The definitive guide to understanding what TMS software is, how it works, and why it’s so important for small and medium-sized trucking companies in the US

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    With this brief guide, you will understand completely what a TMS system is, the most common features and benefits of trucking software and which kind of company may benefit the most from using it. Our experience goes beyond decades worth running and scaling a family-owned trucking company. This is what gave us the industry knowledge and we share it so you can use it to your advantage. 

    What is TMS software?

    If you’re wondering which type of software logistics and freight companies use, then the answer is a transport management system, in short TMS, which is a cloud-based platform designed to optimize the processes of small to medium-sized trucking businesses. TMS systems automate many of the tasks associated with running a trucking business, from dispatch and route planning to invoicing and paying the driver with automated features that remove the hassle of paperwork, phone calls, or texts. It can be used to track shipments with shared locations and monitor fleet performance over time, helping thus in cost efficiency for owner-operators and carriers. 

    TMS software can help businesses automate and streamline their shipping processes, which can save time and money for trucking companies that are just getting started or need to scale their company to the next level.

    Which are the most common features included in a TMS system in 2022?

    There are many different types of products on the market, but they all share some common features. Most TMS systems include a map interface that can be used to plan routes, track shipments, and monitor fleet performance. Many TMS systems also include tools for managing orders, tracking inventory, and generating reports.

    Here is a complete list of the most common features we’ve seen in the TMS market:

    • Digital Load board (replace the whiteboard or spreadsheets)
    • Map interface with trucks location
    • Delivery Schedule and ETAs
    • Load matching
    • Freight brokers list
    • Driver pay
    • Partner app for drivers (PODs, e-signature, etc)
    • Reports with key metrics about the trucking company
    • Truck maintenance records
    • Trucking company directory
    • Trucking expenses calculators for annual miles
    • Invoicing system

    How to identify if you need a transport management system in your company? Who is it for?

    TMS systems are designed to help businesses especially if they are a pen & paper operation within a family-owned company. Here are the most common users: 

    • Trucking carriers
    • Owned operators
    • Direct Shippers 
    • Freight companies
    • Logistic companies

    If you’re running a small trucking business, then you may not think that you need a transport management system. However, several signs can indicate whether or not your company would benefit from this software.

    Some of the most obvious signs that your business needs a transport management system include: 

    • shipping a high volume of packages, 
    • shipping products to multiple locations in the US, Canada, or globally,
    • time-sensitive shipping products. 

    If your company falls into any of these categories, then it’s likely that a transport management system would be beneficial and even crucial to run a trucking business with positive customer service.

    There are several other factors to consider when determining whether or not your company needs a transport management system. Ask yourself these questions: 

    • Do you have a lot of customer orders that need to be processed? 
    • Do you have trouble keeping track of your inventory? 
    • Are you getting audited by the DOT or state transport authority? 
    • Do you have more than 5 trucks as a carrier? 

    If the answer to these questions is positive, then we strongly advise you to book a demo now to discover how a TMS system is going to become the backbone of your company’s success. 

    Which are the most valuable benefits of a transport management system (TMS):

    TMS systems are becoming increasingly popular among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the US trucking industry, as they offer several advantages. For example, a TMS system can help businesses save time and money by: 

    • Reducing administration and paperwork. 
    • Dispatch loads faster, 
    • Reduce deadhead miles, 
    • Automate invoices to customers, 
    • Automate paying the drivers,
    • Avoid double-entry inputs and mistakes from partners

    All these features will make your business move more loads with less manual work. In addition, it can help improve customer service by providing up-to-date information on delivery status which can be sourced via API connection with a GPS tracking system or fleet management system your company may have (like Samsara).

    Helping with the maintenance records of your trucks is the best way to prepare for a DOT or state audit and prevent getting fined or even shut down.

    Save time and increase efficiency by paying drivers when they submit PODs and give customers and partners full visibility of their loads, ETA, and POD without the hassle of emails or phone calls.

    Which is the best transport management software TMS in the US market?

    There are many transport management software options available for trucking companies in the US. Some of the best options in 2022 are:

    1. Kuebix– This software is designed to help trucking companies manage their business finances, including tracking expenses and revenue. It also helps with routing and scheduling trips.

    2. TMS Digital– This software is designed for small to mid-size trucking companies. It helps with trip planning, fuel management, and driver logs.

    3. MercuryGate– This software is designed for large trucking companies. It offers a variety of features, including shipment tracking, rate quotes, and customer service tools.

    4. McLeod– This software is one of the most commonly used in the industry by larger companies due to its pricey plans but comes with all-in-one features for any logistic company that wants to grow.

    5. ITS Dispatch– This software was developed by Truckstop, and is a powerful TMS for brokers and carriers. For carriers, this software allows them to manage everything from IFTA to invoicing. For brokers, this one platform provides limitless functions.

    6. Trucking Integration– This software is an integrated trucking and transportation software built on Microsoft Dynamics GP. The features include Freight Billing; Manifests (both In-house and Carrier Manifests); Carrier Assignment Processing; Management Reporting; and more. 

    7. AXON– The best trucking company software packages on the market today are “integrated” systems. That means that the programs are linked together. When you add an invoice to your invoicing program, it updates the records in your Accounts Receivable system.

    8. RoseRocket TMS– is a transportation management software built for modern trucking companies and brokerages. The software helps you input orders, generate contracted rates and spot quotes, track & trace shipments, manage documents, and invoice faster to help you with daily tasks. 

    9. TMW Suite– provides on-time delivery, quick turnarounds, and information integration. The software solves challenges like rising fuel costs, fewer drivers, and a run-packed schedule. It’s imperative to keep costs and service competitive and to deliver the best service to customers.

    10. Ezpapel TMS– This is an all-in-one transportation management software that has all the power of AI to automate manual work and replace pen & paper operations and legacy tools like whiteboards and spreadsheets. It’s very affordable and specially designed by truckers to help small and medium-sized trucking companies. 


    If you’re just getting started, or if you have decades in the industry and want to leverage digital solutions to scale your company, you’ve come the right way. Using TMS software will make your trucking business scale profits, move more loads with less work and prevent getting fined by the DOT/state audits. Click here to discover how a TMS can help to scale your trucking business to become a 7 figures trucking business if you’re just getting started.