The use of fleet tracking and fleet management systems allows freight transporters to guarantee the safety and security of transit goods. They can be very beneficial for a freight transport company, but there are a few options to consider when buying these systems for your company.

This article discusses a few factors to be considered when looking to invest in fleet tracking and fleet management software applications.

Active Vs Passive Tracking Systems

Fleet tracking systems fall under two broad categories. This categorization is based on the manner in which the tracking system operates. Passive tracking systems will collect all relevant information about transit vehicles. Such information includes the route taken by the driver, location and duration of stop-overs during the trip, information about the vehicle's engine and so on. Passive tracking systems record this information for retrieval once the freight transport vehicle reaches its final destination (or arrives back at on company premises).

Active fleet tracking systems will also record relevant information about a transit vehicle.  However, such information is sent to the tracking company in real time. As such, active tracking systems will provide a freight transporter with up-to-the-minute information about the location and condition of transit vehicles.

In a large number of cases, freight transport companies will choose to invest in an active fleet tracking system due to the obvious advantages. However, active tracking systems will not function in the absence of GPS or mobile connectivity. Therefore, the loss of freight data is a possibility when transit goods are to be delivered in remote areas where mobile or GPS connectivity is a problem.

Management Software

Fleet management software applications are useful in the sense that they analyze the data generated by a fleet tracking system for easier interpretation.

There are three types of fleet management software applications. Web-based management software applications are often preferred for the convenience of being able to access information wherever there's internet connectivity. The same applies to mobile-based software applications for fleet management.

Mobile-based applications provide the transport company with a downloadable software application that acts as the service platform. These applications allow a freight transporter to access important information on their hand-held mobile device.

Stand-alone software applications are also available for fleet managers. Stand-alone applications are installed on office computers and the information they provide is not accessible away from the office. However, they are beneficial in the sense that they allow for customization of the application in line with the specific needs of the transport company. In comparison, web and mobile-based management software applications are often designed with the "one-size-fits-all" approach.