Live tracking on the road: challenges and opportunities

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If you transport goods from A to B, there’s no question that you need digital solutions such as live shipment tracking. Particularly when the transport logistics industry is working at full capacity. Real-time shipment tracking allows you to keep an eye on your shipment from the time it is loaded on the truck right up until it is delivered.

Learn all about how TIMOCOM's live shipment tracking works and how it benefits everyone.

State of digitalisation in the transport and logistics industry

Crises can open up new opportunities. It may sound like a cliché, but of course it contains a kernel of truth. And so it was during the Coronavirus pandemic, which turned out to be a significant  factor in promoting digitalisation within medium sized businesses. At least, according to the Digitalisation Index 2021, published annually by the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs.

And live shipment tracking is one of the most important solutions that, as part of the digital transformation, are making transport processes more efficient, more digital and more transparent.

Tracking within the transport industry

“Your package is only four stops away. View the map to see the location of your shipment in real time.” You have no doubt seen messages like this while waiting for a package to be delivered to your home. Usually, providers show only the final leg of delivery, allowing you to be waiting at the door to accept the package.

It’s a lot more complicated in the B2B segment: there are more people and systems involved, and the amount of information required is a little more complicated than “I’m here”. The goods must be tracked from the moment they are loaded to the moment they are delivered, all in real time. GPS data is shared by the transport service provider with the transport customer, allowing them to react to any changes, make new plans, find temporary storage and inform their customers of any changes.

Challenges for tracking within the transport industry 

The transport industry is a fragmented industry. It is made up of a few large companies and a plethora of small and medium sized enterprises. So it’s no surprise that there are just as many different solutions on the market for tracking goods. This creates the following challenges:

  • the systems used by service providers and transport customers are not compatible, meaning that it’s not easy for them to share location information.
  • This creates information asymmetries, making it harder for service providers and transport customers to work together and losing both time and money.

Small businesses often don’t have the expertise or the money required to integrate expensive software into their processes, so they often lose out on business. After all, transport customers want security and transparency, particularly for new partnerships. They want to know where there goods are and when they will be arriving at all times. What’s missing is an industry-wide solution. 

How TIMOCOM's live shipment tracking works 

TIMOCOM's live shipment tracking creates a digital twin for each transport and assigns a number to it. This twin is then used to provide shipment statuses to transport customers, road hauliers and other participants. The digital twin also allows for the exchange of information, such as status, or for documents such as POD or CMR to be uploaded.

The service provider can choose to share dispatch references, GPS data, vehicle licence plate information, ETAs and real-time location via the digital twin. Transport data is shared in a way that makes sense. 

Optionally, businesses might choose to use simple, secure APIs to integrate the feature into existing TMS/ERP systems. The process is quick and follows the principles of data economy, providing new opportunities for businesses and improving efficiency while maintaining high levels of data security.

What are the advantages of TIMOCOM's live shipment  tracking?

Road hauliers, freight forwarders, shipping agents, manufacturers, consignees: everyone understands that the digital transformation is here. But how do they integrate shipment tracking into existing structures without completely disturbing their existing infrastructure?
The major advantage offered by our live shipment tracking feature is that relevant data which would be created during transport anyway is now available to all participants at a single location. Plus, the application only uses data that is strictly necessary to track the goods, and only if the user actively decides to share that information.
Additional advantages:

•    Precise ETA calculations (Estimated Time of Arrival) 
•    Efficient yard and time window management due to reduced waiting times at loading docks
•    Reliably fill trucks to capacity and avoid empty runs
•    Adjust flexibly to changes caused by supply chain bottle necks, traffic jams or cancelled trips
•    Secure network with trustworthy partners thanks to high levels of data security
•    Avoid switching back and forth between software programs and save time by avoiding questions over SMS, e-mail, phone regarding where the goods are and when they will be arriving 
•    Share documents related to the goods digitally if desired

Live tracking saves time by reducing the need to enter transport data manually, helps to avoid errors by eliminating the need to switch between different software programs and means you no longer need to rely on impractical communication. Significant cost-saving measures including just-in-time and last mile delivery, when combined with live shipment tracking, thus offer the opportunity to significantly reduce costs while simultaneously improving customer satisfaction.

Live Shipment Tracking: improve efficiency and transparency 

The digital transformation is no longer an abstract concept in the transport industry. As early as 2019, a survey conducted by consulting firm PwC showed that 81 percent of survey transport companies were investing in digitalisation. The market is heterogeneous, and will remain that way. However, digital applications allow even a heterogeneous market to present a united digital front. Roadworthy, secure solutions such as TIMOCOM's live shipment tracking keep you ahead of the curve.

TIMOCOM is a partner that takes the concerns of transport customers and service providers seriously and provides efficient solutions to address them. It’s the only way to ensure that the logistics market can transform into a collaborative network that provides sustainable, efficient and cost-effective benefits to all participants.

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