What is a Transportation Management System?

You've probably heard the term transportation management system (or its acronym, TMS) thrown around before. But what is a transportation management system, exactly? Why should it matter to you, and how could a shipping TMS help your business?

Let's take a closer look at what transportation management systems are, how to use them and the many ways they can benefit your business's shipping operations.

What is a transportation management system?

The deceptively simple answer is that a transportation management system is a software platform that streamlines a business's shipping processes. In reality, a comprehensive shipping TMS is like having an entire army of virtual workers overseeing and reporting on nearly every aspect of your shipment. The benefits of this battalion made of bits and bytes are incredible and incredibly varied.

While on the surface a TMS looks like a tool that simply takes in data and spits out results, businesses can use a TMS to analyze service options, research fee discrepancies, compare cost and coverage, add insurance to shipments on the fly, review shipping invoices and much more.

What are the key benefits of transportation management software for business shipping?

A well-designed TMS is a technological tour de force that gives you unprecedented control and command of your business shipping. Some of the key benefits the right TMS puts at your fingertips include:

  • Ensuring accuracy and minimizing surprise charges. A TMS can guide you through the process of creating an electronic bill of lading, ensuring accuracy and legible instructions for the carrier. A TMS can also reduce input time and errors by pre-populating fields from your integrated customer list. It can also request accessorial services in advance for smoother pickups and deliveries and fewer last-minute fees.
  • Streamlining shipping efficiencies. You can use the right TMS for both your small package and freight shipments, saving loads of time and trouble. A TMS can also generate return shipping labels to accompany small parcel shipments, and can guide you through shipping issues with step-by-step instructions.
  • Personalizing your shipping operations. You can instruct your TMS to give you quotes from all available carriers or only your preferred ones. You can also preset data-entry fields for shipments that you make on a regular basis, set up email notifications for touchpoints along the shipment's journey, and generate customized reports.
  • Benefitting your budget. The right TMS will let you order UPS® Express shipping supplies at no charge and add cost-effective insurance to your small package and freight shipments. It will also enable vendors to ship on your account and leverage discounted pricing. A great TMS will also scale up and down with your business, allowing you to right-size your shipping operations to your evolving needs. Should you need help choosing between freight and parcel, we’re here to guide you to the right decision.

What's the best transportation management system for my business?

Worldwide Express has been a long-time provider of an innovative TMS platform designed specifically for our customers. Our SpeedShip® TMS is powerful, intuitive and conveniently located at wwex.com. Constantly updated and improved, SpeedShip gives you immediate access to all of the benefits outlined above, as well as the services of our carefully vetted network of more than 75 less-than-truckload freight carriers. We're also part of the largest non-retail authorized reseller of UPS services in the country, all of which are also integrated into SpeedShip.

You can schedule a free, no-obligation SpeedShip demo and have a Worldwide Express shipping expert walk you through this industry-leading system. Schedule your SpeedShip demo today and experience just what the right TMS can do for your business.