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Transport Management Software

Features, Integrations, Benefits, Costs

Transport Management Software - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft applies 10-year experience in designing and developing supply chain management software and 7-year experience in building fleet management systems to create effective transport management solutions.

Supply Chain Management Consulting
Transport Management Software - ScienceSoft

Transport Management Software: The Essence

Transport management software (TMS) helps businesses plan, organize, monitor and analyze transportation of their inbound, outbound and interfacility orders.

Such solutions streamline the sourcing of transportation providers and automate the creation of transportation documents. They offer fleet planning capabilities for fleet owners, real-time tracking of international and domestic shipments and last mile deliveries, analytics-based transportation optimization, and more.

TMS is particularly helpful for companies that operate globally, use both private fleet and third-party transportation services, ship sensitive or highly regulated products.

  • Necessary integrations: ERP, WMS, an order management system, accounting software, etc.
  • Implementation time: 9–12 months for custom transport management software.
  • Development costs: $200,000–$600,000+, depending on the solution’s complexity.
  • Annual ROI: 700%+ for large enterprises.

Transport Management Software: Key Features

Each transportation solution provides unique functionality to serve specific transport management needs. Below we have summarized fundamental transport software features based on ScienceSoft’s experience with transportation projects.

Transportation planning

  • Transportation demand planning (by period, region, business entity, mode of transport, etc.) based on the analysis of historical data on inbound and outbound orders.
  • Rule-based prioritization of:
    • Inbound and interfacility inventory orders based on projected inventory needs, item category, and more.
    • Outbound orders of finished goods based on customer value, order date, item category, and more.
  • Planning direct-to-customer and multi-stop routes, transportation modes (road, rail, air, water, intermodal) based on distance, cost, order priority, deadlines under existing customer SLAs, etc.
  • Template-based creation of shipping schedules, including international shipping schedules, with critical milestones like order pickup, arrival at particular points, custom clearance, etc.
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Transportation provider selection

  • Setup of transportation provider requirements, e.g., delivery terms, sustainability, capacity, based on the internal transportation sourcing policies.
  • AI-enabled pre-qualification of transportation providers against pre-set requirements based on data from public data sources (e.g., transportation provider rating platforms).
  • Automated categorization of transportation providers by user-defined parameters (type, mode, rate, region, etc.).
  • Automated RFx creation and submission to selected transportation providers.
  • Real-time RFx status tracking for sourcing specialists.
  • Automated evaluation of RFx responses based on user-defined criteria for transportation provider scoring and selection.
  • Automated workflow for multi-department approval of transportation providers.
  • Configurable registration forms for transportation provider onboarding.
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Transportation spend management

  • Automated calculation of transportation cost based on the pre-defined parameters (delivery mode, rate, shipment distance, cargo weight and size, the number of stops, discounts under carrier contract agreements, etc.).
  • Automated allocation of transportation costs to individual orders.
  • Real-time tracking of transportation spend.
  • AI-powered analysis of transport spend and suggestions on spend optimization opportunities.
  • Transportation spend planning by period, region, transport provider, mode, etc.
  • Automated calculation and analysis of transportation savings.
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Transport order management

  • Template-based creation of transport orders.
  • Automated workflow for multi-department approval of transport orders.
  • Rule-based consolidation of transport orders across departments, business entities, etc., for bulk transportation.
  • Automated submission of transport orders to the pre-selected transportation providers (via email or a vendor portal).
  • Scheduled submission of recurring transport orders.
  • Real-time tracking of transport order status (sent, confirmed, invoiced, in progress, etc.).
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Transportation optimization

  • User-defined rules for transportation optimization (e.g., keeping lower transportation cost, shorter shipping time, fewer stops possible).
  • AI suggestions for optimal transportation schemes based on analysis of relevant historical data:
    • Optimal transportation modes and multi-modal combinations.
    • Optimal shipping routes, including multi-stop routes.
    • Optimal item consolidation (in pallets, stacks, packages, etc.).

For fleet owners:

  • Optimal combination of third-party transport and private fleet.
  • Optimal rates by vehicle type, unit of cargo weight, unit of distance, and more.
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Shipment control

  • Tracking international and domestic shipments and last mile deliveries across all transportation modes using a pre-assigned tracking number.
  • Real-time monitoring of transport location, driving conditions (including driving speed, mandatory driver rest periods, unplanned stops), goods transportation conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, vibration), and more.
  • ML-powered forecasting of shipping time and estimated time of arrival (ETA) based on the analysis of driving conditions, traffic conditions, customs workload, weather data, and more.
  • Automated notifications to transportation managers on particular shipment milestones, delays, accidents, non-forecast stops.
  • AI recommendations for fleet owners on alternate delivery routes in case of transportation disruptions.
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Transportation contract management

  • Template-based creation of contracts with transportation providers.
  • Collaborative contract review and editing (for internal stakeholders and transportation providers).
  • Configurable contract approval workflow (collecting approvals of internal stakeholders and a transportation provider).
  • Contract status tracking (approved, signed, etc.) for internal stakeholders and a transportation provider.
  • Alerts to a transport sourcing team on a transportation provider contract start, expiry, renewal dates.
  • Automated contract version control.
  • Automated validation of carrier invoices and submitting them for payment.
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Transportation document management

  • Centralized storage of transportation documents.
  • Search engine with filtering and metadata querying to navigate transportation documents.
  • Template-based creation of multi-language, multi-currency transportation documents, such as bills of lading, import and export documentation (e.g., commercial invoices, export declarations), and more.
  • Automated submission of required import and export e-documents to the cross-border trade control systems, e.g., for automated export system (AES) and customs and border patrol (CBP) in the US.
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Transportation provider performance monitoring

  • Transportation provider performance monitoring against pre-defined KPIs, such as percentage of orders delivered on time, average delay in transportation, the number of claims, and more.
  • AI-powered analysis of reputational, financial, operational, and other transportation risks for current transportation providers based on internal and public data sources.
  • Rating of transportation providers based on their performance.
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Transportation analytics and reporting

  • Tracking essential transportation KPIs, including the number of transport orders (by period, customer, transportation provider, etc.), percentage of on-time pickups by transportation provider, average cost per transport order, the number of claims (by period, customer, transportation provider, etc.), and more.
  • Granular analysis of the transportation plan variance to identify the root causes of transport planning errors.
  • Scheduled and ad hoc transportation reports.
  • Trend-based forecasting of transportation demand (by period, region, mode, transportation provider, customer, etc.).
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Claim management

  • AI-powered claim validation based on the analysis of existing customer commitments and transportation compliance.
  • Automated re-submission of customer claims for goods damaged or spoilt during transportation to the appropriate transportation provider.
  • Tracking the progress of claim resolution.
  • Automated notifications to customers on denied and approved claims (sent via email, messaging apps, a customer portal).
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Fleet management (for fleet owners)

  • Real-time tracking of fleet availability, vehicle location, fuel consumption, tachograph data compliance with applicable regulations, and more.
  • Rule-based assignment of drivers and vehicles to transport orders.
  • Template-based creation of fleet schedules.
  • Fleet maintenance scheduling, monitoring, and reporting upon completion.
  • Planning fuel costs, fleet maintenance costs, vehicle insurance costs, driver payroll, etc.
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Vendor portal

For shippers

  • Instant messaging to communicate with transportation providers.
  • Uploading transport orders to the portal.
  • Downloading transportation invoices from the portal.

For transportation providers:

  • Self-registration, managing and updating essential business information.
  • A transportation service provider profile with all related activities: received RFxs, transport orders, contract reviews, submitted invoices, etc.
  • Alerts to transportation providers on received RFxs, transport orders, expiring data that need updating (accreditations, insurances), etc.
  • Uploading and updating order shipment data.
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Customer portal

For shippers:

  • Instant messaging to communicate with customers.
  • Uploading tracking numbers for customers to the portal.

For customers:

  • Self-registration, managing and updating essential business (for organizations) or personal (for individuals) information.
  • Real-time monitoring of order shipment status.
  • Creating claims and attaching supporting documents (e.g., quality inspection reports).
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Security and compliance

  • Multi-factor user authentication.
  • Role-based access control.
  • Document e-signing.
  • Full audit trail for all transportation-related activities.
  • Transportation provider data retention and deletion policies.
  • Compliance with SOX, SOC 1 and SOC 2, WTO regulations, ISO standards, DOT regulations (for the US), IATA standards (for air freight), other relevant industry- and country-specific regulations.
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Reduce Transportation Costs with Robust Software

ScienceSoft’s team is ready to design and develop an effective transport management solution for accurate transport planning, analytics-based selection of best-fitting transportation providers, facilitated order shipment traceability, and streamlined preparation of shipment documents.

Essential Integrations for Transport Management Software

To streamline transportation planning and execution and ensure end-to-end visibility across shipping activities, ScienceSoft recommends setting up the following integrations:

Integrations for Transport Management Software - ScienceSoft

TMS + ERP

  • To accurately plan interfacility inventory transportation (e.g., inventory shipment between warehouses and locations where operations are conducted).
  • To leverage relevant transportation data at all levels of operational, financial and strategic planning.
  • To plan the transportation of outbound orders.
  • To automatically input relevant data into transport orders (e.g., the number of items ordered, their volume and weight).

Alternatively to order management software, TMS can be integrated directly with sales channels (e.g., a company’s ecommerce platform).

TMS + shipping carriers’ systems

For facilitated exchange of transportation documents, tracking shipment progress.

The integration can be enabled by APIs or EDI (for trucking, rail, maritime shipments, parcels) and by APIs or e-AWB (for air freight), depending on the connectivity option each particular carrier supports.

  • To accurately plan warehouse labor resources, equipment, yard, loading docks, cross-docking operations.
  • To ensure optimal item consolidation for outbound and interfacility orders.
  • To plan the transportation of inbound orders.
  • To automatically input relevant data into transport orders (e.g., the number of items ordered, their volume and weight).
  • To record transport order and transportation provider invoice transactions in the general ledger and A/P ledger.
  • To pay transportation provider invoices.

To automatically apply transportation charges when creating customer invoices.

TMS + hardware

(e.g., GPS tracking devices, RFID devices, ELDs)

For private fleet owners to track in real time vehicle location and performance, driving conditions, goods storage conditions, and more.

Success Factors for Transport Management Software

Relying on 9 years of experience in designing and implementing supply chain solutions, ScienceSoft’s consultants have defined a range of factors that determine transportation management software success.

Advanced analytics to accurately predict transportation demand, transport spend, order delivery time, and other essential transportation parameters and get AI recommendations, e.g., on optimal freight modes, carriers, shipping routes and their alternatives in case of transportation disruption.

The use of RFID technology for the private fleet to enable the real-time tracking of goods transportation conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, vibration, etc.), which is critical for sensitive and highly regulated products.

Integrated electronic logging devices (ELD) to monitor driver rest periods and maintain hours-of-service records for in-house fleet to ensure compliance with legal regulations (e.g., DOT requirements for the US).

Easy-to-use APIs and EDI capabilities to smoothly connect to shipping carriers’ systems and/or shipment data platforms for facilitated shipment tracking and transportation document exchange.

Transport Management Software Implementation: Success Stories by ScienceSoft

Developing of a Cargo Condition Monitoring Application

Development of a Truck Temperature Monitoring Solution

  • Designing and implementing a solution that provides real-time cargo condition monitoring, delivery violations alerts, advanced reporting capabilities, and more.
  • Integrating the solution with the Customer’s vehicle management system.

Customer’s benefit: minimized risk of cargo delivery disruption, increase in sales, facilitated claim resolution.

Mobile Fleet Management Product Development

Development of a Mobile Fleet Management Solution

  • Implementing GPS tracking algorithms, a driver’s self-invoicing mechanism, automated report generation capabilities, and more.
  • Integrating the mobile solution with a backend server and the Customer’s ERP.

Customer’s benefit: a reliable solution that helps increase fleet efficiency and decrease operational costs.

Airlines Contract and Tender Management Software Development

  • Creating and managing fuel purchase tenders.
  • Automated upload of fuel market prices, rates for en-route charges and exchange rates from relevant third-party sources.
  • Centralized storage for supplier contracts.

Customer’s benefit: streamlined contract and tender management.

Transport Management Software Implementation Costs and Financial Outcomes

The cost of TMS implementation varies greatly depending on:

  • The number and complexity of a solution’s functional modules, including the degree of automation (implementation of RPA and AI-powered features).
  • The number and complexity of integrations (with ERP, WMS, procurement software, an accounting solution, shipping carriers’ systems, etc.).
  • The volume of data that needs to be migrated from the spreadsheets and/or existing TMS.
  • Required application types (web, mobile, desktop) and a number of platforms supported (for mobile).
  • Data storage type (a centralized database or a private blockchain).
  • TMS software availability, performance, security, latent capacity and scalability requirements, and more.

Based on ScienceSoft's experience in TMS implementation, a custom transportation solution of average complexity requires $200,000–$600,000 in investments.

TMS drives significant transportation cost savings and can bring 700%+ annual ROI for large enterprises.

Benefits of TMS

  • 40–70%

    reduction in time for transportation provider sourcing and transportation planning due to automation

  • 8–20%

    reduction in transportation costs due to analytics-based transportation optimization

  • 40%+

    improvement in the on-time delivery rates due to accurate order transportation planning and execution

  • Enhanced

    visibility into order shipment processes due to tracking order location and transportation conditions in real time

  • Reduced

    supply chain risks due to an accurate selection of transportation providers and real-time monitoring of their risks

  • Minimized

    risks of penalties and shipment delays due to ensured compliance with domestic and international transportation regulations

  • Off-the-Shelf Transport Management Software ScienceSoft Recommends

    SAP Transportation Management

    Best for

    Global enterprises with complex, large-scale distribution networks.

     

    Features

    • Trend-based transportation demand forecasting.
    • Automated order consolidation across multiple customers for bulk transportation.
    • RFx management.
    • Rule-based carrier selection and shipping route planning.
    • Automated calculation and allocation of transportation costs.
    • Real-time tracking of inbound and outbound international and local shipments.
    • Template-based creation of transport orders, shipping schedules, forwarding instructions, transport reports, and other documents.
    • Native integration with SAP S/4HANA, SAP EWM, SAP Global Trade Services, and other SAP products to manage global logistics end to end.

    Recognition

    A leader in the global market for TMS (as per Gartner)

    Oracle Transportation Management

    Best for

    Large businesses that use both private fleet and third-party transportation services.

    FEATURES

    • Intelligent suggestions on optimal combinations of a private fleet and third-party carrier services.
    • Analytics-based planning of multi-leg and multi-modal shipments.
    • ML-powered ETA prediction.
    • Automated generation of multi-language, multi-currency bills of lading, commercial invoices, packing lists, and more.
    • Built-in fleet management capabilities.
    • Automated load consolidation.
    • Notifications on pre-defined milestones, delays, unforeseen disruptions across inbound, outbound, interfacility shipments.
    • AI-powered digital assistant for customers.
    • A mobile app for shippers’ drivers.

    Recognition

    A leader in the global market for TMS (as per Gartner)

    Blue Yonder TMS

    Best for

    Large and midsize companies that rely on carrier and CEP services.

    FEATURES

    • AI-powered transportation planning and optimization.
    • Real-time monitoring of global and domestic shipments and last mile deliveries.
    • Parcel delivery scheduling and tracking.
    • Comprehensive analysis of transportation provider performance and risks.
    • Rule-based RFx responses evaluation and transportation provider selection.
    • Transportation provider contract management.
    • Automated processing of transportation provider invoices.
    • Calculation and analysis of transportation savings based on RFx data.
    • Built-in BI for facilitated visualization of transportation analytics.

    Recognition

    A leader in the global market for TMS (as per Gartner)

    When to Opt for Custom Transport Management Software

    ScienceSoft recommends building a custom transport management system in the following cases:

    You need TMS providing case-specific functionality, for example, custom formulas to calculate transportation provider ratings and transport costs, AI suggestions on optimal multi-modal transportation scenarios, or compliance with local transportation regulations.

    You need flexible transportation management software that is easy to evolve with new features and advanced techs, e.g., AI-powered transportation optimization or RFID-enabled monitoring of goods transportation conditions.

    You need to integrate transportation software with legacy internal systems (ERP, WMS, an order management system, an accounting solution, etc.).

    You have large teams involved in transportation management processes and want to avoid a costly subscription for platform-based shipper TMS, which scales with the number of users.

    You operate in a highly regulated industry (e.g., healthcare, defense, government sector) and need a transportation solution to meet specific compliance and security requirements.

    You require a blockchain-based logistics system for facilitated order shipment tracking across multiple modes and transportation providers.

    Implementation of Transport Management Software with ScienceSoft

    In supply chain management software development since 2012, ScienceSoft helps companies build reliable transport management solutions.

    TMS consulting

    • Analysis of your transportation management needs.
    • Suggesting optimal transport management features, solution architecture, and tech stack.
    • Preparing an integration plan with ERP, WMS, an order management system, accounting software, etc.
    • Implementation cost & time estimates, expected ROI calculation.
    GO FOR CONSULTING

    TMS implementation

    • Transportation management needs analysis.
    • Transport management solution conceptualization.
    • Architecture design.
    • Transport management software development.
    • Integrating the solution with ERP, WMS, an order management system, accounting software, and more.
    • Quality assurance.
    • User training.
    • Continuous support and evolution (if required).
    GO FOR IMPLEMENTATION

    About ScienceSoft

    ScienceSoft is an international IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We provide consultancy and development services to help organizations build effective transportation management software. Being an ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified company, we apply a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security. If you are interested in getting a reliable TMS, feel free to turn to ScienceSoft’s team.