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Tracking and tracing

Monitoring the movement of goods or shipments from origin to destination.  

What does it mean tracking and tracing?  

Tracking and tracing are two logistics terms that refer to monitoring the movement of goods through the supply chain from the point of origin to the destination.  

Tracking and tracing give businesses visibility and control over their supply chain operations. It also allows businesses to respond quickly to any disruptions in the supply chain and mitigate any potential negative impacts. By monitoring the movement of goods in real-time and using historical data to identify trends, businesses can make informed decisions that lead to more efficient operations and increased customer satisfaction.  

How do tracking and tracing work? 

The process of tracking and tracing in logistics involves the use of various technologies and systems to monitor the movement of goods throughout the supply chain. Here's how it works:  

Assign a unique identifier: Each shipment is assigned a unique identifier, such as a tracking number or barcode. This identifier is used to track the shipment throughout its journey.  

Monitoring the shipment: The shipment is monitored using various technologies, such as GPS or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which provide real-time data on its location and movement.  

Updating the system: The data collected is updated in the tracking and tracing system, giving businesses visibility into the shipment's progress and location.  

Analysis of data: The data collected is analyzed to identify patterns and trends, which can be used to optimize the supply chain and improve performance.  

Notification of updates: Customers can receive notifications about the progress of their shipment through email, text messages, or an online tracking portal. This allows them to monitor the status of their shipment and make informed decisions about their operations.  

What are the differences between tracking and tracing? 

Tracking in the context of supply chain management refers to the continuous monitoring of goods as they move through the supply chain. This process involves systematically recording the progress of a shipment at various stages, from origin to destination, providing real-time or near-real-time information about its location and status. 

Tracing, on the other hand, is the process of retrospectively following the path of a shipment to ascertain its history or to locate it if it is lost or delayed. Tracing is typically employed to investigate issues or discrepancies in the shipment's journey, such as delays, lost items, or deviations from the planned route. It often involves reviewing historical data, communication logs, and other records to reconstruct the shipment's movements and determine its current status. 

In summary, a tracker is a technology used to monitor the movement of goods. At the same time, a tracer is investigating and identifying the status of a lost or delayed shipment. 

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