How to Improve Supply Chain Visibility with Single-Use or Disposable GPS Trackers

July 15, 2021

July 2, 2024


x min read

It is an undeniable fact: Consumers today not only expect fast delivery times… they demand them. And they want to have the ability to see where their parcel is at any given moment. Therefore, the topic of how to improve supply chain visibility is top of mind among freight forwarders, third-party logistics service providers (3PLs), and shippers. The continuing evolution of GPS tracking solutions is helping to ensure consistent and timely delivery of shipments, while also providing the end-to-end visibility all stakeholders need to gain unparalleled business insights and a competitive advantage.

We also live in a society that craves convenience, which is why the use of disposable GPS trackers is becoming a growing trend among those faced with the daunting task of how to improve supply chain visibility even more.   

Shippers Slow to Ride Newest Wave of Tracking Technology

Only 37% of shippers who responded to a survey conducted by FreightWaves acknowledged using any type of in-transit visibility solution. While they are most certainly interested in how to improve supply chain visibility, shippers are nonetheless slow to adopt the latest visibility technologies for many reasons, including:

  • Why should I invest in this technology if it is merely a passing trend?
  • Will this work better than the established solution(s) we have been using?
  • Why not simply rely on our 3PL or carriers to provide the solution?

Time and money are also factors. Consider this: once a shipment reaches its destination, retrieving a GPS tracker from that cargo might be a logistical nightmare — one that is costly and time-consuming — for the shipper. Using a single use or disposable GPS tracker enables shippers to experience the benefits of real-time tracking without the hassle of having to retrieve and recharge the devices.

What Is a Single-Use Tracker, and is it Strong Enough?

As its name implies, a disposable GPS tracker is a single-use, mini-GPS tracker that is attached to cargo and freight shipments. Working off 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, and even 5G connections, these are an affordable and convenient alternative that drives efforts that are helping to solve how to improve supply chain visibility.

Tive’s trackers use global mobile phone networks and built-in sensors to provide location and sensor data that helps with:

  •  Location tracking – helps minimize costs, waste, and delays.
  • Temperature monitoring – instantly receive alerts when the temperature or humidity deviates beyond the acceptable range for shipments of perishables, such as meats, fruits, and vegetables. This is also extremely important when shipping pharmaceuticals.
  • Damage monitoring – Know the instant a shipment might have been subjected to an excessive amount of impact, or if sensitive electronics have been exposed to shock, vibration, or tilt. If there is damage, a replacement shipment can be ordered immediately.
  • Light monitoring - extra security - monitors when and where containers are opened.

In short, these disposable GPS trackers can do everything a multi-use tracker can do, with enough battery to last up to 90 days and no sacrifice in quality metrics gathering. This is helping to close even more gaps in supply chain visibility.

Strong Backup If GPS Signal Fails

But what if a shipment is in a location where traditional GPS might fail? Inside warehouses and other buildings and at ports all have been challenging areas to maintain GPS connectivity. Here again, Tive is forming deep relationships with industry partners to develop solutions to solving the challenge of how to improve supply chain visibility. In this case, Skyhook, a location technology company based in Boston, developed a way to get hyper-accurate location data based on WiFi signals from access points where GPS is unreliable.

Tive is Committed to Environmental Sustainability

In 2020, Tive pledged to remove all lithium-ion batteries from its lineup of world-class GPS trackers. “It’s simply the right thing to do for the logistics industry and the environment,” Tive CEO Krenar Komoni said at the time. Later that year, Tive introduced the world’s first single-use non-lithium GPS tracker. The Tive Solo™ 5G provides real-time end-to-end visibility into the location, temperature, humidity, shock, and light of goods in transit. And like any single-use tracker, the Solo 5G is disposable; however, Tive offers a rebate program that encourages and rewards the return of single-use trackers for recycling.

How to Improve Supply Chain Visibility? Trust Single-Use Trackers

Traditional multi-use GPS trackers can be re-charged, re-allocated, and re-used for a new shipment. However, for those times when retrieving a tracker is not always possible or cost-effective, disposable trackers might just be the best solution for how to improve supply chain visibility. Combining 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, and 5G shipment trackers with cloud-based monitoring software helps ensure clients achieve efficient global supply chain management and optimization. Learn more: request a trial today.


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