- What is the workflow it encompasses?
- What are the key functions of the product?
- How hard is it to sell and why?
- Joe Saggio at Steam
- 3PL provider and international freight forwarding, uses TMS
- James at Raft (hard to get to)
- Kyle and Tyler at Vizion
- API for container tracking (integrates with TMS)
- Someone from Ascent Global Logistics via David Ross
- Brian at Chain io
- Graham Parker
- Eric at Journal of Commerce
Santosh, thank you for passing this note to ___.
I’m doing a deep dive into the state of the freight forwarder TMS market, trying to better understand market drivers and pain points with the current solutions.
Given your experience working with these systems, as well as your experience in international logistics, I was hoping to hop on a call to discuss some of the points below.
- TMS feature with the biggest value add
- Customs & compliance documentation generation?
- Biggest TMS pain points
- Customer service?
- Clunky and slow software?
- TMS softwares are very sticky, what would it take for someone to switch TMS?
It would be incredibly helpful to hear your perspective on these points as I try to better understand the opportunities in this space.
- Which feature is the biggest value add in a good freight forwarder TMS?
- The status quo for TMS software seems to be clunky, slow, and difficult to use, so why do logistics companies stick with them? Is it because of their unique ability to generate up-to-date compliance regulations information?
- What is
We now have over 100+ top NYC restaurants as customers including most of the Union Square Hospitality Group, Meatball Shop, Breslin, etc. The restaurants on the platform are seeing significant increase in conversion and reservations.
We've been growing across our key metrics 30% MoM and are now expanding to Boston and Portland.
I've been a follower and admirer of yours for years, and I would love to get your feedback on our business.
Transportation Management System (TMS) for Freight Forwarding
- Liason between shippers and carriers, end-to-end handling of shipment
- Customs expertise
- Usually handle international shipments and have customs expertise
- Document review
- Commercial invoice, shipper's export declaration, bill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import, and/or transshipment.
Transportation Management System
A TMS is a logistics platform that uses technology to help businesses plan, execute, and optimize the physical movement of goods, both incoming and outgoing, and making sure the shipment is compliant, proper documentation is available. [Oracle]
Key Freight Forwarder Pain Points & TMS Solution
Key Freight Forwarder Problems
TMS Software Solution
Complex, End-to-End Multi-leg Shipments
- Optimizes all legs for control over all costs - Single system visibility throughout the entire transaction - Consolidates less than Container Load (LCL) shipments into full containers to reduce costs - Generating and uploading documents, booking with carriers, tracking shipment while in transit, and settling invoices
Multi-lingual and multi-currency transactions
- user-level localization so you can communicate seamlessly with everyone involved in a transaction, using each ind
Currency conversions, fluctuating accessorial, and unexpected charges make it complicated to track buy sell financials
- self-service quote request application - bid request and management tool for carriers
Global trade management/compliance / tariffs
• Procurement of compliance information and documentation • Accurate and up-to-date information on trades and tariffs • Notification of potential trade and regulation related delays
- Create and manage carrier, vendor, and customer invoices and credit. - Perform conversions for multiple currencies simultaneously. - Reconcile invoices in any mode. - Audit freight bills and freight payables. - Flag duplicate invoices.
Pillars of Freight Forwarder TMS
- Operational visibility
- Shipment tracking
- Manage customer relationships and client pipeline
- Customer portal
- Allowing FF customers to digitally get a quote
- Validating of shipments
- Centralized documentation, payment, and accounting
- Accounts receivable, accounts payable automatically loaded in the platform
- Compile automatically generated invoices, bills
- Integrates with accounting software
- Accurate information on customs laws and regulations with software to automate compliant document creation
- Shipping rates dashboard
- Listing of competitive shipping rates to optimize costs
Workflow & TMS Features: WiseTech Annual Report
Freight Forwarder Workflow →
💡 TMS Feature
Quote and Booking
- Customer Creation
- Organizations database
- Hundreds of organizations with address data points to make sure the information is entered correctly
- Store financial information
- Templates set
- Storing documents for any customer and accessed globally
- Generates optimum cost rate from all the data
- Margins and costs included
- Filing methods to various governments
- Book directly with the carrier
- Delaying a container
- Customers informed automatically
- Import and export declaration done in the same record
- Submit files for customs approval
- Tracking history
- Customs, airlines, shipping integration
- Updated to reflect changes in laws and regulations
- Operational shipment file
- Generated with all the quote info
- Seafreight and airfreight integration for scheduling
- Everyone can work on the file at the same time at origin and destination
- Workflow module
- Automating tasks assigned
- Sending automated emails
- Managers can see staff activity
- Tasks are handled in the right order
- Notifying of delays
- Keeps customers informed of status of the shipment
- Accounting module
- Generate automatic customer invoice
- Editable data fields
- Multi-language and multi-currency platform
WiseTech Product Development Priorities (from Annual Report)
- Single platform for international eCommerce fulfilment
- Customs and compliance procedures (including import/export) targeting ~90% of global manufactured trade flows
- Digital documents and straight through digital processing of data
- Global integrated platform for Beneficial Cargo Owners to plan, book, track and manage their freight
- Configurable and integrated solution across 3PL, transit and bonded warehouse
- Extending into import/export container haulage
WiseTech Customer Reviews
- Needs better less-than-truckload (LTL) capabilities
- Customer service
- Poor quality and availability of end-user training
- Poor quality of technical support
- Poor quality of peer user community
- "I have one ticket open now for 3+ months that I request an update on weekly and have yet to receive an update. Absolutely horrible support for this product."
- “The accounting side needs more training videos. You have to file e-requests and contact call them to resolve and issue.”
- Program is laggy and results in timewaste
- System is tricky to configure
- “It is an end to end one stop software. 2. It has a pretty good customer facing 'Track and Trace' feature. 3. Decent accounting package.”
- Unpredictable pricing
- The biggest scare is their dynamic & unpredictable pricing policy. While they lure you with attractive discounts initially, they are quick to change their discount structures, the parameters of billing & add new charge heads as they please. Yes ,they give you some notice...but you pretty much have no choice, but to pay. We've already seen multiple pricing revisions so far. It’s always been advantage Wisetech. You just cannot predict or manage your ERP/EDI usage cost even if you do not want to expand your business. At times one has to even follow up for billing errors
- Cumbersome software, slow development
- Cumbersome workflow processes raised to Wisetech in 2017 have been taken up as developments. Neither do they stick to deadlines committed, nor do they give regular updates.
The global Freight Forwarding Software Market is expected to increase from USD 378.3 million in 2022 to USD 816.5 million by 2028, registering a CAGR of 11.6% over the forecast period from 2023 to 2028, Freight Forwarding Software Market report - Market Watch Report
- Increased demand for online shopping
- Big retailers are shifting to freight forwarder software to have live tracking
- BoxOn Logistics
- Forward Computers
- CSA Software
- Boltrics B.V.
- Intellect Technologies
- Dbh Logistics IT AG
- Shanghai Qihang
Market Segmentation by Type:
- Land Freight Forwarding Software
- Ocean Freight Forwarding Software
- Air Freight Forwarding Software
Key Product Pain Points
- Customer service
- Unresponsive call centers (AI could help)
- Tickets are resolved with linking a tutorial video that customers don’t feel answers their questions
- Training content is incomplete
- Complicated implementation/onboarding process
- Wisetech sells them the bespoke implementation which is costly but customers are still not satisfied
- Cost unpredictability
- Lack of user-friendly software, un-intuitive workflow