Different Tracking Mechanism for Effective Transportation Tracking

Different tracking mechanism for effective transportation tracking

Losing visibility into goods transportation can mean losing money, time, productivity, safety, and sanity. This is when a different tracking mechanism for effective transportation tracking comes into play. So, what are the different types of tracking technology, and how do they work?


This guide provides an in-depth overview of different tracking mechanisms, and their role in effective transportation tracking, ensuring seamless logistics operations.

What is the Tracking System in Transport?

Tracking refers to freight tracking with the help of integrating tracking mechanisms. A vehicle tracking system uses automatic vehicle location of individual vehicles via fleet tracking software that gathers complete fleet data and delivers a comprehensive picture of vehicle locations.


The aim of implementing an end-to-end visibility system is to monitor the real-time activity of the vehicle and prevent the risk of theft. Such a solution extensively monitors pallets, vehicles, and individual packages from warehouses to transit. The most advanced solution to mitigate the chances of theft is integrating GPS-enabled smart locks that ensure wireless security & access control for vehicles. 


These locks offer internet-based unlocking and deliver insights into breaches. The solution must incorporate alert features allowing timely action on unauthorized stoppage or route deviation. 


Investing in such a solution helps you ensure dedicated asset monitoring, enabling every supply chain player to get first-hand visibility of the entire transportation process in logistics. Moreover, a well-integrated platform connected with sensors captures demand signals, improving inventory and packages from the first to the last mile.


Also read: Top 7 Shipment Tracking Problems Impacting Customer Satisfaction


What Are the Several Types of Vehicle Tracking Systems?

Vehicle tracking systems have come a long way from simple GPS navigation. Today’s technology incorporates several advanced tools and technologies, delivering a detailed analysis of vehicle location, driver activity, and many other metrics. Here are a few prevalent types of vehicle tracking systems:


SIM Tracking


By leveraging cell tower triangulation, SIM tracking systems allow for effective vehicle monitoring. This technology operates via the driver’s mobile phone, providing an efficient and cost-effective means of tracking.


SIM tracking is like having a digital map you can access at any time. It’s a cost-friendly solution because it uses mobile phones most drivers already own. It doesn’t matter if you’re tracking one car or a fleet of trucks; as long as there’s cell coverage, you can monitor vehicle movements.


Unfortunately, the precision of SIM tracking isn’t top-notch. It’s a bit like trying to find a specific store in a big mall without a directory; you’ll get the general area right, but not the exact location. Also, if you’re in a location with poor or no cell coverage, it’s as if your digital map goes blank.


Integrating SIM tracking into your business operations is as simple as ensuring that drivers have a mobile phone with a SIM card and there’s a reliable cell network.

Ideal For: 

Small operations or areas with strong cellular network coverage.

Common Mistakes: 

Relying on SIM tracking in areas with poor network coverage is like depending on a single checkpoint to monitor the entire flow of a busy cargo route. If that checkpoint fails or becomes overloaded, you might end up losing track of critical shipments, leading to delays and inefficiencies.


A national shipping company relied heavily on SIM tracking for monitoring their fleet as it transported goods across various regions. In a particular remote mountainous area known for its weak cell coverage, the SIM tracking system lost connection with a critical shipment containing time-sensitive medical supplies. This failure at the “checkpoint” led to a loss of real-time tracking information, causing confusion and delays in delivery. 


The incident impacted not only the company’s reputation but also delayed essential medical supplies to a rural healthcare facility.


The best way to avoid this is to mix your tracking methods. Use SIM tracking as your base, and then supplement it with GPS or Fastag-based tracking in areas known for weak cell coverage. Recognizing the mistake, the shipping company implemented a hybrid tracking system using GPS in the areas with poor network coverage, ensuring uninterrupted tracking and timely deliveries.


GPS Tracking


Traditionally, GPS tracking has been the go-to method for fleet management. Modern systems may be fixed or portable and are often integrally connected with hardware and software components. They provide reliable connections even in low-network zones and backfill data when in no-network areas.


GPS tracking is like a high-resolution digital map. It provides a very precise location of vehicles. Whether you’re in New York or New Delhi, as long as you’ve got a clear view of the sky, GPS can keep tabs on your vehicle.


As great as GPS tracking is, it does come with some drawbacks. First off, it’s more expensive as it requires specialized devices in each vehicle. And, just like how tall buildings or dense trees can block your view of the sky, they can also block the GPS signals.


To integrate GPS tracking, devices need to be installed in each vehicle and connected with a central tracking software.

Ideal For: 

Large distances, international operations, or areas with unreliable networks.

Common Mistakes: 

Imagine investing in a state-of-the-art route optimization system for your logistics operation but not knowing how to use it. Similarly, having GPS devices without the necessary know-how can lead to misuse or underuse.


A mid-sized logistics company invested in cutting-edge GPS devices to enhance their fleet management and route optimization. However, the company did not provide sufficient training to their staff on how to utilize these devices fully. As a result, many drivers either misused the devices or didn’t use them at all. 


The company realized that instead of saving time and fuel, they were experiencing delays and inefficiencies as drivers were not utilizing the optimized routes provided by the system.


Ensure that staff are trained on how to properly use and maintain GPS devices. Regular system checks and proper positioning of GPS devices will also help in maximizing their potential.


Smartphone Apps and WhatsApp Location Sharing


These logistics transportation tracking systems utilize the driver’s smartphone to share real-time location data. In particular, WhatsApp location sharing provides an easy and accessible way to monitor vehicle movements.


Utilizes existing devices and platforms for real-time tracking, facilitating implementation without specialized equipment.


Efficiency may be compromised by factors related to the driver’s personal device, such as battery life or network coverage.

Ideal For: 

Small to medium-sized logistics companies or those looking to implement tracking without significant upfront costs.


Care should be taken to ensure the selected app is compatible across different smartphone models and operating systems.

Common Mistake: 

Ignoring the importance of driver privacy can lead to legal and trust issues within the workforce.


A transportation company implemented a tracking system that continuously monitored the location of their drivers, even during off-duty hours. The drivers were unaware that the tracking extended beyond work hours, and the company did not have a clear policy in place. 


When this practice was discovered, it led to a significant breach of trust within the team. Drivers felt their privacy was invaded, leading to legal challenges and a negative impact on company morale.


It’s critical to obtain consent from drivers before tracking, and a transparent policy should be in place explaining the tracking’s purpose and data usage.


Fastag-Based Tracking – ULIP


Fastag-based transportation tracking software is a recent innovation that uses ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plans) for tracking. It provides real-time updates and ensures seamless communication with transporters.


Fastag-based tracking provides real-time updates and communication with transporters. It also aids in automatic toll payments, increasing efficiency in long haul transport.


As a relatively new technology, it might present some teething issues and require additional time for staff to familiarize themselves with its operation.

Ideal For: 

Long-haul transport, especially on routes with multiple tolls, where automatic payments can enhance efficiency.


Each vehicle should be equipped with a Fastag and connected to the central monitoring software.

Common Mistake: 

Neglecting system updates can lead to decreased efficiency and potential tracking errors.


Consider a logistics company that uses an outdated version of its tracking software. As time passes, the older software fails to sync accurately with new technology advancements in GPS and RFID systems. This mismatch results in delays in real-time updates, incorrect location information, or even complete loss of tracking capabilities for certain shipments. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to misplaced or lost goods, increased costs, and unsatisfied customers.


Regular system updates and routine checks should be conducted to ensure the system functions optimally.


Click on Check-in Links and Reminders


These systems use communication platforms, including calls and WhatsApp messages, to send reminders to drivers. Click-to check-in links to help monitor real-time vehicle status and ensure schedule adherence.


They provide timely status updates and can help keep the schedule on track, assisting in managing complex logistics operations.


Their effectiveness is largely dependent on the promptness and accuracy of the driver’s responses, which can vary.

Ideal For: 

Managing tightly scheduled deliveries, particularly when used as a supplementary tracking method in conjunction with other systems.


These reminders and check-in links can be smoothly integrated into existing communication channels with drivers.

Common Mistake: 

Relying solely on these reminders for vehicle tracking can result in inaccuracies.


Imagine a scenario where a driver is running behind schedule but forgets to click the check-in link or intentionally avoids it to evade accountability. This oversight can lead to misinformation about the vehicle’s real-time status, causing delays in subsequent deliveries and potentially impacting customer satisfaction.


While they can be a useful tool, it’s best to use them in combination with other tracking systems to provide a more comprehensive and reliable tracking solution.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tracking


RFID systems use small radio transmitters and receivers to track vehicles. The tags can be attached to vehicles and scanned by readers at various points. This type of tracking is particularly useful in confined areas such as ports, depots, or warehouses, where the precise location of a vehicle is crucial.


Offers precise location tracking in confined areas like ports and warehouses, enabling real-time monitoring and streamlining processes.


Implementation can be expensive and may face interference from other electronic devices or physical barriers, potentially reducing its effectiveness.

Ideal For: 

Tracking within confined areas such as ports, depots, or warehouses, where precise location data is required.


Careful planning is required to ensure that RFID readers are strategically placed for optimal tracking. Integration with existing warehouse management or shipping software can enhance the overall efficiency of operations.

Common Mistake: 

Over-reliance on RFID for broader tracking outside confined areas or not properly securing the system, leading to potential data breaches.


A logistics company operating a large warehouse might implement RFID tags on pallets but neglect to secure the communication between tags and readers. An external entity could then potentially access sensitive shipment information.


RFID should be used in conjunction with other tracking methods for long-distance transport, and security protocols should be implemented to protect data integrity.

Vehicle Tracking Systems – A Comparison Across Key Parameters


Here is a quick comparative analysis of vehicle tracking mechanisms.

Tracking System

Ideal For




SIM Tracking

Small operations or areas with strong cellular network

SIM Cards, Data Plans



GPS Tracking

Large distances, international operations, areas with unreliable network

GPS Devices, Subscription Service



Smartphone Apps, WhatsApp

Smaller operations, reliable network, drivers using smartphones

Smartphone, Data Plan, Compatible App



Fastag-Based Tracking – ULIP

Long haul transportation, real-time updates, seamless communication

Fastag, Compatible Software


Moderate to High

Click on Check-in Links and Reminders

Operations that are not as time-sensitive, driver interaction

Reliable Communication Platform



OBD Tracking

Efficiency tracking, driver behavior, fuel consumption

OBD Devices, Compatible Software



RFID Tracking

Confined areas such as ports, depots, warehouses

RFID Tags, Readers



How Does Fleet Tracking System Work?


Fleet tracking operates using GPS technology, cellular networks, and, in some cases, RFID (acronym of Radio Frequency Identification). The tracking device installed in each vehicle collects data about location, speed, idle time, and more. This data is then transmitted via cellular or satellite networks to a centralized server.


From here, fleet managers can access this information in real-time or historical format through specialized software. They can monitor each vehicle’s status, track its location, analyze driver behavior, manage fuel consumption, schedule maintenance, and ensure compliance with regulations.


This system allows for high control and visibility over the fleet’s operations, improving productivity, efficiency, and safety.


What is the Detailed Process of Tracking?


The vehicle tracking process encompasses several stages, each contributing to the effective management of the supply chain.

Gate-In and Loading


The process begins when the vehicle enters the warehouse gate or pickup point. The GPS tracker is active, and data starts to be collected. This includes the time of entry, the driver’s identity, and the vehicle’s status. All cargo is registered and linked with the vehicle’s tracker during loading.



Once loading is complete, the vehicle is ready for dispatch. The destination, route, and expected delivery times are logged in the tracking system. At this point, features such as geofencing can be set up to ensure the vehicle follows its assigned route.

Route Optimization


Before the vehicle leaves the warehouse, the fleet manager uses the fleet GPS tracking systems to determine the most efficient route to the destination. This route is optimized based on factors such as traffic, distance, and road conditions. The selected route is then sent to the driver’s navigation device.



While the vehicle is in transit, the tracking system continues to gather and transmit data. This includes real-time location, speed, and other parameters like fuel consumption and driver behavior. Managers can monitor this data in real time and respond quickly to incidents such as route deviations, speeding, or excessive idling.

Unloading and EPOD


Upon reaching the destination, the unloading process begins. Similar to the loading stage, the arrival time, the receiving personnel’s identity, and the cargo’s status are recorded. Blocks can be configured to only open at this point, ensuring additional security. 


The Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) is also generated at this stage. This EPOD is a digital document, signed by the receiver, that serves as proof that the delivery was completed successfully.

Signing Off and Return Journey


Once unloading is complete, the delivery is signed off in the tracking system. The vehicle may then begin its return journey or proceed to the next delivery point, with the tracking system continuously monitoring its status.

Analysis and Optimization


All the data collected by the tracking system can be analyzed to provide insights into the efficiency of the supply chain. This can identify areas for improvement, such as route optimization, schedule adjustments, and driver training.


What Are the Leading Benefits of Vehicle Tracking Systems?


Implementing a robust vehicle movement tracking system offers many advantages that reach far beyond simple location tracking. These systems are invaluable for boosting operational efficiency, maintaining compliance, and enhancing the customer experience. Let’s explore the core benefits in more detail:

Minimize Late Deliveries/Increase On-Time Deliveries Without Excel and Follow-ups


Vehicle tracking systems provide real-time updates on the whereabouts of vehicles, enabling more accurate prediction of delivery times. This minimizes late deliveries, improving customer satisfaction. It also reduces the need for manual tracking and follow-ups, saving your team time and resources.

Seamless Communication with Transporters


You can constantly communicate with your transporters with real-time location sharing and check-in systems. This ensures all parties are on the same page, enhancing operational efficiency. In case of any disputes or issues, you can refer to the auditable vehicle location trail provided by the tracking system.

Enhanced Customer Experience


Vehicle tracking systems greatly enhance the customer experience. Customers appreciate being kept informed about the status of their delivery. The real-time tracking information allows customers to adjust their schedules accordingly, increasing customer satisfaction.

Analytics and Scorecards with Drill-Down Reports for all Stakeholders


Detailed analytics provided by tracking systems offer a wealth of data for evaluation and decision-making. Scorecards and drill-down reports allow you to assess individual performances, route efficiencies, and other parameters. This wealth of data can inform business decisions, improving operational efficiency and profitability.

On-Time Delivery SLA Adherence


Service Level Agreement (SLA) adherence is critical in the transportation industry. Vehicle tracking systems meet these commitments by providing the tools needed to ensure on-time deliveries. This helps maintain your reputation and reduces the risk of penalties for non-compliance.

GPS Live Trail – Compliance


Real-time GPS tracking provides an accurate live trail of the vehicle’s route. This proves invaluable for compliance purposes, ensuring that vehicles stick to approved routes and that deviations are recorded.

Safety Compliance


Vehicle tracking systems monitor driver behavior, such as speed, harsh braking, night driving, and continuous driving, ensuring safety compliance. This benefits the safety of drivers and cargo and your company’s reputation.

Route Adherence Compliance


Adherence to pre-approved routes is essential in the transportation industry. Route adherence compliance is easier to manage and enforce with vehicle tracking systems. This minimizes unapproved stoppages, ensures timely deliveries, and reduces risks related to route deviations.

Wrapping Up


By integrating effective vehicle tracking mechanisms, businesses can streamline their logistics operations workflow and enhance customer experience. 


However, consider investing in a robust vehicle tracking platform, Fretron, if you’re looking to digitize the transportation process for an enhanced supply chain management workflow. To learn more about Fretron tech solutions, get in touch with our experts today.


Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

What are the different types of tracking in logistics?


There are several types of tracking in logistics, including GPS vehicle tracking devices, SIM tracking, smartphone app tracking, ULIP-based tracking, and check-in link tracking. The type used depends on the specific needs and capabilities of the logistics operation.

How many types of tracking devices are there? 


Numerous tracking devices generally fall into a few categories: real-time GPS trackers, cellular trackers, radio frequency trackers, and Bluetooth trackers. Each has its strengths and best-use scenarios.

What is tracking in TransportTransport? 


Tracking in TransportTransport refers to using technology to monitor vehicles’ or cargo’s real-time location and status within a logistics operation. This can include vehicle speed, route, delivery status, and more information.

How to Track Packages Using IoT?


IoT tracking typically involves attaching an IoT-enabled device to a package. This device transmits data about the package’s location and condition to a central system to monitor it in real time.

What is the benefit of using EPOD in tracking? 


EPOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery) offers benefits like real-time delivery confirmation, reduced paperwork, increased accountability, traceability for auditing, and enhanced customer service through immediate delivery status updates.

What is the role of AI in transportation tracking? 


AI can analyze vast tracking data to identify patterns, predict delivery times, and alert managers to potential delays or issues. It also aids in route optimization, helping to find the most efficient routes.

Why is route optimization important in transport tracking? 

Route optimization is crucial because it helps to minimize fuel costs, reduce delivery times, and increase overall operational efficiency. By identifying the shortest, fastest, or most fuel-efficient routes, transport tracking systems can significantly improve the effectiveness of a logistics operation.

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