We’re all familiar with those handy tracking numbers that come with our online orders. Simply enter a code, and you’ll see the whole journey of your package! Right from the moment you “add to cart” and until it reaches your doorstep. But does the same rule apply when you need to track a bigger delivery? Less than truckload (LTL) deliveries are more complicated than your average parcel shipping service.
Your LTL shipments will transfer from truck to truck, and most carriers don’t have the technology to follow the journey of individual parcels. All the while, you’re sitting at home, worrying about terminal delays, accidents, and other unforeseen circumstances. To better manage your logistics system and enhance your workflow, you need reliable LTL tracking technology that will update you on the status of your shipments.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of LTL tracking and the steps you should take to achieve reliable LTL tracking. Let’s begin!
Why is LTL Tracking important for businesses?
When you’re running a business, give your customers and business partners a transparent account of your deliveries. With LTL tracking, not only will you help your customers have some peace of mind, but you’re also building up customer-client relationships through improved services. When running a business, your customers must be able to trust your process 100%. With that in mind, let’s get into detail about how you can track your LTL shipment.
How Do I Track an LTL Shipment?
Step 1: Get in touch with your shipping partner
Trust us, the easiest way to get in touch with a carrier is online! You can check out online freight marketplaces, like GoShip.com, so you can easily connect to a reliable and affordable partner. Once you’ve registered an online account, you can immediately get a quote and book your LTL shipment. It’s important to check if your account is validated and good to go so you can receive your account number or identifier.
Step 2: Identify your BOL number
While there are multiple ways to track your delivery, all shipments have a reference number. The reference number is your key to tracking your LTL shipment. Tracking your LTL shipment is important to allow you to have real time access to the status of your shipment and view any delays that may occur on the road.
After booking your shipment, you should receive a Bill of Lading (BOL). You must keep a close eye on your BOL number to confirm that all information is correct, especially with LTL shipments that go through multiple stops and changes. Your BOL number should leave a paper trail you can refer to in case of lost or misdelivered freight.
Your BOL will contain:
- Names and contact details of the shipper and recipient
- Addresses of the origin and final destination
- Package dimensions and weight
- Declared value
- A detailed account of included items
In case of a lost or damaged BOL, make it a habit to keep the original copy of your quote summary or invoice.
Step 3: Track with your PRO number
Once your freight leaves the loading bay, the LTL tracking begins! Some carriers will use the BOL or your account number to track the shipment. However, most carriers will produce a Progressive or PRO number. Your PRO number will allow you to log into your carrier’s platform and get a detailed account of your freight’s specific location. With a freight shipping marketplace, you can get 24/7 access to tracking information. You can also get in touch with a customer service representative if you experience any issues with your PRO number.
Step 4: Secure your PO number
Purchase orders or PO numbers are standard for any transaction. Whenever you make a correspondence or inquiry about your specific shipment order, remember to include your PO number for easy tracking.
Automated and Real-Time LTL Tracking
Thanks to new technologies in logistics and supply chain, tracking your LTL shipments in real-time is more efficient and convenient for businesses and their customers. All you have to do is produce your tracking (BOL, PRO, or PO, or account) number, enter it on an online shipping platform, and you’ll be able to check the status of your LTL shipment in real-time! There’s no need to call and stay on hold forever! Simply input your tracking number, and all necessary information will be visible.