Mercury Gate - May 2015 (LM)

"Tackling Transportation Management: The value of an omni-modal TMS in a complex world"

With the transportation landscape becoming increasingly complex and global in nature, shippers, third-party logistics providers, and other entities involved in transporting goods need a reliable transportation management system (TMS) that can handle myriad different shipping methods. In some cases, these “omni-modal” TMS must be able to tackle international shipments with ease, and in other instances be able to effectively orchestrate the movement of multi-leg shipments across a variety of different modes. Combine these demands with the growing omni-channel retailing trend— where shippers must be able to meet the end consumer’s individual delivery demands and schedules—and the case for an integrated TMS becomes clearer than ever.

On the shipper side, orchestrating the end-to-end transportation process hasn’t gotten any easier over the last decade. Neither has the efficient coordination of customers, suppliers, carriers, freight forwarders, government agencies, and customs brokers. The fact that world trade grows at an average of 5.3 percent annually, according to the World Trade Organization, only exacerbates the challenges —making it that much more difficult to control transportation costs in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Third-party logistics providers face their own lineup of transportation challenges. With most of their customers relying on multiple shipping methods, these organizations require an omni-modal approach to transportation management. It’s their responsibility, after all, to introduce other modes that achieve the same goal, either in a more cost-effective fashion (which is usually the customer’s primary focus) or in a way that allows them to better meet their service requirements.

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