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How to get reliable tracking and tracing on your parcels in 2019

Nuno Bento | 20. Mar 2019
3 minutes read

As supply chains are changing and customers expectations are growing, advanced tracking and tracing capabilities are critical throughout your delivery process. But how do you achieve reliable Track & Trace?

In Transportation and Logistics, the term ‘tracking and tracing’ concerns a process of determining the current and past locations (and other information) of goods in the supply chain. Tracking is about getting real-time information about the progress and quality of goods on their path through the delivery process – basically answering the question: “Where are my products?” Tracing is about following the goods’ completed path backwards from their current point to where it began – basically answering the question: “How did my products get there?” If deviations occur, tracing allows you to investigate the cause.

As we discussed in a previous post, Track & Trace is critical in the B2B marketplace. But how exactly do you achieve it for your products?

Actually, it’s easier than ever. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:


1. Label each parcel

In order to be able to track (and possibly trace) cargo, the first thing you need to do is to label each individual logistics unit (parcel). Parcel identity needs to be unique.

Recommended labels are…

Using these labels enables you to uniquely identify each individual logistics unit. Without such labelling, proper tracking and tracing is not possible.


2. Select the right logistics service provider

The next thing you need to do is to select logistics service providers willing and able to report on the progress of transport and the quality of the cargo, in addition to moving the goods.

Such reporting should be based on:

  • Scanning the goods when creating larger logistics units (placing parcels onto pallets and pallets into containers) and loading and unloading transport means
  • The position of and estimated arrival times for vehicles being used to move the goods


3. Use a cloud-based delivery management system

How do you go about capturing the data needed for step 2?

Typically, you would have to call or email logistics service providers. As logistics service providers are on the go pretty much all the time, getting a response is easier said than done… There’s a much simpler and more reliable way to do it.

In 2019 and beyond, the way to consistently capture critical, real-time data on goods moving through the value chain is to use a next-generation delivery management system.

A digital solution that supports printing of the appropriate barcode labels and digital communication with logistics service providers enables you to continuously track your deliveries, and analyse the cause of any unacceptable deviations during the process.


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