Your TMS Shipping Solution Should Have These 7 Essential Features

Posted by Fernando Correa ● Apr 13, 2023 8:00:00 AM

The TMS (Transportation Management System) industry is expected to reach $11+ million by 2027

This is no surprise because TMS shipping solutions allow you to manage your entire inland shipping business from one dashboard, streamlining everything from deliveries to invoicing and document management.

With this growth came many software companies that introduced lackluster TMS “solutions” to make a quick buck.

Implementing one of these vanilla software products into your business could be a nightmare since you won’t access the features needed to optimize work processes.

Don’t find yourself locked into using an inferior software solution. Below, we’ll cover the seven essential features that you should look for when shopping for a TMS solution.


What is a TMS Shipping Solution?

TMS Shipping Solution FTL

Before we dive into what features to keep an eye out for, let’s review a quick TMS shipping solution definition so we’re all on the same page.

A TMS shipping solution is a software product that uses technology to help inland freight professionals plan, execute, and streamline the shipping process. This often involves order management, invoicing, real-time tracking, and carrier screening.

So instead of sitting behind your computer and switching between countless tabs to complete different tasks, you can store and organize everything inside your TMS shipping solution.


1. Real-Time Load Tracking

The first thing we suggest looking for in a TMS shipping platform is real-time load tracking.

Real-time load tracking is essential for shipping success because it keeps track of your goods during delivery.

It also provides an in-depth understanding of each phase of the shipping process, making transportation easier to manage. You’ll learn where most of the hiccups occur, whether it's receiving, processing, or fulfilling, allowing you to improve next time.

If any problems pop up, you can identify and find ways to solve them before they become too serious.

If a specific issue is outside your control, your TMS shipping solution should automatically send your customer an email or text message letting them know about the problem and when they can expect to receive their package.

For example, with Cargobot Direct, you can track your shipping loads in real-time and let customers know if there are any issues.

You can also sort deliveries by currently delayed, completed, or containing new comments or incidents, giving you a bird’s eye view of the delivery process.


2. Document Management 

Easy document management is another feature we recommend looking out for when shopping for a TMS solution. You should be able to manage everything from invoices to quotes and reports under one digital roof.

For example, with Cargobot Direct, you can:

  • Request quotes and keep track of bids
  • View the cargo insurance documentation of each carrier
  • Generate reports about your shipping and order management process
  • Locate information around completed deliveries and any relevant documentation
  • Receive digital signatures from carriers


This is perfect because it manages all company knowledge in one place, reducing information risk. 

Employees know exactly where documents are stored and can search for them with a click of a button. You’re streamlining your organization’s front and back-office workflow, which positively impacts productivity, employee engagement, and work experiences. 

Employees no longer have to hunt for a specific document by emailing several managers and colleagues.


3. Reliable Customer Service

A TMS solution can have all the bells and whistles, but if the customer service team isn't up to scratch, you'll have problems solving the smallest issues, wreaking havoc on your business productivity.

So when you're looking for a TMS shipping solution for your organization, read user reviews about customer service. Is the customer service team eager to help, and do they solve your problems quickly? Or will you have to send multiple emails and make countless phone calls to speak to an agent?

Remember that your entire shipping business is built around your TMS. If there's a technical problem, you want to be able to contact an agent and have them solve your problem within minutes. 

When you sign up for Cargobot Direct, you'll work with a dedicated account manager. This account manager will hold your hand and help you understand everything you need to know to use Cargobot Direct to its full potential.

For example, they'll help you integrate Cargobot Direct with your other software products and set up load tracking.

Once everything is up and running, you can check in with your account manager if there’s a problem. This gives you peace of mind knowing that if a technical issue pops up, your business won't come to a standstill.


4. Diverse Shipping Options

A good TMS shipping solution must be flexible. This means that it offers diverse shipping options. 

You want your TMS to track the entire shipping process, regardless of your transportation method.

TMS solutions with limited shipping options will force you to stick to one or two shipping methods. If you choose a shipping method that your TMS isn't compatible with, you won't be able to track your package and create efficient routes.

Fortunately, with Cargobot Direct, you can choose between a wide variety of shipping options, such as:

  • Flatbeds
  • Vans
  • Reefers
  • Step deck trailers

This means that you can easily track your packages, and it doesn't matter what mode of transportation you use.


5. Automation Capabilities 

You can easily automate the majority of tasks you complete daily.

For example, if you're sending an invoice to a customer manually, you'll have to go back and find all the documentation relevant to that load, which can take a while.

Reporting can also be a hassle because you must identify and gather KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) regarding your business finances and work processes. You'll then have to structure this information in a way that's easy to understand.

This is why we recommend looking for a software solution that automates all the boring tasks of running your shipping organization.

Fortunately, Cargobot Direct automates all these processes and more!

You can set up automated invoicing with all the relevant documentation attached to each load. After this, you don't have to do anything because invoices will automatically go out to your carriers.

As a carrier, you can get paid without extra fees or delays. You can also use Cargobot Directpay to access payment and fuel advances from shippers.

If something goes wrong in the shipping process, you can send automated emails to your customer, letting them know about the problem and when their package will arrive.


6. Carrier Screening

Are you trying to find the best carrier to deliver your goods? We understand that screening through hundreds of potential carrier options is tiring, so we suggest using a TMS that has already screened carriers for you. All you have to do is consider the individual terms and costs.

If you're looking to build relationships with shippers and carriers, you'll be glad to know that you can do so with Cargobot Direct.

We simplify carrier contact management by allowing you to track several carriers. You can screen the available carrier options, compare costs and delivery times, and find which is best.

With Cargobot Direct, you can:

  • Get notifications when a contract is up for renewal
  • Locate the total cost of shipping so you can easily select the lowest-cost carrier
  • Establish pricing for customers based on the cost of shipping

These easy screening features tell you exactly which carrier suits your shipping needs.


7. Secure Payment Features

The last feature we recommend looking for is a secure and diverse payment system.

This is a must because your clients are simultaneously paying thousands of dollars into your account. You don't want to risk losing your hard-earned money every time a client pays.

And this is actually more common than you think. Many TMS shipping solutions focus too much on real-time tracking and automation that they neglect the security of their payment systems.

On the other hand, Cargobot offers end-to-end encryption to ensure that the payment process is stress-free.

We also have integration options with other payment systems. So if you're already using a payment platform with bulletproof security, you can simply integrate Cargobot Direct's automated invoicing into this platform.



Streamline Your Shipping Ops with Cargobot Direct

Cargobot Freight Tracking Screen

Using a TMS shipping solution is essential to optimizing your overall supply chain strategy. Instead of jumping between applications to complete various tasks, you can do everything like invoicing, real-time tracking, and document management in one platform.

So if you’re looking for a TMS shipping solution offering all the above features, consider Cargobot Direct.

Cargobot Direct is a cloud-based software solution that connects all your existing digital services to one digital platform. It combines direct communication, full process transparency, and next-generation logistics tools to create a frictionless digital work experience for your inland freight shipping ops.

You can track your deliveries in real-time, manage transportation, automate redundant tasks, and screen potential freight brokers. So if you want to reduce disruptions and boost profits as an inland freight professional, sign up for a free Cargobot Direct demo today!


Read More About Shipping Your Freight More Efficiently This Year:

Topics: Cargobot Direct