Tips for tracking and tracing LTL shipments

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Tracking and tracking shipments is a pretty routine part of LTL shipping. If you are new to shipping or just looking to make tracking easier, these tips might be helpful.

We spend a lot of time tracking LTL shipments for our customers. Here is a list of tips our customer service team would like to share with you. Hope they help!

Make sure you have the PRO number

The PRO number is the tracking number assigned to the shipment. This is assigned at the time of pickup by the driver. Typically it is applied to the bill of lading in the form of a sticker. Before you can track a shipment you must have this. If you don’t have access to the signed bill of lading you can usually get it from the carrier’s customer service team by giving them the pickup number.

Check online first

If you have the PRO number, then you can go to the carrier’s website and and get tracking information. In many cases this is sufficient to know where your shipment is. Some carriers give really detailed information. Others not so much. Also, if the shipment has issues, you will most definitely need to call or email the carrier.

If things are looking good and you want to receive email updates most carriers offer that option on the tracking page. This is a nice way to keep an eye on shipments you wish to monitor. If you have a lot of shipments to monitor it can get overwhelming so be a little selective. Some carriers will let you do a live chat as well.

You can always email in a jam

Most carriers have a general customer service or tracking email that you can use to get updates. This is really helpful when you have checked online and need more information and have some time to wait. In our experience we find that most carriers will get back to you within an hour or two.

Phone calls are fastest….kinda

If you need an answer fast you can always call the carrier. This is the fastest way to get your answers. Depending on the carrier it can take 5 to 20 minutes of your time. Some carriers will leave you on hold or try to answer your questions via an auto attendant. If you need an answer right away, this is the way to go but make sure you have time for the call.

Know when to talk to the dispatcher

If you are running into issues or the customer service rep doesn’t seem to know the status of your shipment sometimes it is best to ask for the dispatcher. This is especially true when you are looking for information on the pickup or delivery. The dispatcher is usually pretty familiar with the shipment and can give good info. If you are calling for tracing information during the line haul portion of the move, then the customer service team is your best bet.

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.

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