The Important Tools of a Transportation Management System


Transportation management can be difficult, especially when you are responsible for numerous trucks. The transportation industry is very different from other industries. Employees tend to work on a contract basis and the majority of their work is done away from the office. In fact, employees can go many weeks, or even months, without coming into their home employment office. Yet, transportation management is important for the following reasons.

To keep track of shipments and expected delivery times

In a technological world that values speed, consumers want to know when they can expect their orders. This applies to both customers and businesses. They want to know the exact date, and sometimes even the exact hour, that they can expect their delivery or shipment. Without advanced transportation management, it is pretty much impossible to update customers. However, with comprehensive management systems, you can give exact expected ship dates. Your truck drivers scan in items and use GPS tracking to share their destination, at all times.

To monitor driver?s habits

With an increase in truck driver incidents, there are now many government regulations surrounding truck drivers. They are limited to the number of hours they can drive. They are required to take numerous breaks throughout a single 24 hour driving shift. This is to increase the safety of everyone on the road. According to Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting Group, the length of the average haul as decreased as a result. Public truckload carriers report that the average length of haul has decreased between 2011 and 2016. Because drivers are usually paid per mile, they are tempted to drive over these limits. Without an advanced TMS system, it is difficult to hold truck drivers to these time limits.

To monitor and track inventory

According to data from CargoNet and FreightWatch International, in the first three quarters of 2016, approximately 615 cargo theft incidents were recorded. This is a growing problem, especially since the amount of cargo has increased monetarily over the years. Without a freight management system that also tracks the inventory, it can be almost impossible to establish what actually happened to the inventory. An advanced transportation management program, however, can know exactly when and where the inventory was stolen, thus decreasing the chances of contractor theft.

To handle everyday human resource tasks

Because truck drivers work primarily outside of the home office, it can also be hard to keep up with basic human resource tasks. Pay needs to be submitted electronically, as most contractors are not even in their home state come payday. Additionally, if any benefits need to be claimed, there are problems being across state lines. A transportation management system not only monitors with shipment tracking integration but also works as a contractor database. When a driver has a concern, they can easily call into the home dispatcher for assistance.

This ability to keep track of human resource tasks is also important for hiring and letting go of contractors. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 5.9 million commercial motor vehicle drivers currently operate in the United States. As internet businesses and shipping needs grow, this number is expected to increase. A broker system can help trucking companies to keep up to date on hiring practices, training schedule, and payments. A transportation management system is a necessary and extremely valuable tool in the trucking industry.

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