A transportation management system (TMS) is specialized software for planning, executing and optimizing the shipment of goods. Users perform three main tasks on a TMS: Find and compare the rates (prices) and services of carriers available to ship a customer’s order, book the shipment, then track its movement to delivery. The broader goals of using a TMS are to improve shipping efficiency, reduce costs, gain real-time supply chain visibility and ensure customer satisfaction.
TMSes are one of the core technologies used in supply chain management (SCM), a discipline sometimes divided into supply chain execution (SCE) and supply chain planning (SCP). They are available as stand-alone software or as modules within enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SCM suites. Typically, a TMS serves both shippers, carriers and other logistics providers. Manufacturers, distributors, e-commerce organizations, wholesalers, retailers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are major users of TMS software.
While some TMSes focus on