If you have any role in the transportation or logistics industries, you’re likely aware of how eCommerce is challenging the traditional approaches to fulfillment and delivery.

In this report from EFT and sponsored by 3Gtms, 195 respondents were asked about their eCommerce challenges.

                                                                           Source: Supply Chain Hot Trends, Q1 & Q2 2018, EFT

While customs compliance is the top challenge, the runners-up were delivery tracking and managing delivery expectations – both issues that shippers face domestically as well as across borders. Because both of these challenges affect every aspect of the supply chain, a host of solutions is required to address them. And yet an often overlooked solution is a transportation management system (TMS) that bridges the gap between order management and warehouse systems.

As 3Gtms CEO Mitch Weseley notes in the report:

The TMS can help consolidate customer orders and find the best mode and carriers to keep costs as low as possible while giving route planners the opportunity to dynamically optimize right up until the freight leaves the warehouse. This includes choosing the best cost/service option for all transportation modes, from parcel to LTL, along with multi-stop TL, pool distribution, FTL and intermodal –while using real rates and services times for all modes.

A TMS is also a visibility tool that monitors freight in transit: It knows which orders are on which shipments, along with service times for all modes. It can use logic and workflow to proactively monitor freight and automatically get status and location information from carriers – as well as alert and respond automatically.

Flexibility is key when it comes to dealing with domestic or cross-border eCommerce challenges. You need the ability to respond in real-time to changing factors that influence the time and cost of your decisions. To support this, we’ve recently released the industry’s first-ever offering of continuous pool optimization. It gives users the ability to plan shipments in to a predetermined consolidating point or dynamically determine the optimal consolidation facility. This maximizes achievable freight savings while adhering to pickup and delivery constraints; improves customer service; and may eliminate the need for warehouses or distribution centers.

Go here to read more about eCommerce trends and other challenges facing our industry in the report, Supply Chain Hot Trends: Q1 and Q2 2018.