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Tracking vs tracing

Tracking refers to following activities in real-time. On the other hand, tracing refers to restoring historic data.

With tracing approach, you can, for example, check if the dairy products you have ordered or sent were kept at the right temperature during transportation.

But be aware that… if you learn about the significant temperature excursions after the shipment arrived, the only thing you can do is… panic. Tracking, on the other hand, allows you to react to outages immediately while the shipment is still on its way. Tracking gives you a clear view of your cargo’s conditions immediately when you require it.

Most commonly, tracking and tracing technologies are:

  • IoT devices,
  • simple data loggers,
  • QR codes,
  • mobile apps,
  • RFID

And there is more, of course.

Supply chain traceability

Supply chain traceability refers to routes that transported products take when travelling from the first stage of the supply chain up to the end consumer.

In some sectors – for example, food and pharmaceuticals, tracing has a massive impact on business efficiency; traceability allows:

  • to adjust to legal regulations,
  • to map stakeholders across the chains,
  • and to ensure end recipients the highest transit quality.

Furthermore, traceability creates the possibility to identify threats during shipping, by utilising data-collecting technologies and analysis.

Not tracking at all is a mistake

Assets on the move could be




Shipments could be delayed, and your fleet could be immobilised or out of order. Due to a lack of valuable information, global supply chains are facing a whole spectrum of problems. Let’s talk numbers. One hundred fifty million containers and 5 billion pallets are being moved around the world, transporting goods worth 4 trillion USD per year.


A container loses 2% of its value for each day’s delay


53% of containers are delivered late

4 days

The average delay is 4 days

So you certainly get the point. Tracking enables significant cost reductions and massive customer service improvements.

The role of real-time tracking for clients and business

With billions of parcels delivered every day it is no surprise that some can be lost, misdelivered or separated. No matter how valuable the parcel was, for the recipient, it can be a catastrophe: no wedding anniversary gift or medicaments for patients.

How does real-time tracking affect you and your clients?


Information about the status of the shipment influences the level of customer satisfaction. The end-consumer can plan the day ahead and receive the parcel. And from a business perspective, you avoid not picking the parcel up, therefore there is no risk of reverse logistics.


A well-designed last-mile delivery process is an opportunity to strengthen your presence on the market and build a loyal customer base.

Below you will find an extra video from which you can learn a lot about customer experience in logistics!

Marek Różycki, former Amazon expert, Ian Kerr, author at Parcel and Postal Technology International and Maciej Lukas, strategy manager from talked about the role of customer experience in last-mile delivery.

Purchase factor

As we said earlier, customers appreciate information about the estimated time of arrival. But not only in transportation services. During periods of increased sales (e.g., before Christmas), in addition to the price of the goods and availability in stock, the ETA is one of the factors affecting the purchase.

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