Track and trace: know exactly where your shipment is

Stefan Seufert, CTO/Vorstand EIKONA AG
Customer checks where his delivery is via track and trace software

"You are like clockwork!" This sentence, spoken to drivers making a delivery, means their freight forwarder has taken its service to the next level. The benefits are obvious: consignees are more likely to be available when they know the estimated time of arrival (ETA). Tracing and tracking accelerates processes; transport quality increases. A solution that impresses customers.


When it comes to transporting goods, logistics service providers have a clear responsibility: to reliably arrange for goods to be delivered. They are integral to their customers' supply chain and are not finished until the delivery is made. Their quality directly affects shippers' and consignees' processes. That is why shipment tracking is a key driver in optimising processes for these companies. Monitoring allows them to recognise early on that shipments will not arrive on time. Tracking and tracing thus tells them when their plans need to be adjusted. Freight forwarders who offer this kind of solution are providing excellent customer service with:

  • Up-to-date status messages
  • Real-time information
  • Data transfer to operational systems
  • Proactive notifications
  • Transparent information for recipients

Shippers learn when they can invoice goods that they have sold and shipped free domicile. Recipients know when a delivery will be made and can prepare accordingly.


Improve efficiency with tracking and tracing

In addition to improving the customer service experience, shipment tracking benefits freight forwarders, too. It enables them to keep track of their ongoing processes better. They just have to connect their partners to the IT solution for them to provide real-time notifications on the order fulfillment process. This reduces the need for communication, increases service provider efficiency and helps to improve customer service. It automates information sharing and allows companies to monitor the quality of their own services. They can also digitally assign tasks and direct their partners' actions when they spot an issue that requires intervention. With accurate data at their fingertips, they can improve communications and tighten the supply chain containing air, sea, rail or truck transports.


Transport goods reliably

Technology helps logistics companies manage their tasks. Automatic messages inform them about the vehicles' GPS position in real time and let them calculate the estimated time of arrival at the next loading point. They can also share this data with customers' operational systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Rule-based event notifications enable all stakeholders to spot disruptions in the transport chain early on and adjust their downstream process accordingly.


Digitalise collaboration effectively with tracking and tracing

By connecting everyone to a central data hub, a tracking and tracing system creates a valuable framework for digitally linking logistics service providers to their partners and customers. This enables process automation, information at a glance and analyses of the outcomes of individual process steps. The logistics providers themselves benefit just as much as their customers from this deeper form of cooperation: digital organisation improves process quality as well as customer service. Transparently sharing the status of individual work steps gives everyone precise information – even to the point of displaying ongoing trips on a map. When combined with ETA calculations, this significantly increases the probability of successful consumer deliveries. And that helps to avoid costly, time-consuming processes such as redeliveries.

Conclusion

Tracking and tracing is fundamental to customer service

Transparently communicating shipment progress to customers has always been the most important customer service task for freight forwarders. A track and trace system significantly improves transport quality with comprehensive order information, integration of all data sources and precise organisation of ongoing processes. With benefits such as arrival time forecasts and trip mapping, real-time information makes these benefits come to life – when the trucks arrive right on time.


Stefan Seufert
Stefan Seufert
CTO

As a design guru, the software developer delves into logistics service providers' requirements like no other. He is passionate about exchanging information securely and efficiently and thus speeding up the physical logistics process.


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