The Benefits of Cargo Monitoring Solutions

6 minute read

A modern cargo solution goes far beyond simple location tracking. Prevent shrink, reduce fuel costs, and recover stolen cargo with advanced monitoring.

The shipping industry loses billions of dollars every year to lost, stolen, or damaged cargo.

In the past, telematics companies offered GPS trackers to monitor the location of cargo and the trucks carrying it, but little more. Today, location tracking is just the beginning.

A modern monitoring solution can protect cargo and increase efficiency through advanced data collection, which allows important questions to be answered:

  • What percentage of the trailer was left empty on each shipment?
  • How many times was the trailer door opened? How long did it stay at the loading dock?
  • Did the cargo remain in a safe temperature range throughout the entire journey? 

These are key indicators for fleet managers, because maximum trailer utilization saves money on both fuel and driver costs. Minimal downtime at the loading dock likewise streamlines shipping, while keeping perishable cargo at the appropriate temperature is an obvious necessity for any shipper. Cargo monitoring thus provides fleet managers who want to get goods from Point A to Point B safely and efficiently with a solution that goes a long way towards doing so.

What is a cargo monitoring solution?

A modern cargo monitoring solution connects an in-trailer device that collects data with a remote user interface where you can access that data.

The device can be placed in a shipping container, trailer, or anywhere else where there’s cargo. Once installed, it does its job — it monitors cargo. Depending on the individual device, it can collect several different data points, including:

  • Geographical Location
  • Temperature and Humidity
  • Percent Trailer Utilization 

Once it’s collected, fleet managers can access this data by logging on to a user interface. In combination with a holistic telematics solution, it can yield powerful business intelligence about how to run a fleet.

Protect Cargo, Increase Efficiency: The Top Benefits of Cargo Monitoring

The benefits of advanced monitoring fall into two main categories: cargo protection and efficiency gains. Both mean big savings for fleets.

Protect Cargo

Keeping cargo safe is any fleet manager’s top priority. Between theft, tampering, and damage, it can be hard work. Here’s how cargo monitoring can help.

Theft Prevention

About 75% of stolen cargo is never recovered, according to a 2017 FBI report. The true numbers could be even higher — many shipping companies choose not to report theft, fearing high administrative costs and higher insurance premiums.

As long as there are people shipping cargo, there will be other people trying to steal it. Cargo monitoring can lower their chances.

With geofence technology, managers and authorities can get an instant alert when cargo leaves its intended route. Capabilities like these can make the difference between recovering a shipment and losing it for good.

Shrink Reduction

Theft isn’t the only thing that can lead to a loss. Without careful handling, cargo can be exposed to heat, humidity, insects, and more. Food, medicine, and other delicate items face particular danger en route. An estimated 20% of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals are destroyed by cold-chain issues alone.

An advanced cargo monitoring device can detect unsafe temperature fluctuations and warn fleet professionals right away. No more arriving at a destination to find hundreds of tubs of melted ice cream — or worse, thousands of doses of degraded vaccines.

Increase efficiency

Theft protection is a commonsense benefit of cargo monitoring, but an advanced solution can cut costs in other ways, as well. 

Greater Trailer Utilization

They say two heads are better than one, but the same definitely does not apply to trailers. Still, all too many shipments are sent in multiple trailers unnecessarily. A study by the Environmental Defense Fund found that trailers on the road are filled to capacity under 40% of the time.

A cargo monitoring device can use its sensors to detect how full a trailer is. Fleet managers can access that data, identify inefficiencies, and fix them – and that can bring major savings. Sending out one trailer is cheaper than sending out multiple trailers for a number of reasons. One is simple: Filling up at the gas station. According to the same EDF study, if U.S. companies filled trailers to capacity on every shipment, they would save $30 billion in fuel costs alone.

Downtime Minimization

Excess downtime at the loading dock can cost fleets big. Door open-and-close tracking and total time spent docked are examples of indicators that help fleet managers detect and reduce down-time. Both are easily tracked with cargo monitoring technology.

Shrink, theft, and waste all cut into shipping’s already tight profit margins. Cargo monitoring can address each of those problems. With cargo monitoring, fleet managers can:

  • Track down stolen shipments
  • Protect delicate cargo
  • Consolidate shipments, saving on fuel

And with telematics suite integration, fleet managers can see the full picture, from start to finish. At Position Logic, our experienced telematics professionals can walk you through a range of options that can help you fully realize the benefits that are inherent to cargo monitoring. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Topic(s): Asset Monitoring

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