Choosing an Auto Transport Management System: What to Consider

by Kacie LaCombe

In the past few years, the auto transport industry has been quickly evolving. As the adoption of technology speeds up, more and more brokers are leveraging the technology of a transportation management system (TMS). A good TMS for brokers can forever transform your business for the better and a bad TMS can only add frustration to your day-to-day operation.

So, how does your business know what to consider before investing in a TMS? And what does a good TMS even look like? Start your TMS discovery journey to find the best fit for your business by considering the most important aspects of a good TMS solution.

The Technology

Before investing in a TMS partner, consider which features are necessary for your business. It’s not safe to assume that every TMS is created equal. Some have a couple of basic features everyone is assumed to need, but then might be missing a crucial integration that is critical to your business.

A good TMS should have key features that help you with all auto transport needs, but also help your business grow. Solid TMS features shouldn’t just help you get your loads moved, they should help you move more cars faster while enabling the growth of your business without additional overhead.

Every broker is managing an extensive amount of apps, but it doesn’t have to be that overwhelming. Ask your potential vendor if their TMS can integrate with your business critical apps, if they have API integration to help your business scale, and if they have integration capabilities to allow for automated workflows.

Also, when considering a TMS, ensure that they offer a free demo so that you can test how easy the dashboard is to navigate and how adaptable the technology will be.

Business Goals of Today and the Future

Technology is ever evolving. You can’t slow it down, but you can find the right tools to help you keep up and even stay ahead. When researching a TMS, you first must consider what your business needs are today, and what your goals are down the road. There are many TMS vendors that might be able to help you with some standard practices day-to-day, but aren’t equipped to scale as your business grows. And as a business elevates, your challenges change and become more complicated. Is the TMS you’re looking at able to rise to the occasion?

Build out the goals for your business and ask the potential vendor if they are equipped to help as you grow, what ways in which they can support you as you continue to grow, and what features of their app specifically enable you to grow.


At the foundation of what every business needs is a TMS to track and manage your loads in real-time. However, a good TMS should enable you with so much more. From custom reporting for better insight into your operation to an end-to-end platform that is seamlessly connected to a modern load board. A TMS worth investing in can act as your one-stop shop for your auto transport needs. What custom reporting features can help you save time? Does the platform provide access to reliable carriers?

Partner vs. Vendor

Most vendors are able to provide some level of support, but too often that stops at the occasional FAQ document or quick technical support. As technology continues to advance and your business needs change, look for someone who provides support not just as a vendor, but as a partner to your business. Do they listen to you? Are they interested in your ongoing business needs? Do you see your feedback being implemented?

A good TMS is backed by a team of experts who are anticipating your needs while also constantly improving on the backend to ensure that you are continuously being set up to succeed.

Now is the perfect time to consider whether or not your TMS is really meeting your needs. Or if you’re just beginning your journey to finding a TMS, consider these key points for discovering the best TMS fit for your auto transport business.

Want to learn how our Shipper TMS can help transform your business? Start your free trial!

Published on December 13, 2019


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