How to Track Shipments with Disposable GPS Trackers

June 30, 2020

July 2, 2024


x min read

GPS tracking devices are an invaluable tool for many businesses that ship goods. There are a number of problems that can occur when goods are in transit, making real-time visibility essential for shipping companies. However, outfitting shipments with GPS tracking to get real-time location updates can be expensive, but the industry has found a cost-effective and efficient solution through disposable GPS trackers.

Basically, a disposable GPS tracker is a single-use, mini GPS tracker that is attached to cargo and freight shipments. And they work off of 2G, 3G, and even 5G connections. The low cost of these devices is what makes them suitable for one-time use. And there are many use cases in which these devices can come in handy. Keep reading as we discuss how to track freight shipments with disposable GPS trackers.

Why you need a GPS tracking solution

We live in a fast-paced world, where millions of packages are being shipped in bulk every day over long distances. Thankfully, we're living in a technologically-advanced age where a GPS tracking device can provide the following benefits from the moment the goods have been shipped.

Cargo tracking

With GPS tracking, you can efficiently and accurately track your cargo as it moves through various checkpoints, letting you know where it is at all times. This gives you greater control of your goods so that should something go wrong, you can take corrective action and secure your cargo. And these single-use GPS devices usually have an extended battery life that a single charge can allow you to keep tracking them for weeks.

Supply chain visibility

Supply chain visibility is essential when it comes to improving logistics since it enhances the visibility of tracking data to all stakeholders. And what better way is there to make this tracking data readily available to stakeholders than through GPS tracking solutions? And with consumers demanding faster delivery times, freight forwarders, third-party logistics service providers (3PLs), and shippers that wish to remain competitive can use the tracking data to ensure consistent and timely delivery of goods.

Get ahead of late shipments

When customers are waiting for goods to be delivered, nothing can be more frustrating than late deliveries, especially when they weren't notified in advance that there will be a delay. Since these small GPS trackers feed you real-time data about the location of your shipment and how far it is from the destination, you can constantly update your customers and alert them of any delays. Furthermore, the GPS data can help you anticipate any delays that your shipments can come across, such as traffic jams when shipping by truck, allowing you to take pre-emptive action to minimize or eliminate delays through route optimization.

Improved cargo security

With GPS tracking solutions, you can overcome some of the challenges of cargo security, especially when it comes to cargo theft. Should the cargo get stolen, the GPS tracker will still be transmitting the location data, allowing you to alert the authorities of its location. And due to the tiny size of these disposable GPS trackers, they are so discreet that it is hard for the thieves to locate and disable them.

Use cases for GPS trackers

So how do you use disposable GPS trackers to track your freight shipments? You'll be surprised that today's sophisticated GPS tracking solutions provide more than just location data. Here are a few use cases of GPS trackers.

Location tracking

If you are shipping critical materials and equipment that need to be onsite before the installers get there, GPS trackers can help. You can use location tracking to ensure there is better coordination between complex, interdependent supply chains to minimize costs, waste, and delays. This allows you to make sure that the materials and equipment don’t arrive too early or too late.

Environmental monitoring for perishables

Perishable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and frozen foods need precise temperature controls to make it to their destination in good condition. If, for example, the frozen foods start to thaw, you can be alerted of this before it's too late. If the refrigerated trailer or container full of produce starts to deviate from the temperature that it was supposed to be in, you can be alerted before the produce is totally wasted and avoid the risk of having that load rejected.

Handling damage monitoring

When the GPS device senses an excessive amount of impact, it will notify you immediately to check the integrity of the goods to ensure nothing is damaged. If there was damage, you can immediately send a replacement shipment and notify the customer of late delivery. And with the location data, you can optimize your route to avoid these high-impact areas in the future.

Damage alerts for electronics shipments

High-value products like electronics usually have components in them that are sensitive to shock, vibration, or tilt. With a GPS tracker, you can avoid damage and make sure that they arrive at their destination in good working condition. But if the damage has already occurred, the GPS tracker provides relevant data, such as where and when the damage occurred, allowing you and the manufacturer to come up with a targeted solution to solve the problem.

Avoid delays in port

Sometimes, goods can get stuck indefinitely at ports, making it hard to coordinate timely delivery. A GPS tracker can tell you the exact departure and arrival time, allowing you to know if goods are stuck somewhere. This allows you to clear up any issues and get the goods moving again or notify customers of any delays.

Pharmaceutical temperature monitoring

Pharmaceutical products are usually highly sensitive to temperature changes. With a GPS tracker, you can monitor these conditions and get alerted of changes that can potentially damage the products, ensuring that you correct them before any damage occurs. You don't want the shipment to show up to the final destination with damaged goods – that will be costly and time-consuming to correct.

Equipment delivery monitoring

When transferring equipment that needs to be installed as soon as it arrives on-site, you need to know if something happened to it in transit. You can find out if the equipment was subjected to any harmful impact or tilting immediately with a GPS device. This allows you to coordinate the delivery and installation teams to resolve any issues and save time and money.

Automotive supply chain optimization 

In a Lean environment, value needs to flow through the value chain unhindered to the end-user – any delay is waste, which is a costly thing. When automotive products or components arrive damaged, it can lead to a lot of waste. A GPS tracker can help you minimize this by detecting excessive impact or tilt, allowing you to dispatch replacements right away or notify the customer of delays to minimize dissatisfaction.

Chemicals condition monitoring

When transporting chemicals, multiple conditions need to be perfect, from storage handling to temperature settings. Some GPS devices are outfitted with sensors that can detect and alert you of excessive temperature changes and impact. This allows you to rectify the situation, which can include fixing the temperature settings, sending a replacement shipment, warning the transporters (in case they are hazardous), and alerting the customer of late delivery.

Get real-time freight tracking with Tive

Tive is the ultimate solution for complete supply chain visibility, combining 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, and 5G shipment trackers with cloud-based monitoring software to help you ensure efficient global supply chain management and optimization. 

Tive’s trackers use global mobile phone networks and built-in sensors to provide location and sensor data, and the software's tracking dashboard lets you analyze it all in real-time through your web browser or mobile phone. And Tive has a patent-pending solution that provides exceptional uptime for long-term and continuous tracking.

Get started with Tive today! Request our prices by clicking the button below to learn how Tive can help.



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