Shippers can track rail and truck cargo via Hub Group tool

Shippers can track rail and truck cargo via Hub Group tool

The Hub Group has improved visibility of its fleet and partners.

Hub Group has launched a new cargo tracking tool that uses satellite technology to provide real-time supply chain visibility to customers moving cargo on truck and train.

Tracking technology is still nascent in the logistics industry, but the rise of e-commerce has heightened the sense of urgency when it comes to cargo visibility. Shippers have come to rely on investment in these products from transportation providers other than their ocean carriers, however, as shipping lines, lacking capital, have been reluctant to update technology.

The Hub Group Connect platform aggregates data from Hub Group’s 33,000-plus satellite-tracked intermodal containers, the company’s trucking fleet, and a network of truckload carriers, to provide customers with shipment visibility and online tracking from any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, customers can track shipments for any mode of transportation, submit rate requests, book new shipments, and set up automatic load status updates via text or email.

Hub Group Connect also provides access to resources such as white papers, industry news, and national weather alerts.

“Our customers need convenience, visibility, simplicity, and solutions,” Phillip Yeager, Hub Group’s executive vice president of account management and intermodal operations, said in a statement. “Hub Group Connect brings all essential information together in one place in an intuitive format.”

Tracking cargo is nothing new in the logistics industry. Other companies, however, have largely reported only when cargo reaches certain checkpoints, such as depots, intermodal terminals, or ports. The satellite technology allows Hub Group to track containers in real time.

“In today’s consumer-driven marketplace, visibility is no longer simply nice to have for shippers, it is a necessity,” Phillip Yeager, Hub Group’s executive vice president of account management and intermodal operations, said in a statement. “Hub Group Connect gives our customers greater control over their supply chain and the data required to make informed decisions.”

Major transportation providers UPS, FedEx, and XPO Logistics are in various stages of deploying container-tracking technology. Their efforts are often challenged by a significant lack of investment by the ocean carriers that own the container equipment. Hub Group, on the other hand, has the benefit of owning its own containers and therefore can outfit each with tracking technology.

UPS, which updated its ocean container-tracking technology this past March, has said that other players in the game who do not own the equipment are, “at the mercy of others.”

Contact Reynolds Hutchins at reynolds.hutchins@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @Hutchins_JOC.