DLA and USTRANSCOM Conduct Successful Test of Transportation Management System Prototype
October 11, 2019
This week the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) successfully launched a transportation management system (TMS) operational prototype that could give DLA and its customers additional options for supplying the warfighter and other customers. Working with USTRANSCOM, DLA coordinates a global distribution network of more than 12,000 suppliers.
The new TMS system will integrate the Defense Transportation System (DTS), allowing for audit compliant transportation planning, ordering, shipment, tracking, payment, billing and reporting for global cargo movements, when fully implemented. The TMS prototype’s implementation spans multiple releases, with each release incrementally adding new functionality.
The DLA release in the 1.2 series focuses on processing transportation requirements relating to the movement of palletized goods, specifically the ability to process movements using organic airlift assets and commercial road carriers. This week’s freight orders and freight bookings involved moving cargo from DLA Distribution in San Juaquin (DDJC), California via Travis Air Force Base (AFB) into Hawaii (Hickam AFB/Oahu) to DLA Distribution in Pearl Harbor (DDPH).
USTRANSCOM’s TMS prototype is an end-to-end business solution that is based on SAP’s commercial Transportation Management software. Fusing commercial and government TMS would give USTRANSCOM more options for moving supplies via air, sea, and land, as well as real-time visibility of cargo throughout its journey from the point of origin to its final destination with the customer.
TMS uses Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to communicate with commercial carriers, where possible. EDI is a “universal” electronic communication method that transmits documents in a standardized format. TMS transmits batched data via EDI at set intervals throughout the day. EDI communications are available for tendering of a booking, acceptance of a booking by a carrier, updating or changing a booking and transmission of shipping instructions, manifests and customs forms.
“Integrating with DLA adds another key milestone with XML/EDI connectivity to DLA, Crowley, and Air Mobility Command,” said Telesto Group CEO Soren Hastrup. “This integration will further strengthen the partnership between USTRANSCOM and DLA.”
In parallel with the DLA release, a new system feature was deployed - the In-Transit Visibility (ITV) Dashboard for the tracking of shipment progress. TMS utilizes Event Management (EM) and Business Warehouse (BW) tools to monitor and analyze data in near-real-time. Users now have the ability to view data in graphical format through charts and graphs or in columned, numerical format.
The new TMS supports USTRANSCOM’s strategic priority to evolve for tomorrow by providing proven, end-to-end, best-practice transportation solutions. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, the Hon. Robert H. McMahon, stated: “The prototype is worth the energy we are putting in today to demonstrate what the art of possible is.”
“The amazing delivery process continues,” said Hastrup. “I cannot say enough about the teamwork between the customer, the carriers, and of course our internal team.”