Freight transportation by sea is one of the most cost-effective methods for delivering goods all over the world. As an ocean transportation freight forwarder, you know how much your business relies on providing dependable service. With technological advancements, software is now able to handle many formerly manual tasks automatically while increasing responsiveness and the speed of shipments.

As the ocean freight forwarder business continues to grow more competitive, the need for sophisticated software continues to grow.

Transportation management System (TMS) software speeds the pace and accuracy of planning and decision making, transportation execution, transportation follow-up and metrics to measure effectiveness. The software creates efficiencies while enhancing visibility across the entire operation, allowing for further improvements to be identified and implemented. As the pace of ocean freight forwarding increases, these efficiencies become more important.

The benefits of TMS

TMS software increases efficiencies by automating once time intensive tasks, such as the following:
• Analyzing operations.
• Managing shipments.
• Deploying resources.
• Storing documents.

Because of automation, these tasks can be carried out simultaneously without large administrative costs. In addition, customer satisfaction improves because the fast pace of artificial intelligence allows freight to arrive on ship faster and also immediately identifies the ideal route. Customers also gain peace of mind because the TMS software tracks freight in real time and provides them with automatic updates and alerts if a change in schedule occurs, such as if a ship is delayed because of weather.

Because employees are freed of many time-consuming tasks, such as data entry, they can shift focus to other endeavors that increase sales volume, enhance customer experience or increase operational efficiency. Automation also allows for increased focus on relational, creative and analytic tasks. Ocean freight forwarders who utilize TMS software can take their businesses to the next level.

TMS also integrates with clients’ IT infrastructure. As a result, customers are empowered to place orders and manage them through their own computer systems. Once clients are accustomed to the TMS software system process, they prefer to stay with it because of the labor savings they gain.

Also, TMS software integrates with the IT infrastructure of trading partners. This makes management of contracts and orders more efficient while also eliminating mistakes that result from miscommunications. Freight forwarder staff can then focus on customer service, business development and operations instead of rushing to correct errors. In addition, TMS software provides a platform for managing multiple trading partners in one system, eliminating redundancies.

Metrics and analytics

Data analytics has opened a new frontier in business management. Companies are now able to collect data in never before imagined proportions. The key for ocean freight forwarders lies in using TMS software to analyze this data to gain competitive advantages. TMS automated analysis shows where the operation is doing well and in what areas inefficiencies are causing delays and mistakes are costing time and money. TMS software analyzes all areas of an ocean freight forwarding operation, including the following:

• Contract management.
• Transportation management.
• Regulatory compliance.
• Route planning.
• Delivery scheduling.
• Fleet management.
• Shipment management.
• Order management.
• Trading partner management.
• Customer service.
• Sales.

TMS software provides data analytics tools that are easy to use. It also offers customizable search options of current- and past data with no need for costly IT enhancements. Managers can easily search through dozens of crucial data fields to understand shipping and transportation performance patterns.
Many TMS software customers opt for a complete analytics package, which provides advanced capabilities. By using these advanced features, managers enjoy access to detailed historical data never before available on such a granular level. To help find this information, managers can use convenient query tools to extract data, which is then processed into analytics reports that can be viewed on dashboards or in analytic views.

Big data has created incredible data analytics opportunities also swamping organizations with so much data that it can become overwhelming. When data is simply left alone or stored in some dark place in cyberspace never to be seen again, opportunities for creating business excellence are lost. TMS software provides the method of accessing this data without the need for expensive IT investment. In addition, by automating much of the ocean freight forwarding process, TMS software saves labor and boosts efficiencies. Integration with customer- and trading partner IT systems creates smooth communication and saves all involved entities time and money. Ocean freight forwarders that embrace TMS software improve all aspects of their operations and increase profitability.

CSA Software is a developer of state of the art, Cloud-based software solutions for freight forwarding, transportation management, air freight, ocean freight, and logistics organizations. We will help you set up the systems your freight forwarding, and logistics business needs now, and provide you with the tools and resources you will need for your business’s future. In addition, we offer comprehensive freight forwarding software solutions to handle special requests and customer specific requirements. Contact us today if you would like a Free Demo of our software!