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S ec t i on 4 : Op port un i t i e s
Transportation Management in the Federal Government
| Best Practices Report: 2012
The government could benefit considerably from adopting a consoli-
dated data pool where all (or more realistically a lot of ) transportation
data is housed and made accessible to groups like the GSA for review to
adjust their efforts, and on which to eventually build a strong transpor-
tation management system. A single data repository is one of the easiest
ways to give agencies visibility around their practices and those of
others, helping to answer oft-asked questions such as “Are we auditing
properly? Are we getting competitive rates? Are other monitoring
separate charges better?”
For the day-to-day and basic supply chain operations, many agencies
use the same vendors, so they can benefit from sharing information and
experiences related to these logistics service providers (LSPs) included in
that general repository. This could open the door to opportunities for
groups of agencies in related areas to integrate transportation efforts,
such as combining similar loads from multiple sources to make a full
truck or ocean container move to save money versus the generally
higher cost of using multiple less-than-truck/container load shipments.
The next step after establishing a repository for all of this data is putting
it to good use. One of the more worthwhile efforts for this data would
be to develop a universal transportation management system (TMS) or
integrate the information with available, and future, TMS that all
agencies can use.
The federal government is in the process of developing and expanding a
TMS, and pushing all of this information to it would allow the system
to account for any special needs for moves, as well as integrate
contracting concerns and audit service support. The TMS could then be
expanded into a single system to monitor, aggregate, and analyze all of
the data from these disparate entities. An integrated system would also
prevent any historic data loss as agencies shift from one contractor to
While other suggestions in this report can have an impact on govern-
ment freight payment, the best approach to begin making improve-
ments to the system is with the development and use of a central TMS.
It presents an interesting opportunity to start the integration and
optimization process, because it’s a shared trait, and potentially the only
shared trait among all agencies.
A single data repository
would be one of the
easiest ways to give
agencies visibility around
their practices and others.