What is a Transportation Management System?


What is a TMS?

What is a Transportation Management System?

A TMS– short for Transportation Management System– is software made for any businesses within the transportation logistics space. Some of the other names that it is often referred to are the following:

  • Car hauling software
  • Auto transport software
  • Car hauler automation software
  • Auto carrier software
  • Auto transport broker software
  • Auto transport technology

All of these names are essentially different names for the same thing; technology that simplifies the process of moving freight. Transportation logistics, especially in car hauling, requires specialized technology in order to complete uniform legal paperwork.

For instance, in car hauling, every load requires a Bill of Lading (BOL) for each car hauled. Without that legal paperwork, you can’t move cars. In the past, it was easy (albeit slower) for haulers to just print PDF wireframes of cars and mark the damages on those Bills of Lading. The trucking industry used that process well into the smartphone era, as there were simply no alternatives until recently.

Electronic BOLs aren’t the only improvements that transportation management systems offer, And car hauling truckers aren’t the only types of businesses that use TMS solutions. Haulers, brokers, dealers, and auctioneers all use transportation management systems daily, for simplifying various shipment-related tasks.

Because there are so many moving parts, a good TMS must serve the needs of carriers, brokers and shippers. A good TMS serves as a great communication tool between people on all ends. Some of the advanced features found on a TMS solution include load importing, dispatching, GPS tracking, photo inspections and invoicing/BOL capabilities.

What Does a TMS Need?

Load Importing

Now more than ever, companies have begun moving away from physical paperwork for loads. The biggest company that distributes loads is Central Dispatch, which is an entirely online service. Brokers use PDF dispatch sheets, while dealers have special dispatch orders. A truly successful TMS must be able to synthesize orders no matter when or how they come in. These days, this is actually getting a lot easier because of advances in technology.

Load Dispatching

Dispatching is arguably the biggest benefit of a transportation management system, because it ultimately is what allows you to communicate the intricacies of loads to your workers. A good TMS needs to be able to provide real time updates to drivers, including delivery changes, without relying on phone calls.

GPS Tracking

Over the years, GPS tracking has become a much more desirable feature of TMS solutions. Original Equipment Manufacturers require it for electronic proof of delivery. This is something that can’t be done with a traditional business management software, making a TMS more necessary than ever.

Invoicing & BOLs

Especially for Fleets and Brokers, quick and uniform invoices are important for auto transport businesses. The larger your Fleet gets, the harder it gets to keep information tidy. A great transportation management system creates automatic invoices for every load. A great TMS will also let you change the wireframe for your BOL, and have a short but comprehensive list of car damage codes.

Photo Inspections

Brokers, Fleets, and Owner Operators alike can save large amounts of cash through photo inspections. A great Transportation Management System has the ability to take as many photos at inspection as necessary. With a great TMS you can also:

  • Mark damages on the photos
  • Attach photos to the BOL
  • Time stamp photos
  • Save photos in the cloud to review whenever necessary
  • Suggest photo angles (all four sides, interior, etc.)
  • Allow high resolution

Try Super Dispatch

If you’re an auto transport worker currently in need of a TMS solution, then look no further than Super Dispatch. Our Carrier and Shipper TMS systems are perfect for both car haulers as well as dealers, brokers, and auctioneers looking to ship vehicles easily, faster, and more efficiently. Try it out today!

Published on March 24, 2019

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