The Power of a Plug & Play Transportation Management System

An effective Transportation Management System (TMS) streamlines every inch of a company’s supply chain. Over the past several years, we’ve experienced numerous disruptions and delays almost every day, making a TMS that much more crucial.
To utilize a TMS to your advantage, proper implementation is key. Without a smooth implementation process and team there to guide you, it can cause a business to shut down overnight and scramble to get back up online.

A Forecast without Visibility

Securing a truck in today’s disrupted, delayed, and fragmented market at a reasonable rate can feel like an impossible challenge. With the current driver shortage, we are seeing companies struggle to find, hire, and keep drivers. Truck drivers and similar transportation professionals are the glue that holds the physical supply chain together, and with a high demand for capacity, it’s causing companies to increase their rates.

Brokers and shippers are up against high rates and increased variables:

  • Unprecedented e-commerce growth: Now more than ever, the balance between efficiency and fulfillment is a daily struggle for most companies. An abundance in orders could have you scrambling to make fast shipments with less staff on hand. To meet customer demands, often meaning fast, two-day shipping without the high shipping costs, has become an issue many grapple with.
  • Tightest capacity crunch in decades: Demand for capacity is at an all-time high. According to SupplyChainDive, FedEx and UPS raised rates by 5.9 percent in January 2022. However, this does not factor in the extra costs shippers could face from surcharges. Companies and suppliers must make large investments to secure capacity and adopt recent technologies that will drive efficiency and lower costs.
  • Port congestion around the globe: Ports, factories, and shipping yards still face mayhem as we progress through 2022. The impact of COVID-19 still stands as many ports remain open and vessels continue to dock. Analysts and supply chain managers at Reuters emphasize congestion is building and some container ships are rerouting to avoid delays.
  • Increasing fuel costs and surcharges: Rates have skyrocketed in the past several weeks alone, and we are now seeing all-time highs across the nation. FreightWaves charted the rise of diesel fuel back to the end of 2020. Since then, the average weekly price increased 30 percent year-over-year for all of 2021. Another cause of these soaring prices stems from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with prices nearly up 40 percent year-over-year to start 2022.
Those who have not adopted a modern, tech-forward solution and lack real-time insights are more likely to struggle with negotiations and remain competitive.

The Missing Link

A TMS is often the missing link for effective supply chain management. This revolutionary platform is used by leaders in logistics. It automates the supply chain, provides multiple insights, reports, and allows logistics network partners to save time, money, and spend fewer assets on future shipments.
Not all transportation management systems will offer the same services and benefits. So, what should you look for in your TMS that’s going to show strong results and success? Above all, a TMS should provide you with full supply chain transparency.

TMS Benefits to look for:

1. Route efficiency planning and optimization

This will give you clarity behind operations, reduce any inefficiencies, and gain additional ROI on the capability placed in your TMS.

2. Vehicle load optimization

With the right software, you can plan effectively for specific load requirements that fit each vehicle you utilize.

3. Data collection, reports, and analysis

To plan for upcoming changes, understand current freight costs, and better prepare for the unexpected, it’s essential to use the data at your fingertips.

4. Freight negotiation and expense tracking

In today’s competitive market, negotiating freight rates comes with the added risk of losing opportunities altogether. An effective TMS helps you identify current rates to give you the ammunition needed to secure the best rate possible.

5. Scheme simulation

Before shipments are sent out, it is important to review the journey the load will undergo, ultimately providing you with a plan and idea of any possible issues that may arise.

6. Connection to a transportation network hub

Save time and money by easily connecting to customer carriers and trading partners for control and visibility.

7. Shipment tracking and tracing

Access to real-time updates ensures that shipments are moving and on their way to their destination. You gain visibility into potential delays to warn customers ahead of time.

8. Operational efficiency development

As the core standard of performance, being able to measure performance properly will make the most of available resources.

9. Minimize loss, damage, and errors

Modern TMS simultaneously handles operations to bring processes together for efficiency.

The Importance of Integration

Implementing a TMS must be done without disrupting your current business and connect seamlessly with the rest of your systems. Your TMS should be able to communicate with all your other logistics systems, such as your order management system (OMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and warehouse management system (WMS).
Your TMS needs to be able to integrate and evolve with your other management systems, operating as the central hub of intellect. Without it, there’s still a major portion of the supply chain that’s left in the dark. Proper integration allows you to kickstart your operations. Procure, plan, optimize, and execute with total visibility and control.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

No Code, No Problem

A plug-and-play solution provides your IT team with everything they need, rather than putting them in a difficult and time-consuming situation of setting it up on their own. By quickly deploying plug-and-play connectivity solutions, you avoid building excessive infrastructure or writing lengthy code.
Integrating Redwood’s Rating API with MercuryGate’s TMS provides users with instant rates, robust capacity, and 100 percent tender acceptance delivered instantly through RedwoodConnect™, a proprietary, turnkey supply chain integration platform-as-a-service. The plug-and-play TMS solution allows logistics experts to gain immediate access to benefits, streamline operations, and tap into automated rate execution to truly thrive in today’s challenging market.

Learn more about how you can integrate your MercuryGate TMS with Redwood’s plug-and-play platform.

Redwood Logistics
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