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Shipment Tracking Software 101: All You Need to Know

Warehouse Staff

What is Shipment Tracking Software?

Shipment tracking software refers to tools used by businesses to monitor the movement of shipments along the supply chain. The purpose of this software is to provide real-time shipment visibility into the location and status of the packages being tracked, ensuring seamless monitoring throughout the shipment process.

What any shipment tracking software comprises will depend on what types of clients it serves, such as eCommerce merchants would prefer the customization function while Dropshippers prefer the software integrated with more carriers. 

A basic shipment tracking software is to collect shipment tracking information and relay it back to users. For enhanced tracking capabilities, real-time tracking allows users to follow the movement of a package as it happens, which is essential for any delivery exception. Most shipment tracking systems also have notification features that let users know without manually checking when there is an update to a shipment’s status. 

As globalization continues to gather pace, businesses around the world become more connected and serve diverse markets. With this, the importance of shipment tracking software continually increases. Whether you run a B2B or D2C brand, knowing what shipment tracking software is, how it works, and what it can do for your business is paramount. This article aims to demystify the shipment tracking software and help you gain an expert understanding of it.

Roles of Shipment Tracking Software

At the heart of the tracking process lies shipment tracking software, serving as the linchpin that connects diverse stakeholders. They including carriers, third-party logistics (3PL) providers, and of course, the shippers and receivers themselves. Each entity has a vested interest in timely delivery of shipments.

Instead of a mere tool, this software functions as a facilitator. It streamlines communication and provides essential insights throughout the shipping journey.

For carriers, the software acts as a conduit, enabling them to upload tracking information—ranging from pickup to delivery status—into a centralized system. Moreover, 3PL providers often rely on it to manage their operations efficiently. By integrating with carrier systems and consolidating tracking data, they can offer enhanced visibility and control over the shipping process.

For shippers and receivers, the software serves as a beacon of transparency and reassurance. Through timely notifications and status updates, they can monitor the progress of their shipments and proactively address any issues.

How Does Shipment Tracking Software Work?

Below is a detailed shipment tracking software workflow. 

  • Data Collection

The software collects tracking information from multiple carriers, consolidating it into a centralized system. Managing data from numerous carriers presents challenges, such as integrating with diverse tracking systems and categorizing data according to varying standards employed by different carriers. For businesses partnered with various carriers, a shipment tracking software supporting multi-carrier tracking is highly recommended.

  • Tracking Updates

When a shipment is initiated, the corresponding barcode will be generated and be scanned at each processing stage. With each scan, new information is uploaded, and the tracking software gathers them, providing the statues to every stakeholder. 

Each shipment has a unique tracking number when it is ordered. The tracking number is a key to track the shipment. With tracking numbers imported into the shipment tracking software, you can get the tracking data accordingly.  

  • Sending Notifications

A powerful shipment tracking software can send shipment notifications to businesses and customers automatically when the shipment status changes. The notification function can be achieved through webhook configurations or integration with messaging platforms. Webhooks allow for real-time data transmission to a specified URL in response to events, making them ideal for sending immediate notifications about shipping exceptions to businesses. On the other hand, integration with messaging platforms, such as email, SMS, or instant messaging apps, enables direct communication with customers, ensuring that they are promptly informed about any shipping issues.

  • Analyzing and Reporting

If you are an ambitious entrepreneur, the basic cargo notification function may not meet your needs. How to use this huge tracking data to serve your logistics operation, select the best logistics partner and the most economical and stable transportation route, thereby improving your after-purchase service. These strategic issues are one Entrepreneurs with a long-term vision should think about. That’s why the analysis and reporting capabilities of shipment tracking software are particularly important. It can offer insights into the delivery performance of various logistics service providers, identify quicker shipping routes and potential issues, as well as generate reports to help businesses optimize their logistics operations.

Logistics Operation

What Are Benefits of Shipment Tracking Software?

Using an advanced shipment tracking system offers many advantages to businesses that are taking up this option. These benefits include:

  • Transparent Shipment Visibility

Using high-quality shipment tracking software allows you to gain real-time shipment visibility, offering immediate access to their current location, status, and estimated delivery times. This level of visibility ensures that you can proactively manage and respond to any transit issues or delays, significantly enhancing your ability to meet customer expectations and improve overall satisfaction.

  • Streamlined Supply Chain Processes

Inefficient supply chain processes can be a major hindrance to business growth. A shipment tracking system changes this by streamlining the supply chain workflow, making each process efficient and effective, like shipping route selection and logistics performance optimization.

  • Improved Customer Experience

In the current market, customers no longer view shipment tracking updates as a bonus feature during their transactions with businesses; instead, they expect it as a fundamental service. Having a reliable shipment tracking system that consistently provides timely and accurate shipment updates helps improve their experience and boost loyalty to your brand.

  •  Strengthened Brand Image

Customizing tracking interfaces with the brand’s identity transforms routine shipment updates into immersive brand experiences, deepening customer engagement and reinforcing brand loyalty. This strategy elevates the brand’s perception by seamlessly integrating brand identity into every step of the customer journey, turning even the simplest interactions into powerful brand affirmations.

How to Choose the Best Shipment Tracking Software

Not all online shipment tracking software is made equal. Open source shipment tracking system is free but with limited function. If you operate a long-term business, you will need to use a business-targeted shipment tracking software. Best shipment tracking softwares is expected to have the following elements.

  • Features and Functionality

The first thing to consider is if the tracking system has the features and functionalities that are most important to your business. The software you go for should have the necessary features that allow it to meet your business’s specific shipment tracking needs. Some must-haves include real-time tracking, customization features, SMS and email alerts, and data analytics.

  • Integration and Compatibility

Like all softwares that you deploy in your business, shipment tracking software also needs to be compatible. It should be easy to integrate and not necessitate expensive development costs. Furthermore, it should support multi-carrier integration, enabling businesses to manage shipments from various carriers on a single platform, thereby streamlining operations and offering a unified shipping overview.

  • Security and Data Protection

Modern businesses cannot risk having shipment tracking software that poses a threat to the security of their systems or leaves their data and that of the customer exposed. Check whether the tracking software you are going for aligns with your company’s data protection policy and complies with renowned international security and data protection standards like ISO27001. 

  • Scalability and Future Growth

A true mark of a successful business is its ambition. Your shipment tracking software should be scalable enough to sustain the future growth of your venture. Assess its scalability in terms of shipment volume, ability to integrate new carriers, and adaptability to logistical changes, ensuring it supports your business’s expansion effectively.

  • Cost and Return on Investment (ROI)

The key factor to consider is how much the shipment tracking software is going to cost your business. Some tracking systems are affordable at first glance but have numerous add-ons that could blow up your budget. Aside from the actual cost you are paying, you also need to consider if the software will enhance your business operations enough to help you recoup the investment.

How TrackingMore Helps Your Business?

TrackingMore offers businesses looking to enhance their logistics operations an all-in-one shipment tracking solution. 

Connected to a global carrier network of 1,200+ carriers, TrackingMore ensures your business can keep an eye on all your shipments around the world. Its excellent ability for multi-carrier tracking like carrier auto detection function, AI data processing capabilities is trusted by numerous renowned brands like Shein and Kaufland.

TrackingMore’s Shipment Tracking API boasts a wonderful API uptime of 99.9%, compliance with enterprise-grade security (ISO27001 standards). Deploying the API is quick. A dedicated customer support team is available 24/7 to assist with any issues you may encounter.

Best Shipment Tracking Software