Carrier TMS Blog

Tracking In A Nutshell: It’s A Hard One To Crack

We live in a world where customers check their FedEx and Amazon tracking numbers incessantly and monitor their GrubHub and DoorDash food deliveries in real-time. If these services exist for consumers and in such high demand, why is it so difficult to replicate them in the Full Truckload industry? 

MacroPoint, Fourkites, and Project44 are a few players who have actually replicated this experience in some way, enabling load tracking and facilitating communication to the end customer, but the list is much shorter than it should be. Many have failed and many more haven’t tried at all because connecting a shipper to its real-time truck location is harder said than done. There are a several fundamental challenges that stand in the way of a shipper getting an accurate picture of where a load is:

  1. Tracking the driver's cellphone requires the driver to agree to a third party tracking. The location of the phone is recorded by downloading an app, and drivers don't want to do that. In many cases, drivers simply download the app for a moment and later delete it. 
  2. ELD tracking requires the trucking company to accept a third-party app to track all their trucks. Carriers agree to accept these integrations because it is good customer service, but also because it helps lower the tracking call volume. ELD data, however, is hard to match with load data in carrier trucking platform or customer software. If the information goes through a 3PL company it becomes even harder.
  3. Lack of trailer tracking may surprise some folks, but the cargo is actually inside the trailer and not inside the truck with the ELD. The trailer detaches from the truck, so if a company tracks only the truck, it does not track the load. The majority of trailers on the road are without GPS devices, so companies "track" the truck that pulls the trailer. What happens when the trucking companies use a drop yard for their trailers? 
  4. Geofences are limited in their effectiveness by thousands of addresses without clear property coordinates. When a truck enters the circle around the address, it is recorded at the address, but drivers sometimes drive by delivery companies on the way to the nearby truck stop. The geofence recognizes that the driver was at the location, but then it also acknowledges that the driver left the location flagging the load as delivered. 

The Kamion Platform was designed to address these fundamental challenges and more:


  • Kamion Integrates with tracking providers and feeds them with organized tracking data. It’s also integrated with ELD and trailer tracking providers (including reefer temperature tracking).
  • Driver, truck, and trailer and their relationship are managed on the platform by the carrier back team. That means information is matched to each load and customer, so Kamion is well-positioned to send data via API with truck, trailer, driver, and load temperature info. 
  • The Kamion platform does not read driver cellphone locations. Kamion instead reads the GPS of the truck and trailer, automatically matching it to a load, and communicating the right information to the customer or tracking providers. 
  • If the carrier does not have GPS devices in its trailers, Kamion reads the data from the truck that is attached to the trailer with the load. If the load is inside trailer 5301, which is pulled by truck 500 driven by Joe the Driver, Kamion updates the load with the location of truck and trailer. 
  • Finally, Kamion provides a tracking link that not only shares the current location of the load, but also miles left to deliver, time in and out for pickup (and deliveries once the load is finalized), and all load related documents/files. 

As an added bonus: the platform communicates the temperature of the reefer loads during transit. How many times has a produce customer asked you what the reefer temperature is during transit?  

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