Transportation management system (TMS) solutions have been in existence for some time, with third-party logistics (3PL) providers and brokers being early adopters. Increasingly, shippers in the retail, food and beverage, electrical, and electronics and distribution verticals are investing in this technology.In the past, there was an expectation that only large companies with huge freight budgets, big staffs, and significant IT infrastructures could afford and benefit from the use of TMS technology. With the growing trend toward cloud-based computing, costs to invest in a TMS have also been reduced, making this technology more accessible for companies of all sizes. Additionally, cloud-based systems do not require the user to have a major information technology infrastructure.
Given the increased complexity of today’s supply chains, adopting some form of technology, such as a TMS, is critical, whether a shipper purchases a TMS on its own, or works through a 3PL. “I honestly don’t know how you can operate in this environment using spreadsheets,” says Vincent Chiodo, chief commercial officer of Transplace, a Frisco, Texas-based transportation management services and logistics provider.