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LTL Tracking - How it Works

July 31, 2018
5 min read
Less Than Truckload
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Tracking in the freight shipping world is most often associated with parcel service. You ship a package, receive a tracking number, and can easily follow online the route and stops your package makes form source to final destination. Less than Truckload (LTL) tracking isn’t as simple and efficient. Partnering with a 3PL for your LTL shipments will not only offer you the option to receive multiple quotes from several different carriers, it will also provide better insight into LTL tracking.

How does LTL tracking work?

LTL tracking is designed to give shippers and receivers up-to-date information on the whereabouts and conditions of their many shipments. If a freight shipment is expected to arrive on a Friday but an accident or storm delays the shipment, key parties can be informed of the delay.

Tracking is a fairly simple process if your LTL shipping partner offers LTL tracking. The software program should be easy to use and available for remote access. To get started, you’ll most likely need your bill of lading (BOL) number, which you can enter into the LTL shipping website/software to get more information.

What’s the BOL?

BOL is an acronym used for the bill of lading. The BOL is a shipping agreement which has useful information about a specific shipment. It should include the names of the shipper (consignor) and receiver (consignee) along with their complete addresses, a PO or account number, any special handling instructions for the shipment, packaging type (as well as units and measurements), a description of the shipped goods, and the declared value of the shipment.

LTL Tracking without a BOL

If the BOL isn’t available, you may still be able to use LTL tracking from your LTL shipping provider. There are other assigned numbers you can use to get information on your shipment, including the following:

  • Shipment Reference: This identifier is assigned by the shipper. The number could be derived from a customer number or purchase order number. IT could also be a phrase such as “5 pallets.”
  • Shipment Number: This number is assigned when the freight shipment request is made.
  • PO Number: This number is assigned by the purchaser of the shipment, and should also be included on other communications including payment information and a receipt.
  • Pro Number: This number is assigned by the carrier when they pick up the shipment. This can be used to track and trace the shipment while in transit.

Important LTL Tracking Documents

While LTL tracking should be a simple matter if your shipper has an LTL tracking software, in cases where they don’t it can be challenging. And in those cases, it can be useful to have other associated LTL shipping documents available so you can get the information you need quickly. Here are a few helpful documents you may be able to use:

  • Weight Ticket: This document offers a description of the freight, quantity and priority of shipment, PO number, receipt, and customer contact information.
  • Proof of Delivery: This document gives information on when exactly specific items arrived, as well as the name of the person who signed for them.
  • Original Invoice: This document has price information relating to the shipment.
  • Quote Summary:This document offers a breakdown of the services needed for shipment.

LTL Tracking with Amware

At Amware, we make tracking your LTL shipments a priority. With our proprietary freight quoting and tracking software, you can get up to date information on all of your LTL shipments. To learn more or start a free 30-day trial, click below or contact us today.

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