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A transportation management system (TMS) is specialized software for planning, executing and optimizing the shipment of goods. Users perform three main tasks in a TMS: Find and compare the rates (prices) and services of carriers available to ship a customer's order, book the shipment and then track its movement to delivery.
The broader goals of using a TMS are to improve shipping efficiency, reduce costs, gain real-time supply chain visibility and ensure customer satisfaction.
Shippers and carriers are the primary users of TMS software. Manufacturers, distributors, e-commerce organizations, wholesalers, retailers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are also major users of TMS software.
A TMS is one of the core technologies used in supply chain management (SCM), a discipline that encompasses supply chain execution (SCE) and supply chain planning (SCP). TMSes are available as standalone software or as modules within enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SCM suites.