Fewer than 1 in 3 shippers has some sort of transportation management system (TMS) in place.  With a world full of data and capabilities of analyzing that information, it is advisable that all shippers have some sort of TMS structure, whether it be in-house, on a pay-per-use basis or even outsourced. Having a TMS in place can reduce transportation spend, contract management and inventory levels.

It is very difficult for shippers to decide on which TMS is for them.  Should they invest in the IT and software catered to their needs or should they rely on their 3PL to provide it for them?

The article, Fork in the Road, found in American Shipper depicts a clear picture on which path a shipper should take based on their traits and needs.

Scarbrough provides this service and adds value along the way.  For shippers and importers that require the compilation of data and especially for those already in our system, our TMS is for you.  Scarbrough’s modern ways allow us to automate reports direct to your inbox or mobile device.  Our reporting options help you be successful in your position and we are happy to customize these to your preferences.  Choosing a TMS or TMS Provider may be difficult, but we can definitely share our expertise.


TMS Choices

The available choices for TMS fall along a clear spectrum of outsourced to self-managed:

  • Shipper completely outsources to a 3PL or forwarder.
  • Shipper contracts for TMS technology from a 3PL or forwarder, and that 3PL or forwarder manages the system.
  • Shipper acquires TMS from a technology vendor, but has its 3PL or forwarder manage the system on its behalf.
  • Shipper acquires TMS from technology vendor, and has vendor manage the system.
  • Shipper acquires TMS from technology vendor, and manages the system in-house.

Shipper takeaways

  • Think first about the company’s internal attitude toward outsourcing logistics functions.
  • Then decide whether volume and network complexity necessitates bringing TMS functions in-house.
  • If a 3PL is the choice, think about whether a mid-market, technologically-focused provider or a large, multinational 3PL is best.
  • Shippers that need hand-holding can also look for a technology vendor that offers managed services.
  • If using a technology vendor, decide whether TMS is better handled in an installed or pay-per-use framework; the startup costs for the installed model will be higher.

To read more, please visit American Shipper.