How Does Freight Tracking Work?

The supply chain is a complex network, and understanding how it works benefits companies and consumers. How does freight tracking work if you order something online? A good freight company offers a transparent tracking process, allowing for reliable delivery of goods anywhere in the world. The freight tracking process is mostly the same whether you’re shipping locally or internationally. Companies with efficient and effective supply chains are well-positioned to meet customer demands in all market conditions. During times of unrest or crisis, consumers will purchase from companies that can fulfill orders. Therefore, businesses with effective and transparent shipping policies and procedures will receive repeat customers, allowing them to expand their market while competitors experience contraction.

How Does Freight Tracking Work?

Optimal freight tracking requires a set of procedures to ensure transparency for the customer. It also lets the business know where the goods are at every stage of the logistics process. Here are the common freight tracking processes used by companies when shipping orders.

Order Confirmation

Companies choose carriers to handle their logistics, such as a broker or 3PL provider. After negotiating rates, the logistics partner confirms the order with the customer and the company.

Order Number

After receiving confirmation, the logistics partner assigns the parcel a Progressive Rotating Order number (PRO), which is crucial to tracking the rest of the logistics process.

Bill of Lading

The logistics partner includes the PRO on the Bill of Lading (BOL). This document features the shipment details, the company and customer details, collection and delivery addresses, weight and dimensions, parcel description, and value.

Print Shipping Labels

The logistics partner adds the PRO to the Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC), creating a scannable barcode.

When the Freight is Ready to Ship

Freight can move via truckload (TL), less-than-truckload (LTL), or shared truckload (STL) services. After loading the shipment, it travels to the destination directly or passes through several ports or checkpoints, depending on the freight method. The logistics partner scans the barcode on the shipping label when they load or unload the freight during transit. The scan updates the parcel’s location on the tracking system, sending the updated information to the company and the customer.

Freight Tracking Terms

Understanding the meaning behind each update to the shipping process as the parcel moves through the supply chain is beneficial. Here’s a glossary of shipment tracking terms to understand.

Estimated Delivery

When issuing quotes on rates, the logistics partner provides an estimated delivery date according to the scheduled collection date and the distance to its final destination.


The company receives confirmation and agrees to the shipping method, terms, and rates.


The logistics partner is in transit to the company to collect the parcel.

Picked Up/ Collected

The logistics partner collected the parcel from the company.

In Transit

The parcel is moving between collection and destination addresses, with updates on each port of entry during transit sent to the customer and company.

Out for Delivery

The parcel is out for delivery to the customer’s address.


The logistics partner delivers the parcel to the customer.

Shipment Delayed

There could be several reasons the parcel experiences a delay in transit or at any stage of freight. Most of these reasons for delays are outside the control of the company and, in some cases, the logistics partner.

Refusal by Consignee

The customer might refuse delivery of the parcel when it arrives at the destination. The customer might not be at home or a receiving business or require the logistics partner to create a delivery appointment.

Understanding Freight Tracking

Companies can create reliable supply chains by understanding each step of the logistics process. Customers and companies can benefit from understanding the aforementioned terms and how they apply to the delivery of goods.

The Junction LLC | Truckload Shipping

As a leader in the transportation industry, we demand excellence from our entire team. Our team at The Junction LLC strives to deliver the best possible customer service. We help our customers solve the toughest transportation and supply chain needs.

Our team is dedicated to serving our customers and will take the necessary action to deliver our customers’ products safely, efficiently, and on time. In fact, this is our promise to you!

Nationwide Services include:

Trucking & Freight Shipping Services:

  • Overweight,
  • Over-dimension
  • Time-sensitive shipments
  • LTL (Less-Than-Truckload)
  • FTL (Full Truckload)
  • Flatbed
  • Flatbed LTLRGN (removable gooseneck lowboy)
  • RGN (removable gooseneck lowboy)
  • Maxi’s / A-Train / B-Train
  • Heavy Haul
  • Over Dimensional
  • Dry Van
  • Dry Van LTL
  • Refrigerated
  • Refrigerated LTL
  • Power Only

Additional Services:

  • Our sister companies can also provide warehousing in our food-grade facilities, cross-docking, and contract warehousing.

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