Omnimodal supply chain execution continues to grow in importance for effective logistics management, particularly as recent years have seen tight capacity in every shipping mode and as companies continue to implement e-commerce channels. For years, shippers and LSPs have discussed the implications of omnichannel fulfillment, including the need to provide estimated arrival times (predictive ETAs) based on the unique nuances of each shipment. However, the process has only grown more complex and confusing. Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics noted that with omnichannel, “there’s often not a clear picture of who owns transportation in this omnichannel environment. In some cases, the person who owns the parcel side and the last mile actually reports to the e-commerce team, not the transportation team that is responsible for the rest of the company’s transportation operations.”
Defining an Omnimodal TMS
An omnimodal TMS refers to a supply chain platform that enables the planning, execution, management, settlement, and visibility of ALL modes from a single platform. Omnichannel fulfillment and shopping strategies created a demand by supply chain and logistics professionals for a mechanism to manage omnichannel activities that result in a mix of over-the-road, air, ocean, rail, and even drone transportation. As technology evolves, how these forms of transportation are managed must also evolve. That’s where the omnimodal TMS empowers the future of the supply chain by continuously incorporating new features and resources to grow and improve management and visibility in the network.
An Omnimodal TMS Brings Connectivity with Technology
The advancements of technology and connectivity are the common focal points of an omnimodal TMS. TMS benefits stem from the ability to handle the transportation management of an omnichannel supply chain strategy, but the real power of the TMS is the ability to manage all shipping modes from a single resource. However, a critical element of this capability comes from the TMS’ integration power to connect disparate systems via API, EDI, or other communication means, such as robotics process automation-powered chatbots, to keep everyone and each system informed. The connectivity of systems and people enables more strategic collaboration, which empowers supply chains to solve larger problems and launch initiatives outside of transportation management, such as incorporating a new buy online, pick up curbside program. This is a top priority as e-commerce expansion continues, amassing more than $1 trillion in annual sales forecasts in 2022, notes Forbes.