The future of TMS
Customer expectations keep rising, not only for on-time deliveries but for two-day and even same-day deliveries, with real-time updates provided throughout the shipment process. Ever-changing global trade regulations are also forcing supply chains to innovate to keep pace, often by investing in a transportation management system.
Transportation management systems must become more robust and feature-rich, providing faster responses to consumers and more detailed information to businesses. Machine learning enable TMSs to be more intelligent, providing better recommendations and more accurate predictions.
Companies can choose to integrate their transportation and global trade management systems with emerging technologies to further improve visibility and offer better customer service. Some of these innovative technologies that are currently available include:
IoT fleet monitoring
Internet of things (IoT) devices and sensors make real-time fleet monitoring commonplace, including in-transit visibility of driving conditions, routes, and assets. Companies can lower their fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reduce delays and improve driver safety.
Digital assistants are often called chatbots, and offer immediate, conversational responses to shipment information, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Adaptive intelligence and machine learning
By applying machine learning to historical data and trends, transportation management systems are able to predict transit time more accurately, plan capacity, identify at-risk shipments (such as goods that are about to expire and time- or temperature-sensitive products), and much more. Enhanced artificial intelligence will also enable your TMS to provide more accurate and informed recommendations, such as alternate delivery routes during high traffic periods.
Blockchains are now being utilized to build complex integrations among shippers, customers, and carriers. Applications such as intelligent track and trace increase transparency and traceability across your supply chain, but still ensure accurate and secure information.
Cold chain management
Another blockchain solution available in transportation management systems is cold chain management, which is useful when different temperatures need to be maintained at various checkpoints along the supply chain. For instance, perishable or temperature sensitive materials and products might need to be kept at a cool temperature in the truck but a slightly higher temperature on store shelves. With cold chain management, the temperature can be monitored across the supply chain, with real-time information provided to the business and the regulators at the country of origin.