The business intelligence that can be gained from a TMS can be invaluable. All the rates, routes, contracts, and other relevant data reside for analysis. Having visibility to all the data relating to your transportation function and being able to improve performance through a careful analysis of this information can reduce a transportation spend by anywhere from 2.5 to 3%.
Transportation Modeling gives you the ability to analyze any type of "what-if" scenario to compare different modes, carriers, and services. Analysts can use a transportation modeling software tool to study proposed freight network changes, to respond to shipper RFQs with accurate bids and to evaluate potential cost benefits when comparing outside carriers with company fleets. Through a series of what-if scenarios you can better understand the impact of business expansion and for comparing alternate transportation plans. This modeling can help identify optimal DC-to-customer assignments, determine the ideal mode mix, create optimal multi-stop delivery or pick-up routes and leverage continuous moves technology for backhaul optimization. The modeling helps you determine the best way to operationally set up and run your existing network. It also drives revenue by helping you plan for and react to changes in your transportation network.
It's advantageous to use a transportation modeling tool that shares the same base-solving algorithms and logic as the transportation planning tool. This ensures the results returned by the transportation modeler are consistent with the execution results returned by the transportation planning tool. There are some software companies who’ve successfully integrated network design software with transportation routing software. This integration has reaped significant benefits for transportation modeling. There are other modeler’s that have integrated an interactive map with actual highway network software offering additional levels of analysis.
Typical study types to run through a transportation modeling tool include:
- Multi-mode (truckload, less-than-truckload, parcel, etc.) analysis and tradeoffs within an existing network
- Fleet sizing and positioning analysis and cost tradeoffs between contract carriers and owned or managed assets
- Green transportation modeling, which includes tracking of carbon metrics and supports cost/benefit analysis between scored carriers and managed tractor and trailer resources