Load Tracking

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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One of the key advances in technology in the freight industry over the last decade has been the proliferation of load tracking capabilities. While some companies still use telephones in the process, others now use tracking devices carried in the trucks. Generally, shippers must be using a specific carrier and must obtain a user name and password to access the tracking information.

How Load Tracking Works

GPS tracking and dispatch call-ins provide location and status information in real time virtually 24 hours a day. If a shipper uses a freight broker to do his booking, the broker will most likely provide tracking services at the same level as that provided by individual carriers. GPS stands for Global Positioning Systems, a satellite-based system that receives a constant signal from specific devices.

Tracking systems allow shippers and carriers to monitor where trucks are, how fast they are moving, and even whether the trailer doors are open. Knowing where the trucks are allows shippers the luxury of having a good idea of whether they will get to their destinations on time. If a trucker is in trouble and stops by the side of the road, the tracking device will transmit the information.

Why the Need to Know?

Valuable cargo travels the roads. Trucks and rigs cost a lot of money as does the fuel to power them along. Customers have requirements and commitments that call for on-time deliveries. If a rig breaks down and can't get moving, tracking may mean that the carrier can either dispatch another truck or hire one to deliver the goods. Carriers like the systems because they allow the carriers to assure their shipping customers that the loads are moving and will be on time.


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