From real-time tracking to cost management, this article explains the benefits of TMS systems and why they’re absolutely essential to run your business. We also review the 13 best transport management software of the year so you can make the best choice for you and your employees. 

Transportation companies have a lot to take care of: from managing multiple carriers, determining routes, and managing unforeseen delays, this is an industry with lots of 

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, transport management 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 on the market today.  

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one TMS software

  2. Good for rapidly growing companies

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.

  • Tracking: The best TMS platforms let you track the location of your shipments in real-time using GPS.
  • Streamlined communication: Transport management software should come with in-app chat so you can easily communicate with your workers no matter where they’re located. 
  • Scheduling and time clock features: The best TMS systems allow you to create employee schedules and allow staff to clock in and out directly from their phones. The software should track employee hours and create automated timesheets.
  • On-the-go onboarding and training: The software should allow employees to onboard and train for their jobs from the app. That way, they’ll learn the ropes quicker and don’t have to be in a physical office space to get up to speed.
  • 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.
  • Load management: Features such as load assignment, tracking, and reporting help dispatchers to monitor the status of each load in real-time and assign them to the most appropriate transportation system. This not only ensures that loads are delivered on time but also maximizes the use of available resources.
  • Payroll integrations: Integrations with popular payroll systems allow you to automate and streamline payroll. Timesheets can also be exported as PDF or Excel files for easier payroll processing.
  • Mobile app: The software should come with a mobile app so all your employees can access it from their phones. 
  • 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.

The 11 Best Transportation Management Systems of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best for: All-in-one transportation management system

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android

    Connecteam is an all-in-one transport management system that allows you to streamline all your business processes on a single platform. 

    Let’s take a look at exactly how:

    Connecteam – Best all-in-one transportation management system 

    Connecteam is the best transportation management software designed to effectively manage your employees and transportation services. Connecteam offers an easy, customizable interface, so no matter what type of transportation you offer, you can manage your business effectively. It’s easy to use, affordable and offers great customer support. 

    Let’s take a closer look at how Connecteam can help your transportation management systems: 

    Efficient employee scheduling tools

    Connecteam’s robust employee scheduling app is one of the best on the market. With Connecteam, you can view scheduling preferences and time-off requests directly on the platform so you avoid scheduling conflicts.

    You can also assign specific routes and modes of transportation and include important notes and documents with each shift. That way, employees have all the relevant information they need to do their jobs, no matter where they are.

    Connecteam also comes with employee scheduling templates to simplify the process even further. The app also immediately notifies employees as soon as the schedule is published.

    Time clock with GPS-tracking ability

    With Connecteam’s easy-to-use employee time clock, your workers can clock in and out directly from their phones. Get a full overview of who is clocked in at any given time and directly chat with staff that hasn’t started their shift yet.

    Connecteam’s Time Clock is also GPS-enabled, so you can see exactly where your employees are while on the job. Set a geofence around specific work sites to ​​restrict your staff to only be able to clock in and out when on-premise and prevent time theft. Of course, workers’ locations are kept completely private when they’re off the clock.

    At the end of the pay period, Connecteam automatically creates timesheets and sends them for manager approval, saving time on payroll and reducing the likelihood of errors.

    Send and receive reports in real time from anywhere

    Streamline reporting by enabling workers to submit reports on the go, such as updates, maintenance requests, vehicle inspections, and more. Whether employees or third-party carriers are handling trucking loads or boat deliveries, employees can fill out forms and checklists directly from their phones and submit them with a tap of a button. 

    Streamline employee communication

    Communicating with your entire staff is incredibly simple with Connecteam’s built-in employee chat

    Instantly chat with your team, share updates using the in-app chat, and provide easy access to everyone’s contact information with the employee directory. This feature makes managing third-party logistics much easier because you can contact all necessary parties in one place.

    Connecteam also gives users direct access to important information, such as guides, procedures, and emergency contacts.

    Keep all important documents in one easily accessible place

    Connecteam’s document management system allows you and your staff to access important documents such as trip sheets, invoices, and receipts from anywhere at any time from their smartphones or tablets.

    Additionally, they can easily share these documents with colleagues or supervisors, improving communication and collaboration among your entire staff. Workers can also easily manage shipping documents on the go and collect signatures from customers, making it a breeze to provide customer service. 

    Connecteam also simplifies compliance. Reporting and documentation can all be done from the road, and all documents are securely stored and shared with necessary staff, protecting sensitive information and reducing errors.

    Easy task and project management

    Allocate one-time and recurring tasks to shippers, truckers, logistics managers, and line haul operators in just a few clicks with Connecteam’s employee task management app. You can also include built-in reminders to make sure your employees perform their tasks on time.

    Easily add detailed descriptions and subtasks, or attach images, files, and due dates. You’ll then automatically receive progress updates when employees complete their tasks. 

    Simplified compliance with ‘Read and Sign’ forms

    Ensure all of your workers are compliant with company protocol and industry regulations through digital ‘read-and-sign’ forms and checklists. This could include making sure they’ve read the employee handbook, uniform agreement, driving hours policy, etc.

    Enhanced workplace safety

    With Connecteam’s knowledge base, you can make sure that all your staff has instant access to important safety information and protocols, ongoing safety training, and real-time safety reporting from anywhere in the world. 

    This tool acts as your digital filing cabinet where you can upload and store important documents your team needs to maintain workplace safety. 

    Onboard and train new hires and existing employees

    Quickly and efficiently onboard new workers or train existing ones on new procedures straight from the field. With Connecteam, you can create customized employee training courses, materials, experiences, and training documents. Take advantage of read-and-sign forms, quizzes, videos, and PDFs, too, to teach your staff all they need to know.

    And so much more…

    In addition, Connecteam offers excellent customer service, a user-friendly interface, robust workforce management tools, and complete customizability. 

    🧠 Did You Know?

    Connecteam’s paid plan starts at just $29 per month for up to 30 users, and small businesses with fewer than 10 users can access the app completely free.

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Try Connecteam here!

    Key Features

    Pros

    • Free plan for up to 10 users

    • Easily schedule drivers and routes

    • User-friendly mobile app

    • Integrated secure messaging

    Cons

    • Feature-richness can be difficult at first

    Pricing

    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. MercuryGate — Good for: Rapidly growing companies

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the mercurygate webpage

    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.

    Learn more about MercuryGate

    Key Features

    • Designate processes to trusted agents
    • Dynamic workflows
    • Supports omni-modal transportation
    • Integrated transportation contract management

    Pros

    • Global transportation options
    • Rate and route optimization features

    Cons

    • Complex user interface
    • Analytics tools are time-consuming to customize

    Pricing

    Pricing is not publicly available Trial: No Free Plan: No

  3. Alpega — Good for: Mobile shipment tracking

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Alpega webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Alpega

    Key Features

    • Mobile app for iOS and Android
    • Communication with carriers and drivers
    • Long-term strategic planning
    • Automated load tendering

    Pros

    • Integrates with hundreds of carriers
    • Flexible analytics tools

    Cons

    • Limited flexibility for LTL and multi-modal shipments
    • Occasional platform outages

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  4. Kuebix — Good for: Free shipping quote comparisons

    Available on

    • Web
    • Windows
    Screenshot of the Kuebix webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Kuebix

    Key Features

    • Real-time shipment tracking
    • Compare quotes for all transportation types
    • Route-optimization algorithm
    • Automatic invoice auditing

    Pros

    • Very user-friendly
    • Flexible analytics dashboard

    Cons

    • Must book shipments manually
    • Doesn’t display rate quote history

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  5. Shipwell — Good for: Automating the shipping process

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the Shipwell webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Shipwell

    Key Features

    • Rules-based load management
    • Route- and rate-optimization algorithm
    • Integrates with popular accounting software
    • Analytics dashboard with custom reports

    Pros

    • Many automation features
    • Mobile app for real-time shipment tracking

    Cons

    • Doesn’t support global shipping
    • Complex shipment tracking tools

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  6. E2open — Good for: End-to-end logistics management

    Available on

    • Web
    • Android
    Screenshot of the e2open webpage

    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.

    Learn more about E2open

    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

    • Automated rules and workflows
    • Uses AI to forecast rates and delivery times

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Steep learning curve

    Pricing

    Pricing is not publicly available Trial: No Free Plan: No

  7. SAP Transportation Management — Good for: Visualizing logistics data

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the SAP Transportation Management webpage

    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.

    Learn more about SAP Transportation Management

    Key Features

    • Visualize routes and shipment progress
    • Automatically sync sales and shipments
    • Load-optimization tools
    • Compare rates across hundreds of carriers

    Pros

    • Supports flexible automations
    • Customizable analytics dashboard

    Cons

    • Limited support for multi-modal shipments
    • Basic rate quote and booking tools

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  8. Descartes — Good for: Multi-modal shipping

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the Descartes webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Descartes

    Key Features

    • Supports multi-modal shipments
    • Dock scheduling and yard management
    • Integrates with your company’s fleet
    • GPS-based shipment tracking

    Pros

    • Automatic load optimization
    • Built-in communication with carriers

    Cons

    • No mobile app for shippers
    • Complex invoice auditing interface

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  9. 3GTMS — Good for: Managing shipping costs

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the 3GTMS webpage

    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.

    Learn more about 3GTMS

    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

    • Flexible shipping options for complex routes
    • Audit your shipping costs

    Cons

    • Outdated user interface
    • No mobile apps

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  10. Oracle Cloud HCM — Good for: Integrated fleet management

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the oracle webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Oracle Cloud HCM

    Key Features

    • Supports in-house freight fleets
    • Logistics network modeling
    • Machine-learning-based predictions
    • 3D load modeling

    Pros

    • Supports multi-modal and multi-leg transport
    • Automated digital assistant

    Cons

    • Limited finance and auditing tools
    • Fewer analytics tools than competitors

    Pricing

    Pricing is not publicly available Trial: No Free Plan: No

  11. Blue Yonder — Good for: Integrated fleet management

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the Blue Yonder webpage

    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.

    Learn more about Blue Yonder

    Key Features

    • AI-assisted planning tools
    • Dynamic route rebalancing
    • 3D load modeling
    • Real-time shipment tracking

    Pros

    • User-friendly automations
    • Alerts shippers to underutilized loads

    Cons

    • No financial auditing tools
    • Limited information about AI-based calculations

    Pricing

    Pricing is not publicly available Trial: Yes — 30-day Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Transportation Management Systems

Topic Start for free
Reviews
4.8
2.9
4.1
4.6
4.4
2.8
4.5
4
4.5
3.9
4
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Pricing is not publicly available
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Pricing is not publicly available
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Contact vendor for price
Pricing is not publicly available
Pricing is not publicly available
Free Trial
yes
14-day
no
no
yes
no
no
no
no
no
no
yes
30-day
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
no
yes
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
Use cases
Best for: All-in-one transportation management system
Good for: Rapidly growing companies
Good for: Mobile shipment tracking
Good for: Free shipping quote comparisons
Good for: Automating the shipping process
Good for: End-to-end logistics management
Good for: Visualizing logistics data
Good for: Multi-modal shipping
Good for: Managing shipping costs
Good for: Integrated fleet management
Good for: Integrated fleet management
Available on
Web, iOS, Android
Web
Web, iOS, Android
Web, Windows
Web
Web, Android
Web
Web
Web
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web

What is Transport Management Software?

Transport management software is 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 also offers 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 Transport Management Software Work?

Transport management systems 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 with fleet management, too.  

Transportation management systems 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.

Benefits of Transport Management Software

There are many benefits of using transportation management systems, including:

Improved efficiency 

TMS systems streamline transportation processes and enable businesses to automate manual tasks, such as order management, load planning, route optimization, and carrier selection. 

Streamlined shipping processes

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.

Saves money

Transport management software reduces transportation costs through optimized route planning and load consolidation. It considers factors like distance, delivery windows, carrier rates, and fuel costs to minimize fuel consumption and negotiate better rates with carriers.

Allows you to better track shipments 

This software provides real-time shipment tracking so companies have complete visibility of the transportation process. Transport management systems provide accurate delivery updates and clear explanations as to why there are delays. 

Better employee communication

Shippers, suppliers, carriers, and customers can all communicate more easily with transport management software. The software includes a chat feature and provides real-time updates and notifications so everyone can stay on the same page. 

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Detailed analytics and reporting on-the-go

TMS systems help businesses make data-driven decisions by providing analytics and reports. By analyzing transportation data and providing actionable insights, businesses can observe trends and better optimize their operations. 

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 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 $29 per month for 30 users

FAQs

Do I need transport management software?

If you manage a transportation company that ships, moves, and receives goods, then you need transport management software to manage your business. This cloud-based software makes it possible to track shipments, create invoices, communicate with carriers, customers, and employees, and manage your entire business from your phone.

How much money can a transportation management system save you?

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

Is TMS software 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 System

Transport management software is essential for any company that relies on shipping. With the right TMS system, you can manage everything 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, 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 with Connecteam for free today!