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When getting an Amazon package, isn’t it helpful to be able to log in, look up the item, and see an estimated arrival date or time? Technology has improved the efficiency of the tracking and tracing part of the logistics industry, which better increases the visibility of our goods. With cell phones and apps rising in popularity, it makes sense that customers or clients would like to know similar information about their orders using such technology.

Recently we have seen an increase in tracking apps such as FourKites, MacroPoint, CW Traffic, and even our very own ALC Carrier app. Tracking orders via these applications provides an enormous amount of data that can help buyers and clients to better prepare inventory needs and scale down the number of phone calls between brokers and carriers, all while keeping everyone in the loop. For example, the new Costco app that just rolled out, called CW Traffic, will track and trace a PO from pick up to delivery, using geofencing technology. The carrier downloads the app onto their cell phone, the broker sends a link with a username and password, which the customer created, via text message to the drivers. The app runs in the background of the phone pinging its location and sending that data instantly to the customer and broker.

Another big perk of integrating this technology is that drivers will not need to take as many phone calls from their brokers. In addition, drivers with different native languages will be able to provide updates themselves in the apps, reducing the risk of confusion. They can mark themselves at pickup, departed pick up, etc., within the apps, just by the click of a button. These benefits will reduce the number of distractions that drivers experience and allow them to focus on their vital role in our country’s supply chain.

All parties involved benefit from using the tracking app. The shipper can see where a truck is and its expected arrival time, this allows for better decision-making when receiving trucks. As an example, receivers can see that their 8 a.m. truck is running behind, so they can go ahead and receive a different truck that is already onsite. Brokers can monitor the progress of carriers and reduce those EARLY morning calls! Since everyone’s simple and favorite 8 a.m. “Where are you?” calls are taken care of via the tracking apps. Then any calls will be even more important because they will be for details, issues, continuing to build relationships, and/or instructions. Overall, the use of apps can lead to better communication across the supply chain and make for an easier process of delivering goods across the country.

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