their fleet and monitor drivers’ behavior to stay compliant with FMCSA and ELD regulations.

Samsara’s key features include:

  • Routing and dispatch management
  • Geofencing
  • Customer support online and during business hours
  • 24/7 live rep
  • ELD compliance
  • Document management
  • Fleet maintenance
  • Reporting and alerts
The software’s GPS tracking device provides real-time information about traffic to the driver and suggests the best alternative routes. It also collects data on vehicle usage and sends it to the fleet manager. Samsara works with all types of automobiles, providing a single, centralized dashboard where users can manage mixed fleets and mobile assets.

The vendor offers new users a free trial to help them test the software and determine if it suits their unique needs. Pricing isn’t available to the general public, so buyers have to contact the vendor for a custom quote.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Beneficial GPS tracking tool
  • Detailed reporting tools
  • Fleet safety tools

Cons

  • Lacks route optimization tool
  • No quote management feature

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    No
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    No
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Third-party integrations
  • Fuel tracking
  • GPS tracking
SAP-Warehouse-Management-logo
SAP
  • Geofencing
  • Quote management
  • Third-party integrations
SAP is a TPS that leverages modern technologies to streamline and integrate your transportation management processes across the ground, air, ocean and other channels. It helps users consolidate and optimize all inbound, outbound, domestic and international shipments. With the software, you can accurately forecast shipment demand volumes to fine-tune transportation planning and improve fleet, freight and logistics management.

SAP’s core features include:

  • Fleet management
  • Order management
  • Route optimization
  • Shipment tracking
  • Discount management
  • GPS tracking
  • Online support
The software is cloud-based and can also be deployed on Windows PCs. Users can rely on the tool’s forecasting capabilities to get valuable insight into project-wide data to effectively plan future transportation processes.

The vendor offers a free trial so prospective buyers can sample the software and see if it suits their specific business operations. Pricing is only available through a custom quote, and customer support is accessible online. New users receive training via documentation and webinars.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Handles large volume of data
  • Extensive forecasting tools
  • Collaboration features

Cons

  • No fuel tracking feature
  • Can't be deployed via Mac PCs

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    Yes
  • Geofencing
    Yes
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Geofencing
  • Quote management
  • Third-party integrations
Transplace
Transplace
  • Quote management
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Route optimization
Transplace is a comprehensive, cloud-based transportation management system designed to assist users in planning, executing and settling transportation and logistics processes across all modes, including truckload, LTL and parcel. It leverages robust analytics, key performance indicators and diverse optimization features to help companies solve their transportation challenges.

The software’s core features are:

  • Cloud-based, web-based, SaaS, Mac and Windows deployment
  • Real-time-visibility
  • Load consolidation and routing
  • Service prediction
  • Global Control Tower
  • Business intelligence and reporting
  • Mode and carrier selection
  • Carrier freight audit
  • Payment and shipment execution and tracking
  • Third-party integrations
Transplace comes with a highly customizable dashboard that gives users a graphical view of all shipment metrics, including predictive analytics, KPIs and weather or traffic alerts. The tool enables users to automate repetitive functions, such as price calculations, carrier qualification and freight allocation.

The vendor offers a free demo, but pricing is only provided via a custom quote. Customer support is available during business hours, online and through a 24/7 live rep.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Resourceful business intelligence tool
  • Advancements in multi-shipper collaborations
  • Highly customizable dashboard

Cons

  • No GPS and fuel tracking features
  • No geofencing capability

Summary

Transplace
Transplace
  • Starting Price
    • request for pricing
  • Route Optimization
    Yes
  • GPS Tracking
    No
  • Geofencing
    No
  • Ground
    Yes
  • Integrations
    Yes
Features
  • Quote management
  • Ground, air and ocean transportation
  • Route optimization

How We Chose the Best Transportation Management Software

There are many companies offering transportation management software and touting a multitude of features and benefits, but a significant number don't deliver on their promises. This makes it challenging for buyers looking to purchase the software for the first time. To make your work easy, we set out to find the 15 best transportation management software programs of 2021. We based our search on key factors that matter most to a majority of companies, including:

Transportation Management Features

Transportation management software (TMS) should possess tools for managing routes, monitoring fleets, tracking vehicle maintenance and managing order dispatch and delivery. It should be customizable to fit your unique business operations or be specialized for your industry. We recommend software that comes with a variety of features for transportation management, including route optimization, GPS tracking, fuel tracking, reporting and geofencing.

Types of Transportation

Ideally, excellent TMS should help the user manage not only ground but also air and ocean transportation. We looked for software that can assist users in coordinating transportation operations across these three channels.

Integrations

The best software has prebuilt integrations for ERP and CRM systems and other tools that are often used together with transportation management software. We looked for software that provides a broad range of integrations, allowing users to connect with third-party applications so they can share information seamlessly. This provides users with more features and expands the software’s capabilities.

What Is Transportation Management Software?

Transportation management software (TMS) is a suite of specialized tools for planning, executing, and optimizing goods’ shipment, both inbound and outbound. Typically, TMS is part of a larger supply chain management (SCM) system, and its main aim is to improve shipping efficiency, manage costs, provide real-time visibility into the supply chain and ensure customer satisfaction.

The three main tasks performed by TMS users include:

  • Searching and comparing rates and services of carriers available to ship an order
  • Booking the shipment with the most appropriate carrier
  • Tracking the order to delivery

A TMS allows shippers and carriers to automate their most repetitive processes and gain valuable insights to save time and reduce future shipment costs. The tool also makes it easy for businesses to manage, streamline and optimize their transportation operations, whether by air, sea or land.

The software is mainly used by shippers and carriers, but many other parties leverage its powers, including manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, e-commerce businesses and third-party logistics providers.

Some transportation management software programs focus on a single transportation mode, while others support multimodal and intermodal transportation. In multimodal, one carrier uses at least two modes of transportation (truck, air, rail or ocean) through a single contract, while in intermodal, there are several carriers and contracts.

Benefits of Transportation Management Software

Transportation management software provides many benefits to businesses, as efficient deliveries depend on smart route planning, enhanced visibility and freight consolidation. Some of the software’s key benefits include:

  • Process simplification: A TMS helps users easily choose a carrier by evaluating the shipment they’re sending out and matching it to the most suitable carrier. They can then revisit this information in the future and quickly match similar shipments with the same carrier.
  • Shipment tracking:Users can track the goods in transit and receive real-time alerts if unforeseen delays occur. They can then communicate this information to customers to keep them in the know.
  • Route planning: The software can allow users to plan routes for each vehicle to maximize efficiency and minimize delivery times. With GPS tracking features, traffic can be avoided, reducing fuel and time wastage.
  • Deep insights:Robust transportation management software offers users excellent visibility into their business, as well as comprehensive reporting capabilities. With all information stored in a centralized location, users can easily analyze and generate custom reports to identify errors and areas that need improvement.
  • Improved inventory management:This is achieved when a TMS provides better visibility and accountability in the supply chain network.
  • Cost savings:Insights from a TMS help users to make strategic changes that help reduce labor, management and shipment costs.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: Streamlining your shipment delivery will ensure orders arrive on time and there’s timely communication with clients in case of challenges during delivery.

Must-Have Features of Transportation Management Software

TMS programs have distinctive features that differentiate them from their competitors. However, there are some crucial features that each TMS should have, including:

  • Carrier selection: Thesoftware should help you find and choose the most efficient carrier and mode of transport for each unique shipment, improving the procurement and shipment process.
  • Route optimization:Ideal software has tools such as GPS and fuel tracking that enable you to determine the most efficient route depending on factors such as traffic, distance, fuel usage and road speeds.
  • Automatic order processing:This enables users to cut down the time spent on manual data entry and also reduce the chances of human error.
  • Multimodal shipping: Ensure the software you purchase or subscribe to can handle all your shipping modes, including cross-border freight.
  • Reporting and analytics: The software should deliver optimized shipment historical data for greater referencing and detailed reports to forecast and inform decision making.
  • Integrations: Ideal TMS software should integrate with other critical transportation management solutions, such as ERP and WMS or OMS.
  • Shipment tracking:This feature allows real-time sharing of information between the shipper, carrier and customer, which increases visibility into the whole process.
  • Carrier contract management: This feature is essential as it provides users with an excellent platform to track all the individual terms with different carriers in real time.
  • Dispute management:The software should provide tools to help resolve disputes related to shipments, including lost or damaged goods.
  • Integrated warehouse management: This feature gives users real-time information about their warehouses, such as shipment dispatching and inventory status.

The Cost of Transportation Management Software

The cost of transportation management software varies significantly among vendors depending on the features included in each package and the software’s uniqueness compared to its competitors. Vendors can choose to base their pricing on factors such as per user/per month, per vehicle, per trip, per freight load booked in the system and more. These costs can range anywhere from $20 to $500.

However, we noted that most transportation management vendors don’t list pricing for their products on their websites. Instead, they prefer that buyers contact them for a custom quote so they can give prospective clients tailored packages that suit their unique needs. When requesting a quote, don’t forget to ask if there are any implementation and support costs you should know about.

Another key element that determines the cost of TMS is the deployment method. A cloud-hosted TMS is generally less expensive than an on-premises installation because it requires less setup and maintenance, and users only pay for what they use. There’s no need to hire IT staff, buy hardware, maintain servers and test new functionality. However, an on-premises installation gives users total control of the software, and they can customize it however they want. Buyers can expect to pay between $1,000 and $250,000 for the software license, plus other fees such as annual maintenance charges.

Most vendors offer a free demo and trial to give prospective buyers a taste of their product. You can use them to check if the software meets your operational needs.