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Visibility and transparency are critical in the trucking and transportation industries. Your customers need to have the ability to know exactly where their freight is and when they can expect to have it. If fleets aren’t able to provide that information, they risk significantly harming their customer relationships, their bottom line and even their business as a whole.

As a result, most shippers and brokers require carriers to use load tracking technology, also known as freight tracking, in order to move their cargo. Many carriers might be familiar with load tracking, which mostly involves using GPS software to allow brokers, shippers and other stakeholders to pinpoint the exact location of their cargo while carriers are in-transit. 

From a shipper or broker’s perspective, freight tracking and carrier compliance are priorities and vital tools in helping navigate increasingly elaborate supply chains. Having this capability allows them to improve their efficiency, provide a proactive response in case of delays and deliver an all-around better customer experience.

Because of the transparency and flexibility it provides, freight tracking is an essential part of supply chain management. That also means it’s essential for carriers to understand the different requirements shippers and carriers have for transporting cargo. Read on to learn more! 

Why Freight Tracking is Important for Carriers 

Essentially, because visibility through freight tracking is important for a shipper and their customers, it should be just as important for the carrier. 

Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has no requirements when it comes to visibility, many shippers and brokers do. In fact, one survey noted that access to real-time visibility is among the capabilities valued most by transportation management companies. And they expect the carriers they work with to comply with those specific standards in order to continue doing business with them. 

That means it’s critical for carriers to understand the specific visibility requirements of the shippers and brokers that they work with. These standards may vary by company, but some of the most common requirements include:

  • Accurate dates/times for pickup and delivery 
  • Point of origin
  • Delivery size and weight
  • Details for each load
  • Carrier numbers
  • Fees and payment terms
  • And more

Failing to comply with these load tracking standards, as a carrier, increases the risk of straining your relationship, losing them as a customer and even damaging your reputation. 

In other words, carrier compliance with freight tracking and other shipper/broker visibility standards is good for business. Not only that, but it can also be a differentiator for carriers against their competitors. 

While many shippers require a high percentage of visibility compliance, the industry average has been as low 30 to 40 percent in the past years. Consistently achieving your customers’ required visibility rate, which can often be around 80 to 90 percent, can set you up for a successful, long-term partnership.

What are the Advantages of Freight Tracking?

Now that you know about the value of freight tracking devices from a business standpoint, let’s talk about how they can also be mutually beneficial when used along your route. 

Improves shipper and broker operations.

Using GPS tracking and advanced software, freight tracking devices allow stakeholders to monitor their freight from start to finish. In addition to providing the exact location of your loads, they also provide details such as material statuses, regulatory information, shipping details and more. 

From a practicality standpoint, this visibility is highly valuable to shippers and brokers because it allows them to optimize their operations. It helps them identify inefficiencies within their supply chain and provides valuable data that they can then use to improve their processes. When utilized properly, businesses can reduce their wasted time and more effectively manage transportation and inventory costs. 

Decreased risk and increased customer satisfaction.

Just as important, freight tracking and increased visibility help shippers and brokers better manage risk and improve their customer relationships through transparency. These systems allow them to identify potential issues and determine a corrective plan of action before they lead to larger problems and losses down the line. Shippers or freight brokers can then alert their customers for full transparency. 

For instance, let’s say a carrier encounters severe weather or road closures along their route and it delays their ETA. Freight tracking GPS, usually in the form of a mobile application, allows carriers to directly communicate the issue with their shipper or broker, who can then communicate the issue with their customers or any other stakeholders.

Increased protection for carriers.

Freight tracking devices don’t just help shippers and brokers, either. They’re also a way for carriers to protect themselves both physically and financially. Instead of having to take check calls while hauling loads, shippers and brokers can simply do a quick check on their device to see where their freight is on the map. 

This is obviously helpful in reducing distractions while driving. Additionally, if carriers are ever in a situation where they’re held up at a pickup or delivery location, they can use their freight tracking devices to verify their location and ensure they get compensated for their detention time.  

How RTS Can Improve Your Freight Tracking Capabilities

It’s reasonable for truck drivers to be uneasy about the idea of being “tracked” while driving along their route. However, freight tracking is only becoming more common as shippers and brokers look for ways to optimize their operations and improve their visibility. Adopting this technology is a great way for carriers to set themselves apart from the competition while improving their financial strength and customer relationships.

Backed by a family of brands in transportation services, finance and technology, RTS has multiple decades of experience serving carriers. Have questions about carrier compliance, factoring services, fuel discounts and more? 

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