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Shipment tracking: 5 ways to know if your freight is late

Shipment tracking: 5 ways to know if your freight is late

Nothing stalls a supply chain more than having a shipment arrive late. Even worse, production could come to a halt if the receiver doesn’t have a clue where the freight is even located.

We hope that you never have to ask the question, “Where is my freight?” However, we know that this happens and want to offer solutions to help.

Clearly, visibility into customer shipments should be a top priority for shippers and receivers. Here are three ways to know if your freight is late.

Real-time tracking updates

By leveraging freight tech that can give shippers and 3PLs real-time shipment visibility, both shippers and 3PLs can manage freight transport with ease.

Shipwell utilizes several options to track freight for our customers. Drivers can seamlessly connect their ELDs to Shipwell making it one of the easiest and most reliable ways to keep track of a truck. The tracking is automatic, so carriers can focus on the road and shippers get real-time updates constantly.

Our newly redesigned carrier mobile app is available on Android and iOS devices and is easy for shippers, 3PLs, and carriers to use. Building in geofencing, carriers automatically update their status as they near a pickup or drop off location. As the leave the geofenced area, they are then automatically updated as “in transit.”

We also have API integrations and AI-powered check calls for those drivers who don’t use smartphones or smart devices.

We believe that having real-time freight visibility should be a business requirement and become the standard in freight logistics.

Seeing where your freight is

Everyone working in logistics is busy. That’s why visually seeing where your freight is at any time is a helpful way to stay informed.

Displaying an asset’s location via a map interface is key to quickly understanding if your freight will be late. With one look, if a shipper has a pickup at a certain time but the driver is too far away geographically, that will become apparent fast enough to recuperate any losses.

Shipwell’s TMS platform offers an always-updating, visual look at where your freight is at any time. So many organizations have entire teams on the Shipwell platform, so we make it easy to digest important information that affects your entire supply chain.

Communication with drivers

Shippers and 3PLs should maintain not only good relationships with their preferred carriers, but also have excellent communication with them.

Having a great working relationship with carriers means that updated shipment information and notice of delays will become a regular part of carrier updates.

Make it easy for carriers to get in touch with you. Nothing is worse than not picking up the phone or answering a message from a carrier at a critical time. By keeping the door open for communication, you’re empowering carriers to do the best work they can for you.

A great way to keep that door open is a mobile app built just for carriers. With Shipwell, our newly re-designed native iOS and Android mobile apps for drivers let them message you directly. You’ll receive messages to the Shipwell platform and can respond back to them immediately, whenever you need to.

Delays at the shipping warehouse

If shippers know that there are delays at the pickup location, they should inform 3PLs and carriers so they can make arrangements for a more efficient pickup.

Alternately, if the receiving terminal is experiencing delays, 3PLs and carriers should make a plan of action to get the shipment unloaded in a way that creates less of a delay.

One way shippers can alleviate terminal delays is by optimizing their dock schedules. Shipwell has a limited release feature where shippers can integrate dock scheduling software directly into the shipment in the app. Now, shippers can run their shipping and receiving terminals like a well-oiled machine.

Weather and traffic conditions

Lastly, keeping up with weather and traffic conditions local to the shipping and receiving terminals can give you a general idea about late shipments.

Take a look at the lane the carrier is running, and if there is a massive snowstorm in the middle of it, chances are your freight will be late.

If a carrier gets into a metropolitan area during rush hour, there could be even more delay. There are some well-known traffic areas in common lanes that carriers know about, but some traffic can happen out of nowhere.


While late shipments should be expected, they don’t have to be invisible. Having freight tech and good communication with everyone in the shipping party can provide freight visibility that should be a standard practice in logistics.

Shipwell is the smartest way to ship freight and automates the booking, shipping, and tracking process in one centralized platform. Make freight shipping your competitive advantage by using Shipwell.