Shipment tracking

What is shipment tracking?

Shipment tracking means that dispatch operations are verified from the logistician right up to the end customer. operations are mostly digitalised, especially between partners generating large or regular volumes. is a key aspect as it provides a clear and transparent view of the transport process.

Digitalisation means that packages can be tracked during transit, regardless of their nature, from the warehouse right through to delivery. The person managing the goods is made aware of every step thanks to IT data being sent and received. This includes the truck being loaded, which partners are involved, and when the package is received by the end customer. Once received, all tracking activities are stopped.

Shipment tracking covers the package’s entire route. It takes the timeline into account, as well as any delays or obstacles to final delivery.


Specificities of shipment tracking

  • At every step of the process, the end customer is informed of where their package is, via a selected means of communication: application, truck’s telematic system, text message, email, phone call, specialised software, etc.
  • Full transparency during this process means that upstream solutions can be implemented to ensure proper delivery.
  • Transporters use this information to avoid any errors or delays for which they cannot be held responsible.
  • Loading agents use to permanently improve their customer service. They are always looking to perfect their services, and do so by measuring their partners’ performance levels.
  • means customers can be made aware of the exact delivery time, so they can schedule sales or production accordingly.
  • When customers are delivered on time their satisfaction increases, which in turn boosts turnover.


Examples and practical applications

Conditions to be met for ensuring digital shipment tracking

Nowadays, is done using dedicated IT tools. The entire integrates management modules - from the factory, or the warehouses in the case of , right up to unloading at the end customer’s. statuses are automatically displayed by the software, and the driver simply sends out the message via the selected means of communication.

Process for implementing real-time shipment tracking

  • Automatic data collection: data transfers are completed through telematic resources (phone and IT). Manual operations have now been discontinued to avoid any errors.
  • Calculating the estimated time of arrival: by calculating the ETA in real time, factors such as traffic, weather conditions and staff break times can be taken into account.
  • Automatic status messages: statuses are sent in real time by text message or email, so any hindrances can be better managed.
  • Alert notifications: alerts are sent to interested partners, with details about potential or real delays.
  • Delivery confirmation: notification of the time at which the items were delivered. It is a function constantly being improved, as time is what controls logisticians’ actions and improves customer satisfaction.
  • Real-time geo-location: following up on locations in real time for delivery trucks and shipments, so the goods’ status and progress can be visualised.
  • The customer can check progress on the transporter’s dedicated website.


Shipment tracking in figures in France

  • 356 billion tonnes/km in 2018;
  • 75% of all transport sector costs are attributed to road activities;
  • 7% to air transport;
  • 6.7% to collective transport;
  • 6.6% to rail transport;
  • The rest is allocated to waterway and ;
  • Total transport expenses amounted to 425.1 billion euros in 2018, i.e. 18.1% of the GDP. [1]

Source: Ministry for Ecological Transition


Regulatory cornerstones

The following documents are requested:

  • Bills of lading
  • Delivery slips
  • Packing lists
  • Delivery notes
  • manifests
  • TIR Geneva Convention from 14 November 1975, applied as of 1978 (, go to transport/transport border crossings and , publications) for international shipments.

[1] Source of the figures: /