Ultimate Guide to Managed Transportation Services

Modern logistics problems demand modern solutions. Today, countless US shippers face supply chain issues like driver shortages, capacity inefficiencies, government regulations, shrinking delivery windows, and rising transportation costs. Companies slow to address these issues run a severe risk of falling behind competitors who continuously seek faster, more efficient, and cost-effective chemical logistics solutions. Facing these challenges, the market is seeing significant increases in the reliance on outsourced shipping specialists for logistics and supply chain services – first and foremost are comprehensive managed transportation solutions.

At CLX Logistics, we’re passionate about managed transportation and want to share everything we know about it with you in your search for the ideal managed transportation partner. In this blog, we’re looking at what managed transportation is, how it works, and its key benefits.

What Is Managed Transportation?

Managed transportation is typically thought of as a comprehensive solution for successfully operating and optimizing transportation and logistics networks. A managed transportation provider is an outsourced partner that delivers comprehensive planning and execution on all shipments for a client.

The term managed transportation is sometimes thought of differently in different regions. In Europe, a managed transportation arrangement typically refers to a tightly defined, relatively rigid service where a single logistics service provider manages other 3PLs as a single point of contact. In North America, managed transportation tends to offer greater flexibility, and providers often engage in customizable, long-term partnerships that include ongoing supply chain optimization. For example, CLX’s managed transportation services include technology solutions, mode management, capacity assurance, digital freight brokerage, analytics, visibility, and more, all of which can be routinely optimized through a cohesive continuous improvement program.

What Are Some Key Benefits of Managed Transportation Services?

Managed Transportation Services have exploded in popularity among shippers in every industry as the benefits of outsourcing frequently outweigh the costs. Some of the biggest benefits of working with a 4PL or Managed Transportation Services provider include:

  1. A Single Point of Contact
    Outsourcing logistics to a dedicated managed transportation provider saves considerable time, money, and effort for shippers and their partners with a consistent, uniform experience. With a single point of contact, shippers get complete visibility across their supply chain in one convenient place with standardized processes and on-demand support. With CLX, for example, shippers get seamless coordination across modes and regions to achieve the best transportation costs possible.
  2. Improved Supply Chain Efficiency, Flexibility, & Responsiveness
    A managed transportation services provider can give you immediate access to the perspective and benefits of an industry-leading transportation network. You also get a wealth of expertise that allows you to cherry-pick the best choices out of multiple modes and carriers with a high degree of flexibility to deal with ever-evolving global events, regulations, and other challenges.
  3. Improved ROI
    Outsourcing to a managed transportation provider connects your supply chain to a whole new network of smaller 3PLs that reduce costs and generate value. Procurement and bidding become faster and cheaper, especially with seamless integration with tools like CLX LaneLogix™. Powerful analytics tools like CLX Gravity™ allow custom data sources from external systems, including BluJay TMS, to be combined with in-house data to build more accurate transportation models, develop better forecasts, and prepare for challenges.
  4. Advanced Visibility
    Effective managed transportation delivers improved supply chain visibility, typically with the help of a modern Transportation Management System (TMS). CLX TMS is one such tool, providing real-time visibility into supply chains of all sizes, anywhere in the world, with planning and execution capabilities across networks.

What is the Role of a TMS in Managed Transportation Services?

In the industry, you may see Managed Transportation Services abbreviated as MTS. MTS refers to the array of services offered by a logistics company to handle your outsourcing need. Similarly, Transportation Management System is abbreviated TMS. TMS refers to the software they use to help make it all possible. Using the same letters can get confusing, so to be clear:

  • MTS = Managed Transportation Services
  • TMS = Transportation Management System

What is a TMS?

A TMS offers organization, structure, and visibility within the entire transportation cycle. It assists with bidding, rate management, real-time tracking, analytics, and more. When shippers want to improve their transportation cycle, they either need to build and implement their own TMS or outsource transportation to a managed transportation service. Depending on the company hired for managed transportation services, they may have their own unique TMS or offer some industry-common software.

In some cases, Managed Transportation Service providers may even offer unique TMS solutions designed for a specific industry, as with CLX Logistics and CLX TMS. CLX TMS is a world-class transportation management system with plug-and-play speed, efficiency, and supply chain visibility. CLX TMS helps chemical shippers optimize networks, solve capacity management issues, resolve compatibility challenges, and more with a centralized tool integrating global freight data from CLX and BluJay TMS. Shippers can substantially automate transportation planning, execution, invoice settlements functions, cost and service level optimization, visibility, metrics, and analytics while making continuous proactive network improvements.

Choosing the Right Managed Transportation Service

Since companies use the terms Managed Transportation Service and 4PL loosely, you may find that an MTS you signed up for isn’t the right fit for you down the road. It’s essential to do thorough research into any logistics company’s MTS offerings to help prevent these misalignments. Get in touch with them and let them tell you about everything they do. You may even want to ask your current MTS provider for their full list of capabilities and could be surprised at what they offer! Click here for our guide on Choosing the Right 4PL.

Still Don’t Have an MTS?

If you still don’t have a Managed Transportation Service, now’s the time to get one. CLX Managed Transportation is an end-to-end modal management solution powered by a suite of a la carte services chemical shippers can customize and adjust on-demand, according to their requirements. Our a la carte mode management services include procurement, freight brokerage, payment, LTL trucking, drayage, bulk liquid chemical transportation, and more. CLX Logistics is unique in that our comprehensive selection of freight management solutions is among our core competencies. With CLX Managed Transportation, chemical manufacturers lower costs, improve service, and fill gaps in expertise with a proven team of chemical logistics specialists.

Contact us to talk about your chemical shipping situation.

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