How to Choose the Right TMS System for Your Business


How does the transportation management system (TMS) work?

Transportation management services include a wide scope of offerings from a third-party logistics company. Managed transportation not only includes access to a TMS, but often, the 3PL will also operate and monitor the TMS for a company as part of the transportation services offered.

A 3PL will operate a TMS for you and run any or all of the transportation functions you want. You’ll also choose how often you and how much you want your 3PL involved in your logistics operations. The 3PL still acts as an outsourced transportation department, but in the managed transportation scenario, they operate under your direction. Apart from complete visibility into the transportation processes, you also get access to a custom-built transportation management system, which easily integrates with your supply chain.

Why is it important to have a TMS system?

In the rapidly evolving supply chain industry, there are plenty of definitions for visibility, and multiple ways to achieve, enhance, and maintain visibility. In terms of technology and software, it all comes down to the key supply chain visibility solution: a transportation management system (TMS).

TMS software is a critical part of supply chain visibility, providing great transparency in every shipment and transaction. It also consolidates the data from all inbound, outbound, and third-party shipments, and provides real-time shipment visibility and tracking.

TMS System functions

A transportation management system is a software solution that helps companies handle their freight operations. Before deciding on which TMS to buy, it is important to know the key functionality of the software you’re considering. There are different types of TMS depending on the company’s needs, but usually, it encompasses the following functionality:

  • Booking and managing freight shipments
  • Cargo tracking
  • Document management
  • Carrier procurement
  • Load planning & dock scheduling
  • Transactions and payments management
  • Reporting and analytics

Essentially, a TMS is a critical tool for shipping freight, but it doesn’t provide complete supply chain visibility. The thing is, it is extremely rare for complex supply chains to have only one source of receiving and managing data. Multiple stakeholders and parties involved in the supply chain create a huge environment with varying technology and systems.

A TMS is excellent for visibility into a company’s freight shipments, which companies can use to unveil many hidden spots in the supply chain, if the majority of shipments are scheduled through TMS. According to McKinsey, nearly 50% of supply chain costs are hidden and unmanaged due to poor visibility in outbound, inbound and third-party operations.


PLS has extensive experience in providing transportation management services. With our custom approach, you get efficient solutions to simplify and improve your business’ transportation processes and strategy. Whether you need to manage a single-mode or an entire transportation network, we can handle it.

How PLS can help your business through transportation management services:

  • Integrate a transportation management system (TMS)
  • Keep transportation goals aligned with the organization’s goals
  • Ensure effective operations and an efficient supply chain
  • Gather data and gain new insight through customized reports
  • Cost and time savings

Gain the visibility, resources, and expertise you need to excel in today’s transportation environment. With PLS’ managed transportation solutions, you gain complete control over the level of our involvement, keep track of the operation, and get regular financial reporting!

Request a free demo today!

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