Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of businesses choose the right transportation management software so they can optimize routes and track shipments.

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Infoplus

Infoplus WMS is a web-based warehouse management software solution for small to midsize 3PLs, eCommerce Retailers, and Wholesalers focused on taking control of overall inventory, warehouse operations and shipping.  Key features include... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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WISE

WISE by Royal 4 Systems is a rules-based warehouse management (WMS) system that is able to support a number of industries, including 3PL, automotive, food and beverage and industrial machinery. WISE helps users manage core warehouse... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Rose Rocket

Rose Rocket’s transportation management software (TMS) platform helps companies improve communications with systems, customers and the people who move freight.  Its open platform makes it easy to connect to the software that runs... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Logistically

Logistically is a cloud-based transportation management solution (TMS) designed for 3PLs, brokers and shippers of all sizes. Features include billing and invoicing, load management, order management, shipment management, routing, scheduling... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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FreightPath

FreightPath is an all-in-one dispatch and transportation management software built for trucking companies, carriers, and freight brokers to handle dispatch, track & trace, collaboration, and digital paperwork. It gives you the tools... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Kuebix TMSFrontRunners 2020

Kuebix, a Trimble Company, is a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) designed for shippers and carriers involved in both inbound and outbound logistics. The solution caters to a variety of carriers and modes of transport... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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ShippersEdge

ShippersEdge is a cloud-based transportation management solution that manages shipping logistics. It helps users manage shipments, submit claims and handle multiple carriers. ShippersEdge helps companies save time and control costs.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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FreightPOP

FreightPOP is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses manage the entire freight shipping lifecycle through invoicing, label printing and tracking of carriers in transit. Key features include warehouse management, shipment tracking,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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FreightWise Logistics Cost Management

FreightWise is a Logistics Service Provider offering a cloud-based Transportation Management System (TMS) and cost management for small to mid-sized U.S. companies, with a focus on LTL and Parcel shipping. FreightWise TMS software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Trimble TMS

Trimble TMS (formerly known as TMW Systems) solutions help carrier companies—large, small, and mid-sized— to keep their costs and services competitive while delivering significant value every day. Trimble TMS helps businesses with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: Cloud
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UROUTE

UROUTE is a TMS that is designed to strengthen the link between shippers and carriers.   Offering a host of features in a scalable web-based environment, UROUTE can be implemented at mid-sized companies within a week or two. For... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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ShipHawk

ShipHawk is a cloud-based transportation management solution (TMS) for medium-to-high volume parcel and less-than-truckload freight shippers. The system supports parcels, less-than-truckload freight, first and final mile carriers and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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JAGGAER ONE

JAGGAER ONE is a cloud-based solution that enables businesses to manage processes related to eProcurement, sourcing, supply chain collaboration, invoicing and contract management. It helps supply chain teams collaborate with respective... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Dynamics TMS

We like that FreightMaster TMS is offered as either a cloud-based or on-premise system. it can integrate with existing enterprise ERP software, and it can also be purchased via multiple pricing models to meet the buyer’s budget Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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iM3 SCM

iM3 SCM’s Smart Warehouse Management (smartWMS) is a cloud-based software offered to its customers as a SaaS Application. iM3 SCM helps clients reduce their implementation costs to help increase ROI and productivity. From multi-channel... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ScanData Parcel TMS

ScanData is a parcel transportation management solution (PTMS) that caters to businesses across various industries such as general retail, pharmaceutical, product cataloging, apparel and more. It can be either deployed on-premise or... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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BluJay Solutions

BluJay Solutions’ Transportation Management offers cloud-based procurement, supply chain planning, execution and settlement transportation. Users also have access to BluJay’s Global Trade Network with various connected partners.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Ramco Logistics

Ramco Logistics Platform provides a cloud-based integrated solution tailor-made for Third Party Logistics, Freight Forwarders, and Express Parcel service Providers. The software helps to overcome key paint points, including supply... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Softeon Warehouse Management System (WMS)

The Softeon Warehouse Management System (WMS) provides a platform for optimizing distribution processes, with a broad set of capabilities that comprehensively handle the basics (receiving, putaway, inventory management, order picking,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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TAI TMSFrontRunners 2020

Tai TMS is an all-in-one platform for quoting, booking and tracking shipments. Tai TMS focuses on helping freight brokers grow their businesses. Tai automates the LTL shipping process and provides FTL brokers with a centralized platform... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: February 24, 2021

What Is Transportation Management Software?

Transportation management systems (TMS) are designed to help businesses plan, execute, and measure deliveries across the supply chain. By providing managers with tools including carrier procurement optimization, load building, and track and trace, the right TMS software can improve fleet performance and reduce supply chain expenditures.

TMS software typically sits between a business' accounting system and warehouse management system, but can be a powerful tool to reduce costs and optimize shipping even as a standalone solution.

Here's what we'll cover:

Benefits of Transportation Management Software

The general benefits of TMS software are increased operational efficiency, reduced freight costs, and improved profitability.

Here are some examples of how businesses can benefit from TMS systems:

  • Measure performance of specific carriers, routes, and delivery times, which allows you to make adjustments based on data, not anecdotes.
  • Accurately track shipments and routes to reduce late delivery and better communicate unexpected delays.
  • Manage payments in the TMS so you can see trends such as late vendor payments or inaccurate invoices, allowing you to better manage vendor relationships.

What type of buyer are you?

TMS software is used by businesses in any industry where shipments and deliveries are at the core of operations. Most buyers are generally third-party logistics (3PL) companies, but other TMS software buyers include the following industries: food and beverage, automotive, electrical, and consumer packaged goods (and more).

In regard to business size, and independent from industry, you'll fall into one of the following categories:

  • Small business buyer. These are companies with two to 100 employees that make less than $50 million a year and have no IT department.
  • Midsize business buyer. These are companies that have two to 100 employees and make less than $50 million a year, but do have an IT department.
  • Enterprise business buyer. These are large companies that have more than 100 employees, make over $50 million a year, and have a dedicated IT department.

Common transportation management system features

Comparing carriers for the best rates, fewest number of stops, and shortest possible lead time is time consuming when handled manually. Tracking and measuring performance is nearly impossible when relying on spreadsheets alone. Transportation management systems offer a number of important features to maximize efficiency and reduce costs to alleviate pain points.

Carrier Management Find, compare, and select the most time/cost-effective freight carrier so you can improve procurement processes.  
Reporting Collect and review relevant data points so you can monitor shipping status and measure against established KPIs.  
Shipment Tracking Create tracking info and receive updates on shipment status.  
Billing & Invoicing Create and manage financial transactions (bills and invoices) so you can reconcile invoices with shipments, audit freight bills, and reduce payment errors.  
Customer Management Capture and analyze information about your customers and record your interactions with them.  
Order Management Organize, track, monitor, and execute customer orders for goods, investments, or any other purchases.  

TMS software pricing and hosting options

Transportation management systems are typically priced two ways: perpetual and subscription licensing. One thing to keep in mind is if you are currently using manual methods to track shipments, you may need to purchase hardware in order to take advantage of features such as barcode scanning.

  • Perpetual: Customers purchase a license to use the software in perpetuity; the license price is typically determined by business size or the number of vehicles in a fleet. Keep in mind that you often have to pay annual fees for support, maintenance, and upgrades; as a general rule of thumb, you can expect those annual costs to amount to roughly 20% of the perpetual license fee.
  • Subscription: Customers purchase a subscription (typically billed monthly) based on their size or the number of vehicles in their fleet. Typically, the customer then pays more for every additional truck it adds to the system. Fees for support, maintenance, and upgrades are generally wrapped into the subscription price, making it easier to determine the total cost of ownership for the system during its lifecycle.

Transportation management systems are typically deployed two ways: cloud-based or on-premise.

  • Cloud-based: With a cloud-based system, the software is hosted on a vendor or third party's servers, and can be accessed via a web browser or mobile app.
  • On-premise: With this deployment method, customers host the software on their own servers.

Integrated suites vs. best-of-breed

Often, TMS software is a standalone system or a key module in a best-of-breed supply chain management system.

The advantages to an integrated suite are streamlined out-of-the-box integration (e.g., fuel expenses automatically sync with the organization's accounting modules), but what these suites offer in breadth of features they might lack in depth. For smaller organizations, they can be far more than is needed. Individual best-of-breed applications may require more custom-built integrations, but they are typically more fully featured than their counterparts.

The important thing to keep in mind is what your needs are. If you need to overhaul your entire system, consider a broad, integrated suite. If, however, you are only trying to improve one aspect of your operation or fill a functional gap, a best-of-breed application might be your best fit.

What questions should I ask when evaluating TMS products?

Can I see it in action?

Always ask the vendor for two demos. The first is typically performed by your sales agent and will walk you through the user interface and core features. The second demo should include your IT resource and the vendor's technical resource.

Do you integrate with X tools I already use?

Insert the names of any software solutions or tools you already use that you want your TMS to integrate with when asking this question. Some vendors may be able to build custom integrations if they don't already offer it.

Is anything I'm asking for custom code?

Ask for a list of features included in the out-of-the-box solution and a list of features that are add-ons to ensure you're only paying for the features you need.

What is your customer support model?

Each vendor offers unique customer service and service level agreements. Do you want a representative available 24/7? Online chat capability? Make sure their model matches your needs before purchasing any system.

What are the set-up costs for the software?

Most vendors price their software based on a SaaS subscription model, but there can be up-front costs that come with implementation.

Market trends to understand

Internet of things. More transportation management systems are starting to integrate or otherwise be paired with internet of things (IoT) devices, and are used to relay more than just simple GPS tracking. Food distributors, for example, often use internet-connected thermometers to ensure food shipments are maintained at certain temperatures.

Global trade management. Some transportation management systems feature modules for global trade management, such as international tax and ISO compliance, international shipping schedules, and other tools to assist international shipping.

Related software

TMS is one part of a series of software designed to optimize supply chain visibility. Complementary solutions include:

Warehouse inventory software (WMS), which gives managers the tools they need to analyze stock and make plans for inventory movement or replenishment.

Order fulfillment software. Many WMS and TMS solutions contain order fulfillment functionality, but buyers without the need to automate warehousing or transportation tasks should evaluate order fulfillment applications.

Inventory management software enables businesses to keep track of their inventory along the supply chain. Features include product categorization, sales, and purchase order tracking, electronic scanning, and automatic ordering.

Fleet management solutions help users optimize delivery routes, dispatch deliveries, and reduce risk factors associated with fleet management.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Transportation Management Software, August 2020

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Transportation Management Systems products in North America.

Learn how products are chosen

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.