11 Best Transportation Management Systems of 2022

Field Services
Michael Graw May 31, 2022 14 min read

Find out the features these 11 transport management systems offer to manage tricky shipping and logistics challenges.

Overhead view of trucks in a parking lot.

Quick Guide

    Coordinating shipping from distributors through your warehouses and on to customers is one of the biggest challenges that companies face today. There are hundreds of potential carriers to choose from and an infinite number of potential routes, not to mention unforeseen delays that can throw a wrench into even the best logistics plans.

    That’s why so many companies rely on transportation management systems, also known as TMS software. TMS systems make it easier to book and optimize loads, manage routes and deliveries, and oversee your entire supply chain. Ultimately, TMS software can save your company time and money while helping you maximize customer satisfaction.

    In this guide, we’ll highlight the 11 best transportation management systems your business can use today.

    Our Top Picks

    1. Connecteam – Best all-in-one TMS software

    2. MercuryGate – Good for rapidly growing companies

    3. 3GTMS – Good for managing shipping costs

    Get your transportation services in motion with the best TMS. 

    What to Look for in a Transportation Management System

    Transportation management systems offer a wide variety of features to help you get your products where they need to be as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    • Ease of use: TMS systems can be very complex. Look for platforms that are user-friendly while still offering the flexibility and tools you need.
    • Tracking: The best TMS platforms let you track the location of your shipments in real-time using GPS.
    • Automations: Many TMS systems use automations to help you choose carriers, book shipments, and optimize routes.
    • Multi-modal transport: Many companies need more shipping options than just trucks. Many TMS platforms support rail, ocean, and drayage shipping solutions.
    • Dynamic rebalancing: TMS software should offer a way to change routes and loads on short notice.

    The 11 Best Transportation Management Systems of 2022

    Best for: All-in-one transportation management system

    Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

    The Connecteam mobile app and job scheduling dashboard with images of warehouse workers.

    It shouldn’t surprise you that we believe that our software is one of the best solutions for managing logistics networks. After all, if we didn’t think we were building one of the best software products on the market, we wouldn’t be here today.

    Connecteam makes it as easy as possible to manage your company’s fleet. Our software lets you schedule drivers, manage routes, and quickly re-dispatch drivers when there’s a change in plans. The Connecteam task management app includes fleet-tracking capabilities, so you always know where your drivers are and can visualize them on a map in real-time.

    Another thing that sets Connecteam apart is that our fleet-management software integrates with payroll software. So, we streamline the process of tracking drivers’ hours and making sure they get paid on time. That keeps your workforce happy and your shipments moving.

    Connecteam also helps you manage the last mile of your products’ journey. Our forms and our checklist app enable drivers to manage shipping documents on the go and collect signatures from customers. You can also set up notifications so you know right away when a delivery is completed.

    Connecteam lets you manage up to 50 users for free, and paid plans start at just $39 per month for up to 50 users. Give our TMS software a try today to see what Connecteam can do for your business!

    Key Features

    GPS-based fleet tracking

    Schedule, dispatch, and reroute drivers

    Mobile document management

    Delivery notifications

    Integration with payroll software

    Seamless communication with drivers

    Pros & Cons

    Free plan for up to 50 users

    Easily schedule drivers and routes

    User-friendly mobile app

    Integrated secure messaging

    Doesn’t integrate with third-party carriers

    Price: 

    Starts at just $39/month for up to 50 users

    Free 14-day trial

    Free plan available

    TMS doesn’t need to be overly complicated.

    Get all the bare necessities with Connecteam’s affordable all-in-one management system!

    Best for: Rapidly growing companies

    Platforms: Web

    MercuryGate homepage showing a truck on a highway.
    MercuryGate

    MercuryGate offers a powerful transportation management system designed for businesses that are looking to scale up quickly. The platform enables you to designate specific processes to trusted agents, making it easier to grow your logistics network and expand to new carriers.

    At the same time, MercuryGate makes the back-end of your network more efficient by offering dynamic workflows. Optimization algorithms ensure you get the best rates, routes, and delivery speeds for every shipment.

    MercuryGate supports all modes of transportation, including freight, rail, air, ocean, and drayage shipping. You can also set up less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping and coordinate last-mile deliveries.

    Key Features

    Designate processes to trusted agents

    Dynamic workflows

    Supports omni-modal transportation

    Integrated transportation contract management

    Pros & Cons

    Global transportation options

    Rate and route optimization features

    Complex user interface

    Analytics tools are time-consuming to customize

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Managing shipping costs

    Platforms: Web

    3GTMS homepage showing trucks at a warehouse.
    3GTMS

    3GTMS is a transportation management system that helps your business accurately price out the cost of logistics before you make shipping decisions. It calculates the true cost of shipping by taking into account your contract terms, fuel costs, and value-added pricing programs. 3GTMS delivers quotes from hundreds of carriers in real-time.

    This software also offers flexibility throughout your planning process. 3GTMS enables you to incrementally plan shipments as new freight capacity comes online. In addition, you can choose whether to allow or exclude multi-stop, multi-leg, and LTL shipments to manage complex routes.

    3GTMS also offers tools to audit your logistics network. You can set up automated rules to authorize or investigate freight bills. The platform also helps you manage proof of delivery and other critical shipping documents.

    Key Features

    Calculates true cost of shipping

    Real-time quotes from hundreds of carriers

    Manages shipping documents and proof of delivery

    Supports communication with drivers

    Pros & Cons

    Flexible shipping options for complex routes

    Audit your shipping costs

    Outdated user interface

    No mobile apps

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Mobile shipment tracking

    Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

    Alpega website with text “END2DNE TMS SOLUTIONS” over a map of the world
    Alpega

    Alpega’s TMS system is one of only a handful of platforms that offer mobile shipment tracking via iOS and Android. The mobile communication app enables you to message carriers and get notified whenever a shipment is delivered.

    The mobile platform also offers complete visibility into your shipments. You can not only track the location of a load, but also get real-time updates about events like traffic jams and hand-offs.

    Alpega also has the tools you need to plan and tender shipments. A unique aspect of this platform is that you can set up both strategic plans with a timeline of more than one year and route- and rate-optimized plans for the next six months. Alpega also uses algorithms to make quick changes to your shipments based on the realities of day-to-day operations.

    Key Features

    Mobile app for iOS and Android

    Communication with carriers and drivers

    Long-term strategic planning

    Automated load tendering

    Pros & Cons

    Integrates with hundreds of carriers

    Flexible analytics tools

    Limited flexibility for LTL and multi-modal shipments

    Occasional platform outages

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Free shipping quote comparisons

    Platforms: Web

    Kuebix homepage with text “Freight Intelligence Begins Here” over a cargo ship.
    Kuebix

    Kuebix is a user-friendly TMS software that’s built for smaller businesses with limited shipping needs. It enables you to quickly collect and compare quotes across carriers for any mode of transportation. You can book shipments directly through the software, but Kuebix lacks the rules-based automations that more sophisticated TMS platforms offer.

    Kuebix offers real-time freight-tracking tools to give you visibility into your shipments. In addition, the platform has a handy analytics dashboard. You can easily monitor your logistics spending and trends in delivery times, plus generate custom reports.

    You can use Kuebix to compare and book carriers for free. However, more advanced tools such as route optimization and freight tracking require you to purchase add-on modules.

    Key Features

    Real-time shipment tracking

    Compare quotes for all transportation types

    Route-optimization algorithm

    Automatic invoice auditing

    Pros & Cons

    Very user-friendly

    Flexible analytics dashboard

    Must book shipments manually

    Doesn’t display rate quote history

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Free trial available: No

    Free plan: Yes

    Best for: Automating the shipping process

    Platforms: Web

    Shipwell homepage showing a person standing next to a shipment dashboard
    Shipwell

    Shipwell offers a sleek and modern transportation management system that takes much of the manual work out of managing your supply chain. The platform uses algorithms to automatically organize your incoming orders into load-optimized shipments. It also optimizes routes and rates to help you choose among drayage, freight, LTL, and parcel shipments.

    One of the best things about Shipwell is that it simplifies the financial side of shipping. The platform integrates seamlessly with TriumphPay, NetSuite, and QuickBooks. Invoices are audited automatically to ensure you’re never overcharged.

    Shipwell also includes a capable analytics dashboard so you can monitor the performance of your logistics network. You can rank the performance of individual carriers, identify the root cause of rising costs, and keep track of customer satisfaction.

    Key Features

    Rules-based load management

    Route- and rate-optimization algorithm

    Integrates with popular accounting software

    Analytics dashboard with custom reports

    Pros & Cons

    Many automation features

    Mobile app for real-time shipment tracking

    Doesn’t support global shipping

    Complex shipment tracking tools

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: End-to-end logistics management

    Platforms: Web, Android

    E2open homepage with an illustration of a network
    E2open

    E2open is one of the largest logistics service providers in the world and recently acquired TMS software provider BluJay. E2open’s transportation management system is just one small component of what this company offers. E2open can manage your supply chain for you with a logistics-as-a-service (LaaS) solution, streamline global imports and exports, and even help you forecast demand across industries.

    E2open’s transportation management system leverages the company’s global reach. You can quickly find and book carriers across all modes of transportation. The platform makes it surprisingly easy to handle multi-modal shipments and uses optimization algorithms to ensure you get the best rates.

    This TMS software is built for collaboration, enabling you to work with suppliers and customers to manage orders. You also get real-time tracking for every shipment and the ability to share tracking data with customers.

    Key Features

    Book and manage multi-modal shipments

    Route and rate optimization

    Centralized platform for suppliers and customers

    Real-time tracking for every shipment

    Pros & Cons

    Automated rules and workflows

    Uses AI to forecast rates and delivery times

    Expensive

    Steep learning curve

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Visualizing logistics data

    Platforms: Web

    SAP Transportation Management homepage with an image of the software showing active orders
    SAP Transportation Management

    SAP Transportation Management software offers clear visualizations to help you organize and manage your shipments. The platform includes graphics like a map of active routes, a Gantt chart of shipments in progress, and bar charts indicating load optimization. All of these visual cues work together to provide an actionable overview of your current supply chain.

    This TMS software also supports rules-based automations to streamline the process of booking shipments. You can synchronize sales and shipping orders as well as make last-minute changes to routes in response to daily operations.

    SAP Transportation Management doesn’t offer the same depth of features as some competing platforms. For example, there is limited support for multi-modal or multi-leg shipments. However, this software is very easy to use compared to more flexible TMS platforms.

    Key Features

    Visualize routes and shipment progress

    Automatically sync sales and shipments

    Load-optimization tools

    Compare rates across hundreds of carriers

    Pros & Cons

    Supports flexible automations

    Customizable analytics dashboard

    Limited support for multi-modal shipments

    Basic rate quote and booking tools

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Multi-modal shipping

    Platforms: Web

    Descartes homepage with text “Move the World” over an image of the globe
    Descartes

    Descartes is a global logistics provider whose transportation management system is specifically designed to handle multi-modal shipments. The platform includes unique features like dock scheduling and yard management, support for parcel shipments, and integration with your company’s own private fleet.

    In addition, Descartes will automatically consolidate and reorganize loads for every shipping mode to help you reduce costs. No matter how your shipment is moving, Descartes offers real-time tracking and delivery time prediction. It also supports communication with carriers and enables you to manage proof of delivery for every shipment. 

    Despite offering tools for managing complex shipments, the software itself is relatively easy to use. Descartes is only available on the web and does not offer a mobile app for shippers.

    Key Features

    Supports multi-modal shipments

    Dock scheduling and yard management

    Integrates with your company’s fleet

    GPS-based shipment tracking

    Pros & Cons

    Automatic load optimization

    Built-in communication with carriers

    No mobile app for shippers

    Complex invoice auditing interface

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Integrated fleet management

    Platforms: Web

    Screenshot of Oracle Supply Chain Management website
    Oracle

    Oracle Transportation Management is an all-in-one platform that helps you manage both third-party shipping and an in-house fleet of delivery vehicles. It supports multi-modal and multi-leg shipping through integrations with hundreds of carriers. In addition, Oracle Transportation Management enables you to include your own fleet’s vehicles when calculating costs and finding capacity.

    Another unique feature of Oracle Transportation Management is logistics network modeling. You can develop what-if scenarios based on your current shipping capacity and product demand.

    This transportation management system also leverages machine learning to help you better predict shipping costs and delivery times. So, your company can better plan ahead and avoid high freight prices during busy periods.

    Key Features

    Supports in-house freight fleets

    Logistics network modeling

    Machine-learning-based predictions

    3D load modeling

    Pros & Cons

    Supports multi-modal and multi-leg transport

    Automated digital assistant

    Limited finance and auditing tools

    Fewer analytics tools than competitors

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    Free plan: No

    Best for: Integrated fleet management

    Platforms: Web

    Blue Yonder homepage with text “Unlock Your Supply Chain Edge” over a globe.
    Blue Yonder

    Blue Yonder offers logistics solutions for supply chain management, transportation management, and omnichannel commerce. The company’s transportation management system is designed to help you optimize every shipment and cut your transportation costs.

    Blue Yonder’s platform uses artificial intelligence to help you plan and execute shipments. The platform can automatically help you find the best carriers and rates for your supply chain, plus dynamically rebalance routes in response to your day-to-day operations. 

    For shippers who want to dig into the data, Blue Yonder includes advanced load-modeling tools and a flexible analytics module. Helpfully, the platform also calls attention to issues like underutilization within a particular load so you can address inefficiencies head-on.

    Key Features

    AI-assisted planning tools

    Dynamic route rebalancing

    3D load modeling

    Real-time shipment tracking

    Pros & Cons

    User-friendly automations

    Alerts shippers to underutilized loads

    No financial auditing tools

    Limited information about AI-based calculations

    Price: 

    Pricing by quote

    30-day free trial

    Free plan: No

    Compare the Best Transportation Management Systems

    Reviews

    Pricing

    Free Trial

    Free Plan

    4.8/5

    Starts at $39/mo for 50 users

    14-day trial

    Start Trial

    Yes, up to 50 users

    2.9/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    4.5/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    4.1/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    4.6/5

    Pricing by quote

    No

    Yes

    4.4/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    2.8/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    4.5/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    4.0/5

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    N/A

    Pricing by quote

    Contact for demo

    No

    N/A

    Pricing by quote

    30-day trial

    No

    Reviews

    4.8/5

    Pricing

    Starts at $39/mo for 50 users

    Free Trial

    14-day trial

    Start Trial

    Free Plan

    Yes, up to 50 users

    Reviews

    2.9/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    4.5/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    4.1/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    4.6/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    No

    Free Plan

    Yes

    Reviews

    4.4/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    2.8/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    4.5/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    4.0/5

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    N/A

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    Contact for demo

    Free Plan

    No

    Reviews

    N/A

    Pricing

    Pricing by quote

    Free Trial

    30-day trial

    Free Plan

    No

    What Are Transportation Management Systems?

    Transportation management systems are software platforms designed to help companies manage their supply chains. In particular, they play a central role in enabling companies to book shipments with carriers, track those shipments, and pay carriers.

    Most TMS software platforms also offer tools to help companies make their transportation networks more efficient. For example, many platforms offer route-optimization tools or 3D load-modeling tools. Most platforms also offer analytics tools so companies can track their costs and transportation performance over time.

    How Does Transportation Management Software Work?

    Transportation management software is able to source shipping quotes from different carriers and help you find the most cost-efficient method for transporting your supplies or products. It also offers a way to track your shipments from the warehouse to your customer and to pay your shipping carriers. If you have your own in-house fleet, transportation management software can help you manage that fleet as well.

    Transportation management software can also be used in conjunction with warehouse management software or enterprise resource planning software. These platforms feed information about your day-to-day operations to your TMS software, enabling it to automatically rebalance shipments and loads in response to your company’s product flow.

    The Benefits of Transportation Management Systems

    Managing global supply chains is an incredibly challenging task. Companies need to ensure that supplies reach their warehouses on time and that products can be shipped out to customers on demand. In most cases, businesses rely on third-party carriers to handle transportation, adding another layer of complexity.

    Transportation management systems streamline all of these processes and ensure that they work seamlessly. The best TMS software can help you book shipping space with carriers and ensure you get the best rates. They can also help you predict how long shipping will take so you can plan your operations and keep your customers happy.

    Importantly, transportation management systems also help you manage the unexpected. When delays happen or your operational plan changes, TMS systems can rebalance your shipments and routes to keep your business running smoothly. That saves you money and ensures that your customers are happy with your company.

    How Much Do Transportation Management Systems Cost?

    Transportation management systems can vary widely in cost depending on the size of your business and how much shipping volume you need to manage. Many providers tailor their systems based on your business’s specific needs and require you to contact them for a custom quote.

    Pricing will also vary based on whether you need an on-premises solution or a cloud-based TMS software. On-premises transportation management systems can cost upwards of $25,000, plus an annual subscription fee. Cloud-based TMS software can cost only a few dollars per shipment booked through the platform.

    Connecteam is decidedly more affordable than many other platforms, offering a simple monthly or annual subscription that starts at $39 per month for 50 users. Plus, you can try out our software for free for 14 days.

    FAQs

    What is a transportation management system?

    A transportation management system, or TMS software, is a logistics platform that helps companies coordinate shipping. TMS software enables you to optimize, book, and track shipments.

    How much can a transportation management system save?

    Transportation management systems can typically save your company 3-7% on shipping costs by increasing the efficiency of your shipping process.

    Is TMS software a part of enterprise resource planning?

    Transportation management software may be part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Alternatively, you can integrate your TMS system with an ERP platform.

    The Bottom Line on Transportation Management Systems

    Transportation management software is essential for any company that relies on shipping. With the right TMS system, you can manage everything in the complex shipping process, from booking a shipment to tracking your products to ensuring that they get into your customers’ hands on time. In addition, transportation management systems offer a wide range of features for cutting shipping costs.

    If your business wants to get a better handle on transportation, we think Connecteam is the best platform for the job. Connecteam makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage your own fleet of vehicles. It integrates with payroll systems to streamline payments and offers GPS tracking so you always know where your shipments are. Get started by trying out Connecteam for free for 14 days.

    Keep an eye on your transportation business with Connecteam.

    An all-in-one transportation management system that covers all bases! 

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