Bridging the Gap — Traditional TMS and Fleet Management

UltraShipTMS has an interesting positioning vs. traditional TMS vendors (the ones whose systems are used mainly to manage common carriers, i.e., trucking companies who carry goods for a number of shippers).  They’re targeting companies that have a mix of private/dedicated fleet, and common carrier shipments.  Check out their recent white paper:

If you look at the functionality of most TMS systems, the focus is on selecting a common carrier based on a routing guide, tendering to the carrier, freight audit and payment, track and trace, and grouping of shipments in order to save on freight spending (“optimization”).  If you talk to the sales team for traditional TMS vendors, they’ll tell you they can handle private and dedicated fleets, but that normally means “just load in the private fleet as if it’s just another carrier.”  That’s not a great answer, unfortunately.  That means you don’t have a system that lets you operationally control your power units and drivers (e.g., via Qualcomm integration) or help you pay your drivers based on the miles they’ve driven.  And worse, you might need to use some tricks to “fake out” the system, for example, to ensure that the private/dedicated fleet gets selected for the right shipments.

Instead, Ultraship combines functionality from fleet management tools (tools for managing your own fleet of trucks) and common carrier management tools (traditional TMS).  So shippers that have a mix of common carriers and private/dedicated fleets (which turns out to be a lot of companies in some verticals!) now have a better option.  By focusing on this market–shippers who use both common carriers and private/dedicated fleets–I think UltraShipTMS may have found a market segment that’s both under-served, and quite large.


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