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Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department
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How we've created Transportation Management System for logistic company

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tms software

People and goods are constantly on the move carried by cargo planes, freight trains, container ships, trucks of various sizes across towns and around the globe. Transportation is how manufacturers get the resources they need to build their products, how retailers get the goods they need to stock their shelves and warehouses, and how e-commerce businesses fulfill their customers’ orders.

Transportation Management System has become a buzzword across industries as companies turn to technology to stay competitive in a changing world, and logistics is no exception. That’s why companies of all sizes are researching transportation management systems to learn more about how technology can save them money, streamline logistics operations and improve customer satisfaction.

You may wonder how much does a transportation management system cost? What makes it so special? And how can it benefit your business? All the answers to those questions you will find out in the article below. So let’s begin!

What’s exactly transportation management system?


According to Gartner, a TMS (transportation management system) is used to plan freight movements, do freight rating and shopping across all modes, select the appropriate route and carrier, and manage freight bills and payments. With TMS solution, you can assist in the planning and coordination of shipping, tracking, and delivering freight from one place to another saving time and money.

What’s the idea?


Once the major DDI Development expertise is providing a spectrum of logistics solutions, we often receive requests to develop customizable transportation management systems to serve customers better. Distribution companies, e-commerce organizations and anyone else that moves freight regularly started to look for the ways how to optimize spend and improve processes.

The fact is that the more you use your transportation management system, the more you decrease time on freight management and more time working on other projects such as warehouse duties. Moreover, if your TMS is embedded into the systems, such as ERP or CRM, you decrease time spent on data entry or correcting mistakes caused by entry error. That’s why developing a transport management solution provides splendid opportunities to manage entire business processes from easily assigning and tracking loads to back-end billing and accounting functions. Using a TMS can help your business to:

  • Optimize and consolidate shipments
  • Improve service levels, giving customers a great first impression
  • Save on freight costs
  • Lower admin costs and reduce errors
  • Access a large carrier pool and find the best rates
  • Address all shipping options and modes, all on one platform
  • Monitor shipments in real-time
  • Quickly evaluate carrier performance through historical reports
  • Increase visibility and communicate shipment status to customers
  • Get much-needed carrier capacity in a tightened market

Having that in mind, we have developed a concept of transport management system for the logistics company that includes all the necessary elements to organize and streamline business processes efficiently and successfully. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s delve into details below!

User Roles

Here we are going to define roles that give certain privileges to the user and grant access to the platform features and functionality. There are four user levels within the transportation management system for the logistics company: Manager, Driver, Customer and Administrator. Let’s dive into details below:

  • Drivers are users with basic permissions in the transport management system able to view the route, message and are unable to manage the functionality.
  • Customers are users with basic permissions in the transport management system able to rate quote, track and trace, message, etc.
  • Managers can build/view/search loads, create routes, schedule pickups, view enrollments, track shipments, upload documents, view reports, etc.
  • Administrator is able to manage every aspect of the platform. They will have visibility to all features, and settings.

Project structure

Here you can find the structure of the project and see the technologies applied when developing the transportation management system for the logistics company.

project structure

Manager Dashboard


To login in the transport management system as a Manager, you should choose a Manager account type, insert your username and password into the login form. Also, you can sign in with Google or Facebook account. And welcome to your transport management platform!

manager login

Below your basic profile information, the list of tabs allows you to access different and important areas of your TMS. This list of the main hub of navigation around your TMS. While the main menu is set by your Administrator, and therefore customizable, possible options that you may find in your main menu are:

  • Loads
  • Customers
  • Carriers
  • Locations
  • Rates
  • Track&Trace
  • EDI
  • Massaging
  • Reporting
  • Settings

Also, you will see the widgets, which are specific areas of your dashboard that allow you to view or perform specific functions in the platform. They are the following:

manager dashboard

  • Financial overview
  • Loads
  • Messages Statistics
  • Track&Trace Statistics
  • Current Rates
  • Fuel index

Loads

All of the loads are found on the Loads page. You can reach this page from the corresponding option in your main menu. With Loads, you can clearly see how well your logistic business is doing on the fly. This feature allows you to manage your day-to-day business operations easily displaying the loads in an easy-to-read format. You can select the following tabs:

  • Display loads
  • Create a load
  • Search a load
  • Load history
  • Loads template

loads

By pressing the Loads item you will be shown a page with a list of loads. The load management screen is comprised of 5 essential tabs, such as current loads, scheduled loads, bookkeeping loads, misc. loads, all loads and archived loads. You can customize any tab based on your purpose. You can apply filters by pressing the Filtered load status item. Also, you can press plus sign to build a new load or press arrow sign to view the loads report.

There is some information in the columns, such as load#, status, pickup, destination, delivery date, stops, carrier, equipment, customer, income, expenses, distance, driver, truck status info, actions. When selecting all loads, you can find all the loads with the following loads statuses:

load status

  • pending
  • needs carrier
  • dispatched
  • in transit
  • booked -awaiting confirmation
  • ready - confirmation signed
  • watch
  • possible claims
  • completed to be billed
  • billed
  • paid
  • actual claim
  • canceled
  • archived

If you place your mouse over any field, a little bubble appears to display more detail information without a need just to look a phone number or address.

current loads

Also, you can update the load management menu. One way to pick somewhere to see small menu options on the top, such as create a new load and load reports. Another way to press on load# to access the load management menu:

load management menu

Here you can see the following options: edit load, view load docs, view load route, send tracking message, send SMS, log check call, archive load, cancel load.

Customers

All of the customers are found on the Customers page. You can easily find this page by selecting the corresponding option in your main menu. Thanks to the Customers page, you keep in mind how many users are now using your service. This feature allows you to store information about users that helps you understand their data and make data-driven decisions. You can select the following tabs:

  • All Customers
  • Online
  • Offline

customers page

Carriers

All of the carriers are found on the Carriers page. From the corresponding option in your main menu, you can reach this page. When it comes to picking the right carrier there are many important factors to consider. Thanks to the Carriers page, you can provide a wide range of both international and local carriers/methods as available options to choose through the various features and services of eminent and reputable carriers and make eliminations. You can select the following tabs:

  • Add a carrier
  • Search a carrier
  • Verify a carrier

carriers page

Locations

You can find all of the locations on the Locations page. To reach this page, you can find the corresponding option in your main menu and choose it. When it comes to looking for the location of your drivers, just enter load# and tick on the icon you can see on the map. With Locations, you can find all the necessary information about drivers, locations, locations history, etc. in an easy and fast way.

locations page

Rates

You can find and compare rates on the Rates page by reaching it from the corresponding option in your main menu. With a powerful rating, you can hold your loads, LTL or intermodal rates in an extremely flexible way because all carriers have different rate structures. That’s why it doesn’t matter whether you use per mile, 3 digit zip or 5 digit zip, city to city, state to state, etc. To compare rate, click Get a quote. Here you should enter the following information, such as shipment details and line items and special services.

rates page

  • Shipment type
  • Payment Type
  • Origin Postal
  • Origin City
  • Origin State
  • Origin Country
  • Destination Postal
  • Destination City
  • Destination State
  • Destination Country

Here are the all possible carriers that can deliver:

shipments

Track&Trace

The Rates page can be reached from the corresponding option in your main menu. This feature allows real-time exchange of shipment information between a carrier, distributor, and customer. Regular and competent sharing of shipment information across the organization through web-based access, increases visibility, an accuracy rate of tracking and monitoring. Just fill in the following field and select the appropriate option, making sure to enter the numbers. To clear up any doubt click on the type of delivery that interests you.

track page

EDI

From the corresponding option in your main menu, you can reach the EDI page. Your system can automatically pull order data from other resources to create orders automatically that allows you to eliminate entering data manually as well as reduce time. All operations like status updates, invoicing or billing work automatically without user intervention.

Messages

You can reach the Messages page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Text messaging or simply "texting" allows you to send and receive short messages in situations where a face-to-face or phone conversation is impossible or inappropriate - during a meeting or if you don't want others to hear information, for instance. Messaging service is highly secure and greatly encrypted that allows comprehensive control of transport management, the real-time order status, automatic reports route delivery, etc.

messages page

Reporting

You can reach the Reporting page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Flexible and sophisticated reporting option allows you to professionally manage and optimize your business processes, reduce expenses, and manage risk and compliance.

Reporting page

Here you can find the following dashboards:

  • Loads on the road
  • Invoices
  • Driver Messages
  • Delivery metrics
  • Best safety
  • Carrier renewals
  • Asset insight
  • Top customers
  • Fuel purchase import

All mentioned above dashboards give you instant access to the key performance drivers and real-time analytics you need to drive your business to success.

Administrator Dashboard


Choose an Administrator account type, insert your username and password into the login form to sign in in the transport management system as an Administrator. Then press Sign in button or use Google or Facebook account to sign in.

admin dashboard

Below you can see a list of the main hub of navigation around your TMS. Let’s take a look at some possible options that you may find in your main menu:

  • Loads
  • Customers
  • Carriers
  • Locations
  • Rates
  • Assets
  • Departments
  • Track&Trace
  • Accounting
  • EDI
  • Massaging
  • Reports
  • Settings

Now we are going to consider the most important options of Administrator dashboard. Let’s delve into details below!

Loads

By pressing the Loads option in your main menu you will be redirected to a page with a list of loads. At the bottom you will find the following navigation:

  • Load#
  • Load info
  • Customer info
  • Carrier info
  • Driver info
  • Edit stops
  • Financials

Once you choose Load# in the table, you will be redirected to that Load# page accordingly. Here you can do the following actions with the load: Post load, Search load, Send single tracking message, Send message, View load log, Send load docs, Upload a document, Request document form a driver. And, you can choose whether to show a route for the customer or the driver as well.

loads option

When pressing Financials, you will be redirected to the Financials page and see the following information: Income/Budget and Expenses tables with the columns like company, description, rate, quantity, total.

Financials

At the bottom of the page,you will find Total Income, Summary of Charges, Gross Revenue/Loss.

Assets

When pressing Assets in the main menu, you will be redirected to the Assets page. With that feature, you will be sure you are getting the most out of every asset in your day-to-day operations. It is not a problem any more to track, actively manage assets across multiple business locations and access relevant information from any device.

Accounting

You can reach the Accounting page from the corresponding option in your main menu. On the Accounting page, you can select the following tabs:

  • Commissions Management
  • Invoices/Bills
  • Reports

By pressing the Commissions Management tab in your main menu you will be redirected to a page at the top of which you will find the following navigation:

  • Invoices
  • Bills
  • Archived Loads

With Commissions Management feature, you will be able to view or manage unpaid commissions across all loads.

Accounting

Also, you can search or apply Filters like: show all roles, show all users, show all statuses, and find the following info in the columns:

  • Company name
  • Invoice#
  • Invoice Status
  • Invoice Data
  • Due Date
  • Total
  • Balance

Settings

You can reach the Settings page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Also, you will see the widgets, which are specific areas of your Setting page that allow you to make some changes or edit information in the TMS platform. On the Settings page, you’ll find the following widgets:

  • Company Settings
  • Report and document settings
  • Load boards
  • Data import/export
  • Billing details

You can edit, add, import, export, upload, customize or show information. As an example, let’s edit Company information. Select the Edit your company contact info to be redirected.

Settings

On this page you can see the following you should fill in:

settings fields

  • Name of organization
  • Address
  • City, State/Province, Postal
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Fax

Once you fill in all the fields, you can press the Save button to save the information.

Driver Dashboard


You should press the Sign In button, choose a Driver account type, insert your username and password into the login form, then press Sign In again to access transport management system. You can also sign in with Google or Facebook account to reduce the burden of login.

driver login

Here you can find a list of tabs that enable you to navigate within the transportation management system. Anyway, it is customizable and easy to navigate. Let’s consider some possible options available at the main menu below:

  • Profile
  • Current route
  • Scheduled pickups
  • Documents
  • Statistics
  • Messages
  • Navigation
  • Settings

Also, you can see some specific areas of the dashboard - widgets. Not only can they help you to view specific options, but also you can perform specific operations in one click:

Profile

All the driver’s information you can find in the Profile page. Only by choosing the exact same option in your main menu can you find this page. With Profile, it is possible to display key contact info such as First name, Last name, Phone number, Email, Truck, Trailer, Company, Ratings that makes it easy for customers to learn more about the driver and contact in one click.

driver profile

Current ride

You can find all of the route information on the Current ride page. Once you choose the corresponding option in your main menu, you will be redirected to that page. Two widgets - Route Summary and Route Map. Route Summary presents the following info:

  • First Pick up
  • Number of stops
  • Final Delivery
  • Total Distance

Current ride page

By clicking View Suggested Directions button, you will be redirected to the Direction page, where you can choose the direction and effectively plan the route.

Direction page

Scheduled pickups

You can find the information about pickups on the Scheduled pickups page. In your main menu, you can find the corresponding option and select it to be redirected to that page.
With that feature, you can conveniently manage pickups for your shipments to and from any location. Here you can see the following:

  • Title
  • Date
  • Address
  • City
  • Postcode
  • State
  • Country

scheduled pickups page

Also, you can add pickup location, import pickup location and export pickup Locations that simplify the management process.

Documents

You can reach the Documents page from the corresponding option in your main menu. With that feature, you can view all the driver’s documents to verify his/her identity. Here you can see downloaded documents such as Driver’s Licence, Tax clearance certificate, etc. and their statuses, expiry dates. By pressing Edit button, you can upload additional documents.

Documents page

Payout info

You can reach the Payout info page from the corresponding option in your main menu. With that feature, you can view your earnings, active payout method, transactions, etc. Also, you can edit, import or edit payout method by tapping on it in the Payment area. Also, you can see the following columns:

  • Date
  • Number of rides
  • Surge
  • Payments

Payout info page

Statistics

You can reach the Statistics page from the corresponding option in your main menu. With that feature, you can view the statistical data that are effectively presented, make data-driven decisions or predictions. You can check the Weekly total, Daily total, Monthly Total and Annual Total sections to see the following information:

  • Rides
  • Hours
  • Distances
  • Power Driver Bonus

Statistics page

Navigation

You can reach the Navigation page from the corresponding option in your main menu. By guiding the driver to the destination, this feature helps you get where you want to utilize the displayed map and following the continuously spoken turn-by-turn instructions.

Navigation page

Messages

You can reach the Messages page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Messaging option allows staff to send short messages to individuals or a large number of contacts and receive them as well. Messaging service lets you send messages to keep in touch or easily report your current location if it is required.

Settings

You can reach the Settings page from the corresponding option in your main menu. For certain profile information fields we provide you with settings that allow you to change system settings quickly. Change your account settings to personalize your account and choose the theme for seamless TMS experience.

Customer Dashboard


To log in as a Customer in the transport management system, you should press the Sign In button, fill in appropriate fields in the login form. Also, the system enables you to sign in with your Google or Facebook account to ease the login process.

Customer login

Here we are going to show a list of tabs available at the customer profile. The list of the main hub of navigation presented below helps you to understand how a customer can navigate within the platform, accessing different and essential areas of the TMS. Let’s delve into details below:

  • Profile (Ratings & Reviews)
  • Shipments&Payments
  • Track&Trace
  • Messages
  • Settings

With the help of widgets that are specific areas of your dashboard, you can view or perform specific functions within the transportation management system fast and easily:

Profile

All the information about Customer you can find in the Profile page. You can select the exact same option in your main menu to be redirected to that page. With Profile, it is possible to display key contact info such as first name, last name, phone number, email, ratings that makes it easy for drivers to learn more about the customer in one click.

customer profile

Shipments&Payments

You can reach the Shipments&Payments page from the corresponding option in your main menu. On the page, you can see the information about recent shipments in the columns:

  • Order
  • Date
  • Status
  • Total

Shipments and Payments page

By pressing View and View invoice buttons, you can see more details about your shipments. Also, you should enter the following information, such as shipment details or special services:

shipments info

To ship an item, you should press the Ship button and enter the following information to know the rates and choose the carrier based on your preferences:

  • Shipment type
  • Payment Type
  • Origin Postal
  • Origin City
  • Origin State
  • Origin Country
  • Destination Postal
  • Destination City
  • Destination State
  • Destination Country

Here you can find all possible carriers that can deliver your order.

shipments details

Once you select the carrier, you are redirected to the Payment page where you should enter the credit card information.

Track&Trace

You can reach the Track&Trace page from the corresponding option in your main menu. A Tracking number is sent to you when your order is sent as well. Then you receive a tracking number from your email notification, mailing label or receipt that helps you to find out where your package is directly through the TMS system. Just enter the tracking number into the shipment number field and press Submit button.

Track&Trace page

Messages

You can reach the Messages page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Messaging option allows staff to send short messages to individuals or a large number of contacts and receive them as well. Messaging service lets you send messages to keep in touch or easily report your current location if it is required.

Settings

You can find the Settings page in the corresponding option in your main menu. User settings are only available for authenticated users. Users can change their language, locale, and time zone. Each user can control personal settings, email communications preferences.

Features of the transportation management system

Below we have provided some key features of the transport management system you should know about. Let’s delve into details!

  • Load planning. Thanks to this feature, you can optimize shipping and logistics by significantly reducing costs on transportation costs by optimizing truck/van space and routes.
  • Carrier network integration. Due to carrier integration feature, you can minimize the need for manual data entry into a separate carrier website, eliminate the potential for manual errors.
  • Document management. Due to that feature, you can significantly simplify the administrative charge of your transport operations, guarantee the quality of your information, avoid disputes.
  • Rate negotiation. Comparing rates from a huge set of carrier’s providers that are updated daily helps you save money and find the best rate in just a few minutes.
  • Track & Trace. With that option, you can enter the tracking number to check the delivery status and get the detailed info immediately.
  • Route optimization. You can ultimately manage your deliveries and use best possible resources to solve various vehicle routing problems and provide your customers with the best terms of delivery.
  • Invoicing & Accounting. With that option, you can audit bills against the approved rate quote and update with the new invoice information automatically that allows customers to make payments safely.
  • Actionable reporting & analytics. Based on actionable reports and analytics, you get crucial information to make a data-driven decision and focus on providing more cost-efficient solutions.

Why do you need a TMS for your business?

There are many reasons why organizations should focus on transportation management solutions. Here we are going to mention the most crucial ones. Let’s delve into details! You need a TMS to perform the following:

  • Manage processes more efficiently - better plan routes, optimize loads, select carriers, etc.
  • Automate manual processes and minimize human errors
  • Reduce costs on transportation and improve cash flow
  • Organize accountability, improve customer service
  • Make data-driven business decisions and gain new delivery capabilities

Types of TMS you should know about

Transportation management systems are housed and accessed in the following ways - on-premise, hosted or hybrid. Let’s find out what all that means.

  • On-premise. Installed and run directly on local computers so that the company can gain access to it. This can cause difficulties whenever a problem arises or a new version needs to be updated, not to mention the customer’s inability to take their TMS on the road with them.
  • Hosted. Known as cloud-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS) TMS they are becoming widespread and strongly preferred over on-premise software because it is hassle-free and easy to install, maintain, and upgrade as well as lead to a faster return on investment (ROI). With that software, users can access it anytime and anywhere.
  • Hybrid. Being a mix of both on-premises and hosted solutions, they provide organizations with more flexible and customizable solutions that help companies to reach their goals faster and easier.

Benefits of TMS for your business

Here we are going to present how TMS solution can be beneficial for your company. Some benefits of a TMS include:

  • Offering real-time transportation tracking
  • Comparing rates to select the best one
  • Choosing the best carrier and keeping quotes organized
  • Finding leads to increase sales process
  • Improving and integrating transport sourcing, planning, decision making, and management
  • Delivering a more efficient logistics environment
  • Reducing costs and increasing productivity
  • Effectively measuring productivity and performance
  • Managing all aspects of the transportation process more effectively

How to choose a TMS solution for your business?

Generally, TMS is considered to be a necessary technology for only very large organizations with complex shipping requirements and huge budgets. However, when it comes to transportation strategies, every company has some level of complexity. That’s why more small and mid-sized businesses are realizing the benefits that TMS can bring to optimizing their transportation processes, and their requirements may differ from very large organizations.

Don’t know what to choose? Let’s find out! It’s no secret that most TMS are traditional on-premises solutions, but recently, a wide range of companies started to use cloud TMS solutions that offer performance improvements at reduced prices as compared to expensive on-premises systems. However, you can find thousands of TMS solutions on the market. So, how do you figure out which one is best suited to the needs of your business? The answer is simple: focus on TMS development based on your unique wants and needs.

Bottom line

The transportation management system is an ideal solution for companies of any size. It allows you to automate your current shipping process while gaining valuable insights that save you time and money. We, at DDI Development, have a vast experience in a wide range of business verticals that allows us to deliver excellent and efficient digital solutions based on your unique needs and requirements. If you need a TMS for your business, let us know, and we provide you with a rough cost estimation based on your requirements.

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