Advancement in GPS tracking help shippers address challenges of railway transportation 

The shipment tracking options provided by rail companies and freight forwarders are not always timely or accurate. The data provided may be unreliable and outdated by several hours or days once you receive it. Limited visibility into movements and events can make tracking the location and ETA of freight a frustrating and time-consuming process. Obtaining accurate and regularly updated ETAs can be challenging, and disruptions may require contacting carriers or railroads to obtain the necessary information. 

At the time, Cargo theft is a significant and growing issue, with companies incurring merchandise losses of around $30 billion annually, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Rail cargo theft is a serious issue that can cause significant financial losses, given that nearly all goods in the continental U.S. travel by rail and truck. In Los Angeles county alone, Union Pacific has seen a dramatic 160% year-over-year spike in railroad theft, with other big cities experiencing similar increases. Not even UPS, FedEx, or Amazon shipments are immune from losses. Union Pacific has expanded security and is working closely with local law enforcement to combat the problem.

Combating theft

Thieves are becoming more sophisticated and are specifically targeting high-value shipments. Over the past year, the average lost shipment value has increased nearly $100K to $260K per incident, according to Cargonet. While RFID tags, which attach to cargo and use radio waves to monitor assets as they pass specific checkpoints, can be an initial low-cost investment, they may not be sufficient when it comes to security. Radio technology offers no real-time updates and requires ongoing maintenance. 

Improving effectiveness

To overcome these challenges, it’s important to have a comprehensive monitoring system that provides alerts and an extra layer of security. GPS tracking can be an effective way to monitor rail shipments. GPS shipment trackers are portable devices that can be attached to cargo and provide real-time updates on the location, condition, and other useful information about the shipment. GPS tracking of railcars offers many benefits that were not available with older technology, such as more frequent location updates, which allows users to track railcars and shipments more closely and efficiently. 

GPS tracking solutions can help you ensure the safety and security of your cargo while boosting customer satisfaction, simplifying administration, and improving the cost-effectiveness of your organization. The right GPS tracking solution can help you address ongoing threats and satisfy demanding customers with thorough shipment monitoring and alerts that add an extra layer of security. Furthermore, they can help you proactively monitor cargo and act quickly when exceptions do occur. 

Reliable rail shipment tracking

GPS asset tracking from FleetUp offers high location accuracy at 10-second intervals. Devices are portable as well as easy to install and maintain. They provide long term reliability, real time monitoring, and significant cost savings over time when compared to RFID replacement, maintenance, and infrastructure investments. Moreover, FleetUp provides the data you need to keep your customers informed as well as the information you need to share with law enforcement when necessary.

GPS technology can help improve rail safety, security, and operational effectiveness. It can reduce accidents, delays, and operating costs, while increasing track capacity, customer satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. Contact us to learn how FleetUp’s rail container tracking solution can empower your company to optimize intermodal freight transportation.

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