BeyondTrucks BLOG

What Questions to Ask Your TMS Vendor About Rate Tables

Accurate rate tables are crucial for cost-effective and competitive operations in the trucking industry. For trucking companies and field service applications, a robust Transportation Management System (TMS) should offer comprehensive and flexible rate table management. Here are essential questions to ask your TMS vendor about their rate table capabilities.

**1. What Types of Rate Tables Are Supported?**

Understanding the types of rate tables supported is fundamental. Ask if the TMS can handle various rate structures, such as flat rates, mileage-based rates, weight-based rates, and fuel surcharges.

**2. How Flexible Are the Rate Tables?**

Flexibility is key to meeting diverse pricing needs. Inquire about the ability to customize rate tables based on different criteria, such as customer contracts, lanes, and service levels.

**3. Can Rate Tables Be Updated Easily?**

Frequent updates may be necessary to keep rates competitive. Ask how easy it is to update rate tables, whether it can be done in-house, and if there are tools available for bulk updates.

**4. How Are Discounts and Surcharges Handled?**

Handling discounts and surcharges accurately is crucial. Inquire if the TMS allows for the inclusion of discounts, surcharges, and accessorial charges within the rate tables.

**5. Can Rate Tables Be Integrated with Other Systems?**

Integration ensures consistency and efficiency. Ask if the rate tables can be integrated with other systems, such as ERP and billing systems, to ensure seamless data flow.

**6. How Does the TMS Ensure Rate Accuracy?**

Accuracy is paramount for maintaining profitability. Inquire about the measures taken to ensure rate accuracy, such as validation checks and auditing tools.

**7. What Reporting Capabilities Are Available for Rate Tables?**

Comprehensive reporting helps in analysis and decision-making. Ask about the types of reports available related to rate tables, such as rate comparison, cost analysis, and profitability reports.

**8. How Are Contract-Specific Rates Managed?**

Managing contract-specific rates can be complex. Inquire if the TMS allows for the creation and management of contract-specific rates and how it handles renewals and expirations.

**9. What User Permissions Are Available for Rate Table Management?**

Security and control are essential. Ask about the user permissions available for rate table management to ensure only authorized personnel can make changes.

**10. What is the Vendor’s Experience with Rate Table Management?**

Finally, evaluate the vendor’s experience with rate table management. Request case studies or references from other trucking companies in segments like liquid and dry bulk, chemical transportation, petroleum transportation, and fuel transportation to understand their satisfaction and success.


Effective rate table management is crucial for maintaining competitive and profitable operations in the trucking industry. By asking the right questions, you can ensure your TMS vendor provides flexible, accurate, and user-friendly rate table solutions. A robust rate table management system will keep your fleet running smoothly and your business competitive in the dynamic trucking industry.