Real-Time Tracking in Freight Forwarding: Ensuring Smooth Shipments and Enhanced Visibility

Real-time freight tracking systems are designed to pinpoint the location of shipments via GPS tracking. You can gather data about the status and condition of your assets using logistics tracking.

Imagine sending a parcel to someone and not having any idea about where it is at any point in its journey. Think about lost letters that never reach their recipients or sometimes, they’re delivered years after they were meant to. Real-time freight tracking is an absolute necessity in the modern-day shipping industry. Millions of shipments are moving around the world as we speak and they can’t have the same fate as countless lost letters in the mail.  

Besides the various departments of shipping companies needing information about active shipments from freight tracking systems for internal communication, the same data is required for reports shared with stakeholders and third parties involved in the operations. Freight forwarding software is useful for maintaining a centralized platform that allows a constant flow of data. You can easily integrate tracking tools or install freight software that already contains freight forwarder tracking tools.

Depending on your freight operations, you may be dealing with multimodal tracking, intermodal tracking, or both for different shipments. Monitor your assets and pinpoint their exact location on a map using real-time shipment tracking. No matter which transport mode you’re going for, freight forwarding systems with tracking tools work for land, sea, air, and rail. Your dashboard gives you access to view all active shipments on the map and you may click on them to get details through logistics tracking systems.   

Thanks to automation, you can trace the location of your shipment while it’s enroute to its destination. The recent years have witnessed an increasing amount of investment in supply chain automation. Freight forwarders are realizing that they can save time and costs while improving productivity using the latest technology like tracking tools.  

Types of freight tracking systems

There are two main categories of trace technology available in the shipping industry nowadays. You have to consider your company’s budget, data requirements, and feasibility choices before selecting the freight forwarder tracking system that fits your needs best. Study the features of both tracing setups to ensure that its specifications match your expectations. You’ll discover that getting the perfect features for track-and-trace technology is worth the money.  

Many companies are attracted to the passive variety of tracing equipment, but it has its drawbacks that you should be aware of. Passive tracking gadgets aren’t that large in size and are relatively affordable. While you can save money by choosing the passive option, you should know that passive tracking doesn’t allow real-time shipment tracking. Whenever the passive tracking equipment is prompted, it reveals the precise location of your asset on the map through GPS tracking.  

Active GPS tracking systems solve the two main problems some may find in the passive version. Firstly, you get real-time freight information on your dashboard straight from the source. Secondly, you can stay updated on the condition, status, location, and more information related to your shipment via active logistics tracking systems. Powered by batteries, the active tracing equipment works long-term, but it requires some maintenance, and it costs more than the passive setup.

How to track and trace real-time freight

You can keep an eye on your assets as they move through their shipping routes thanks to specialized tags attached to them. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are popular for monitoring the journey of various shipments. On the other hand, the tracking number system is used for the electronic data interchange (EDI) system. Whenever a package is being shipped, a unique number is generated for its freight forwarder tracking as it moves towards its destination.

As mentioned earlier, active and passive GPS tracking systems are available for monitoring the progress of shipments in the freight industry. Satellites are used to pinpoint the precise location of a stationary or moving vehicle, plane, train, or vessel containing your package. The real-time shipment tracking system records and updates the location of your asset, which you may pull on the map available on your dashboard.    

Why you should invest in logistics tracking systems

It’s time to embrace the transformative power of technology that’s changing the way freight forwarders, shippers, and their customers view supply chain management. Information about the time and location of shipments are two of the most important kinds of data in the freight industry. As you know by now, real-time freight tracking offers so much more than that.  

Beat competitors

The sooner you organize a real-time system for tracking your shipments, the sooner you can adapt to the changes it brings to your existing freight processes. The more you interact with your chosen freight forwarder tracking system, the more you maximize its potential to move ahead of the competition. Those who don’t make these changes at the right time risk being left behind others.

Route management

Before your shipment leaves its departure point, you arrange a route to take it from point A to B with the least number of challenges, if any at all. You want to save time, energy, and costs by selecting the perfect route for your shipment. Real-time shipment tracking alerts you to possible problems in your chosen route, allowing you to change it to avoid complications.

Better decision making

Your team is made up of several levels with the managers on top having the responsibility to delegate duties and give instructions to those monitoring your shipments. Teamwork forms the base of freight operations and you can strengthen the trust in your team using logistics tracking systems to make the right decisions at the right time.

Higher responsiveness

Delays and misinformation can cause indecision, but having shipment data flowing into your dashboard in real-time is helpful. You are constantly updated about the location, status, and condition of your shipment. Whenever you need a shipment’s data for external communication and reporting, you can extract it from freight tracking systems without much effort.

Customer experience

Automation makes freight operations more efficient and your employees can base their decisions on reliable real-time data. The more information you have about your shipment and the more recent it is, the better you can serve your customers. You always want to put your best foot forward when it comes to customer service and real-time freight tracking enables you to do just that.

Improved risk assessment

Forecasting is an essential component of supply chain management and you can be better prepared for challenges if you predicted them on time. You can depend on the data from freight forwarder tracking to help you pick up patterns. If there are unexpected issues along the original route, you can change it before your shipment reaches that point in its journey.  

Greater sustainability

The current level of carbon emissions reported in the transport sector is a concern to those in the freight industry as well as those who want environment-friendly shipping options. You save on operational costs, including fuel costs, by getting logistics tracking systems. Improved planning and route management contribute to reduction in the carbon footprint.


Several manual processes in the freight industry are being replaced by tools, machinery, and software that takes the burden of tedious tasks off employees. Overall efficiency increases by relying on real-time shipment tracking to guide the route managers and decision makers on your team. You can expect to save on expenditure, including fuel costs, and shift to more sustainable operations. Together, key players in the freight industry are changing their processes for the better through technological advancements.