For shipping companies, adopting emerging technology offers a sharp competitive edge that can help them improve client experience, prevent delays, and even reduce theft and losses. One of the most promising examples of shipping tech is GPS tracking, which allows companies to gain real-time insight into where their goods are while in transit. Here’s what you need to know about using GPS units to track shipments, and why it’s a good idea.
WHY IS GPS TRACKING IMPORTANT?
With GPS trackers, companies are no longer left guessing if something is en route or on time. That saves money and it helps them align schedules to improve efficiency and keep customers happy. Keeping tabs on cargo as it moves through checkpoints and even across borders is no easy feat, but with GPS units, shipping companies no longer have to rely on the infrequent and estimated updates of drivers.
Instead, companies can check in on cargo at any point in time and get instant alerts if something goes wrong. That makes shipping easier, more secure, and more predictable for all involved.
GPS tracking also offers greater visibility into the supply chain, which is a must-have for optimizing logistics. With tracking data for all of your shipments, you can make sure you’re always on schedule and delight your customers with delivery promises that you’re actually able to keep. When things are at risk of being late, you can even provide plenty of notice, helping to keep relationships strong. What’s more, GPS units can help you route shipments and be mindful of potential weather and traffic-related delays in advance, so you can take preemptive action.
Lastly, GPS tracking has a great deal of value to offer when it comes to preventing cargo theft and recovering stolen cargo—a problem that costs companies millions each year. You can get an alert as soon as your cargo has left a given zone or altered its route, giving you an early warning that something isn’t right. If theft happens, you can provide the exact location to the authorities to aid in timely recovery.
HOW TO USE GPS TO TRACK SHIPMENTS
Modern GPS trackers are inexpensive, small, and discreet, allowing you to attach them to precious cargo for around-the-clock location updates. Of course, modern GPS units can also provide additional data beyond location. Let’s take a look at how you can use GPS trackers to the greatest advantage.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT UNIT
Consider a unit that alerts you to potential damage caused by rough handling or choose a unit that monitors the environment, which is ideal for perishables. Damage alerts, which trigger based on tilt, vibration, or shock, can help you protect high-value shipments and ensure that they arrive in the best condition.
If you have a customer who reports damaged goods, the right unit will help you pinpoint where that damage occurred. For instance, if it happened after the shipment was unloaded, you’ll know that your business isn’t responsible—and that can save you countless dollars in lost revenue. On the other hand, if your company is responsible for the damage, you can know about it long before the goods arrive to your customer’s doors. That allows you to prepare or ship a replacement before they even know about the problem.
CALIBRATE THE BEST SETTINGS
No matter what type of GPS tracker you decide to use, you’ll be able to reap a host of benefits, including the chance to avoid delays. With international shipments, a GPS tracker tells you the moment your shipments arrive or depart from a given port, and gives you insight if goods get stuck in one spot. If that happens, you can quickly jump into action to clear up problems, preventing or minimizing delays so your cargo can be on its way to its final destination.
The key to using your GPS tracker to gain visibility into your shipments is setting it up with the right notifications and alerts. For instance, you might want to geofence your shipments so that you know when they leave or enter a certain zone (like the approximate area of your customer). Meanwhile, you might want to set notifications so you can track if the shipment sits in a certain place for so long, alerting you to a potential delay or other problem that you need to act on. With the right settings, your GPS trackers will prove invaluable to your company.
FIND A TRUSTWORTHY PROVIDER
Not all GPS manufacturers are created equal. Before you make a big investment into GPS units to track your shipments, it’s important that you do your due diligence and find a company that’s reliable, cost-effective, and committed to serving your business’s needs. At LandAirSea, we believe in the customer-first mantra, and we prove it every day with our outstanding service and industry-leading equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about how GPS can help your business gain a competitive edge, prevent cargo theft, and optimize its supply chain, our team can answer your questions. Contact LandAirSea today for more information.