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Can Asset Trackers Minimize Freight Delays?

Fleet managers use GPS asset management technology to keep tabs on their trucks as they deliver shipping containers all across the country. These managers like to know where their vehicles are at all times to ensure the product shipments are on track to reach their target destinations when they’re supposed to.

It’s a valuable asset tracking device for fleet managers but the recent supply chain crisis makes it crucial to locate shipments in transit. There’s an excess of cargo ships piling up in ports across the world. That these ships are unable to dock and unload their freight containers has resulted in delays regarding when the content within those containers will be delivered to its proper location.

Freight companies are in a constant panic trying to reassure their customers that their orders will arrive on time. But words only offer so much assurance when delivery schedules are constantly being thrown out of whack.

With GPS asset management technology, freight companies and fleet managers can offer updates to their customers to keep informed and ensure that their businesses can continue running as smoothly as possible.

Why are there delays in shipping containers?

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced a ridiculous product shortage affecting all parts of the world at the moment. Stores everywhere are running low or even empty on goods and products and manufacturers are working hard to stock their shelves and warehouses as quickly as possible.

The only problem with that goal is that it’s not as easy as it sounds. When manufacturing plants are offshore from where the products will be sold, you have no control over cargo ships and when freight is delivered through the local port. You only regain tracking and control of your expected cargo order when it lands in port and gets placed on the right freight truck.

It didn’t help that the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important transportation routes for cargo ships, became blocked off in March after the container ship Ever Given got stuck, setting off a ripple effect many other cargo ships had to deal with.

“When the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal, shipping companies had to make the hard choice of staying in line at the Suez or taking much longer routes to destinations,” said Brad Howard of CNBC. 

With a typical arrival schedule completely thrown off, many ships have had to wait their turn just off the port before they could unload their cargo. A record 73 container ships sat on San Pedro Bay near the port of Los Angeles in mid-September. 36 of these ships couldn’t even drop an anchor because all the available anchorages were already being used.

Delays in the arrival of shipping containers resulted in delays unloading containers off the ship and loading them onto a truck for transportation. For the freight companies in charge of that transportation on the ground, the snowball effect of these backups leaves them with an even greater responsibility to reassure customers located in the midwest and far away from a port location that their items are on their way.

How can asset tracking devices help freight companies support their customers?

If freight companies want to be able to let customers know of their product’s location and progress, installing an asset tracking device on each trailer is one of the best ways to do exactly that.

With GPS Trackit’s GL500 battery-powered tracker, for example, freight companies can have access to GPS asset management that allows them to know where their trailers are at all times and thus have greater insight into when those trailers will arrive at their destination. They have access to a map that allows them to quickly locate assets all over the country and then relay that information to inquiring customers.

Transparency is one of the most important elements of the relationship between buyer and seller. Mistakes happen. Orders get delayed. A global pandemic causes nearly every industry to make adjustments. But by being as honest and upfront as possible about the delays, freight companies can minimize the complaints they receive. Frustrated customers can be updated when their products are set to arrive later than expected or when another delay pushes that time back even further. With accurate, up-to-date tracking companies can provide reassurances regarding expected delivery times.

Customers who know when their orders will arrive have more structure and stability within their day-to-day operations. They can plan around that knowledge instead of playing a guessing game with products that have yet to arrive. When managing an operation or a team or a company that typically has concerns beyond shipping delays, having that sense of stability is a significant difference-maker when it comes to being able to handle problems that may arise elsewhere.

Are you ready to learn more? Talk to a Fleet Advisor today.

What are some additional benefits to asset tracking devices?

Additional benefits of asset management technology can be found on GPS Trackit’s GL500 Asset Tracker page. A few notable benefits include:

  • The User update button immediately shares GPS coordinates with Fleet Management.
  • With assets at multiple sites, you can see all your non-powered assets on one map. Using GPS asset tracking provides real-time tracking that works in theft prevention and recovery.
  • Protect valuable assets with geofence alerts to help you ensure devices stay where they should be.

Sources

  1. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/record-shattered-61-container-ships-stuck-waiting-off-california 
  2. https://gpstrackit.com/solutions/asset-tracking/ 

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