What Exactly is a Freight Broker TMS?
A freight broker TMS is a software solution which helps automate, streamline, and manage day to day tasks for a freight brokerage.
By running the business more efficiently, a TMS helps eliminate manual tasks and data entry, ultimately saving valuable time for freight teams and their employees.
Most freight TMS’ will offer extended capabilities, features and integrations to help make this possible.
What Are Common Capabilities and Features?
- End-to-end Visibility of Operations – Manage brokerage loads with detailed insight and access data analyzing the performance of the business and its agents
- Automated Order Creation – Create and cover loads quickly and on a single screen
- Integrated Accounting – All-in-one portal for invoicing and accounting to improve efficiency
- Rate Confirmation – Streamline the dispatch process by researching, offering, and confirming rates with carriers
- Lane Pricing & Historical Rates – Receive intel on market conditions and pricing to boost profit margins and increase user confidence
- Simple Load Board Posting – Easy-to-operate and improved spot market sourcing
- Map-based Dispatch & Automated Load Tendering– Increase efficiency and enable automation for order processing
- Simplified Document Imaging & Management – Manage and capture digital documentation with our easy-to-use document archive
- Execute Freight Bill Audit & Payment – Secure payment portal for quick and seamless transactions
- Secure, Cloud-based Hosting & Backups – Always have access, reduce downtime, and maximize data protection
What Are the Benefits?
The main benefits of TMS come in two forms, increased productivity and reduced transportation costs.
The respective results come in the form of more time for value added tasks from your existing team and cost-optimized carrier management.
But there are other benefits as well. For example, a TMS helps organizations cover shipments based on carrier preference (cost, delivery time, route, carrier performance, etc).
By choosing the carrier that best fits you and your customers’ needs, freight brokers can massively improve customer service levels. If not, the broker often wastes time, money and resources putting out fires, thus negating any rate savings. Less employee time spent on damage control means more time spent on new business.
Compare this to freight brokers who don’t use a modern TMS and teams that rely on tribal knowledge (knowledge that exists only within the company’s employees). In freight brokerage, teams are instantly catapulted in the direction of success by using the capabilities, automation, and Data from a powerful network.
How Does a Freight Broker TMS Help Me Run My Business More Efficiently?
The ultimate goal of a freight broker TMS is to help achieve operational excellence through technology and business insights.
Recently, the SEL Supply Chain Solutions (3PL) decided to implement the Descartes Aljex Freight Broker TMS into their organization. In less than a year, the team experienced some extraordinary results.
“Descartes Aljex helped us to automate inefficient manual processes and bring our most commonly-used tasks onto a single screen to improve visibility, streamline daily tasks, and increase productivity. We grew from $13M in revenue to $51M in one year by adding Descartes Aljex to the team!”
Through the extended capabilities and features a TMS should make it easier to manage information by storing all data in a single, often cloud based system, as well as improve the planning and decision making to source the most efficient transportation options based on criteria such as cost, lead-time, routes, and more.
A TMS will also handle all the invoicing and proof of delivery, enabling an easy way to manage billing and payments electronically.
How Will a Freight Broker TMS Add Value to My Business?
A well-designed TMS can be up and running within a week or two and start providing instant value to your organization.
Some value points brokers can take advantage of include:
- Quickly access and compare current and historical pricing information to help make the most informed choices to get the best possible lane pricing
- Gain several management reporting and analytics tools to help you measure performance to make better informed strategic decisions
- Document storage, security, and management will help reduce paper clutter and increase productivity by simplifying document imaging and the distribution of vital documents
- Real-time views into shipments and supplying status details for each load, a TMS helps the team react quickly to possible delays to improve customer satisfaction and increase on-time delivery
Who Are The Top Freight Broker TMS Providers?
Here are the top-rated freight broker transportation management systems as of Winter 2023 according to the G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems.
1. Descartes Aljex
- Description: Descartes Aljex™ is the premier SaaS-based transportation management platform for brokers and 3PLs. Descartes Aljex™ is a scalable cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) that hosts a sizable network of brokers, 3PLs, shippers, and intermodal users who seamlessly and automatically orchestrate millions of freight shipments every year.
- Rating:2/5 stars
- Number of Reviews: 113
- Description: Turvo is a modern, collaborative TMS platform specifically designed for the supply chain. Turvo connects people and organizations, allowing freight brokers, 3PLs, and shippers to digitally transform their workflows with cloud-based software and mobile applications. The technology unifies all systems, internal and external, providing one end-to-end platform to execute all operations and analytics, while eliminating redundant manual tasks and automating business processes. shipments every year.
- Rating:5/5 stars
- Number of Reviews: 14
3. Trimble TMS
- Description: Trimble Transportation’s TMS, visibility, shipper and mobility products are served by offices and staff throughout North America and Australia. Trimble Transportation has served the industry for over fifty years. As an industry leader, Trimble counts carriers, shippers brokers and fleets of all sizes as customers and is trusted by leaders throughout the industry.
- Rating:5/5 Stars
- Number of Reviews: 19
- Description: 3Gtms is the fastest growing Tier 1 transportation management system (TMS) provider and is committed to giving mid-to-large shippers and logistics service providers a competitive advantage through technology. Our reputation for being a trusted partner is reflected in customer satisfaction and retention rates that are unmatched in the TMS industry.
- Rating: 4/5 Stars
- Number of Reviews: 15
- Description: Revenova TMS is a transportation management software that plans, prices, optimizes, tenders, schedules, tracks and manages freight, settle invoices and manages claims across all modes and any carrier.
- Rating:5/5 Stars
- Number of Reviews: 8
6. INMOTIONGLOBAL (AscendTMS)
- Description: Used by Freight Brokers, 3PL’s, Trucking Companies and Freight Shippers, users include both small logistics operations to multi-billion dollar international corporations. There are no upfront fees, no annual license fees, no contracts, and no credit card needed. They are 100% independent and NOT affiliated with any broker, carrier, or other transportation entity.
- Rating:5/5 Stars
- Number of Reviews: 7
How Much Does a Freight Broker TMS Cost?
Freight broker software can range greatly in price. This is because pricing is based on a multitude of factors such as customer/company needs, features, capabilities, integrations, and more.
Freight broker TMS will generally have two pricing formats, both based on the style of TMS platform.
Cloud Based Pricing: Transportation management systems which are accessed via internet connection. The average pricing can usually start at $2 per load and climb as high as $5 per load. It’s also noted that an annual subscription can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
On-Premises Pricing: A TMS that is installed and located at a company’s headquarters or office space. Starting prices go for around $50k annually and will rise as high as $400k+.
Will a Freight Broker TMS Give Me Full Visibility Into Shipments?
Modern day TMS solutions are more powerful and capable than ever.
Many transportation management systems will come with integrations that allow for full visibility into shipment location. This includes high value visibility data that can be relayed to the customer such as load status, ETA’s, delays, real-time location, and analytics.
Visibility will help freight brokers reduce supply chain disruptions by quickly reacting to shipment challenges.
In the case of a delay or disruption, brokers can reroute the load and/or adjust the delivery window. This helps cut down on costly fees, improves customer service levels, and can increases the chances of on-time deliveries.
Are You Evaluating a TMS for Your Brokerage?
We have a team of freight technology experts available to discuss your business model and help evaluate the best options for your budget.
Get in touch to learn how a freight broker TMS can transform your brokerage.