Transportation Mangement Systems (TMS)

A transportation management system (TMS) is software designed to manage transport operations (Wikipedia 2011). A TMS helps to facilitate:

  • Equipment scheduling & yard management
  • Load planning - load sequence, size and delivery sequencing
  • Routing & advanced shipment notification - geographical route
  • Movement administration - performance management and metrics
  • Consolidation - freight consolidation, challenged by lean and smaller shipment load sizes. Reactive systems are becoming more the norm, but proactive systems are easier to manage.
    • Scheduled area delivery limits shipments to specific markets to selected days each week.
    • Pooled delivery accumulates deliveries for high volume delivery destinations
  • Negotiation - or rates, charges and services
  • Control - tracing (locating shipments), expediting (moving up the priority of a shipment).
  • Auditing and claim administration - audits of charges to actual shipments as well as administering claims for damage and lost shipments.

Documentation

  • Bill of lading - is a document issued by a carrier to a shipper, acknowledging that specified goods have been received on board as cargo for conveyance to a named place for delivery to the consignee who is usually identified (Wikipedia 2011).
  • Shipment manifest lists individual stops or consignees when multiple shipments are placed on a single vehicle (Bowersox 2010).

Pricing

  • Freight on Board (FOB) origin pricing - sellers responsibility ends when shipment is loaded.
  • Freight on Board (FOB) destination pricing - title does not pass to the buyer until delivery is completed.
  • Delivered pricing - delivery charges are included and not seperated from the total price