What is Air Cargo Tracking?

Air cargo tracking is a process that allows shippers, consignees, and other stakeholders to monitor and track their air cargo shipments as they move through the supply chain.

It provides real-time information on the status of the cargo, such as the current location, expected arrival time, and any delays or issues that may arise during transportation.

Why Do Organizations Choose Air Freight?

Utilizing air freight is one of the most popular modes of transporting goods and products around the world. It is especially beneficial for long-distance shipments and delivering goods in a speedy fashion as it is the fastest form of transport.

The need for shipment visibility in the air industry has grown significantly in recent years, as air transportation has become an increasingly popular mode of shipping goods worldwide.

With air cargo tracking, businesses can ensure that their shipments are delivered on time and in good condition, which is critical for maintaining customer satisfaction and meeting supply chain demands.

How To Track Air Cargo Shipments

Logistics professionals use third-party visibility services to access tracking data from air carriers in a single location. This helps provide critical data for organizations to provide better service and reduce delays.

There are two different technologies used in air tracking applications.

  1. Air Carrier Integration (API/EDI): Integrates with high volume of air carriers to consolidate and streamline access to air carrier event status and shipment data.
  2. Tracking Devices/IoT: ULD and pallet-level tracking via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags to provide real-time, direct connectivity to your air shipments.

These tracking tools typically use a unique tracking number or waybill number to identify the shipment and provide real-time updates on its progress.

The tracking information provided can include:

  • Origin and destination of the shipment
  • Notifications of delays
  • Flight number
  • Estimated time of arrival
  • Updates on customs clearance or other regulatory requirements

In addition, some tracking tools may provide information on the condition of the cargo, such as temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors, which is especially important for sensitive or perishable goods.

Who Can Utilize Air Freight Tracking?

Air cargo tracking can be a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

Regardless of organizations size, air shipment visibility allows teams to plan and manage their supply chains more effectively, by providing visibility and control over their shipments. For example, if a shipment is delayed due to weather or other factors, the business can quickly adjust its plans and communicate with its customers to minimize the impact of the delay.

Retailers: Retailers can use air cargo tracking to monitor the movement of their goods from the manufacturer to their warehouse, and from their warehouse to their stores.

Manufacturers: Manufacturers can use air cargo tracking to monitor the movement of their goods from their factories to their customers, ensuring that their products are delivered on time and in good condition.

Logistics Companies: Logistics companies can use air cargo tracking to manage their supply chain operations, track the movement of their cargo, and ensure that their customers’ shipments are delivered on time and in good condition.

Government Agencies: Government agencies can use air cargo tracking to monitor the movement of goods that are being transported across borders, ensuring that they are complying with customs and regulations.

Air shipment tracking is an essential tool for businesses that rely on air transportation to move their goods around the world.

As air transportation continues to grow in popularity, the importance of air cargo tracking will only continue to increase, making it an essential part of the transportation management industry

How Does Air Cargo Tracking Mitigate Risk?

Air cargo tracking can help to mitigate risk in several ways, including:

Enhanced Security: Allows for real-time monitoring of cargo movement, enabling the tracking of any unusual or suspicious activities. This helps to prevent theft, damage, or other security breaches during transit.

Improved Visibility: Shippers can monitor the progress of their cargo in real-time, giving them more visibility into the entire supply chain. This can help them identify and address any issues or delays proactively, reducing the likelihood of cargo loss or damage.

Efficient Communication: Cargo tracking systems enable efficient communication between all parties involved in the transportation of goods, including shippers, carriers, and receivers. This facilitates prompt identification and resolution of any issues that may arise during the cargo’s transit.

Risk Management: Air freight tracking also helps in managing risks associated with cargo transportation by providing insights into the entire transportation process. This helps in identifying any potential bottlenecks or vulnerabilities in the supply chain, enabling stakeholders to take proactive measures to mitigate risks.

Improved Quality Control: Depending on the platform and it’s capabilities, air shipment visibility can improve quality control by providing real-time information about the condition of the cargo, including temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that can affect the quality of the goods.

5 Benefits of Air Cargo Tracking

  1. Improved transparency: With air cargo tracking, shippers and consignees can monitor the movement of their goods from origin to destination in real-time, providing greater transparency and visibility throughout the supply chain.
  2. Enhanced security: Air cargo tracking enables companies to monitor their shipments closely, helping to prevent theft and damage during transport. Additionally, it allows for early detection of any irregularities or potential security threats.
  3. Better planning: Air cargo tracking provides accurate and timely information on the status of shipments, allowing companies to plan their operations more efficiently and minimize disruptions to their supply chain.
  4. Increased customer satisfaction: By providing customers with accurate and timely information on the status of their shipments, air cargo tracking can improve customer satisfaction and build trust in the company’s ability to deliver on time and in good condition.
  5. Cost savings: Air cargo tracking can help companies reduce costs by optimizing their supply chain operations, improving inventory management, and reducing the risk of lost or damaged shipments.
  6. Greater Efficiency: Air cargo tracking can help to improve the efficiency of the shipping process by providing real-time information about the location and status of the cargo.

Descartes MacroPoint Air Shipment Visibility and Tracking

Air cargo tracking is a critical tool for businesses looking to optimize their supply chain operations and improve their customer service.

By providing real-time visibility into shipment locations, status, and estimated time of arrival, air cargo tracking enables businesses to make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and optimize their logistics operations.

With advanced features such as automation, analytics, and mobile accessibility, air cargo tracking solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of meeting the complex needs of businesses in a wide range of industries.

By investing in Descartes MacroPoint air cargo tracking, businesses can improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and provide a higher level of service to their customers, ultimately driving growth and success in today’s competitive global market.

Learn more by requesting a demo with one of our freight technology experts.

Descartes IOT™ Tracking Technology

Say hello to the state-of-the-art comprehensive platform for real-time asset tracking and management for air carriers and Ground Handling Agents (GHAs).

Our solution uses internet of things (IoT) technology to provide end-to-end visibility into the movement of goods across the supply chain.

The system combines GPS tracking, cellular connectivity, and cloud-based software through the use of Bluetooth BLE® enabled tags to monitor and manage air freight in real-time. Our next-generation tags can also monitor temperature, humidity, light, & shock exposure to shipments & equipment. Our readers are solar powered, which ends the need to maintain and monitor battery life. This means uninterrupted service for you and continuous insight into the location of shipments and equipment.

The platform is highly configurable and can be customized to meet the unique needs of different industries and applications and can be used as a powerful tool for businesses looking to improve their air freight visibility and efficiency.

Learn more about our next generation technology here.