Delivery period is a time of anxiety for many customers. Partly because it is impossible to tell the exact time they will have their vehicle delivered. Knowing the progress of your shipment helps you arrange your schedule and gives you the peace of mind you need. However, calling your carrier might be too tedious and you may not be fully convinced. In addition, the driver is not allowed to answer calls while on the road as per the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). Tracking your vehicle, therefore, is the surest way of estimating the delivery time. Here is how you can track your automobile.
Ask your auto transport company for their tracking system
The first thing is to make sure that your transporting consultant has a tracking system. Then, you need to get your tracking number. Fortunately, it is almost impossible to find shipping companies without a tracker as most of them have embraced the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
The GPS is a way of tracking the location of an object. When placed in a vehicle, a computer, or a mobile phone, a GPS gives the exact location of that item by reading satellite signals. These signals provide users with a range of information such as road traffic, fuel level, trip coverage, parking, towing, and location. As a customer, the most important information which will be accessible to you is the location of the vehicle and the time.
The tracking systems vary with shipping companies. Here are some common methods.
- GPS satellite tracking system: This system is mostly used by vehicles plying remote areas. Here, automatic information is sent to the central tracking system in real-time.
- Passive GPS tracking system: The system captures and stores information at certain periods. Here, infrequent data is sent to the central tracking system.
Depending on your company, you may have different options of accessing the data.
- Online tracking: Some companies will ask you to use their website for tracking information. On the website, you will enter your tracking number and the progress report of your shipment will be displayed.
- Frequent notifications: Your company may opt to send you frequent updates without your request. Normally, these are automated so that you can track your automobile effortlessly.
- Mobile tracking: This is a convenient method where you use your mobile device to track your shipment. Here, you may have to install the tracking app for easier monitoring. The apps are available both for iOS, Blackberry, and Android phones.
- Email notifications: For some companies, you may not track your automobile as frequently as you want. They prefer to send you e-mail notifications once you request for such data. Allow for a 24-hour period before getting your report.
- Calls: Although not common, a shipper may opt to provide you with transit information when you make a call. This is tedious as the contact person will have to call the driver before getting back to you.
Basically, you want to go with the method that works best for you. Luckily, most companies will provide their method of tracking on their website for you to assess. However, like any other technology, the tracking system may fail. Here are some of the things you can do when the technology fails.
- Ensure that you are connected: Most of the shipping companies prefer for you to track your vehicle online. If you are unable to access their website, check your internet connection. Some sites may be slow to load due to traffic.
- Ensure that you are within the provided tracking time: Your company may provide specific periods during which you can track your vehicle. If they only allow tracking during business hours, make sure you observe the time.
- Re-check the tracking number: The tracking number is specific to your delivery trailer and cannot accommodate errors. Try re-checking the number or copy paste it to the website.
- Contact your shipping company: Some tracking system failures may be caused by a power cut, antennae failure, or other interruptions from the central tracking system. An efficient company should address such failures as they happen. However, if you try severally and the system is down, you may contact them with your concerns.
The tracking device is put in place for the peace of mind of both you and your company. It is good practice to avail yourself at the delivery location in time for your vehicle. This will allow other customers to receive their cargo in time as well.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.