en flag +1 214 306 68 37

Custom Transportation Management Application Development

Features, Integrations, Benefits, Costs

ScienceSoft applies 12 years of experience in building supply chain management systems and 9 years of experience in fleet management software development to deliver effective transport management solutions.

Transport Management Software - ScienceSoft
Transport Management Software - ScienceSoft

Contributors

Alex Ramasheuski

Head of Enterprise Application Development, ScienceSoft

Serge Pukhaev

Head of Fleet Management Practice, 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.

Custom transport management software streamlines transportation provider sourcing and automates shipping document creation. Custom TMS offers fleet planning features for fleet owners, real-time tracking of international and domestic shipments, analytics-based route optimization, and more.

Custom transportation management software is particularly helpful for companies that operate globally, use both private fleet and third-party transport services, ship sensitive or 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. ScienceSoft’s real-life project examples highlight the tangible benefits such companies get from custom TMS.

Transport Management Software: Key Features

Transportation management software development helps introduce solutions with unique functionality to serve specific transport management needs. Below we have summarized fundamental transport software features based on ScienceSoft’s experience with TMS 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.
Read all

Transportation provider selection

  • Setup of transportation provider requirements, e.g., delivery terms, sustainability, capacity, based on the internal sourcing policies.
  • AI-enabled pre-qualification of shipment 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 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 provider approval.
  • Configurable registration forms for shipment provider onboarding.
Read all

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 cost allocation to individual orders.
  • Real-time tracking of shipment spend.
  • AI-powered analysis of transport spend and suggestions on spend optimization opportunities.
  • Spend planning by period, region, transport provider, mode, etc.
  • Automated calculation and analysis of transportation savings.
Read all

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 order status (sent, confirmed, invoiced, in progress, etc.).
Read all

Transportation optimization

  • User-defined rules for transportation optimization (e.g., keeping lower cost, shorter shipping time, fewer stops possible).
  • AI suggestions for optimal shipment 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.
Read all

Shipment control

  • Tracking international and domestic shipments and last mile deliveries across all transport 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 forwarding agents on particular shipment milestones, delays, accidents, non-forecast stops.
  • AI recommendations for fleet owners on alternate delivery routes in case of transportation disruptions.
Read all

Transportation contract management

  • Template-based creation of contracts with transportation providers.
  • Collaborative contract review and editing (for internal stakeholders and vendors).
  • Configurable contract approval workflow (collecting approvals of internal stakeholders and a transportation provider).
  • Contract status tracking (approved, signed, etc.).
  • 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.
Read all

Shipment document management

  • Centralized storage of transportation documents.
  • Search engine with filtering and metadata querying to navigate the documents.
  • Template-based creation of multi-language, multi-currency 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.
Read all

Transportation provider performance monitoring

  • Shipment 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 risks for current transportation providers based on internal and public data sources.
  • Rating of transportation providers based on their performance.
Read all

Transportation analytics and reporting

  • Tracking essential transportation KPIs, including the number of transport orders (by period, customer, carrier, etc.), percentage of on-time pickups, 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 shipment demand (by period, region, mode, customer, etc.).
Read all

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 spoiled during transportation to the appropriate carrier.
  • Tracking the progress of claim resolution.
  • Automated notifications to customers on denied and approved claims (sent via email, messaging apps, a customer portal).
Read all

Fleet management (for fleet owners)

  • Real-time tracking of fleet availability, vehicle location, fuel consumption, ELD 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.
Read all

For shippers

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

For transportation providers:

  • Self-registration, managing and updating essential business information.
  • A 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.
Read all

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).
Read all

Security and compliance

  • Multi-factor user authentication.
  • Role-based access control.
  • Document e-signing.
  • Full audit trail for all transportation-related activities.
  • Customer and partner data retention and deletion policies.
  • Compliance with DOT regulations, FMCSA regulations, IMO regulations, WTO regulations, ISO standards, SOX, SOC 1 and SOC 2, and other relevant industry- and country-specific regulations.
Read all

Is Custom TMS Feasible for Your Case?

Answer a few simple questions and find out whether a custom transport management system will bring you the expected value.

Back
1/9
Skip
Yes
No

Please tell us a bit more about your needs

Answer at least 3 questions to get results.

Go to questions

You can go with off-the-shelf TMS

Looks like market-available transportation solutions are a viable option to meet your needs. Turn to ScienceSoft if you need help with choosing the optimal ready-made TMS, its implementation, customization, or integration with your existing systems.

Get assistance
refresh

You definitely should consider custom development

A tailored TMS will help you reap the unique benefits that market-available tools cannot offer. Turn to ScienceSoft to get a detailed assessment of a custom transportation system’s feasibility for your needs.

Discuss my case
refresh

Custom TMS is your best choice

Looks like market-available tools don’t fit your specific needs and won’t be able to provide the expected operational and economic feasibility. Turn to ScienceSoft to get a consultation on custom TMS and receive free cost and ROI estimates.

Talk to us
refresh

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 transfers (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 carrier invoice transactions in the general ledger and A/P ledger.
  • To pay shipment 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.

ROI Drivers for Transport Management Software

Drawing on 12 years of experience in designing and implementing supply chain solutions, ScienceSoft’s consultants have defined a range of factors that determine TMS 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 shipment 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 document exchange.

Transportation Management Software Development: Success Stories by ScienceSoft

How to Develop a Transportation Management System

Transportation management software development requires an accurate step-by-step action plan to ensure project implementation within the expected timelines and budget.

Below, ScienceSoft shares a sample project roadmap to provide you with a general idea on how your transport management software development process may look.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Transport Management Software Development Costs

The cost of TMS development varies greatly depending on:

  • The number and complexity of a solution’s functional modules, including the degree of automation (implementation of 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).
  • TMS software availability, performance, security, latent capacity and scalability requirements, and more.
Pricing Information

Based on ScienceSoft's experience, building a custom transportation management software of average complexity costs around $200,000–$600,000.

Want to know the cost of your custom TMS?

Get a free estimate

ROI and Benefits of TMS

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

  • 40–70%

    reduction in time for transportation provider sourcing and shipment 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 transport providers and real-time monitoring of their risks

  • Minimized

    risks of penalties and shipment delays due to ensured compliance with relevant domestic and international 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 shipments.
  • 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 carrier performance and risks.
  • Rule-based RFx responses evaluation and transportation provider selection.
  • Shipment contract management.
  • Automated invoice processing.
  • 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)

FAQ about Transportation Software Development

How do you create a transport management system? What are the cooperation options?

Depending on your needs, ScienceSoft can fully outsource the TMS development process, provide a dedicated team of professionals for a part of your transportation software development project, or augment your in-house team with our best talents.

What are some of the most valuable TMS functionalities?

Transportation planning and control, vendor/driver management, and shipment document management are the core TMS features you shouldn’t overlook. If you want advanced functionality to maximize the efficiency of your transportation management processes, consider powering TMS with AI-supported analytics, voice user interfaces, and EDI capabilities, as well as integrate your solution with IoT-based systems for fleet and inventory tracking.

What are your practices to optimize TMS development cost?

Some examples of ScienceSoft's cost optimization practices are:

  • We rely on iterative development to speed up TMS implementation and drive faster payback.
  • We thoroughly plan the solution's technical design to maximize its value and avoid costly redevelopment.
  • We rely on proven frameworks, third-party services (e.g., cloud storage, authentication) and employ prebuilt components where possible.

Development of Transport Management Software with ScienceSoft

In supply chain management software development since 2012, ScienceSoft helps companies build reliable transport management solutions. Our teams ensure a predictable development process and guarantee that project goals are met within the expected budget and timeframe.

TMS consulting

  • Analysis of your transportation management needs.
  • Suggesting optimal features, architecture, and tech stack for custom transportation software.
  • 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 development

  • TMS conceptualization.
  • Architecture design.
  • Developing custom transportation software.
  • Integrating the solution with the required systems.
  • Quality assurance.
  • User training.
  • Continuous support and evolution (if required).
Go for implementation

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. We help organizations build effective transportation management software tailored to their unique needs. 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.