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Transportation Management Software

Transportation Management solutions are used by organizations to oversee and manage shipping and logistics, as well as transport availability and utilization to ensure optimal order and supply delivery. Transportation management services are cross-departmental systems which are designed to automate the transport of goods to and from various locations. Find the best transportation management system in Canada for your organization.

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From order entry to settlement, make managing your fleet easier and more profitable. Learn more about Trimble TMS
With Trimble TMS you can easily manage the entire order-to-cash process, from load planning to settlements. Trimble’s TMS products include functionality such as route optimization, dispatch, load planning, tracking, driver management, invoicing, payroll, settlements, document management and accounting. Whether you manage a fleet of 40 trucks or thousands, Trimble's TMS software applications are tailor-made to your business and sector and designed to scale with your business. Learn more about Trimble TMS

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Canada Local product
Axon is an all-in-one, totally integrated, real-time trucking software, meaning it seamlessly combines every area of your business. Learn more about Axon Trucking Software
Visit our website for over 100 written and video reviews from Axon users. Since 1982 Axon has been providing software to trucking companies in North America. Axon is the only Trucking Dispatch and Accounting Software that is completely integrated in real-time. This means data only needs to be entered once to instantly update all systems automatically. Axon is used by hundreds of Highway Carriers, Oilfield and Aggregate trucking companies. Get your FREE demo today! Learn more about Axon Trucking Software

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Canada Local product
Flexible transportation platform that adapts to your operations and lets you collaborate with customers, drivers, and partners. Learn more about Rose Rocket
Trusted by 100,000 people daily, Rose Rocket's industry-leading platform empowers trucking and logistics companies to streamline their operations with unmatched flexibility. With full control over your data and system processes, Rose Rocket adapts to how you work - no coding required. Run your business your way, boosting efficiency while collaborating online with customers, brokers, carriers, and drivers. -Real-Time Collaboration: Connects the people and systems you work with for faster coordination and improved service. Built-in sharing for drivers, customers and brokers, plus support for APIs, EDI and 20+ software integrations. -Tailored To Your Business: Customize fields, documents, system processes, and automations in just a few clicks. Start with templates and adjust them to fit your needs. -Secure & Reliable: Work confidently knowing that your data is secure, without disruptions to your performance. Backed by enterprise-grade SOC 2 security for mission-critical operations. Learn more about Rose Rocket

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Since 1979, the most widely deployed, easy to use, and best supported maintenance software for fleets who want to improve continuously! Learn more about AMCS Fleet Maintenance
The fleet maintenance software of choice of over 4,000 fleets, AMCS Fleet Maintenance (formerly Dossier) lowers costs and downtime by automating control of your fleet's records, PM scheduling, repair orders and histories, fuel costs and MPG, cost control with cost per mile/hour, parts inventory control with auto reordering, work pending and campaign management, budget management, warranty management, tire management, vendor & labor control, license/permit renewals, driver control, fleet benchmarking, VMRS codes & more. Learn more about AMCS Fleet Maintenance

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Canada Local product
Fleet Complete is a leading global provider of IoT solutions. We help you track your vehicles, equipment & mobile staff with ease! Learn more about Fleet Complete
Fleet Complete is a leading global provider of IoT solutions in the connected commercial vehicle space and mobile workforce management. We help businesses improve dispatching, fleet tracking, regulatory compliance and in-field staff management to achieve optimal productivity of assets and resources. We are constantly enhancing our IoT platform to ensure our customers and partners benefit from the latest technology and industry-driven capabilities. Learn more about Fleet Complete

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Onfleet's software simplifies your local delivery operations from start to finish. Start your free trial today! Learn more about Onfleet
Onfleet's modern, Transportation Management software makes it easy for couriers to manage and analyze their local deliveries. Onfleet includes intuitive smartphone apps for drivers, a real-time web dashboard for dispatchers, and automated SMS notifications and driver tracking for your customers. Our API allows for integration into online ordering and other systems. Our software has powered millions of deliveries for couriers in 60+ countries around the world. Start your free trial today! Learn more about Onfleet

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
The software that gives you the tools to always know what loads are making money and which ones lose you money. Learn more about TruckingOffice
Real Trucking Software, Real Easy. The software that gives you the tools to always know what loads are making money and which ones lose you money. Get organized, increase profits, & always have us by your side. With TruckingOffice you can manage all your dispatches and expenses and stay on top of your invoices to your customers. We'll have you ready for IFTA in no time, no more struggling to find and coordinate information. And we'll help you keep up with your drivers and truck maintenance. Learn more about TruckingOffice

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
MyCarrier makes LTL shipping simple, fast, and cost-effective. Learn more about MyCarrierTMS
MyCarrier empowers LTL/TL shippers to connect directly to their carriers through an intuitive web platform for all shipping needs, from checking rates and availability to quoting, dispatching, and reporting. The MyCarrier platform streamlines the shipping process, allowing shippers to capture the best rates while increasing visibility, accuracy, and trust. Learn more about MyCarrierTMS

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
GSMtasks's vehicle tracking & optimization software enables drivers to complete their tasks faster without burdening other resources! Learn more about GSMtasks
GSMtasks's transportation management software allows to track commercial vehicles in the field using the driver¿s mobile phones. Optimizing & tracking your vehicles allows to get a full overview of your mobile team from anywhere, anytime. Commercial vehicle tracking & optimization software enables drivers to complete their tasks faster without burdening other resources. An app for drivers, real-time web dashboard for dispatchers, and automatic notifications for customers included! Learn more about GSMtasks

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Motive builds technology to improve the safety, productivity, and profitability of businesses. Learn more about Motive
Motive builds technology to improve the safety, productivity, and profitability of businesses that power the physical economy. The Motive Automated Operations Platform combines IoT hardware with AI-powered applications to automate vehicle and equipment tracking, driver safety, compliance, maintenance, spend management, and more. Motive serves more than 120,000 businesses across various industries, including trucking & logistics, construction, oil & gas, food & beverage, agriculture, and more. Learn more about Motive

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Fully-integrated freight, fleet, accounting & compliance. Our all-in-one TMS is built for shippers and carriers. Learn more about PCS TMS
PCS TMS for Shippers and Carriers offers seamless management of your entire transportation network from the Cloud. The cloud-based TMS is intuitive, efficient and affordable for shippers and carriers of all sizes. Whether you run Truckload, LTL, Intermodal, PCS TMS gives you the power to control your dispatch, accounting and fleet management with one system available anytime, anywhere in the cloud. Learn more about PCS TMS

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
EXTRA offers advanced dispatch transportation management software that optimizes last mile deliveries. Learn more about Elite EXTRA
Last Mile/Local transportation and delivery management software! EXTRA has over two decades of innovation and experience to help power your last mile deliveries. EXTRA transportation management software includes: automated dispatching; integrating multiple delivery options; real-time tracking and ETAs; customer notification options, including a real-time tracking link with map; live mobile SDK with map; customer portal and ETA API; route optimization; and, central dispatch to pool fleets. Learn more about Elite EXTRA

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Transportation management system that enables organizations to plan, optimize and execute shipments across entire network. Learn more about 4flow iTMS
Increasing supply chain complexity is challenging organizations to effectively manage their transportation networks. The 4flow iTMS (integrated transportation management system) employs the advantages of planning and optimization functions in addition to standard TMS functionality in one complete tool. From network planning to transportation execution to controlling and analytics, the 4flow iTMS is a solution that empowers you to efficiently manage your entire supply chain network. Learn more about 4flow iTMS

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Shiptify is a new 100% digital Transport Management System platform. Learn more about Shiptify
Total control of all your shipments to save you time, reduce your expenses, and offer your customers an unparalleled quality of service. You can now track all your shipments on a single platform, automate your processes to save your teams time, and quickly realize significant savings... And this is just the beginning! More than 8000 carriers collaborate every day on Shiptify with their customers all over the world. Manage all your shipments on a single portal. Learn more about Shiptify

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
ShippingEasy is the easiest online shipping platform for growing businesses, featuring discounted shipping rates and easy automation.
ShippingEasy is the easiest online shipping platform for growing businesses. With ShippingEasy, merchants can access discounted USPS and UPS shipping rates, automate shipping, and get time back to focus on building their business. Robust integrations with all leading online channels allow merchants to manage orders, shipments, and customers from everywhere they sell, all in one easy-to-use platform. Learn more about ShippingEasy

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Pirate Ship is free shipping software that passes through the cheapest USPS & UPS rates with no markup. Top pick for small businesses!
Get the cheapest USPS and UPS shipping rates possible with no fees! (We really mean it). Pirate Ship's free web-based shipping software gives you the cheapest rates for UPS and USPS-approved postage with absolutely no markup, fees or monthly commitments. Fast and reliable shipping software built for modern small businesses. Import your ecommerce orders to quickly buy and print labels. Sign up for your free account and start shipping in minutes! Learn more about Pirate Ship

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
ShipStation is a web-based shipping software whose seamless automation offers the fastest, most affordable way to ship your products.
With ShipStation, you can scale your business without growing your workload. Ship more orders in less time—with fewer clicks and greater savings. Manage orders from all of your ecommerce stores, tools, and selling channels. ShipStation provides discounts and integrations with carriers like USPS, UPS, DHL Express, Canada Post, FedEx, Royal Mail, AUSPost, and more. ShipStation’s workflow automation speeds up fulfillment whether you’re running an enterprise business or just starting out. Learn more about ShipStation

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Deliver by design — at every stage of e-commerce complexity. Start shipping with Shippo, free.
Ecommerce is complex. Shipping doesn’t have to be. Shippo connects you with the best rates at the most carriers using a solution integrated with your business and experienced support at every stage so you can grow into the future. Manage shipping for all of your sales channels and get access to exclusive discounts from USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL + 40 more, automated workflows, detailed tracking and notifications, seamless returns, international customs declarations, and more. Learn more about Shippo

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Compare your freight and save time & money across FTL, LTL, and Parcel with our plug-and-play TMS! Call us: 913.353.6188
Are you shipping LTL, FTL, and/or Parcel? Freightview is a multi-modal TMS for shippers that allows you to pull in your negotiated LTL & Parcel rates as well as interact directly with carrier partners via the Spot Quote / Volume / Truckload tool. Compare your options, schedule pickups, access documents / Pre-PROs, print labels, track activity, and analyze all of your shipments in one place. Our cloud-based TMS is month-to-month with no contracts. Call us for pricing or to request a demo! Learn more about Freightview

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Streamline your fleet operations and reduce costs with Samsara's all-in-one platform for GPS tracking, safety, ELD compliance, and more
Samsara helps the largest and most complex operations organizations empower workers, save on fuel, and build a world-class safety program—all from a single easy-to-use, integrated platform. With tens of thousands of customers across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, Samsara is a proud technology partner to the people who keep our global economy running, including the world’s leading organizations across construction, transportation and warehousing, field services, manufacturing, retail, logistics, and public sector. The company’s mission is to increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the operations that power the global economy. Learn more about Samsara

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Routing chaos finally solved! Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me plans routes for your business. Call Today & Get Started +1-888-552-9045
Routing chaos finally solved. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me automatically plans routes for your business and dispatches them to a mobile app with built-in navigation. Perfect for field service, field sales, field marketing, territory management, and every business requiring last-mile optimization. Route4Me provides the world's most used route sequencing and optimization software for small businesses and enterprises to over 40,000 customers. Call Today & Get Started +1-888-552-9045 Learn more about Route4Me

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
The only NO Fee, NO Contract, NO Setup TMS. Over 51,833+ users. TRUE cloud TMS. The World's Most Popular TMS. Capterra's BEST RATING!
AscendTMS is the world's most popular TMS software (51,833+ active users), for Freight Brokers, 3PL's, Trucking Companies and Shippers. NO upfront fees, NO license fees, NO support fees, NO contracts. They are 100% independent and NOT affiliated with any broker, carrier, or other transportation entity. Get instant TMS access from ANY device with NO installs, NO hardware, NO setup. Compare to TMW, McLeod, Mercury Gate, Aljex and other old legacy systems. AscendTMS has Capterra's BEST RATING! Learn more about AscendTMS Logistics Software

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Stay ahead of transportation incidents with a safety GPS tracker, a multi-layered scheduler, and messaging for direct communication.
Manage your transportation company with Connecteam’s platform that prepares employees to tackle any distance. GPS tracking ensures the safety of each field worker on the clock. The smart scheduler system frees you to organize shifts according to your specific needs: by shift, employee, or by vehicle. Based on this set criteria, find your success routes and stay ahead of repair needs. Keep employees prepared with training courses and just a few clicks away from live chat communication. Learn more about Connecteam

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Quickbase helps customers see, connect and control complex projects that reshape our world.
Quickbase empowers enterprise organizations to quickly turn ideas into applications that make them more efficient, informed, and productive. Utilize granular, distributed tracking and project management to ensure items are delivered and accounted for between parts of the supply chain. Eliminate manual processes with no-code application development for true end-to-end transparency. Identify and remedy issues such as lost loads, damaged freight or other errors before they become costly problems. Learn more about Quickbase

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring
Canada Local product
Powered by Truckstop.com, the most-used, affordable & user-friendly TMS for small to medium companies.
Truckstop.com's flagship TMS, ITS Dispatch is the number one trucking & freight broker solution in North America. With over 50,000 satisfied users, ITS is the most affordable, easy-to-use web-based TMS for small to medium-sized companies. Get the crucial tools needed to organize and grow your business, including one-click invoicing, automatic IFTA reporting, complete load management & Quickbooks integration with unlimited users & FREE unlimited expert support. Request a LIVE DEMO today! Learn more about ITS Dispatch

Features

  • Dispatch Management
  • Order Management Software
  • Shipping Management
  • Scheduling Software
  • Routing
  • Fleet Management Software
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Customer Management
  • Live Driver Tracking
  • Real-Time Monitoring

Transportation Management Software Buyers Guide

Introduction

Transportation management systems are a cross-departmental business software solution, allowing organizations to manage and otherwise oversee operations related to transportation. This can include accessing important information on transport usage and availability, along with planning many of the processes associated with shipping and logistics. Furthermore, the software can automate some of the tasks or activities associated with transportation management, freeing up more time to spend in other areas, including those where automation cannot be achieved.

Although the software is most commonly associated with shipping, delivery, or importing and exporting businesses, a transportation management system, or TMS system, may be used by any business that operates a fleet of vehicles. Through intelligent and effective use of a software solution of this kind, a business can carefully manage field workers, optimize their usage of vehicles, and provide drivers with valuable information that can make their job easier.

Some of the main activities that are typically managed through transport management software include scheduling deliveries or journeys, management of a business' fleet of vehicles, and the optimization of routes, to minimize delays and reduce risk to drivers. However, it is essential to understand that these solutions are usually cross-departmental, meaning there are also likely to be options related to customer relationship management, order management, carrier management and much more besides.

There is usually significant crossover in terms of functionality with other software categories, with some of the main examples including route planning software and shipping software. With this in mind, transportation management software may be able to be used as an alternative to these solutions, or it may be possible to integrate these solutions with a TMS system, resulting in an improved understanding of transport issues.

While there can be some significant differences in terms of the additional features on offer and the range of additional departments within a business that may be able to utilize the software, most transportation management systems will have similar core functionality. Moreover, some features are common to the point of helping to define this software category. Generally, these systems will allow users to:

  • Continually manage a fleet of vehicles and keep track of relevant maintenance information
  • Plan shipping or delivery routes and track the live status of drivers or specific vehicles within the fleet
  • Track performance data, including fuel usage, delivery times, distance travelled, and number of hours worked
  • Manage orders and logistics, deal with carriers, and provide updates to customers or business partners

What is transportation management software?

Transportation management software is the collective name given to software solutions intended to assist businesses with several tasks related to the management of transportation. Most commonly, this means businesses involved with importing, exporting, or providing delivery services. However, the software can be used by any business with needs in this area or any business that operates a fleet of vehicles, including those offering passenger services. Essentially, the software serves as a central hub for accessing crucial data and providing information to field workers.

Through the use of transportation management systems—or TMS systems—companies can oversee many of the operations related to shipping and logistics. Some of the most predictable or repetitive tasks can also be automated, which frees up more time for employees and managers to focus on more complicated activities.

In particular, transportation management systems can allow businesses to schedule deliveries, work more collaboratively with carriers, and plan out the ideal routes for drivers to take to limit disruption and minimize any risk to the drivers' safety. Beyond this, the software can get real-time insights into the current status of a fleet, the amount of time deliveries are taking, and the maintenance status of vehicles. Furthermore, high-quality software of this kind can track individual vehicles within a fleet and even identify their precise location.

What are the benefits of transportation management software?

The benefits of transportation management software for Canadian businesses are primarily linked to the ability to track important information about a fleet of vehicles and the vehicle operators and to bring together information relevant to different business departments. However, software of this kind can also make it easier to carry out many tasks, improving overall efficiency and productivity. Furthermore, buyers should understand some of the specific advantages linked to acquiring a software package within this category. Generally speaking, most solutions will be able to provide users with the benefits that are outlined below:

  • Centralized processes: One of the biggest advantages of transportation management systems is the centralization of various processes. Most of the best solutions include cross-departmental functionality, allowing critical information to be accessed by decision-makers in different sections of a business. For example, many TMS systems will bring together features related to order management, dispatch management, customer relationship management, carrier management, shipment tracking, live tracking, routing, and more. Having all the associated data stored in a centralized software solution can make it easier to find important information. However, it also means that different departments within an organization can share data and communicate more effectively.
  • Employee monitoring: Transportation management systems can allow businesses to monitor field workers and others involved in transportation and logistics processes. Many of the best transport manager software solutions allow businesses to view live location and status information, which allows them to accurately track performance and activity. Although employee monitoring needs to be carefully balanced to avoid invasions of privacy or a negative impact on trust, research has found numerous benefits. A Capterra survey on employee monitoring found that improved productivity levels and time tracking are among the most frequently cited benefits. Transportation management systems provide a level of employee monitoring without becoming overly intrusive, and this also means fleet operating businesses will not need to invest in a separate, dedicated employee monitoring software package.
  • Automated activities: Another significant advantage associated with using transportation management systems is the ability to automate many of the more repetitive, predictable, or mundane tasks associated with shipping, dispatch management and logistics. This can include automatically sending tracking updates to customers, automatically updating performance data, and automatically receiving alerts about action that needs to be taken. Automation has many possible benefits, including ensuring that action is taken at the best possible time and preventing tasks from being overlooked. Artificial intelligence does not require rest or time off. Therefore, this means actions can be carried out on a 24/7 basis, at any time of the year. Furthermore, through automation, more time is freed up for employees to focus on other areas and this can ultimately help boost the overall productivity levels of an entire organization, resulting in improved business outcomes.

What are the features of transportation management software?

The features of transportation management systems assist businesses with the management of transportation, shipping, passenger services, and relevant logistics. Different solutions on the market may target different business sectors. For example, some software solutions are aimed at international exporting companies, while others target local delivery companies. Some target businesses offering passenger services, while others target companies with field workers operating in the local area. Nevertheless, there are some common features in the majority of solutions, and this includes the following:

  • Fleet management: Overseeing all critical information related to a fleet of vehicles. Most commonly, this will be a fleet of cars, vans, lorries, or similar road-based vehicles. Yet, depending on the nature of the business, this fleet could also consist of trains, airplanes, helicopters, or ships. Regardless, most fleet management solutions of this kind will allow users to track the location of specific vehicles, plan out vehicle usage, manage vehicle availability, monitor information related to maintenance or repairs, and continually track the distance a specific vehicle has traveled. This then makes it much easier for organizations to select the right vehicle for the right task, and to make important decisions about removing vehicles from service and acquiring replacement vehicles or new additions.
  • Order management: Accept shipping orders or requests for other services that require fleet vehicles and manage the various stages associated with processing those requests. This can include order confirmation, order execution, status tracking, sending confirmation emails, and creating and provisioning invoices. All of this can be handled from within the software—maximizing efficiency—and invoicing and the sending of confirmation emails -can often be fully automated so that employees can work on more demanding tasks.
  • Live driver tracking: Monitor the precise location of each driver and keep up-to-date with their status and specific individual needs. In many cases, this functionality will be compatible with in-vehicle devices, such as digital tachographs or electronic logging devices. Through this function, organizations can understand where drivers are, provide updates to customers, make in-the-moment decisions with a clear understanding of current circumstances, and maintain compliance with driver rest periods. If a driver becomes lost, instructions can be issued, while in the event of an accident, location details can be provided to emergency services.
  • Shipment tracking: Generate tracking information for orders sent to customers or for orders being imported. Throughout the journey from the departure point to the final destination, the software can provide updates, allowing users to know when the package has reached key milestones along the way. All of this enables an organization to stay fully up-to-date with shipments and make plans accordingly. In addition, when necessary, it can help customer service staff to provide much more accurate updates to customers or business partners.
  • Carrier Management: Communicate with shipping companies and other carriers to select the best carrier for each situation based on time constraints, the delivery destination, the budget available, how much the carrier will charge, and other relevant factors. Carrier management functionality will generally provide quick and easy access to the top carriers serving specific locations so that requests can be placed with minimal effort. In some cases, requests can be fully automated, and specific carriers are selected as preferred partners.
  • Route management: Plan out the optimal route for a driver to take, save frequently used routes for future reference, and take all important factors into account before deciding on the ideal route. Several considerations should be worked through before planning a route, such as needs related to time, fuel usage, storage, and driver fatigue. Beyond this, external factors can influence the chosen route, including traffic congestion, local events and the weather. The route management function of the best transportation management systems will also allow multiple possible routes to be established so that drivers can make adjustments if they encounter problems.
  • Reporting/analytics: View and monitor reports so essential information is not missed, ensuring that the status of business operations can be continually understood. Reports may include data related to key performance metrics, with examples including average shipping time, customer satisfaction rates, fuel usage, total distance travelled, and more. Much of this data can be collected automatically, and the best software solutions will provide a dashboard where the most critical information can be easily seen. In many cases, alerts can also be set up so that attention is drawn to areas where a business is underperforming or so that decisions requiring swift action are not overlooked. The reporting and analytics component of a transportation management system can also be used to search through records, allow performance progress to be tracked more accurately, and help organizations identify trends.

What should be considered when purchasing transportation management software?

When purchasing transportation management software, various issues need to be considered and given appropriate attention. Ultimately, the process of acquiring the software will differ for each buyer because they will all have their requirements and priorities. Furthermore, buyers mustn't simply seek the best all-around option but instead focus on finding the best solution for their specific needs. An effective way to achieve this is to ask a series of questions, using the answers to inform the eventual purchasing decision. Some examples of questions that can be useful for this include the following:

  • What business types is the software designed for? One of the most critical considerations when acquiring any transport manager software is the specific business types that are being targeted by each available solution. Although some TMS options will target a broad market, many solutions specifically target delivery companies, importers, exporters, companies with field workers, or those offering transportation services to passengers. Each of these business types is likely to have different requirements and priorities. However, even within these categories, needs can vary. For example, the needs of an international delivery company may differ significantly from the needs of a delivery company offering regional services. Buyers need to think about their own needs and then focus on finding an option that provides the necessary features and functionality.
  • How much does transport management software cost? Another vital consideration when purchasing transportation management software is the issue of cost. At the most basic level, buyers should carefully assess the price of different options on the market. However, it is also worth taking the time to dig deeper. Some of the costs associated with acquiring and using the software may not be immediately obvious. However, some of the main examples include the cost of setting up the software, the cost of storing data, the cost of training employees to use the transportation management system, and any costs that may be linked to upgrades and accessing support. With cloud-based options, subscription fees are likely to be a factor, and some software operates using a tier system, with advanced options requiring the purchase of a 'premium' upgrade. Buyers also need to think in terms of value for money rather than simply focusing on price alone. It is usually worth paying more for a high-quality product, which is likely to cater to all needs for the foreseeable future, instead of buying a more basic or short-term option for less money. Yet, the precise needs of the buyer will also depend on the intended uses and the available budget.
  • Does the TMS system comply with relevant legislation? Several important regulations apply to organizations managing commercial driving operations. A good example of this is the fitting of tracking devices to vehicles. In the United Kingdom, it is a legal requirement that commercial goods vehicles are fitted with a digital tachograph, while in the United States, it is a legal requirement that these vehicles are equipped with an electronic logging device. Although these devices do have some differences, both are intended to automatically track total driving time, the distance a driver has travelled, the speed of the vehicle, and more. This information can be vital for preventing drivers from becoming fatigued and for keeping workers safe, and compliance is mandatory. Therefore, it makes sense to acquire a software solution that provides support for the relevant industry regulations.
  • Is integration with other software packages possible? Next, it is worth taking the time to think about whether or not different transportation management systems can be integrated with existing software solutions being used or with software packages that are likely to be acquired in the future. In particular, transportation management systems may be able to be integrated with supply chain management software or with logistics software, but there are many other possible integrations, such as calendar applications, workforce management systems, and more. Integration can help reduce the amount of time spent moving between different applications, resulting in a more seamless day-to-day work experience for employees. At the same time, integration can also reduce or eliminate unnecessary data duplication and can ensure that the same data is being used across the board. This can be especially significant given the cross-departmental nature of most TMS systems.
  • Can the transportation software scale up and down easily? Finally, it is worth taking some time to consider the current scale of the business and find a solution that will suit that business size. Then, to take this to the next level, buyers should consider whether or not the solutions they are exploring can scale up and down easily. As businesses grow, the size of a fleet may increase, areas covered by that fleet may expand, and the number of employees may also grow. Some software solutions are ideal for smaller businesses but may not offer the necessary functionality for a larger business of this kind, and the opposite can also be true. For a future-proof solution, however, the software should be able to scale up and down quickly, easily and seamlessly.

The most relevant transportation management software trends also need to be understood and considered before making a purchasing decision. Buyers need to be sure they are investing in an up-to-date solution that will remain viable for the foreseeable future. This requires software developers to have created the software with an awareness of the needs of fleet-operating organizations and the most significant trends, such as:

  • The rise of the internet of things (IoT): The internet of things (IoT) refers to the addition of internet connectivity to everyday items and devices, and this potentially allows data to be sent from different devices to transportation management systems. The rise of the internet of things has helped organizations collect data more accurately and automatically. Buyers should be aware of the capabilities of IoT devices within delivery vehicles, passenger vehicles, and other vehicles that may operate within a fleet. Software should be designed with this functionality in mind, as it is only likely to become more essential in the years to come.
  • Increased reliance on remote working: Over recent years, more organizations have embraced remote working or moved towards hybrid models, where workers are only occasionally required to attend a shared workspace. This trend was further boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that were placed on unnecessary gatherings of people. As a result of this increased reliance on remote working, businesses operating fleets of vehicles may not always have decision-makers working from the physical workplace, so software needs to be accessible for those working from home or working from other remote locations. It is also worth noting that Capterra's research about remote work from 2021 showed that over a third of Canadian workers say that they work more productively at home. This means acquiring software that can facilitate remote working has the potential to boost morale.
  • The popularity of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Following on from the last point, one of how remote working is being facilitated is through the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment, in place of an on-premise deployment. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions work through cloud technology, and software is deployed and managed by a third-party service provider. This allows for rapid startup times, low setup costs, compatibility with a wider range of internet-enabled devices, cloud data storage, and instant updating of data for all users, regardless of whether they are working on-site or remotely. More and more transportation management systems now work through cloud-based deployment, and while there is still some debate about which of the two deployment options is better, the cloud-based model is often preferred by companies with remote and field workers. With this in mind, it is worth considering whether this is going to be the best available solution.
  • Growing demand for mobile accessibility: Finally, it is now more crucial than ever before for fleet businesses to provide mobile access to as much relevant information as possible, and this can include TMS systems. Some solutions may offer a companion mobile app, while others may be cloud-based and allow access through a mobile web browser. Regardless, mobile accessibility can help on-site, remote and field workers, providing around-the-clock access to the information within the software, from anywhere. Mobile accessibility can be important for drivers needing to be alerted to a new job, a recommended route change, or other changes that may impact their current work schedule. In addition to ensuring information can be accessed on mobile devices, buyers should focus on solutions where the developers have optimized the user interface so that it can be easily used and read on smaller mobile phone or tablet touchscreens.

Sources:

The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in Capterra's directory that offer them. The following sources were used for this document:

  1. Workplace surveillance: employee monitoring stats in Canada - Capterra Canada Blog (Date accessed: Thursday, June 8, 2023)

  2. Productivity when working from home: 7 insights from Canadian employees - Capterra Canada Blog (Date accessed: Thursday, June 8, 2023)