Shipment Tracking

Reliable ETAs in a Changing World

In today’s shipping environment, it’s tough to make accurate predictions on shipment estimated time of arrival (ETA); things like yard congestion, weather, service schedules, block size, and resources available compound unpredictability. This unpredictability is causing shippers to turn to freight visibility platforms now more than ever to gain control of their supply chains. In the age of Amazon, it’s not enough to be given ETAs from the outset, shippers need current data points and dynamic ETAs updated throughout the course of the shipment.

IntelliTrans has been innovating supply chain technology for over 25 years. For ETAs, we couple the most current data with historical data analysis on a route. When shippers view our dynamic ETA, they are seeing the past, the present, and the predicted future. We provide intervention services to ensure complete and accurate data in conjunction with machine learning algorithms to find signals in noisy data, allowing us to discover systemic insights and provide more accurate information to our customers and staff. 


If your service partners are not providing you with accurate ETAs, better visibility, and incremental value improvement then it’s time to leave them behind. Inaccurate empty railcar supply can lead to facility shutdowns that negatively impact customer relationships, so expect more from your Transportation Management System provider.

After all, if we can order a $10 gadget on Amazon and track it all the way to our front door, shippers should be able to gain the same level of granularity with their $100K+ asset loaded with high-value inventory. Don’t settle with the status quo because it’s easy; IntelliTrans is here to help you navigate change.

Shipment Visibility

Shipment visibility has come a long way since we released our rail shipment visibility platform in 1992. It seems like this foundational capability has gone from relative obscurity to being on every shipper’s radar (pun intended) overnight. Demand for shipment visibility solutions will only increase, too. Staffing and inventory reductions will push shippers to further adopt technology providing time-definite delivery information and real-time order visibility across all modes. We’ve taken note of this evolution. Over the years we’ve expanded our tracking capabilities to cover multi-modal shipments.

Obtaining complete, multi-modal shipment visibility requires a multi-pronged approach to obtaining data. The use of ELDs in the North American truck market has increased truck tracking capabilities just as the use of TransCore’s AEI tags & readers increased rail tracking capabilities. Acquiring ELD data is no small task. It requires endless collaboration with carriers, especially in a carrier market where it is crucial to be a “shipper of choice” to get loads covered. It requires many system integrations, deployments, and data acquisition methods:

  • Integration with carrier TMS systems in a manner that THEY can implement and support
  • Integration with ELD providers and Value-Added Networks (VANs)
  • Deployment of app-based technology for gaps in capability / visibility
  • Web Services and API / RESTful endpoints

Every trip must have complete key events, too. A missing delivery confirmation can have a ripple effect impacting on-time delivery metrics, carrier performance KPIs, and even the ability to audit a detention bill. In addition, it isn’t enough to just know where your shipment is and know that it is going to be late; someone needs to act on that information to minimize the impact to your customers. It’s crucial to have a provider who commits to:

  • Managing your implementation process.
  • Monitoring data flows continuously and ensuring all gaps are closed and all trips have complete data.
  • Intervening on late pickups, dwell time, and deliveries to turn assets quicker and eliminate unused equipment from the fleet.

If you want to drive the global supply chain transparency needed to truly achieve success in shipment visibility and management then look no further. Shipment visibility and exception management has been our bread and butter for over 25 years. We’re constantly learning and evolving, too, improving our offerings with new features, market knowledge, and outstanding partnerships.

For example, through our partnership with Tranzlogix we can provide automated, real-time location updates and proactive notifications from ELD devices and geofencing. Tranzlogix is also working on implementing voice-activated commands available for in-truck use, allowing truck drivers to interact with GPS, clock in and out, and make reports without taking their eyes off the road. As you can imagine, this will lead to major improvements in tracking efficiency and driver safety. Tranzlogix employs capabilities to associate multiple trailers for the same trip and provides guaranteed superior customer support access with all packages.  We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Tranzlogix and their streamlined digital purchasing process

IntelliTrans provides multi-modal shipment visibility and exception management in both North America and Europe, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper Technologies, a $4.8B/ $30B market cap publicly traded company. Contact us to pro-actively manage your inventory and delivery cycles for greater efficiencies in your global supply chain!

Use a TMS to Improve Service and Reduce Cost

2018 - the year of the capacity crunch – has been a challenging year for freight shippers. Not only have they faced significant upward cost pressure, but also declines in service. And, these market dynamics likely won’t let up anytime soon as new and existing environmental factors emerge and persist:

  • Fuel prices and uncertainty around future prices increase.
  • Economic growth increases demand for freight transport, especially road transport.
  • Service challenges in other modes shift more freight to road transport.
  • Driver shortages continue and increasing qualifications make it harder to become a driver.
  • Regulatory initiatives like the ELD (electronic logging device) mandate are introduced.
  • Financing terms on truck and equipment purchases increase with interest rate hikes.
  • Tighter monetary policy leads to fewer bank loans for smaller, less credit-worthy carriers.

Needless to say, there are quite a few uncontrollable factors at play. Shippers can, however, take a fresh look at how logistics consumers can achieve better customer service without significantly exceeding their budget.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
— Epictetus

What’s in Your Control? Harnessing the Power of People, Process, and Technology.

Relationships will always matter, especially in the logistics industry. It’s important to treat your drivers and carriers well – whether capacity is tight or not – and you might find a competitive advantage in carriers working harder to cover your shipments when times get rough. Using a TMS, particularly one with dock scheduling capabilities, is a great way to improve your relationship with carriers. Easy ways to book appointments, update those appointments, and ensure minimal dwell at origin and destination can attract carriers to accept your freight before others - all other parameters being equal. And, if you can audit and pay carrier invoices quickly (with transparency), you are well on your way to becoming a shipper of choice.

  Dock Scheduling Software

For manufacturers and retailers whose costs and quality of service are important, it’s imperative to have processes in place to ensure loads go to transport providers offering cost-competitive rates and high-quality service for each lane. And, to do so quickly and efficiently with minimal administrative cost. Booking a load easily and “instantaneously” is critical; otherwise, the carrier might book a competing load with the same equipment and driver. Which is why having an automated tendering process that gives visibility to an ever-expanding set of carriers in a structured, defined order is one of the best ways to optimize coverage and cost.

Using the IntelliTrans TMS to Drive Information Accessibility, Visibility, and Efficiency

The IntelliTrans Transportation Management System (TMS) is a web-based software solution comprised of shipment mode modules that can be used individually or in combination to allow command and control of shipments across all modes of transport.

  SaaS TMS

The truck module of the IntelliTrans Transport Management System (TMS) will assist with procurement, coordination of all transport activities, and execution of loads – reducing time-consuming, error-prone business processes. Administration to manage your needs is simplified, which results in minimal effort in contacting providers, tracking loads, monitoring carrier performance, and ensuring invoice accuracy. The road transport element helps streamline truckload and less-than-truckload operations, optimize carrier selection, maximize carrier capacity, and reduce truckload spend.   

The TMS records complete, timely, and accurate data backed-up by data specialists who ensure each shipment has complete data. We also provide interactive data visualizations and data-driven alerts, giving you the ability to ask deeper questions and deliver more meaningful insights in areas like shipment visibility, cost control, and tendering automation. Whether you’re an operator looking to manage shipment exceptions or a strategic, long-term planner, you’ll be able to quickly spot outliers and trends across complex datasets.

Let us show you what we can do for your business! 

Multi-Modal Transport Operations

  Multi-Modal TMS

The execution of end-to-end journeys with multiple transport providers can bring benefits to all logistics consumers, particularly where transport cost is important.

For some freight movements, the use of multi-modal transport can bring very measurable cost and environmental benefits with no detriment to customer service. Logistics consumers require route optimization, just-in-time supply chain operations, a secure environment, and low cost transport. Control tower technology is an enabler to achieve shipment visibility and optimize inventory and assets in a congested environment. To provide optimum results the technology that supports a control tower must be specific to the company’s need. IntelliTrans supports the seamless completion of journeys using more than one operator. IntelliTrans’ Global Visibility Platform is designed to simplify multi-modal operations, covering the aspects of planning, execution and track and trace. Information can be sent to destination points and partner operators alike with real time updates on journey progress and the estimated time of arrival.

The use of multi-modal transport can reduce transport costs and CO2 emissions while achieving a highly predictable delivery performance. Achieving this reduced cost may involve complex planning and operational processes that can be overcome with technology that allows services to be tailored to needs. Combining different modes of transport (sea, road, rail or inland waterways) to create a journey that meets cost and time objectives can provide a real competitive advantage. Technology that allows journeys to be planned and modes of transport to be synchronized with simple operational control and paperless transactions is critical to successful utilization of multi-modal transportation.

Multi-modal transport steps are easy to state but difficult to achieve:

  • Plan to create a journey that will satisfy the delivery time required by the customer
  • Consider product characteristics, such as hazardous or temperature requirements
  • Search from a number of available options to complete end-to-end services within the journey time allowed
  • Calculate the overall journey costs and compare those with other routes
  • Calculate carbon emissions for a journey
  • Book all legs of the journey – a single point of booking with information entered only once is preferred
  • Dynamically re-plan and re-book transportation based on real-time information
    • (i.e., if a drayage move to port is going to be late, re-book the container on the next voyage)
  • Integration of information in the logistics processes to track progress and provide an ETA that can be shared as needed with parties involved

These needs can be combined with other services such as Proof of Delivery obtainment using IntelliTrans ePOD application and automated calculation of emissions at the shipment level.

See also

Yard Management

Streamline your yard activity with a web-based turnkey solution.

  Yard Management Software

The Yard Management Module within IntelliTrans' Global Visibility Platform will provide you with unique capabilities to manage your rail yards with increased levels of integration and visibility. Finding the information you need is made easy with our querying, reporting, and interactive map features. Key capabilities include:

  Yard Visibility
  • Automated data capture with TransCore’s fixed and hand-held AEI readers.
  • Interactive maps for visualization and drag & drop switch list creation.
  • Railcar images match equipment type, and are color-coded by status.
  • Create inbound, outbound, and internal switch lists, including the ability to do this by using "drag-and-drop" functionality on the yard map.
  • Generate Bills of Lading.
  • Load, unload, and inspect railcars, including assigning orders to railcars.
  • Utilization of our Tank Car Loader for optimizing loading of tank cars.
  • Reporting & querying tools.
  • Calculate detention and demurrage charges.

Rail Track, Trace & Intervention Case Study – Flat Car Project

Business Problem

  • Railroad flatcar equipment ship across North America.
  • Return times of equipment back to originating railroad too long – driving low fleet utilization.

Objectives – Improve Fleet Utilization

  • Expedite empty flatcars off-line for return back to originating railroad
  • Prevent unauthorized use of railcars by other railroads
  • Resolve misrouted and lost cars


  • Fleet split into control and expedite fleet.
  • IntelliTrans intervenes on railcars off-line upon empty release from end customer.
  • Visibility to services provided via web-based tools and ongoing, integrated analytics.


  • Expedite fleet returned to originating railroad an average of 2 days earlier than the control fleet ($3.3MM)
  • Prevented unauthorized use on an average of 30 railcars per month ($0.5MM)
  • Resolved an average of 90 misrouted and lost railcars per month ($0.3MM)

Total Savings Identified: $4.1MM

Please contact us today to see how we can help you achieve similar results.

Rail Track, Trace & Intervention Case Study

Business Problem

  • Desire to web-enable distribution chain
  • Challenging integration with legacy and SAP ERP systems
  • Intensive double-entry for distribution management team


  • Eliminate double-entry
  • Integrate with legacy and SAP ERP systems
  • Improve asset utilization


  • Utilize IntelliTrans' track and trace feature for visibility
  • Integrate with ERP systems via EDI and flat-file communications
  • Leverage IntelliTrans' intervention services to improve fleet utilization


  • Reduced transportation costs, improved customer satisfaction and improved utilization of internal resources
  • Return on investment achieved within 6 months; $1.25 MM savings delivered
  • Initial rail fleet size reduced by about 5%, despite increased business volumes
  • Rail Fleet transit times measurably decrease: 14% decrease in cycle time for fleet cars and 11% decrease for loaded one-way moves
  • More accurate estimates of arrival times and improved proactive customer service
  • Dramatic reductions in idle & mis-routed railcars
  Rail Tracking Software

Total Savings Identified: $1.25MM

Please contact us today to see how we can help you automate your business processes, reduce your transportation costs, and improve your pro-active customer service.


Rail Track, Trace & Intervention Case Study - Tank Cars

Business Problem

  • Lack of intervention on full fleet cycle for 2800 tank cars
  • Customers holding railcars too long
  • Low fleet utilization and high levels of forward-deployed inventory

Objectives – Improve Fleet Utilization

  • Reducing loaded and empty transit time
  • Reducing destination dwell time


  • Establish baseline fleet performance prior to implementation
  • Track, trace, and expedite entire fleet throughout the cycle, loaded and empty
  • Provide Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) services to key customers to facilitate management of railcar deployment at their facilities


  • Average loaded transit time reduced from 8.36 to 7.42 days (0.96 day reduction)
  • Average empty transit time reduced from 10.48 to 9.12 days (1.36 day reduction)
  • Average destination dwell reduced from 8.5 days to 5 days (3.5 day improvement)
  • Average cycle time improved by 5.8 days
  • 50% inventory reduction at key customers

Total Savings Identified: $3MM

Please contact us today to see how we can help you more effectively manage your inventory and reduce your transportation costs.